Friday, September 21, 2012

Re-Work Your 9-5 ...Creative Cultures

This is & a high price point
but lots of similar options in the shops
at Zara, H&M, Top Shop, River Island.
Maybe you don't work in a corporate environment and maybe your workplace allows for a more creative approach to dressing for work.  Maybe it's even actively encouraged or expected.  This is often the case in creative industries such as marketing & advertising agencies, hairdressing, design etc.  

In my experience creative people tend to have creative style personalities and as such rarely look for advice on their image. But occasionally I come across the individual who has to either tame down their creative wardrobe or add a bit more va va voom.  The two most common scenarios are:

"I come from a very corporate background and have a corporate working wardrobe but I've secured a new job with an advertising agency.  Even in the accounts department the finance manager is expected to embrace the creative environment.  Help I want to wear a suit but ...."
"I am really creative in my style personality.  I love experimenting, love eclectic combinations and mixing second hand with designer, colour clashing and print.  But while I work in a creative environment I also need to communicate that I can be trusted to be excellent at what I do.  I'm creative but I am professional and take my job seriously. I need to tame it down a bit without compromising my personality."

How To Make Creative & Smart Work At Work 

    1.  Choose traditional workwear silhouettes - such as a suit or dress - BUT pick them in floral fabrics or bold seasonal colours, such as tomato orange or cobalt blue and colour block the jacket/skirt/trousers.
    // I love this look.  I'm going to shamelessly copy it ;-)  City chic with a big dose of dramaticYou could buy three different colour suits in a mix of trousers and skirt and also in three different colours or patterns that you would be happy to co-ordinate.    The acid test here is that you should be happy to put the trousers of one suit next to the skirt of another and the jacket of another and be happy that the 3 items look great together.  At least one suit should be plain.  Then mix them all up to create lots of different work looks. 

    Biba at


    2.  Select separates, including dresses BUT put them together with a mix of 2 parts creative and 1 part corporate or 2 parts corporate and 1 part creative, depending on your natural style personality.   For example a bold dress and statement shoes could be combined with a more discrete belt, jewellery and make up.  Or a bold skirt worn with a brightly coloured blouse but finished off with a neutral suit jacket and neutral shoes. 

    My favourite look is a wide leg or skinny trouser worn with a loose suit jacket in a completely different colour which is layered over a long sleeve t shirt, blouse or roll neck.  

    This is a great way of using your whole wardrobe and drawing upon the items in your wardrobe that can really multi-task; those items you might wear in your leisure time or for going out.   
    Smartly Modern - Page 7
    Smartly Modern - Page 7


    3.  Select a more basic clothing line;  say a plain dress or a skirt/ trousers combined with a plain top/shirt or blouse.  Think of these items being in a more neutral palette, something more akin to the traditional corporate colours that you might imagine for a traditional office environment.  BUT from there you can have fun with your creativity.  You  could simply accessorise, accessorise, accessorise.  Or you could pick a statement bag as an alternative to a briefcase, wear bold jewellery or enjoy being more creative with your make up, your hair or indeed your glasses. 

    Ok - so maybe  not this creative for work.
    Unless of course you are a No 1 global
    recording artist.  
    This is a low cost way of embracing a professional look without compromising on your own style because your core clothing items will be the canvas and not the main point of interest, allowing your to sparkle and radiate with creative genius.

    Whichever way you choose just love the fact that you can experiment for work and still look professional.  In my world you ladies have the best of both.

    So Work It, Work It, Work It.
    Love and office attire
    Lady MB xxx

    Smartly Modern - Page 7


    Anonymous said...

    Susanna Reid was wearing that Biba green House of Fraser dress on Breakfast this morning.

    Lady Mirror Ball said...

    I have serious dress envy and wish I'd seen her in that. I did that terrible thing where I went to buy this, tried it on and the didn't buy. Went back and my size was gone. Pondered whether or not to size up and then didn't. Regrets, regrets. XXX