Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Re-Working Your 9-5

'Are You A Man or A Mouse?  A Woman or A Wouse?'
Dolly, Lilly & Jane proving that ladies have a successful style
through the 9-5. 
Now that we have a feel for what colours are going to be in the shops this Autumn it got me to thinking about the whole 'going back to work' feeling.  You know that feeling when your summer holiday is over and it's back to work we go.   Is is just me that feels or does this feel like a trip down memory lane to the days when you went back to school?  Yes this is despite ,me being in my forties (early!) .  You remember the new shoes, new uniform and new school bag.

There's something enduring about that feeling of being ready for something new, feeling smart and ready to go, growing up another year.  I loved it - especially the new shoes and bag part. But then I always loved the dressing up box too.

So as we pack summer back into the suitcase maybe it's time to RE-WORK our 9-5, our working wardrobes, our work style.   Regardless of what you do for work I think there are primarily two types of women in the workplace.

Those of us who make dressing for work an art form; something to enjoy, a uniform for the day, a work statement where the clothes make you feel a certain way or where they make others behave a certain way.  Dressing for the job you want rather than the job we have - Dramatics, City Chics love it while Romantics & Creatives may struggle with embracing a more 'corporate' style.

There are those of us for whom getting dressed for work is an extension of our everyday home selves.  Where our working wardrobe is not much different to our leisure wear wardrobe; ok so maybe it's bit smarter.  Dressing for work is a bit of a chore and perhaps we grudge the money we have to spend on specific work wear, preferring the clothes to do the hard work and for them to be appropriate for lots of occasions. We dress more for comfort and a little less for image.  This may be you if you are a Classic or Natural,  but Romantics can struggle with a more formal look too.
Personally,  as I have a love of the dressing up box, you might have guessed that I fall into the former.  For me the biggest transition I have had to make now that I work mostly from home is how much I miss the routine of getting dressed for work.  Infact, it's so more than that, it's how much I miss shopping for work clothes, the structure of a day that gets you up at a certain time and the rituals of what to wear for what the day at the office holds.  Indeed my wardrobe used to be 80% work wear and 20% not much else.  How hard it has been swapping that pie around but that's a whole other blog. That's why I love having clients to the studio .... it's time to get dressed up.

But back to the task at hand.....

Now of course dressing for work is also very largely dependent on what you do, what environment you work in, the culture of your employer and importantly your own style personality so I've split it into to broad categories and key challenges you will face and will be running these over the next three WORKING days.

Wednesday 19th Sep: The Corporate Work Environment 

Do I have to wear a suit & neutrals?

Personally I love a suit but it can be cumbersome, a little lacking in personality and just well, bland.  Consider alternatives such as:
  • Smart dresses in this seasons key colours and styles toned down or up with opaque tights, shiny patent shoes and statement bag/briefcase.

Dresses are from  L-R:  H&M,Topshop, Louche at Joy and all are under £60.
  • This seasons's must have workwear trend - The Trouser Suit.  I'd go for it in a braver colour than you might normally pick.  Challenge yourself not to pick Black, Dark Grey or Navy.


  • Your usual suit or office separates but matched with coloured accessories, shoes or statement pussy bow blouse.  If you really don't want to add bright to the mix, think instead of this seasons key textures and prints such as studs, tweed, checks, polka dots, muted florals, patent or animal skin.

Product ImageProduct Image

Both suits above are available at (who do ship to Switzerland).  They are available as separates and are very reasonably priced.  Just so you know, the pink one is in my bag already!

Shoes above are both from - gorgeous new winter collection and the black leather bag with studs is from

Work it, work it, work it!
Love Lady MB xx

Ps:   Tomorrow:  The Creative Work Environment

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