The Perfectly Professional Coat

It's important to look professional not only at work but also on your way to and from work. If you think about it, the first thing that your co-workers and boss see when you walk into the office each morning is your outerwear. Therefore, you should ensure that your outerwear, specifically your coat, adheres to your office dress code.

There are several things to think about before splurging on this item.

  • Cost - I believe that this is one of those items that you should not skimp out on. Be prepared to spend quite a bit more for a nice coat but keep in mind that it will last you at least 2 seasons.
  • Quality - Make sure that the coat can endure your climate. In other words, choose a coat that is warm/will keep you dry/will block out the wind/has a hood/etc.
  • Style - Look for a more classic style in a muted/neutral color. If you buy a coat that is too trendy, it may not be appropriate for work and you risk it going out of style as soon as the next season. Choose a colour such as beige, black, gray or navy. These colours go well with just about anything!
I recently splurged on this amazing coat by Mackage. I fell in love with it the instant I put it on! Not only is it perfectly fitted and beautiful, it is also warm! That was the deciding factor for me as the winters get pretty harsh up here in the north...and I am subjected to take the bus every morning. 

(Photots taken by DJB)

Coat - Mackage (Holt Renfrew); Leggings -Jacob; Boots - H&M; Tee - Smart Set; Lips - Girl About Town by MAC


Workplace Fashion Rule #8 - Invest In A Great Pair Of Black Pants

A staple piece in everyone's work wardrobe should be a pair of perfect fitting black pants.  Black pants are probably the most common item of clothing worn to the office so its important to find the ideal pair that suits your body type.  Some common black pant faux pas that I have noticed in my day include:

  • Pants that are waaaaaaaaaaay too tight.
  • Faded pants due to excessive machine washing.
  • Pants that are too long which results in frayed/dirty hems.
  • Clown-like pants that are too big.
Black pants intended for the office should be a bit more loose fitting than ones you would wear out on the weekend. If you can easily pull them up over your thighs and hips without having to shimmy into them then they should be perfect. Pick a fabric that will not fade easily in the wash or opt to dry clean them.  If you're taking them to the dry cleaners, request that they iron a crease down both pant legs. As far as length goes, it really depends on whether you like to wear flats or heels.  I tend to leave my pants longer because I prefer wearing heels to work, but I make sure that the hem is never touching the ground. 

The great thing about black pants is that you can combine them with any colour, pattern and fabric on top. Anything goes, really!

(Photos Taken by Yvonne Ho)

Pants - Gap; Sweater - Marc by Marc Jacobs (Holt Renfrew); Belt - Loft 82; Booties - Aldo; Bag - Segolene Paris (Beyond The Rack); Lips - Amplified by MAC



Workplace Fashion Rule #7 - Button It Up

I'm sure I don't have to remind any of you that showing cleavage is a huge no no at work.  Its unprofessional and distracting for both male and female colleagues.

 What I do want to point out is how great a collared blouse can look buttoned up all the way.  Many of us work at offices where business casual is acceptable; ties aren't required and shirts don't have to be buttoned up to the collar. But just because its not mandatory doesn't mean you should never do it! Pair a button down blouse with a cute pencil skirt and patterned tights and viola! you've created a great look that is professional, fashionable and also kind of sexy. You really don't have to show much skin to look and feel great at work. 

Bonus tip - Incorporate burgundy/ox blood/bordeaux/wine/maroon into your wardrobe. Whatever it may be called, its very big for fall!

(Photos taken by Yvonne Ho)

Blouse - Dex Clothing (The Bay); Skirt - Bay; Tights - Unknown Brand (Purchased in Budapest); Shoes - Nine West; Bag - London Fog (Winners); Lips - Rebel by MAC


Workplace Fashion Rule #6 - Wear Shorter(ish) Skirts With Tights

I say shorter(ish) because I don't think short (i'm talking barely covering your bum) skirts are appropriate for work at all. If you're going to wear a shorter skirt to work, its best to wear tights.  Yup, i'm talking about tights AGAIN.  I also mentioned them a few posts back, if you're new to the blog. I am a firm believer that they add that additional bit of professionalism that is needed with a shorter skirt outfit. I may also like them because they cover my freakishly purple knees in the winter.

That's not to say that you should never have bare legs at work, especially in the summer. Bare legs are perfectly acceptable with shorter skirts. Just make sure you are covered up on top with a blouse, blazer or both. Some cute pumps with ankle straps will complete the look nicely. *Note to self - write a post about this in the summer*.

I switched it up here and instead of the classic black tights, I wore a purple hue. The colour is pretty subtle, which is more suited for the office. I also added some socks, just for fun (and warmth)!

(Photos taken by Yvonne Ho)

Blouse - Jacob; Skirt, Belt and Cuff - Club Monaco; Purse - Louis Vuitton; Tights - Unknown Brand (Winners);
Booties - Aldo; Socks - Unknown Brand (The Bay)


Workplace Fashion Rule #5 - Colour Is Allowed!

Of course it is, you say! You'd be surprised however, how many people shy away from wearing it to the office. If you work downtown you start to notice that the most common colour combinations for work clothes are black, grey, beige and navy (boring!).  I have to admit that I also only recently started to incorporate all of these wonderful colours into my wardrobe thanks to the florescent fad that hit hard last spring and summer.

So what are my rules for wearing colour? I just have a few.

  • Wear a bright colour either just on top or just on the bottom...never both. There are some bright colours that go really well together but for the office you want to tone it down a little by sticking to just one.
  • The non coloured piece should be neutral - grey, black or beige.
  • Match your lipstick to your coloured item. Pink, coral and red are my favourites!
  • Lastly, be confident! Wear that colour like you own it! 
Bonus tip: These skirts and dresses with the black panels on the side are very slimming (see below).

(Photos taken by Yvonne Ho)

Blouse - Calvin Klein (The Bay); Skirt - French Connection; Boots - H&M; Tights - Unknown Brand (Winners)


Rox On!

I wanted to write a quick post about a jewelry line that I think you should all check out...and not just because the designer is my sister! The pieces are one of a kind, hand made creations. I have been and will continue to wear the jewelry with my work outfits. Visit Rox On here:

I warn you, the website does not do the jewelry justice! She has made so many more than are on there! Karina sells most of her jewelry by going to craft fairs and holding open houses at her home. I will try to convince her to put more pieces up on her site to showcase her talent!

A while back Karina asked my other sister, mom and myself to do a photo shoot wearing her pieces. Here are a few of them...


Workplace Fashion Rule #4 - How To Properly Wear Leggings

Leggings are probably one of the most versatile and comfortable items in your closet. That is why I am all for  wearing them to the office! However, its important that you find the right type of legging and ensure that they are styled appropriately. These are some of my rules:

1) Make sure they are thick and NOT see-through! A test that I do before I buy leggings is stretching the bum part with the palm of my hand. If I can't see my skin color through the fabric then I'm good to go. The last thing anybody wants to see at work is that slight color of butt cheeks or the outline of a thong as a poor unsuspecting woman is bending over at the copy machine.

2) Choose leggings that have a few pant characteristics. For example, the ones that I am wearing have  leather pocket detailing, a zipper as well as belt loops.

3) Pair the leggings with a flowy blouse either completely tucked in or tucked in just at the front.  A blazer is also a great pairing and will add a bit of professionalism.

4) Opt for a great pair of heels instead of knee high boots.

I'm posting TONS of pictures today. Mad props to my bestie Yvonne for being my photographer for the day and doing such an amazing job!

Blazer and Lace Top - H&M; Leggings - Dalia Collection; Shoes - Nine West; Purse - Matt & Nat; Bracelet - Rox On by Karina Miller


Workplace Fashion Rule #3 - Colored Jeans Are Okay...On Casual Friday

Many of us work at offices where jeans are allowed on Fridays. Thank God! Its nice to switch things up once a week and dress a little more casually .  Recently colored jeans have made their way back onto the fashion scene and in every color imaginable.  The great debate, which I have had with myself lately is whether or not colored jeans are appropriate at the office.

My verdict is yes, colored jeans are appropriate...as long as you keep it professional on top. The easiest way to do this is to wear a blouse, blazer or both in a neutral color.  Another thing to keep in mind is that if you have a meeting on Friday with your boss or other higher executives you should probably opt for something less flashy.

Some other rules for casual Friday include:

  • No ripped or frayed jeans (I know, I know...they are trendy but save those for the weekend).
  • If you would wear it to the club, its a no.
  • Ironing is still required on Fridays.
  • Flip flops are for the beach.
  • No running shoes EVER!
I've only recently jumped on the colored jeans bandwagon so have only had a chance to wear these cobalt blue jeans to work so far. I think i'll try red jeans next?

Blazer - H&M; Blouse - Banana Republic; Jeans - Flying Monkey (Pusch); Shoes -Franco Sarto (The Bay)


Workplace Fashion Rule #2 - Skirts & Knee High Boots Require Tights!

I see this happening all over downtown - woman wearing pencil skirts and knee high boots with bare legs. Trust me, adding that one small detail can make a huge difference in how professional you look.  I was trying to think of where knee high boots and bare legs would be appropriate and the only place that popped into my head was in a Vegas nightclub...on a go-go dancer.

I'm not implying that you should NEVER have bare legs when wearing skirts to work. Bare legs are perfectly acceptable with a nice pair of pumps or peep toes in the summer. There's just something about bare legs and knee high boots in the winter that screams street walker.

And you don't always have to opt for black tights. There are so many different colours these days that are more than acceptable for work. Stick to more neutral colours like grey, beige and burgundy for the office.

Have a look below.  What do you think?

Blouse - Jacob; Skirt - Max Studio (Winners); Boots - Locale; Tights - Unknown Brand (The Bay)