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November is classed as ‘silly season’ for me as I’m just so manically busy with work. I have my main client’s annual conference coming up at the ICC in Birmingham in the middle of the month which, this year, sees me helping to put together a week-long study programme of the UK vocational education system for 100+ international delegates from 25 plus countries. This is on top of the already massive 700+ UK delegates. It’s going to be a busy month. In fact I’ve been busy since before the summer planning the details of the programme. However, there is one thing I’m going to have to put my mind to which is what clothes I’m taking with me. I have to be really organised as I basically de-camp to Birmingham for the week, so I can’t leave anything behind that I might need.
My new Hotter Shoes bag will be just the ticket with my work wear outfits for the conference!
I find slingback heeled shoes easier to wear as they don’t ‘slop’ off my feet so much.
I usually wear simple pearl or diamond jewellery, but this necklace goes great with this outfit!
If I’m wanting to hide my arms or just keep a bit warmer then a shrug is ideal!
For me work wear has evolved over the course of my career. It used to be all about trouser suits when I first started out in my 20s and into my 30s. I’m not sure if that was me trying to look more professional that I felt – giving me a bit of additional self-confidence. However, going into my 40s I’ve felt more comfortable in my ‘professional’ skin which, I think, went hand in hand in starting my own consultancy business and my work look now is all about dresses for more formal work meetings and events and separates for a less formal work engagement.
Brogues look great with this outfit. I do love brogues! These ones, from Hobbs, are a few years old now and still going strong!
I think the dresses I opt for are all pretty similar in that they have to be fairly fitted, but not tight. They are all generally knee-length and all have some kind of draping at the tummy and sometimes at the shoulder falling across the chest area. Some dresses are tailored and lined like my L.K. Bennett ‘Davina’ dresses whilst others still have an element of tailoring whilst giving flexibility in jersey like the recent Jaeger dresses I’ve purchased. Funky jewellery is definitely kept for when I’m off duty (although I do sometimes break the rules when I wear less formal work separates), so I tend to opt for something classic and simple like a strand of pearls and pearl studs or diamond studs and a single diamond pendant.
I love my two ‘Davina’ dresses from L.K. Bennett. I don’t think they’ve done a style as successful since. The one above I especially like as it’s in a pinstripe suiting fabric which would not be out of place on a man’s suit, but is feminised by making such a fantastic shaped dress. Find similar here.
The purple ‘Davina’ dress I tend to wear with nude accessories.
My mother actually saw this one in a Kaleidoscope catalogue and said it was very like the ones that Carol Kirkwood wears to present the weather on BBC. It’s a stretchy fabric with draping and really holds you in and flatters your shape. I love it! Again, nude accessories are great with this!
Phase Eight also do some great dresses and this one, from a few years ago, caught my eye on two fronts: styling and pattern! Who can resist a dotty dress?!
I bought this jersey dress from Jaeger over the summer. I liked the teal colour, which suits my skin tone, but I love, love, love the draped detailing at the shoulder, across the bust and at the waist. I loved it so much that I went back and bought……
….. it in red! This one is currently in the Jaeger sale. Find it here!!!
Shoes are generally classic heeled pumps – I try to go for one with a bit of a built in platform to make wearing a heel a bit easier or I often wear leather brogues with trousers. Bags are always leather and in good condition. There’s nothing worse than a smart work look ruined by a shabby bag…..
They look so good, but cost so little! Marks and Spencer’s ‘Collection’ patent nude slingbacks. Find similar here.
Leather clutch from Jones the Bootmaker. Find similar here.
Black leather slingbacks from Clarks. Find similar here.
New black leather ‘Chelsea’ bag from Hotter Shoes.
So, I’ll spend a bit of time making sure I have everything ready for conference week and I’ll also dig out some evening wear for the networking events – separate post on that to follow!
What are your ‘go to’ work wear staples?
So leopard print is showing no sign of going away anytime soon. I’ve seen a lot style bloggers recently saying that they class leopard print as a neutral.
Whatever your stance on it there’s no denying that leopard print is still a favourite with many fashion retailers. I have to say that I personally cannot pull off leopard print clothes, but I’m certainly a big fan of using it in accessories.
And adding some quirky leopard print shoes or sandals always up your jeans and workwear to something a bit more fun. Even our senior female politicians, like Home Secretary Theresa May, are not immune to a bit of leopard print!
And I couldn’t finish without a picture of the Home Secretary’s feet in full leopard print splendour!
Have a great weekend!
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I’m apologising now for the Polyvore posts last week. I’ve just discovered Polyvore and it’s my new addiction! I’ve loved creating outfits and looks for difference occasions. Here are a few I’ve put together for lunch dates and casual outings – like to the park. I’ve used items I already have, some that are on my wish list for AW15 and others that are similar to things I already own from previous seasons.
I hope you enjoyed having a look at my Polyvore sets. It was fun putting them together and will be doing other themes over the coming weeks.
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It seems crazy to be thinking about Autumn when I’m still in the middle of the summer holiday! However, although there’s still a bit of sunshine still around in Yorkshire there are signs that Autumn is just around the corner – flowers and plants looking a bit tired, the trees just starting to change colour, a slight coolness in the air first thing in the morning. Of course the shops are all selling off their SS15 stock and starting to bring out their AW15 stock. I’ll be doing a round up of the shops in a week or two.
I did want to look back at some of my favourite outfits from the summer. I’ve worn shorts a lot more this year than I think I have at any other time since I was a kid. It started at the end of May/beginning of June when we were in Italy and the weather was red hot. I’ve also made an effort to wear more dresses and skirts although my fall back jeans and pretty top or Breton were still in abundance.
There’s some life left in summer outfits for the rest of August and most of September, I’m hoping, before I pack things away and store them over Autumn and Winter.
Two of my favourite purchases from the summer are pictured below. I have to admit that I spend more time looking at home wares in Laura Ashley than I do the clothes, but this gorgeous blue floral dress from their archive print collection is unbelievably pretty and flattering. It’s got kimono style sleeves and a tie belt and is great to wear. I absolutely love it! My other favourite is the Furla handbag in the same photo. Many years ago, on my first visit to Italy for work I discovered Furla. So many beautiful leather handbags in gorgeous colours. Over the years I got a slight Furla addiction and now have 6 or 7 of their bags. I’ve also had watches and shoes from Furla too. So, when we were in Italy on holiday in June I couldn’t ‘not’ get another addition for my collection… could I??!! It’s also got a detachable longer strap so I’ll be able to wear it over my shoulder too.
You’ll probably see that I’m not averse to a bit of leopard print within my wardrobe too. I don’t think I’d ever go ‘head to toe’ in it, but I do like a dash of animal print here and there through bags, shoes and scarves. The leopard print across body bag from Boden is one of my favourites. I’ve had it for a couple of years, but I do get lots of wear out of it.
So that’s just a quick run down of some of my favourite outfits that I’ve worn over the last couple of months. I’m already getting ideas for outfits for the Autumn and no doubt there will be some wardrobe rationalisation also as I store things away for next year.
A staple in my wardrobe is the Breton top. Different colourways, different sleeve lengths, different necklines. I love them! They are the most versatile top I have and can be worn in so many ways.
I’ve had them from all over but the best ones I’ve found have been in Boden, Seasalt (a retailer I’ve only just discovered), Fat Face (had some particularly good ones in SS15) and Hobbs.
What I particularly love is their versatility. I wear them with jeans and Converse when I’m really dressing down. Or I’ll wear them with heels, smart jeans and luxe accessories if I want to be smart casual for shopping. Or, as I did this week, I will wear them with a fancy skirt to give a ‘going out’ outfit a more playful slant. There really is lots to love and respect about the Breton top!
How do you wear yours?