I’m a Pole and anarchy runs through my veins. Put four of us on a desert island and we will immediately form eight political parties, of which half will be the opposition and organise couple of uprisings. As a nation we suffer from particular condition called aversion to authority and reluctance to conform to established norms. Some have stronger symptoms than others. Mine veer towards pathological.
In real life that translates into my inability to be in formal employment (bosses and I never see eye to eye), following two entirely different career paths (which have nothing in common) and generally calling my own shots. But often it just means dressing a bit less conventional for formal occassion.
There are some aspect of my job that require me to dress elegantly and conservatively. Whilst I can do the former I struggle with the latter. Don’t get me wrong- I can easily pull off three piece suit as long as I don’t have to do it.8
So I rebel. Whilst others wear elegant, black suits, my favourite one is a sparkly tweed jacket trimmed with leather and a matching skirt to go with it. It’s rather on a glamorous side and I often get asked if I’m wearing Chanel- I wish! But most importantly- it’s occassion appropriate but doesn’t really fit conventional rules.
I often pair it with fishnet tights if I’m wearing stilettos or my over the knee Stuart Weitzmann boots. Sometimes I put on my lace bib (the same I’m wearing in my Mexicana cowboy boots post) for extra special effects. For most part people love it. A few probably think I’m a bimbo, which always makes me laugh because this is when I go in for the kill.
The bottom line is that I don’t buy into a theory that in order to appear a tough negotiator in a boardroom or a reliable custodian of a court case, a woman must dress dowdily. There’s nothing wrong in showing a little bit of personality. I found that great clothes and general grooming combined with knowledge and confidence can be a killer combination at work. I’ve used it to my advantage countless times.
So here are a few tips if your job requires you to dress conservatively but you also want to smuggle in a little bit of indivduality:
@ Slightly unusual fabric or a cut is always a good idea. My all times favourite suit was navy, had bracelet sleeves and generally looked like it could belong to Jackie Kennedy. In a sea of plain balck suits it looked insanely glamorous and very, very elegant.
@Fishnet tights or hold ups are the most sophisticated and grown up choice. I always make sure they are micro net rather then wide net as wide net can look theatrical.
@If a plain black suit is your only option, you can show your personality through shoes (suede OTK boots and a pencil skirt can be just the ticket) or jewellery.
@ I found that smaller handbags make bigger impacts. Somewhow small handbags whisper “power”. Lugging around big and filled to the brim tote doesn’t seem to have quite the same effect. I’m a big fan of small suitcases or leather briefcases on wheels which I can stuff to my heart’s content whilst still carrying my little Chanel 2.55.
On the photos I’m wearing tweed suit by Bebe, Stuart Weitzmann Highland boots, a custom made coat.