Sunday, 24 July 2016

Style Inspiration: Work

I wouldn’t say I’ve hit a style rut, in general I still quite like my vintage inspired tastes. I would say, however, that perhaps I’ve lost a bit of direction recently and so I embarked on an exercise to start honing my style a little more. Firstly, I deleted the half dozen boards I had on Pinterest that were
dedicated to office style, country style, vintage style etc. etc. etc., and streamlined it to one ‘Style Inspiration’ board. Probably the only board on Pinterest where you will find images of a youthful Queen Elizabeth II cheek by jowl with images of Dita Von Teese. Then, I did the Wardrobe Architect
programme on the Colette Patterns blog, which was tremendously useful and I would recommend it to anyone looking to understand more about their own individual styles.

The programme confirmed some things that I already knew about my style preferences; that I like vintage styling and well‐groomed classic smart individuals are my style role models. It also made clear some things I wasn’t so aware of; I prefer pencil skirts and circle skirts over A‐line or gored, I
prefer ¾ length sleeves on all but jackets and coats, and I like wide fitting trousers.

Given that I spend the best part of 40 hours of my week in an office, I thought I would start by sharing with you my style inspiration for work. When I first started work I would often wear suits. Over the years my professional style has become a little more relaxed, and the more relaxed dress code of the office that I work in now doesn’t really encourage me to dress in a more formal professional style, well not with any frequency. If I’m truly honest though, I actually prefer a more formal style of dress for work, not least because, if I’m not going to wear a beautiful suit to work, then where am I going to wear one? The right suit will always smack of vintage styling and good grooming. Whilst I can’t simply overhaul my style overnight (oh to have the money for a shopping
spree), my influences for workwear for purchases and makes from here on in are:

Grace Kelly

So, I need to warn you in advance, my style inspirations are heavy on Royal influence, and despite thr many stylish Royals there have been, would any of them have been as beautiful and well‐presented as Princess Grace? Wearing slim fitting pencil skirt suits with roomy power bags and
demure heels, Grace epitomises the feminine professional look I aspire to.

Marilyn Monroe

Possibly better known for glamour puss evening dresses, Marilyn’s more understated smart suits should not be underestimated. Many produced by the talented designer Travilla, Marilyn’s suits do much to celebrate her femininity, whilst still looking groomed to perfection.

Queen Elizabeth II

I’d just like to point out, I’m referring to QEII circa 1940s – early 1960s, not the, albeit still smart, 90 year old of today. QEII (as I’m going to refer to her from here on in) demonstrated perfect smart British style, and I think in her youth was a very beautiful woman. I love her use of colour, if bright yellow/red/blue suits are deemed professional enough for Queenie, then they are professional enough for me too.

Marlene Dietrich

I once visited an exhibition of Marlene Dietrich’s clothes whilst on holiday in Cologne, Germany. They were tiny, and I was struck by how every detail was considered. I love how Marlene was able to
adopt a very masculine style, but still look totally feminine. It is a great skill, and in seeking out an odd trouser suit to add to my work wardrobe, I will definitely be inspired by Marlene’s approach.

What are your thoughts on workwear and who influences you?

*N.B. all photos are from Pinterest and do not belong to me


  1. What a great exercise and I adore your examples. I feel inspired to do the same now, thank you :)

  2. Wonderful inspiration sources. Thank you for this lovely post. I've always really liked Elizabeth Taylor's off screen (and sometimes on screen, too) style for vintage business appropriate attire as well.

    xoxo ♥ Jessica


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