Liven Up Your Black Work Trousers: Styling That’s True to You

Fashion |, Uncategorized

 

So, I posted a picture of my #AllergictoAverage [Tuesday-Get-Up] on Instagram and wow, people LOVED these trousers. The amount of comments I got on them, people asking where they were from, where did I find them etc. Well; you find them here and the best news is – THEY. ARE. ON. SALE.
All sizes up to an 18, go now. [Go – go!]

trousersred

[ps –  are you following me on Instagram? Get Following! @_nicoleperry]

One person did say to me however,
‘I love your trousers – I wish people more wore more colour in my office…’
Well, if you want to wear colour – you can – and you should!
But, if going in full pelt with fire engine trousers is a bit much, here’s a few suggestions to spice up your bottom half without going TOO wild.

[A Slim Belt for A Slim Silhouette]

I was lucky enough to be sent this amazing little belt from GANT, via Betty and Bee. It is the perfect addition to my corporate wardrobe, brightening up any pair of black trousers. The soft tone of the pink means it’s not garish or brash and blends nicely with any neautralised colours. It’s great quality with lovely attention to detail on the stitching and a beautifully shaped clasp.

Skinny belts are ideal for adding a sophisticated feel to a pair of relatively casual trousers. The trousers from Zara are great but they’re neither high nor low waisted, and being 5ft4, they have the potential to make me look a bit dumpy.
Adding a belt helps keep them in right area around your waist constructing a slim silhouette and a well dressed look.

Skinny Pink Gant Belt 2

I wore it with last season Black Zara Slacks and one of  my new favourites;
Hawes and Curtis Beige and Navy Floral Shirts.

Hawes and Curtis Floral Shirt3

I wore this to the media preview of ‘Hello My Name is Paul Smith’ which is currently showcasing at the Lighthouse Glasgow – review up next week.

Hawes and Curtis Floral Shirt2

Perhaps a blog post on ‘How to Stand Out Against A Wall of Thousands of Buttons’ would be appropriate.

Hawes and Curtis Floral Shirt

As you can see, the belt is suuuuper subtle, an understated presence on the outfit, it definitely creates a clean split between black trouser and shirt.

Originally trained as a collar-sewing specialist,  GANT’s founder Bernard Gantmacher original values and aspirations of quality and class are still prominent today; making it an attractive offering for young professionals.

Unfortunately, this belt is no longer in stock [yeah, it was that popular], however I’ve picked out two that are just as elegant and versatile.
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At only £32.50 each [down from £65 – God, I bloody love sale season] they’re a steal.

Black Patent
Red Patent

 

[A Belted Loop Waist]

If the colour red is too much for you, but you liked the belted loop around the waist of the Lavish Alice trouser, these might be a real compromise. With a slight sheen to the fabric, these trousers are the perfect hybrid of style and professionalism.

Belted Waist Trouser.jpg

What’s even better, the tapered cigarette ankle finish means they could easily transform from working day to evenings drinks, or even be the basis for a Saturday night out.
At £38, a great investment.

Belted Waist Trouser 2

 

Culotte [Got] To Have

If you want to ramp up the adventure on the style front, but not particularly the colour, these culottes are a must-buy. Pair with a white collared shirt and hair clean back for an androgynous look. #GirlBoss swag instantly.

Oh wait – I forgot to tell you the best bit. [They’re only £9.99]
Yeah, you can thank me later.
Shop Now.

 

Make Great Choices | Ones That Feel Like You

Be #AllergictoAverage

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Top Ten Tips for [The Company Conference]

#AllergictoAverage, Business, Corporate Wear, Dresses, Fashion, Notebooks, OOTD, What to Wear to Work, WIWT, Women in Business, workwear

[The Company Conference]

[The Company Conference] is a minefield of networking, opportunities, faces you do know – that don’t know you – and faces you should know – but have no clue…

Having attended my company’s conference last week at the Hilton Dunblane Hydro [Scotland], it prompted me to think about how how much is going on in your head before you go: ‘What will I wear?’ ‘Who’s table will I be sat at?’ ‘Should I ask a question?’ ‘Do I know the numbers?’ ‘How much should I drink!?’

Well, here to help are my [Top Ten Tips] for feeling at your best at
The Company Conference.

Number 1: Know Your Shit. 

Know your shit, at the business level, at your team level and on a personal level. No one respects someone in the business who is completely oblivious to the macro environment.

Have a good idea of the business performance, if the purpose of your conference [like mine] was to reflect on the last year before looking forward to the next, get a handle on some of the high level numbers before you go (if you don’t know them already). It will prepare you for more educated conversations and enhanced understanding of why things are the way they are. It also shows insight and genuine interest, differentiating you when talking to senior stakeholders.

Number 2: First Impressions Count

It’s a phrase well known, but how much does it actually matter? Well, our conscious minds can handle roughly 40 bits of information a second. [So What?] you say –  That sounds like a lot until you realise our unconscious minds can handle 11 million per second. It is our unconscious mind that creates judgement in the first instance therefore it is important to manipulate as much as that as is possible.
How do we do this? Dress well, be well groomed and follow the #AllergictoAverage philosophy: Stand Out | Stand Tall.

Here’s one of the outfits I wore for the evening part of my conference:

allergic to average

Refer to earlier posts for guides on nailing corporate wear.

Number 3: Take Notes

First and Foremost, research says our brains can  only maintain true focus for a maximum of 45 minutes, before it begins to lose steam. Taking notes will help guide that focus, but also act as a reminder to look back on when we inevitably forget that one piece of information we told ourselves we have to remember…

Number 4: Take your own Pad

Take your own notebook. Hotel/Conference notebooks are shit. I have not yet came across one that stays together after 1 hour of use.

Number 5: Ask questions

‘Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers’ [Tony Robbins]

If we’re going with the #AllergictoAverage mantra (which obviously, we are) wanting to stand out is a great thing. Asking questions is a sure-fire way to get noticed and be remembered, if you’re a quick thinker like me, just rely on thoughts springing into your head as and when subject matter provokes you. Write these down. You don’t want to forget them when the opportunity presents itself. If you need a little more time to think, check the agenda in advance, anticipate the speaker’s topics and their stance on the issues being discussed; take prepared questions along with you. Remember, no question is a silly question and by having the confidence to ask you’ve made bigger steps than if you hadn’t asked at all.

Number 6: The Bar

Now, this tip could have a full blog post dedicated of its own! [The Bar] is for celebration, clinking of glasses congratulating success aaaaand multiple cocktails and shots. Enjoy it! But pace yourself, no one wants to be the one chaperoned to bed at 9.30pm or with the extremely red face in the office come Monday morning (not that would EVER happen of course). Depending on what time the drinks start, if like my conference pre-dinner drinks were scheduled for 6.30pm and if, like me, you’re a bit of a lightweight… drink water in between your drinks up until dinner. It will set you in better stead for the evening. Additionally, [Beware of the Bubbles] I know if I want to keep my dignity I can only have a few glasses. Once dinner is over, everyone starts to relax and the party kicks in – from this point on please feel free to sample every spirit on the bar and potentially ramp up to doubles come 10pm, assuming you will [drink responsibly].

Number 7. [Always] Pack an Outfit Change.

Yes, one too many box splits on the dancefloor [or maybe just an overindulgence on the chocolate caramel dessert] will result in trousers splitting, at the crotch, not ideal.

av3

Thankfully one of my wonderful colleagues and friends had a spare change – which I didn’t have – which she so kindly lent to me, even if this did make us like the dancing twin emojis
[ ] it was surely better than everyone seeing a snippet of my VS underwear…

av 2

Lesson Learned

Number 8: Exert Caution at the Photobooth

A few glasses of bubbles down we hit the photobooth. [Yes] it is likely the photos will be hosted on a giant screen behind the dancefloor and [Yes] it is likely all colleagues will be given access to the photos post conference…

av 1

Number 9: Your Best Friend Berocca

If your conference is over 2/3 days and you have had a little tipple the evening before, make sure you have Berocca! Thankfully at our conference, there was Berocca on the tables for our morning sessions. A proven mix of vitamins and minerals it helps you stay energised for the day and could keep that sore head at bay.

Number 10: Map Your Network

Before you go, identify who you need or want to talk to. In a large corporation sometimes it’s hard to get time with the people you need. Whether it’s on a personal/career level or for getting attention or insight for a specific idea you have – use the environment of the conference to do it. Catch someone while they’re filling up their coffee, in the ladies loo  [if it’s a woman of course] or whilst they’re waiting at the bar. Introduce yourself with confidence and deliver your elevator pitch. This should be no more than 60 seconds which incorpates key messages. For example: if it’s on a personal development level, you may start with [Hello, can I introduce myself? It’s great to be able to get a chance to speak to you! My name’s Nicole – I’m really enjoying the conference – it’s great to meet so many new people that you don’t get the chance to meet day-to-day. I’m trying to build my network within the organisation so this is brilliant for doing so’] Not only have you established yourself with confidence, you’ve brought attention to the fact you’re aware of your personal development and the importance of networking; hence why you may have approached the person in the first place.

Map out the opportunities the conference presents and create a bit of a mini strategy on how to achieve these. Identify others who could help you on this journey – perhaps someone you know who is a mutual tie to the person you want to speak to. Approach with the right balance of confidence and subtlety and you’ll have nailed it.

Now, to really seal the deal, follow up on Monday morning with an email; make reference to your conversation, thank them for their time and if you’re feeling confident – ask for a follow up. Boom; consider your network expanded.

Be Prepared | Take It On

Be #AllergictoAverage

 Black and White Trouser Suit | Zara

Blue Lace Up Heels | Zara

Both Black Dresses | Topshop.

Uptown Funk [Your Suit] Up

Corporate Wear, Fashion, Fashion |, What to Wear to Work, workwear

Funk [Your Suit] Up.

The corporate pattern you can always rely on? PINSTRIPE.

I’ve always loved a Pinstripe, in fact Rose from Titanic’s pinstripe look just before she boards the ship is one of my most iconic and aspirational fashion moments.

rose titanic

Finding a pinstripe suit that has some edge to it can be difficult. The typical suit could be deemed as stuffy, ‘mannish’, ill-fitting and not complimentary.

However…

I am in love with this pin striped suit from Misguided. I first spotted it on Ferne McCann from TOWIE (yes, my guilty pleasure -shamelessly so- is reality TV).

ferne suit 1

Typically, the wider the stripe the more apparent the confidence. Welcome this with open arms and team with a secondary statement piece, perhaps a statement necklace, brooch or neckerchief/scarf. However, try and keep these pieces tonal; e.g. a nude or dusty pink. Stay away from the neons.

Ferne wore it perfectly, paired with a casual, understated top and tonal statement necklace. You could replicate this look in the workplace, or make it slightly more professional by pairing with a open necked white shirt.

 ferne mccann suit 2 pinstripe 2

Priced at £60 for the full suit (£25 for the trouser, £35 for the jacket) this is a wardrobe worthy piece. The versatility of the tailoring is great, with the ability to be worn as separates and also at evening/weekends. I anticipate the use of this suit in your wardrobe will be as prominent as your re-runs of Friends on a lazy Sunday afternoon…

Stand Tall | Stride Confidently

Be #AllergictoAverage

Yeah Christian, but sometimes our feet hurt too.

Fashion |

[‘The Higher the Better’] said Christian Louboutin.

and don’t get me wrong – I love a heel. Not only because I’m 5″4 and most of my male colleagues tower above me, but because they make me feel powerful, they make me feel confident and quite frankly I just feel a little dumpy without them.

But, as Business Insider said ‘Wearing high heels every day can suck’ and today I just did not feel like wearing them.

This made me think about how I can convey what heels do for me into flats. I’m always drawn to a pointed toe. A rounded ballerina flat just takes me back to my school days. For me, rounded toes are unprofessional and juvenile. I also have similar distaste for bows – stay away from the bows.

New research says you can judge 90% of a person’s personality by their shoes; so it pays to make the effort.

I like my flats to be eye catching, because I’m losing the elevation of the heel I want them to be distinct. Preferably through means of strappy detail or bold patterns.
Personally, I like darker colours, but feel free to experiment with some strong blues or reds.
Just remember – keep the point!

flats 3

These amazing flats by New Look are an absolute steal at £22.99. They are extremely similar to the Aquazurra Christy Leather Pointed Toe (priced at an eye-watering £435) with metallic heel adding to the professionalism.

£22.99 | New Look

flats 1

These flats get the high-five with regards to the bolder pattern. The TPU insert after the pointed toe gives a modern twist, pairing elegance with edge.

£55 ‘& Other Stories’

flats 4

I adore this shoe. Teamed with scuba pencil skirt and blouse, the shoe stands out from a mile away. The high strap encasing the ankle draws attentionwhilst the reptile print pattern is rich yet versatile, with the ability to be matched with a variety of colours and an easy switch from day-to-night on a Friday evening.

£85 | Dune | HOBRA – Natural

Make your tootsies as fabulous as you.

Be #AllergictoAverage

New Look Flat | http://www.newlook.com/shop/shoe-gallery/view-all-shoes/black-lace-up-metallic-heel-pointed-pumps_319371201

& Other Stories Flat | http://www.stories.com/gb/Shoes/Flats/Pointed-Toe_Flats/582744-3900921.1

Dune Flat | http://www.dunelondon.com/hobra-reptile-print-lace-up-ballerina-0075508540002138/

#LFW. Palmer//Harding Inspiration

Fashion |
LFW; delightful. A showcase of often the most minimal to most outrageous, a sea of colours, textures, patterns, fabrics.

The calm amongst the storm for me for with regards to inspiration on corporate wardrobe excellence was Palmer//Harding’s stunning looks, which aim to ‘develop definitions of feminine strength’.

Palmer Harding Palmer Harding 2

Having been described as ‘the world’s most perfect shirt’ with an ambition to be the ‘go-to brand’ for modern shirting.

The designer’s desire to explore contradiction in their clothing shines through; with a base monochrome tone through the collection presenting a clean cut yet feminine look. No stuffy, shapeless shirts or ill fitting suits here,

#Get the Look for Less

Palmer Harding Monochrome Inspo - Corporate Wear

Pair a high necked white shirt with a modern black waistcoat; bringing in that sense of contradiction. A striped A-Line skirt will let you feel comfortable as you go about your day, neither swamping you nor clinging to you.

Top off with a pussybow style neck piece; play around with this. The one in the above collection is a pretty pricey YSL number but can easily be replicated by any slinky black scarf. Simply tie in a knot at the neck and let it hang gracefully.

Finally, finish the look with a chunky black peep toe with medium sized heel. This will take away from the formality of the shirt and skirt combo, the chunkiness will see you being surer on your feet, especially when you’re running for your train after hitting snooze one too many times….

Waistcoat: Linea | House of Fraser
Shirt: 1970 | Voox.com
Skirt: River Island
Shoes: ALDO
Necktie: YSL | Net-a-Porter.com

March to the beat of your own drum, contradict the norm.

Be #AllergictoAverage

Wearing Vintage

Fashion |

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE vintage clothing.

I’ve been a lover of vintage clothing since I stepped foot in a famous vintage shop at the tender age of 15, in Glasgow, Scotland where I live. The colours, the smell, the energy of the shop and its’ founders. I can close my eyes now and still imagine it.

A lot of my wardrobe does consist of vintage clothing and I love incorporating it into my corporate wear too.

#WhatIWoreToday 

Wearing Vintage

Wearing Vintage

Today I paired a Vintage Kilt/A-line Skirt with 2 of the items from the ‘Your Base Collection’ blog; a strong white shirt and some nude courts.

The shape of the skirt really accentuated my waist and the length was just perfect. The colours were perfect for the Scottish gloomy weather we still have, before soon moving into a brighter wardrobe for spring. Because the skirt is so eye catching, it really heightened the outfit as a whole.

I added some vintage pearls, bringing feminine detail to the strength of the collar.

If you’re looking to try this outfit yourself, lookout for skirts that have a distinct A-Line shape with lengths going to around the shin, halfway between ankle & knee. Make sure you get a size that fits comfortably, so as to fit you properly and accentuate that waist.

kilt 4 kilt 3

kilt 2

Shirt: Zara
Shoes: New Look
Skirt: Elephant Juice Vintage | https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/elephantjuicevintage

Stand Out: Stand Tall.

Be #AllergictoAverage.

Hello World!

Uncategorized

Hello, my name’s Nicole, I’m 23, I’m Scottish and at the moment; I’m a corporate cat.

One of biggest things I see in the corporate world is that women aren’t confident in their fashion choices – or in other areas for that matter. Fashion is an extension of your personality, and in the workplace that extension stops dead in its’ tracks.

When you feel good in what you’re wearing, you stand taller, you smile more. You’re more confident in grabbing opportunities and in striving to be better. You stand out from the crowd, you radiate from within, you’re the colour amongst a sea of grey.

I’ll be exploring ways in which you can feel your best in your career, centered around how we dress ourselves. However, that’s just the start – Fashion is not something that exists in our dresses, fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, it’s in the way we live and what’s happening around us.

March to the beat of your own drum | Stubbornly refuse to fit in.

Be #AllergictoAverage