The Proper Professional feature was birthed out my desire to spread the blogging love while also gaining some insight into professional and business attire in various situations. My goal is to feature bloggers from all different professions, whether stay-at-home moms, mega-corporation executive assistants, work-from-home employees, small office staff, business owners or more, to view different perspectives and opinions on what is appropriate, acceptable, and professional. Hopefully you'll be inspired and introduced to some great new blogs, too! To catch up on previous interviews, click here.
This week's feature is Brittney from A Day in the Life Too!
Tell us a little about yourself and your blog.
I am: a stay-at-home mom of three (ages 2, 5, and 6), madly in love with my husband, a sucker for all things Jane Austen, 5'8", a runner, and someone who doesn't floss. I'm really really hoping my dentist doesn't read this blog, because I'm also borderline addicted to pnut m&ms.
How did you come up with your blog name?
I have a personal blog called "A Day in the Life," and then I started my style blog, "A Day in the Life Too," to keep things consistent. Clapped for myself at the clever double-meaning. Done and done.
Do you work from home or outside the home, and what do you do?
I work at home as a stay-at-home mom. I also do freelance grantwriting for school districts and nonprofit organizations...mostly during naptime or after bedtime. It's a good life and makes me feel like my college degree was worthwhile.
Do you have a dress code by which you need to abide (either corporate or self-imposed)? If so, what is it and how do your co-workers (if applicable) approach the dress code?
Yes and no. Self-imposed code: I have to be able to do stuff like mop up spilled milk (at least weekly...but always spontaneous, so I have to be prepared) and play Barbies or Transformers and go to soccer games and cook meals and do dishes and read stories and do laundry and scrub toilets. If I can do all that, then consider the Code adhered to.
Do you choose your outfits in advance or in the morning, and how long does it take you to get ready in the mornings?
In the morning. I have to keep my get-ready time to a maximum of 30 minutes, which, coincidentally, is the same timeframe covered by an episode of WordWorld or Sid the Science Kid (translation: I let the TV babysit while I get ready). Booyah.
If you were commissioned to rewrite the dress code, what would you change (if anything)?
I'd rewrite it to say, explicitly, that since scrubbing toilets is no longer part of my job description, my clothing choices need not take that particular task into consideration.
Do you think companies should take into account the potential cost for certain dress codes to be achieved and if so, should they be concerned about the cost being equal for both men and women?
I'm afraid a cheeky answer from a stay-at-home mom doesn't cut it for this one. I guess people should do all they can to dress appropriately and professionally, whether male or female...but I've never thought about cost differentiation in the sexes to adhere to a dress code. Hmmm. I just don't know.
What is your definition of professional attire and would this vary if the business is a small business compared to a larger corporation?
Professional attire is any clothing that allows one to: (a) do his/her job effectively, (b) maintain an environment of competence at the workplace, and (c) encourage others' confidence in and appropriate focus on the task at hand, whatever that may be.
What are some pieces that every woman should have available in their professional arsenal?
Depends on the profession, really. For me? Jeans, layers (to hide accidental spills and goobery mishaps), skirts (can be worn in any and all seasons), and lots and lots of Tide.
What pieces are never professionally appropriate regardless of the situation?
Low necklines, spaghetti straps/strapless, too-short skirts or shorts.
Describe an outfit you'd wear in each of the following settings (feel free to include a picture for any/all of them if you have photos!): 1. A typical day at work. 2. A formal business meeting. 3. An informal meeting with co-workers. 4. A business dinner with co-workers and superiors.
Oh, man...I think my "professional" circumstances don't quite fit into these categories, so I'll take the liberty of modifying them. See the coordinating photo.
(1) Typical day at home.
(2) Day with somewhere specific to go.
Are there any questions you wish I'd asked or is there anything else you'd like to mention regarding this topic?
This was an extremely thorough interview, Melissa. Thanks for having me! And my apologies, in advance, to those of your readers seeking "real-life" professional (as in, 9-to-5) style. But this is me, and this is my job. :)
Thanks Brittney! I really enjoy reading responses from everyone in all different professions and I fully believe a stay-at-home-mom is a profession in itself. For more from Brittney, check out her blog, A Day in the Life Too!