The Proper Professional feature was birthed out of 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.
Today's feature is Ashley of Ashley Getting Dressed!
Tell us a little about yourself and your blog.
I'm a 24, a typical Aries (independent, opinionated, and full of myself). I love baking, How I Met Your Mother, belting cardigans, and shaved ice. My dislikes include ground beef, baseball, and pie. My blog, Ashley Getting Dressed, is a personal style blog narrated by anecdotes and the occasional over-share. It's fun, you should read!
How did you come up with your blog name?
Well, I tried Monica Getting Sleepy, but it wasn't very catchy. Since I'm Ashley and I get dressed (most days) I figured it was a good fit.
Do you work from home or outside the home, and what do you do?
I work in Human Resources at a large, local non-profit attraction in St. Louis, and I LOVE it! (as far as what attraction, I'll give you a hint - there are a lot of exotic animals around)
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?
The majority of our employees are uniformed, so the dress code is pretty loose for office employees. The main rules are no denim, spandex (thank goodness!), flip flops, or skimpy tops. I would say we're casually-business casual - since we're an outdoor attraction, the dress code relaxes quite a bit in the summer. My department is one of the more "dressed up" departments - since we hire everyone, we like to put the best foot forward.
Do you choose your outfits in advance or in the morning, and how long does it take you to get ready in the mornings?
I'm insane and spend about an hour every Sunday picking all of my outfits for the following week. I'm NOT a morning person, and doing this saves me SO much time (no searching for a missing shoe or the perfect belt at the crack of dawn!). Since my outfit is already picked out, I spend about 20 minutes getting ready in the morning.
If you were commissioned to rewrite the dress code, what would you change (if anything)?
Even though I personally don't wear them often, I wish we could wear jeans - It would make those frigid February mornings a little bit easier.
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 don't think dress codes should be different for men and women (plus that's super illegal) but I do think that employers should recognize industry standards and salaries when creating a dress code. For example, if everyone at my employer had to wear a suit, half the people would look ridiculous, and almost everyone would be broke as a joke because we work at a non-profit.
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 whatever is expected of a employee by a client - for example, I think professional attire for a carpenter is dirty pants and calloused hands, but if my doctor showed up like that I'd get worried. Smaller organizations tend to have more of a community or mom and pop feel, so I think it's appropriate for dress codes to get a little bit more relaxed.
What are some pieces that every woman should have available in their professional arsenal?
A go-to dress, black pumps, an outfit that makes you feel unbeatable (for important presentations and meetings), an outfit appropriate for casual events with your boss, and a swimsuit that you can wear with coworkers if you ever have the unfortunate opportunity to go swimming with them (I have! I recommend a retro-style maillot).
What pieces are never professionally appropriate regardless of the situation?
Flip flops (unless it's Hollister or a beach), anything bandage or body-con, stripper shoes (unless you are, in fact, a stripper), and sweatpants.
Describe an outfit you'd wear in each of the following settings:
1. A typical day at work.
For a typical day at work, I'm in an a-line skirt, top, flats and a cardigan.
2. A formal business meeting.
I've (thankfully) never had to go to a formal business meeting, but I would defer to a suit or a matching pencil skirt/cardigan combo with heels.
3. An informal meeting with co-workers.
When I've had informal things with my coworkers (for example, we have an annual bowling tournament we participate in together) I wear sundresses or jeans and a neat top.
4. A business dinner with co-workers and superiors.
I think no one should be uncomfortable while eating, no matter what the overlying situation is, so I would go with a business dress (wrap or sheath style) with heels and my hair pulled back. And not order the ribs or hot wings.
For more of Ashley's fabulous style, check out Ashley Getting Dressed!
If you'd like to be featured (or want to recommend someone else), please contact me at aworkingmomscloset at gmail.com.
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! We certainly did, celebrating my girl's fourth birthday. If you're not a fan on Facebook yet, head on over to see a photo of my birthday outfit (and face painting!). Have a FANTASTIC Monday, everyone!