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 we're learning more about what Peggy from She Hath Done What She Could thinks about dressing professionally!
Tell us a little about yourself and your blog.
I am Peggy, the author of She Hath Done What She Could. I love the Lord, my husband and my 3 children. I am a Christian, a wife, mother, homeschooler, part-time employee, sports mom, Bible class teacher and preacher's wife. In 2010, I Googled something about Anthropologie and stumbled upon Anthroholic, and discovered Fashion Blogging! I was fascinated because I have always loved clothes, fashion, shopping and bargain hunting, and here, there was a whole community of women who felt the same way! I posted my first OOTD photo on Jan. 27th, 2010 and the rest is history! While I would love to write more substantive things on the blog, for now, I am so busy raising and homeschooling my children that my OOTD posts are the most I have time for at this point. I love the community and friends I have found via the fashion blogging phenomenon!
How did you come up with your blog name?
When I first became a Christian, my brother gave me a wonderful book with this title written by Jane McWhorter. It gave lessons on the many things Christian women can do in service to the Lord. I loved that book because it taught me so much. In my life I try to do all I can for the Lord and my family.
Do you work from home or outside the home, and what do you do?
I work first as a mother, homeschool teacher and preacher's wife! I also work part-time, one day a week and doing vacation fill in for a commercial real estate company. I used to work with the owner of the company 19 years ago when I first came to CA, and years later, after my kids were not toddlers anymore, they looked me up and offered me part-time work. It has been a huge blessing.
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?
It's a pretty easy dress code- skirts to knee, no tank tops but sleeveless is ok, business professional, no casual days.
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 advance for sure! I lay in bed looking at my closet, and outfits keep jumping out at me! I've done this ever since I was a little girl. I jump up out of bed and pair everything together for the next day. It takes me an hour to get ready in the morning.
If you were commissioned to rewrite the dress code, what would you change (if anything)?
No low cut blouses- this one gets abused and it's so unprofessional, not to mention immodest. In order to be taken seriously, you need to dress the part of a professional.
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?
That's a hard one. I think women can find clothes much cheaper than men. I think if you are required to wear a certain brand (like working for a retail store) then you should be given an allowance. If you are applying for a professional office job, I think it just goes along with the territory.
What is your definition of professional attire and would this vary if the business is a small business compared to a larger corporation?
To be a business professional you need to look neat, have your clothing ironed and shoes in good condition without scuffs and nicks. Don't overdue with excessive jewelry or too many mixed patterns. Work the basics, the solids, and a few prints with smart shoes. In short, my definition of professional business attire is clean, neat and put together!
What are some pieces that every woman should have available in their professional arsenal?
Blazer (Black, navy, khaki)
Crisp white oxford shirt
Basic pumps in black and nude
Complete suit (pants or skirt)
Patterned tops (bold or small print)
Basic long necklace, chains, stud earrings, small hoops
What pieces are never professionally appropriate regardless of the situation?
Graphic tees, worn out shoes, stained or wrinkled clothing
Describe an outfit you'd wear in each of the following settings:
1. A typical day at work.
Navy trousers with a striped top and blazer, pumps
2. A formal business meeting.
Suit with skirt, jacket and blouse, basic peep toe pumps
3. An informal meeting with co-workers.
Cotton skirt, oxford shirt, wedges
4. A business dinner with co-workers and superiors.
Pencil skirt, bold printed top, heeled sandals
Are there any questions you wish I'd asked or is there anything else you'd like to mention regarding this topic?
You don't have to spend a lot to have a professional look. Every suit I have came from Ross but is a quality, brand name. My suits bear the retail tag of $280, but I paid $50. My core blazers were from Gap and Jcrew but purchased during extra percent of clearance time ($200 jackets for $20). Both my black and khaki boyfriend blazers came from Target on markdown ($15) and are quality and have lasted years. You can find items you need to build a professional wardrobe by frequenting stores like Ross, TJMaxx, Marshalls, Target and the sale racks at mall retailers like Gap, Jcrew and Banana Republic. You can also change up a core outfit just by adding a scarf or statement necklace. A professional wardrobe on a budget is not only possible, but can be fabulous!
Thank you so much for featuring me in this series! It's been a great and helpful series to read.
For more of Peggy's fabulous style, check out her blog, She Hath Done What She Could!
If you'd like to be featured (or want to recommend someone else), please contact me at aworkingmomscloset at gmail.com! Or even if you just want to tell me how your weekend was, email me about that too! :)
Have a great Monday, everyone!