Monday, July 4, 2011

Proper Professional: Fashion Confessions of a Mommy

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 what Daphne, writer of Fashion Confessions of a Mommy, thinks constitutes a Proper Professional's attire!

Tell us a little about yourself and your blog. 
I am a stay at home mom of a 4 year old boy and a 2.5 year old girl. I started my blog to motivate myself to get back to dressing up like I used to before I had kids and quit my job. I also wanted to motivate other SAHMs and show them you can dress up even when you are doing errands and kid activities...
How did you come up with your blog name?
I originally named it 'Fashion Diva Mommy' hence my url. However, after a week I came up with 'Fashion Confessions of a Mommy' inspired by the 'Confessions of a shopaholic' book/movie title...

Do you work from home or outside the home, and what do you do?
I worked as a high level executive for 11 years in the Finance Industry before I had my son. When my company closed their local office during my maternity leave I decided to stay at home and have loved it ever since. I have done consulting jobs here and there but primarily focus on being a mom. I take this job to the extreme probably as I fill our days with very involved activities and play dates and have a blast.
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?
When I first started blogging my entire goal was to dress one level above the yoga pants, flip flop attire I had become accustomed to. At the time my dress code was adding some interest to my simple jeans and top outfits by using scarves, hats or fun sandals. Now I do not have a 'go to outfit' and love to dress outside the box almost everyday! :)
Do you choose your outfits in advance or in the morning, and how long does it take you to get ready in the mornings?
This is when my obsessiveness come into play. I actually maintain a very elobarate excel spreadsheet for my outfits! I categorize them by season and by type (dressy vs. casual). Anytime I get an inspiration I add to this list. Every night I pick an outfit from the list based on weather and the activity that is in plan. With two kids and our crazy schedule I would never be able to come up with outfits in the midst of morning rush otherwise.
If you were commissioned to rewrite the dress code, what would you change (if anything)?
I think all SAHMs need to realize that there is no dress code in our line of work. You can dress up and wear whatever makes you feel like yourself and no one is going to judge you. I am a living proof of that as I stand among moms in their sweat pants in my sequined tops and short shorts and fedora hats. They expect me and love the inspiration I bring to them.
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?
This doesn't quite apply to SAHMs. However in the business world I was in the dress codes were very generic: business casual attire. However if a company has strict dress code I agree they need to realize cost to employees abiding by such code.
What is your definition of professional attire and would this vary if the business is a small business compared to a larger corporation?
I think it depends on the type of office/business it is and the roles employees have. Whenever there is client facing position or activity the attire should be professional even if the client is not dressed as such. 
What are some pieces that every woman should have available in their professional arsenal?
A good quality classic suit that fits well. Fit here being the key. Also a classic pair of pumps that do not show any wear and tear is a must. I worked in a very conservative industry so had to dress pretty classic but added my individuality with trendy shoes or accessories.
What pieces are never professionally appropriate regardless of the situation?
Any item of clothing that is too revealing, too tight and pretty much too provocative or sexy is in appropriate in a professional environment.
Describe an outfit you'd wear in each of the following settings: 
1. A typical day at work. 
Since I am a SAHM I am going to change the categories to apply to that:
1. Typical day with kids:
Such as going to the co-op style preschool. I actually use the low key activity of these days as an opportunity to dress a bit more risky than normal. Such as shorter skirts or a bit higher heels like wedges.
2. A formal business meeting.
2. An Active day with the kids:
Such as visiting an amusement park or zoo:
Wearing shoes that are easy to walk in is mandatory for such outing so I try to pick cute outfits I can create with my converse sneakers or comfy flat sandals.

3. An informal meeting with co-workers.
3. Mommy's Night out:
Regardless of what we have planned I always choose my highest heels since I never get an opportunity to wear them with the kids. I also like to pick even more funky outfits since my friends are always so supportive and complimenting.

4. A business dinner with co-workers and superiors.
4. Date Night:
Again the heels are a must but I also go for my sexier outfit combos for such nights. My husband initially loves the idea when we are alone but can't say enjoys all the looks when in public.  

Are there any questions you wish I'd asked or is there anything else you'd like to mention regarding this topic?
I think the challenge of SAHMs besides the obvious (function over fashion) is that it can be intimidating to dress-up in an environment where everyone is so casual. So a question would be 'How do you overcome that intimidation?' And I would answer you dress cause it makes you feel better and when you feel better you are more comfortable more yourself and people accept you the way you are.

If you'd like to be featured (or want to recommend someone else), please contact me at {aworkingmomscloset at}!  Or if you just want to tell me what your plans are for the 4th of July, email me about that, too! :) Have a fabulous Independence Day to my American friends and a super fantastic Monday to everyone!


  1. OK, clearly this Mama needs a makeover - what time can you be over to save me from myself?
    Just gorgeous!

  2. I think it's great that you can be a stay at home mom and still be fashionable. I think clothing can help us to feel like our best selves and then give us the confidence to go out there and be that!

  3. yay for Daphne! she's got such a great blog and i love her edgy fashion choices! yes, it's hard to dress up in a casual environment, but once you do i think it makes other mommies wanna dress up too! you can be an inspiration!

  4. Finally getting a chance to catch-up on my blog reading. Melissa thank you so much for featuring me. And thank you all for the lovely comments.


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