Monday, July 25, 2011

Proper Professional: Monster Cakes

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 Jessica at Monster Cakes is going to tell us what she thinks about professional attire!

Tell us a little about yourself and your blog.
My name is Jessica, and you can find me over at Monster Cakes, my life and style blog, where I share adventures with my mister and our two giant pups. When I'm not blogging or freelance writing, I'm drinking coffee, reading, and swooning over anything with polka dots.
How did you come up with your blog name?
My husband calls me Monster. Monster Cakes when he's cross (wink wink). I'm completely smitten with the name, so it just seemed natural to use it for my blog.
Do you work from home or outside the home, and what do you do?
I'm an executive assistant at a small audio book publishing company. 
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?
Since my office is smaller and very laid back, there isn't really a dress code. People dress very casually, and many of my coworkers wear jeans and hats to work every day. I'm a big believer in dressing for the job you want, not the job you have, so I dress much more formal than most of my coworkers. To not be overdressed, I try to mix my casual pieces in with my pencil skirts and blazers. 
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 usually choose my outfit in a chaotic moment of panic five minutes before I should be leaving the house for work. It never fails. It usually takes me anywhere from thirty minutes to forty-five minutes to get ready in the morning, depending on how clean my room is and if my clothes are hung up.
If you were commissioned to rewrite the dress code, what would you change (if anything)?
If I was able to change my company's dress code, I'd probably make it more formal. I think that if people are dressed like they mean business, their confidence and their work will reflect that. I do love the freedom that accompanies business casual, though, so maybe just a bit more dressy would be nice.
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?
Honestly? Not really. I think it's fair to provide uniforms if you want employees to all dress the same every day, but otherwise I think dress codes are part of the game. I think if you want a job that bad, you will do what it takes to get it. There are always ways to look amazing and professional while still shopping in a budget friendly way. Sometimes it just takes a little more creativity, which can be the fun part! 
What is your definition of professional attire and would this vary if the business is a small business compared to a larger corporation?
I do think it varies from small to large businesses, which is something I had to adjust to when I got my current job. I was amped and ready to wear pencil skirts, sky high heels, and suits, but I quickly realized this was not that kind of establishment. It was more casual. So I decided that for me, professional attire is dressing in a way that shows I should be taken seriously and I am ready to take on the world. Now I approach my office's casual style by mixing in my own flair with my dressier pieces, that way I'm adhering to normal standards while still showing I mean business.
What are some pieces that every woman should have available in their professional arsenal?
I think classic pieces that never go out of style should be in every working woman's closet: a pencil skirt, a trench coat, a white button down shirt, a pair of black pumps, and a blazer. With these at your disposal, you can get creative and mix in a bit of your own flair. Plus, it's an investment because they never go out of style!
What pieces are never professionally appropriate regardless of the situation?
I'm not a big fan of spaghetti strap tank tops, no matter how casual the work environment. I could also do without midriff. What can I say? Belly buttons and bra straps distract me.

Describe an outfit you'd wear in each of the following settings:
1. A typical day at work.
I typically wear a white button down or a white tee shirt with a pair of trousers or a pencil skirt. I keep it simple and add a few pops of color with accessories.
2. A formal business meeting.
If I know I have a big corporate meeting, I bust out the sheath dress or the high-waisted dress pants to give me the extra boost of confidence.

3. An informal meeting with co-workers.
I like wearing nice jeans, cardigans, and some chic flats to casual business meetings.
4. A business dinner with co-workers and superiors
If I had a business dinner with co-workers and superiors, I might just add a higher pair of heels and some extra bling to my normal work attire. The extra somethin' somethin' would make me feel a bit dressier without overdoing it.

BIG thanks to Jessica for answering these and letting us know what she thinks about professional attire. Have you visited her blog yet? What are you waiting for?

Today we're hosting a Town Hall meeting with another department so I'm in a suit, to be posted tomorrow. 

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and have a great Monday, too! 

Don't forget - if you'd like to be featured as a Proper Professional or have someone to recommend, or if you just want to say HAI!, email me at {aworkingmomscloset at}.

{ETA: I know I'm a little late to the Smashion party, but my interview with them posted today! Go check it out!}


  1. I love this series! She's the cutest. That hair...lovely!

  2. I'm in love with all of her chic, and the hair is amazing...I envy anyone that can pull off that style, and she is rocking it...going to check out her blog now!

  3. So cute! I especially like her business dinner outfit and a meeting with co-workers. Polka dots are fun!

  4. Awesome post! Jessica is adorable and oh-so-stylish. My office dress code is very casual too, and I'm usually the only one who wears skirts every day. Maybe it's a result of my Mad Men obsession. :)

    Happy Monday!

  5. Great feature...I am going to go check out jessica now!

  6. Aww I love her! She's just so cute and positive!

  7. So cute!! And how cute is Monster for a nickname! Can't wait to check out her blog

  8. Loved this interview! Jessica is one of my favorite blog buddies, and Melissa, this is a great feature idea! Looking forward to the others :)

  9. Are you not just THE CUTEST blogger, EVER?!?!? Oh my goodness. I hope you don't mind me becoming a new Monster Cakes stalker, I mean, er, follower!!!

  10. UM... you girls are all too sweet for words! I second Keira, Melissa, this was a fun feature. Can't wait to read more! Thanks for featuring me!

  11. Such a cool lady. I love the short hair cut.


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and chat with me!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.