Monday, August 22, 2011

Proper Professional: Breakfast With Tiffany

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.

This week I'd like to introduce to you Tiffany, who blogs at Breakfast at Tiffany!

Tell us a little about yourself and your blog. 
I’m a mom to two little crazy munchkins, a wife to the man of my dreams (*sigh* I’ll try not to be too sappy), a newish runner, a full time paralegal, and a Christian, in no particular order. If I were listing it in order of importance, paralegal would have fallen at the very end, I promise you!

After I had my Little Miss a little over a year ago, I was struggling to lose the baby weight, wasn’t feeling like my chipper, confident self, and therefore, I wasn’t putting any effort into what I wore each day.  During that time, I stumbled across fashion blogs and became hooked and started my blog. It’s a place where I tell amusing stories about my munchkins, post outfits and often ask for fashion related advice.

How did you come up with your blog name?
Well, before starting my own blogs, I read blogs on my lunch break or while eating breakfast at the office. So, Breakfast with Tiffany (obviously a play on the best movie ever), was the perfect choice. =)
Do you work from home or outside the home, and what do you do?
I’m a paralegal for a very small law firm that does a little bit of everything. We get people out of jail. We get people divorced. We get people lots of money through suing various companies. You know, the typical lawyer stuff. However, I have some stuff in the works to possibly make a career change in the near future!
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?
My office has no dress code whatsoever. When I was pregnant, I literally wore yoga pants and jeans almost every day of the week. (Of course, the attorneys may have put up with that only because I was huge and didn’t fit into much of anything else.) However, I have developed my own personal dress code recently. Simply put, it’s sort of business casual.
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’ve noticed that my mornings go much more smoothly when I pick my outfits out at night. If I wait till morning, it is inevitable that both of my kids will be incredibly cranky and needy and require my utmost attention, which will lead to me grabbing a pair of jeans and a boring top, with no jewelry and barely any makeup. Are there are any other moms out there that can relate??
If you were commissioned to rewrite the dress code, what would you change (if anything)?
I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s nice to know that I can wear whatever strikes my fancy.
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 think that if the dress code is business casual, then no, they should not. However, I feel that if a business has a more formal dress code, requiring their employees to wear blazers or suits every day, then their employees should be compensated accordingly. I honestly don’t think a company should expect their employees to purchase enough suits or blazers or dressy skirts to wear every single day and still pay them only $10/hour.
What is your definition of professional attire and would this vary if the business is a small business compared to a larger corporation?
I definitely think that professional attire changes for the size of the office. When I worked for a large firm downtown, the attorneys almost always wore ties and dress slacks. The support staff was always dressed on the dressier side of business casual. Since moving to a smaller firm in the suburbs, I’ve noticed there’s a much more laid back vibe in the office. The attorneys wear polo shirts and khakis when they’re not in court. And I’m able to dress up or dress casual, given whatever mood I’m in. 
What are some pieces that every woman should have available in their professional arsenal?
Definitely a few bright cardigans. A brightly colored cardigan can add some interest to an otherwise boring outfit, while also dressing up the outfit a bit. Also, a sheath dress! Sheath dresses look great on any figure and to me, they scream “professional.”
What pieces are never professionally appropriate regardless of the situation?
Tank tops, flip flops, low cut tops displaying “the girls”, hemlines that are so short, you wonder if you might flash someone if you bend the wrong way, and midriff baring tops. Basically, if you look like you could be at the beach or at a club, you shouldn’t be wearing it to work. Unless you work at the beach or at a club, then I guess it’s ok. =)
Describe an outfit you'd wear in each of the following settings: 
1. A typical day at work. 
On a typical day at work, I'd wear a dress like the one above (or below depending on where you put the pictures) or a skirt & blouse.  I usually wear some bright colors or a fun belt to add interest to an outfit.

2. A formal business meeting.
We don't have many of those, so "formal business meeting" to me, means a day in court.  Which means, I'd bust out a sheath dress and keep things kind of simple in order to keep the attention of the jury off of me and on the attorney.  A black dress works perfectly.  But for a day in court, I'd probably add hose and lose the turquoise heels, but I haven't been to court in so long that I didn't have a picture of me in the perfect outfit. =)

3. An informal meeting with co-workers. 
For an informal meeting with coworkers, I probably wouldn't do anything much different than what I wear on a typical day.
4. A business dinner with co-workers and superiors. 
I'd probably do something a little bit more fun than normal, by wearing some bright colors, but still keep everything pretty conservative.
Are there any questions you wish I'd asked or is there anything else you'd like to mention regarding this topic?
The only thing I'd add is that I notice an obvious difference in how I'm treated when I dress professional, as opposed to when I wear jeans or dress down. I get more respect from my bosses and even from clients. Being professional in the work place definitely pays off!
Isn't Tiffany ADORABLE?! I haven't been following her very long but I'm so glad we found each other's blogs because she's been a constant source of inspiration and support for me. If you're not reading her already, go add her now!

If you'd like to be featured as a Proper Professional or want to recommend someone else, please send me an email at {aworkingmomscloset at}!

Have a great Monday, everyone!


  1. I follow and love Tiffany.
    And yes, totally can relate to the difficulty of getting ready with the little ones. I always pre-pick outfits as well.

  2. She is the turquoise shoes...will be checking her out for sure!

  3. Tiffany is great! We love seeing all of her outfits and she never disappoints. She is one of our favorite bloggers for sure :)

    Heather & Kayla

  4. As someone who has been friends with Tiffany for a number of years now, I can attest that she is every bit as likable in person as she is blogging!

  5. Yay Tiffany! I absolutely love her and her blog!

    And those pictures are my fave. She's fabulous!

  6. Tiffany is fantastic, and I always enjoy reading the chronicles of her day! Little Miss is so cute as well as hers on!

  7. What a great post!)) And so many good points on setting up your personal dress code)
    I work at advertising agensy and my co-workers can wear literally anything - vintage skirts, yoga pants, shorts, huge t-shirts, indian dresses. But I've set up my own rules - I wear business casual as well. Dresses, skirts, blouses, interesting jewelry, belts etc, but on the professional side)

  8. Awww, thanks girls! And thank you to Melissa for featuring me! I had fun answering these fantastic questions!!

  9. she too cute.

  10. I love Tiffany! And I kind of snort-laughed at the 'keep the girls hidden' useful, and yet, so often ignored by people :)

  11. She's got a fab style. I love dropping by her blog.

  12. Tiffany is BEAUTIFUL!!! I am so excited to start following her blog!

  13. She's definitely one of my top blogger buddies! Great job, Tiffany!!!!!!!!


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