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 meeting Rosanna, who blogs at The Long and Short of It.
Tell us a little about yourself and your blog.
My name is Rosanna. I live in NJ where I teach Kindergarten. I also have a 3, almost 4 year old son who is my sweet little bundle of energy! I started my blog because I love to write but have gotten away from it over the past few years. Since I also love clothing, shoes, and accessories, I thought I would try to incorporate some fashion into the mix!
How did you come up with your blog name?
I thought it was catchy, plus it refers to a situation that my husband and I are in regarding our quest to extend our family. I actually wrote an entire blog post about it, but just haven't published it yet. Even though the content of the blog has nothing to do with what we are going through, one of the reasons I started the blog was to give me something else to focus on besides our "situation" if that makes sense. I bet everyone will be on the edge of their seats waiting for that blog post now! j/k :)
Do you work from home or outside the home, and what do you do?
Yes I work outside the home as a Kindergarten teacher. I've been teaching K for 12 years.
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?
Our dress code is business casual, but people kind of make up their own rules. The first principal I worked under once said that if we expect to be treated as professionals we should dress like professionals. I believe she was correct, especially in a field like teaching, which has taken a lot of heat lately.
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 try to choose my outfits in advance and even iron them in the evenings. It just makes my morning run much smoother. It takes me about an hour to get ready.
If you were commissioned to rewrite the dress code, what would you change (if anything)?
I am pretty happy with our dress code. I would love to add a "jeans" Friday. I have a few pairs of trouser jeans that I enjoy dressing up, but I can understand where some staff members might abuse this privilege and why my boss stays away from it.
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 people who work in a typical business casual work setting should be able achieve professional dress even on a budget. I feel like we can all make clothing look presentable and professional, whether we buy it at Target or Bloomingdale's!
What is your definition of professional attire and would this vary if the business is a small business compared to a larger corporation?
Thanks so much, Rosanna! If you haven't visited her corner of the world yet, go do it now!
Professional attire is a look that's well put together, whether it's a structured business suit or basic trousers, a top, and a cardigan. I suppose if you work for a large corporation you might need a few more of those structured business suits compared to someone who works for s smaller company.
What are some pieces that every woman should have available in their professional arsenal?
A few great pairs of trousers, a white button down, cardigans, a good blazer, a few skirts of whatever silhouette is the most figure flattering, and accessories such as scarves, jewelry, bags, etc.
What pieces are never professionally appropriate regardless of the situation?
Anything strapless or skinny straps without a blazer or cardigan. Skirts or dresses that are too short or low cut. Flip flops, sneakers.
Describe an outfit you'd wear in each of the following settings:
1. A typical day at work.
A typical day at work I would wear a dress, either tights and boots in the cooler weather or sandals and a cardigan in the warmer weather.
2. A formal business meeting.
We don't have formal business meetings but for a parent/teacher conference I would wear a dress or skirt, top, and cardigan.
3. An informal meeting with co-workers.
For an informal meeting with co-workers I would do trousers, a top, and a jacket or cardigan.
4. A business dinner with co-workers and superiors.
For a business dinner I would probably again wear a sheath style dress or pencil skirt with a nice shell and cardigan.
As always, please let me know if you're interested in being featured as a Proper Professional. I've really enjoyed reading everyone's answers and hearing different viewpoints on this.
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I did! :)