Why we write about style

Isn’t this autumnal weather just lovely? We both have our ankles bare today, which is obviously the ultimate temperature litmus test.

We are also on a general heating-induced high, after last weeks inaugural Step Up School. Without wanting to blow our own trumpet, something really special happened in that room. And the feedback from our pupils (sorry we’re still enjoying the school themed jargon opportunities!) has been immense. If you didn’t get a space this time, we’ll soon open slots for our January entry.

Anyway, we digress, because what we want to talk about today is work style. Yup, two words that not only put the fear in many of our morning routines, but also divide opinion when it comes to career credibility. For the record, we are of the absolute belief that every woman should, if she’s interested, be able to enjoy what she wears, indulge in it even, and remain completely respected for her intellect and position. Whatever industry she’s in.

Like it or loathe it, clothes and style are a language all of their own, and actually, it’s a language we should all speak to some degree or other. Because not only does what we wear to work matter, it’s also a form of self expression that should be universally celebrated and not quashed.

We’re writing this, because from time to time, people question why we indulge in so many fashion posts, and generally enjoy chatting about what we’re wearing. The simple fact is that we both love clothes. Alice, for one, has clothes running though her blood. After all her entire pre-Step Up career was that of a fashion journalist. And Phanella is a semi-professional shopper of the twice yearly, smash-and-grab variety. Plus, she spent a nearly a decade manoeuvring ruffles into corporate environments.

You see, we have credibility on all fronts in the fashion field. Plus, fashion is fun. In fact, we’ve been laughing out loud writing these descriptions of ourselves. Fun, style, ruffles, they’re all highly necessary in a world that is bent on stress and negativity.
Ok, clothes aren’t the most altruistic side of our lives or personalities, but they are part of who we are. They are expressions; they are frivolities and they also feed into our personal brand. When we nail what we wear to work, it sends positive messages to others: I’m confident, I can pick up social cues, let’s do this. In the same vein, sloppy clothes suggest sloppy work. Plus, if we don’t take pride in what we wear, it can put our confidence on the back foot.

We know that fashion is still a tricky one because so many of us are wary of giving in to its capabilities. The thing is, how we look really does inform others about who we are, what we do and whether we’re worth backing. Now, we’re absolutely not saying that you must be scrolling through the Zara app on a daily basis. Absolutely not (although Alice guilty on every front..)

Looking good for work, isn’t about being aware of the trends, or shopping for that matter. It’s about taking pride in yourself, and using what you wear to your benefit – whether that be to boost your confidence, get yourself noticed or reiterate your femininity.

Really, what we’re saying in a very roundabout way, is to wear your womanhood with pride. Ok, clothes and femininity aren’t inextricably linked, but they can be an enjoyable marriage. Wearing awesome earrings does not undercut your substance. In fact, it could help single you out in a work crowd when everyone else blends into one.

We could go on…. but we’ll stop there for space reasons if nothing else! If you’re nervous about showing a bit of fashion flamboyance in the office, let this be your nudge to embrace your individuality. And enjoy what you wear. You only get one shot at life, right, might as well do it in ruffles (Phanella) or glitter (Alice).

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