As I got dressed at 6.30am (its the only way when you have three children and a baby), I was ready to embrace the slouchy PJs and print trend which is so prevalent right now and really easy to wear. But no matter how hard I tried to like my look in a beautiful Carin Wester silk print top and matching trousers, I knew I would not be able to step outside in it.
Instead, I opted for my fashion comfort zone of classic pieces. I was disappointed in my lack of fashion fearlessness, but aware that three meetings and an exciting lunch about the future of ELLE would not be the place to showcase a completely new look plus, as I am sure you know, when you wear an outfit you have never worn before, you spend a good 20 minutes talking it through with everyone you meet before you get any work done.
Chastise me if you will, but I felt more comfortable in my blue Maje jacket, soft grey MIH Jeans T-shirt and Uniqlo chinos. Its important to be able to do your job in clothes that make dressing easy and dont distract from your authority or reason for being in the room, dont you think? I do. Here are a few thoughts on that from a woman who has worked in fashion and media since the age of 16.
MY FIVE TIPS FOR DRESSING FOR WORK
1. Buy three dresses you love. Two that are a classic shape and colour (black or navy) and one that is more fashion-forward. Try to invest as much as you can afford and make sure they fit well and are comfortable. These dresses are your essential time-saving pieces: looks that you can accessorise quickly or have on hand when you are in a hurry.
2. Find a style of flat shoe that works for you. Invaluable on a busy day.
3. Shop for outfits, not pieces, for work. And invest in good knitwear. More expensive knitwear tends to last longer and look better after washing.
4. Never feel that you shouldnt enjoy dressing for work or that you shouldnt invest in fashion for work. What you wear affects every part of your day, from your confidence, self-esteem and body image to the conclusions people make in those five seconds after first meeting you. Workwear is your most important purchase.
5. Create a mood board of your workwear wardrobe. Ask yourself who you want to be at work and what image you want to present to others. If you find pictures of women wearing the clothes that define that character, you will see a pattern emerge and be able to shop from it. This sounds like a frivolous thing to do, but, believe me, one look at the Mood board of you will help clarify and define your working look.
These Yves Saint Laurent sunnies are my first sunglasses purchase of the season. They look almost as good on Mary-Kate Olsen as they do on me, no?
(Sandals by Dune)
Dune is having a good season. I would buy these whether I had anything to wear with them or not because something so pretty deserves a good home.
Here's my daughter Gracie, 8, in them and looking very cute.
(Bag by Sophie Hulme)
TODAY THE EDITOR:
Downloaded Read It Later: There are so many good sites or blogs recommended to me on Twitter or Facebook, but when you're on the move they're easily forgotten. So I found this app which downloads all those interesting links for later, when I do get a moment to myself.
Is Listening to Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye.