Re-evaluating ‘balance’ & 3 Tips for Styling Work Wear

One of the best things about blogging is sharing my weekly activities with you guys and getting to hear yours too. I love how FMF has blossomed into this community where I get to share and learn from you guys at the same time. Instagram has been awesome with many conversations happening there, but this blog will always be where I love to get beneath the surface and open up.

3 Tips for Styling Work Wear
It hit me recently- I share my evening and weekend activities but I haven’t done the best opening up about my 9-5. Tonight I’m dishing on my day job- what I like and don’t like- and sharing some practical tips for styling work wear.

Here are a few questions you guys have asked:

1. What do you do for work? I work for an ice cream/iced tea company called Turkey Hill Dairy. I’m a Regional Sales Manager and have the account responsibility for a few large grocery chains in the northeast. My daily activities vary but include presenting new products to my customers and developing promotional plans, then looking at the sales after to understand effectiveness and making adjustments for future activity.

2. What do you like most? What do you like least? I’m a people person AND a numbers geek and my job is the perfect mix of the two! On average I meet with customers 1-2X a week  but spend more time on the phone with them, my brokers and my internal team. I’m part of a supportive and motivating group at Turkey Hill and that makes even the tough days better (oh and my boss is awesome). What I struggle with is time away from Juliana. She had her first “meltdown” over FaceTime on my last trip and it made leaving again today so much harder. We have conversations every time about why I’m going and when I’ll be back, but it never makes the goodbyes easier.

Another challenge is trying to ‘balance’ mom life, work life, and blog life. There’s so much craziness behind these scenes trying to juggle these- I put ‘balance’ in quotes because I don’t feel I have that.  I have priorities (Ridge and Juliana, family/friends, work, blog) and everything else tends to get de-prioritized. I believe there are “seasons” in life and this one is crazy and exhausting but exciting and invigorating because I’m going after what I really want.

 
Whew- that was longer then I planned! Let’s switch gears and talk about that 9-5 dress code.
I’m customer-facing 1-2 days a week and the rest of the time I work from home, which is why I wear and share lots of casual stuff. I didn’t always have this arrangement though- the majority of my career has required business or business casual Monday-Friday. Dressing professionally while staying true to my own style can be a fine line and it’s taken me a while to feel like I’m getting it “right”.

Last week a professional gal I know asked me to do a wardrobe consultation. We work in the same industry and she’s built an impressive career but told me her professional wardrobe didn’t reflect who she was as an individual. She shared that she’d spent the last few years trying to “blend in with the guys” and wants her office style to reflect who she is as much as her off-duty looks already do.

But here’s the thing- she still wants to dress for next level responsibilities at the same time. Her company like many in our industry has moved to jeans as an everyday deal and it can be tricky to create a personalized casual look that still says #bossbabe on an upward trajectory.
So how do you find the balance? The easiest way- follow a few ‘ground rules’ so you know where you can play.
Here are my favorite tips for styling work wear:
  1. Follow these 9 Rules. I read these a while back and made them my ‘ground rules’. Oddly, once I did that it gave me a whole lot more room for creativity- bascially, it set my work wear “guardrails” which then gave me the space to play creatively within them.
  2. Choose pumps and you’ve got a ticket to the wild side. Pumps as a style are a safe bet so it’s okay to play with prints and patterns that reflect your style and give your look that little bit of “edge”. Just keep in mind the “pattern mixing” rule in #1 above.
  3. Invest in a statement bag that’s versatile, 100% work appropriate and totally “you”. A bag that meets these criteria will elevate any work wear ensemble and make it easier to stay true to your personal aesthetic. When I was promoted, I finally invested in this bag I’d wanted for years. I love how the clean lines convey a professional image but it make a killer fashion statement at the same time. (This bag was years in the making for me; I also love this one for a similar style that’s also good quality and timeless).
 
Let me know if you enjoyed this sort of post or if the casual looks are more your jam…hope you’re having a great week!
Love always,
Terra

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