Saturday, October 27, 2012

Dressing For Work Experience Series: Blog 1.Shoes.

I'm starting a work experience placement next week in the Marketing department of a shopping mall, as some of you may already know, and I have found myself with a bit of a dilemma... What to wear? Ok so its not so much of a dilemma in terms of acquiring work-place clothes, as I will  be no more than 50 metres from a clothes shop at any given time, but it is in terms of styling. Up until now I have only needed classic interview outfits but now I need to adopt the style of a retail Marketer. From what I have seen, at the interview for the position,  the 'trend' is smart-casual. I only have 'smart' or 'casual' attire; and combining them is a lot more complicated than pairing tailored trousers with a comfy jumper and flats. 'Smart casual' is a look of its own. 

In this series of Blogs, 'Dressing For Work Experience', I am going to start with the item of clothing that can often, for me at least, undo a whole outfit. And true to form I have had a tough time trying to find suitable shoes. To me 'smart casual' footwear is synonymous with smart embellished flats. I'm sure everyone's noticed the 'stud' trend, that has been seen on anything from shoes to jackets recently, and while I don't usually subscribe to a style because it is a trend I have to admit... studs are cool. And, in terms of my work experience placement, they're the perfect way to toughen up a smart shoe enough to be 'smart casual'. 

I went shopping last week fully prepared to spend a fair amount of money on such a pair of shoes; expecting to find a toned down version of the stud trend in Zara or Aldo. I was wrong, it was either all studs or no studs at all, what's wrong with a happy medium?. Later in the day I found myself in Primark men's department, they do the best snoods, when I wandered over to the shoe department and found  these:

They're not exactly what I was looking for, although they are reminiscent of the capped toe shoe trend, but they still fit the bill for a slightly different smart shoe; and for £5 per pair you can't go wrong. I am also pleasantly surprised with the quality of them, they look like more like a £30-40 pair, and I'm hoping I can get a good couple of months wear out of them. 

 How could I write a blog on shoes for the work-place, albeit voluntary, without mentioning the unassuming hero of any shoe collection: the flat black loafer. You may feel unadventurous when you buy them but their ability to match almost anything make them your most worn shoe; especially when you're in a rush in the morning and have no time to determine whether taupe matches burnt orange (I know this sounds like an obvious clash but I did actually have to check this).
I also thought that these were worth a mention: they're a black mid heeled wedge with a fold over detail. I know I said earlier that for me 'smart casual' means flats but these wedges embody my other requirement for this look: a classic shoe given an edge by the detailing. 

So, this instalment of 'Dressing for Work Experience' has been about my take on the 'smart casual' shoe. In my opinion it is the embellishments and details that are key to dressing down what would otherwise be a very classic style. Although a pair of ordinary black flats are key to a working wardrobe the 'smart casual' style needs some edge. What's your take on the 'smart casual' style?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Autumn Break.

Earlier this week I went to an arboretum, a trip I recommend to anyone with a passion for crunchy leaves and chunky knitwear, to enjoy the autumnal colours. Here's some of the pictures I took for all those who have to walk vicariously through the internet. 

I love trees. 

I am aware that this is fungus but I have to admire anything that can flourish in this economic climate, even if it is only for a short space of time, and on a tree. 
 Do Japanese Maples give syrup too? 

The only thing that could make this scene more picturesque would be some strategically placed sheep. If this were the Eighteenth Century I could hire someone to do that; its called Romanticism. 

Can it always be October?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Stiletto nails and typing.

This morning I have been trying to write my next blog for I know how and what I want to say, that makes a change, and I have found the creative process a lot easier than I did while writing my first article. I have, however, found myself hindered by my new stiletto nails. I absolutely love them, and was amused by the salons reaction to my request 'ahhhh like Lady Gaga... or Rihanna!', but didn't quite think through all of the ramifications involved with celebrity talons.

Last night I had some inspiration for the blog in question and here's the result... a laborious untidy scrawl. I may be taking a break from the written word for a while. Its too frustrating.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

This is what I look like when I go in search of noodles.

I went out for dinner with a couple of friends the other evening and I got so excited, I haven't been out in 'like'* forever, that I had to share this fact with the internet. 

*I blame Taylor Swift for my compulsive use of the word 'like'. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Harvest Moon and Brownie Cheesecake

what could be better than chocolate fudge brownie cheesecake, a glass of milk and Harvest Moon: A tale of Two Towns before bedtime? Well... perhaps if it were Rune Factory.

I do quite like this game but it feels, when compared to Rune Factory, a little constricting. Yes I like to farm and I doing requests and the social interaction side, especially as I can play as a girl, but catching critters and fishing doesn't make up for the lack of monsters and fighting. However, the cows are cute.  

It's all just starting...

I have had a manic day. I have, for those who don't know*, for the past couple of months been searching for Graduate employment in Marketing/ PR. After a couple of interviews and Assessment Centres (see last blog on I finally came to the conclusion that work experience/ internships are probably the way forward. I am faced with a common dilemma; who can really afford to work full-time for free? (Wait in anticipation for my next blog on 

I am currently working as a Barista at a international coffee chain and am unwilling to give up the independence that my income affords me.  I have, therefore, settled for what I hope will prove to be a 'happy medium'.Today I had an interview with the head of Marketing for the shopping centre where I work; convenient huh? We arranged that I will work for them, on a voluntary basis, once a week and will get a chance to work on projects such as the Christmas Lights Event, a regional Retail Marketing conference and the local Fashion Week. 'I would be happy with anything you could throw at me' I insisted. My calender was filling up with amazing opportunities; and I almost had to theatrically fall off my chair when the words 'maternity leave in a couple of months' were uttered. Then I went to work and thought about my future to the hiss of steaming milk and the pouring of espresso - trust me its not as glamorous as it sounds. I have had a manic day. 

*Just about everyone!