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Unless you're employed at a workout studio, you can probably leave the hoodie, yoga pants and performance apparel at home for the weekend. There are ample ways to look stylish while still accommodating comfortable travels to work. Consider this; you'll be providing some much needed interesting visuals for the other bored bus riders or the grocery store cashier! Back in the day (nearly a hundred years ago) men and women wore formal wear and suits nearly all the time; choices were quite limited. We've evolved now to a place where we have far more options. We may not always be commuting by car, however, must we park our style at home?

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This is such a polished, fresh and uncomplicated look. Note the cute kicks for a nice comfortable walk. Layer it with the Soya concept trench coat if the weather is less than fabulous! All in all, this is how many European's tend to dress, simple yet with a bit of flair!

Orb Milea ribbed long sleeve cropped knit top (black or heather grey) $49

Orb pencil skirt side slit (black or heather grey) $55

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Perhaps you have a day of errands and appointments planned. This does not mean you need to bury yourself in sweatshirt material. This is a great little dress, with some simple added features. Easy to pair with a long cardigan or open front sweater or poncho, and tights. Keep the self belt or try it with a wide one.

Cream gathered neck stripe dress (black) $119

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There is simply no reason we must always resort to wearing jean jackets or blazers. This really lovely, water colour inspired print jacket can easily be worn with jeans OR a pencil skirt, simple flats and you're set for the day.

Cream Evallan watercolour print bomber jacket (blue mix) $149

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Speaking of Europe. This certainly has that vibe...easy yet stylish, fresh yet sexy! See how the simple addition of a scarf adds a little something without going over the top? And there is no reason not to try this with a lace cami....after all, when it belongs to you, you can experiment!

Orb Maja stripe off shoulder fitted t shirt (Navy) $55

Look paisley cotton scarf (navy) $39

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Well, sometimes, you just can't do without a sweatshirt...however, there are sweatshirts and then there are sweatshirts with style! Given the choice, I'd go for the one with a bit of a unique design feature.

Ellison crew neck open back knit top (burgundy or cement) $59

A complicated life doesn't mean we need to leave part of our personalities at home, in a closet, saved for a weekend date night, or party (like the good china). Style is merely an extension of your personality, not the entire contents of it.

Yours in Fashion passion...

Suzanne M.

ps: life is short, style it with your personality! ;)

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Suitable jobs!

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Picture this...You're meeting with a real estate agent for the first time about to view various properties in the hopes of making a purchase. If you live in Vancouver, this would be substantial money (an understatement). Your Real Estate agent stands in front of you, she smiles warmly..but you look down, threads hang from her suit and the lining of the hem is buckling...You worry...not because she isn't attentive, seems to recycle and drives a hybrid (lol), about her attention to detail. Plum's attention to detail is never in question. Suits that can stand next to any internationally known, high end label at more than fair prices.

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I adore this suit. It's only drawback is, if you're giving a presentation, there is a distinct possibility no one will hear what's been said, so distractingly gorgeous. A stunning addition to your professional wardrobe, with a slight feminine edge.

Tobias double breasted jacket with flared hem (black or pewter) $230

Tobias slim pant with welt pocket (black or pewter) $110

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Maybe it's your first day on the job and it's a traditional suit style you need. This is Plum's latest two button. Just a superior fitting jacket worn here with the matching, paneled, back slit skirt. An office wardrobe basic.

Tobias two button jacket with peak lapels (Merlot and black) $215

Tobias pencil skirt (Merlot and black) $95

 

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Here is an absolutely wonderful addition to anyone's wardrobe. On the left worn with a pencil skirt and Kersh cardi for more of an office look, on the right suitable for casual/weekend times. A wonderful, wool blend mix. Yet light weight enough to be layered and worn as outerwear. A really versatile piece.

Tobias draped front boiled wool coat (black, peacock or purple) $225

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And some co-ordinates to go with your suits. Because embroidered anything is very big right now. From scarves, to jackets to even footwear, you'll find embroidery. This sweet top is allover embroidered georgette lace. And a shell top is an easy match with any suit.

Kersh capsleeve lace top (cream) $65

Plum sleeveless top with high low hem (black or pink) $69

Exchange 'Real Estate Agent' with Doctor, Interior Decorator, Financial Advisor...many professions necessitate flawless presentations requiring the client to trust in, at times, risky endeavors. Stepping down from the seriousness of work attire, however, jackets are also ok on weekends, just double check for the chocolate croissant stains before you step into that meeting on Monday!

Just remember, the quality of your work need not hang by a thread!

Yours in Fashion Passion...

Suzanne M.

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Needless to say Mom's job does not end at 5:00pm....try 5:00am, or 3:00am...whenever needed. A seemingly endless job with no salary (preschoolers make more with their weekly allowance). However then of course, there is the 'outside' job that pays the bills, where an entirely different wardrobe is usually required. The workplace of today is far more transverse than in days past and what was once not appropriate (ie: wearing jeans) has all but changed with sometimes unspoken or unwritten requirements. Then to complicate things, along comes summer and we feel compelled to wear our sandals and tank tops....what are the options? What is acceptable, comfortable...YOU!

Lets have a view at some of Plum's great suggestions for the 'out of the home office' choices:

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Wanted: A dress that can be put to work, or taken out for drinks later....position filled. This dress easily works for multiple occasions and presents a very polished look.  Perhaps the office air conditioner is unpredictable or you're on the road at different locations, easily add a jacket or a cardigan to accommodate various environments.

Simone v-neck flared with pockets (white/grey or white/navy) $129

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Many work environments now accommodate jeans (or jean day).  However, keeping them on the 'neat' side is usually an unspoken rule or offsetting their worn look with a very sleek contrasting jacket and heels. can make it work.  Accessories possibly should be kept to a minimum unless you're working in a creative field. Don't we all wish our office was out in the sunshine! The scarf adds a bit of individuality without being too distracting. And the linen jacket is such a go to piece for this time of year.

Tobias buttonless linen jacket (black, mustard, white) $179

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Perhaps your work place is of the traditional nature. In which case, you feel the need to invest in the ubiquitous trouser. Perfect with a blouse or simple button top and flats or possibly slingbacks.

Tobias slash pocket pant (beige, black or grey) $95

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Here is yet another work appropriate dress featuring a lovely, abstract light print. Also great for the Mother's day brunch...you are taking Mom out, aren't you? No pressure! ;)

Numph garland zigzag dress (lavender fog) $145

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Not to be outdone by the ubiquitous pant, is the knee length, peg skirt. The skirt is yoga (which is synonymous with comfort). However Plum has other skirt options, pull-on is another great option for ease and comfort, helping retain the feminine feel if this is your goal, along with providing for a day of movement. Paired with this lovely lace blouse, keeps things light and in keeping with the season.

Yoga pegged skirt (rinse indigo) $84

H&D Lace blouse (black or white) $75

Whatever your workplace (home, office or even your car)...finding the right combination of appropriate work wear is important for being able to put your best foot forward and feel comfortable with who you are and where you are. But lets not forget to call Mom to thank her for helping you get where you are, because no doubt she played an important part.

"Being a full time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs...since the payment is pure love." Mildred B. Vermont

Yours in Fashion passion....

Suzanne M.  ... read the full post and reader comments

 
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Dress with Purpose - Working in Style

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It happens all the time in our stores; a customer storms into Plum because she has a job interview, or is meeting an important client or has advanced to a new position.  Many women hate to shop for clothing so they put it off... and who can blame them when there are so many stores where the staff do not know how to really help.  They certainly don’t know what it is like to work at your job.
 
As part of our training program, we’re looking at the different levels of formality in different workplaces and developing wardrobe formulas to help you choose a complete wardrobe for your career. Because Western Canada is generally pretty casual, it can be tricky to navigate the business workplace while keeping true to your personal style.  No one ever seems to explicitly state what makes up the different levels of formality and employers don’t want to tell their team what they should purchase.  And the wheels really come off the wagon on Casual Friday (which we think is basically dead!).  Here’s the lowdown; some general guidelines we think will work to figure formality into your position at work:
 
  1. Number: the more pieces of clothing you’re wearing, the more formal you are.  The exception is a dress.   See Colour, Pattern and Style below for guidance on dresses. 
  2. Colour: the more colour you wear, the more casual you are.
  3. Pattern/Texture: the more patterns or textures you wear, the more casual you are.
  4. Accessories: more of these, and more chunky or colourful equals more casual.
  5. Style: the level of tailoring and the smoothness and tightness of the weave makes a garment more formal. 
  6. Shoes: is it a science or an art?  The right shoes can make all the difference. Soft and flat is more casual than heels and polish.  
 
* CAUTION: These are only general guidelines and there are exceptions to all of them.  Plum associates are trained to assist you in finding what works for you.
 
Most professional women today "dress for the occasion," at work.  A suit is in order for meeting the big client but if you are knuckling down with the 'team' for the day, the comfort of well chosen separates might put everyone at ease and in a creative spirit.  It doesn't matter who designed your jersey jacket, jeans or yoga pants... they almost never belong at work.  If you take pride in what you wear it will show that you take pride in the work you do.  So with or without a dress code, you can have your own code and you will inspire others to do the same... and all without rules!
 
 
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cover looks

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"All books are judged by their covers, until they are read" Maryrose Wood. Being judged 'is' a fact of life. However, when I feel fully pulled together, I feel as though people see me, my clothing is no longer the focus, because there is no 'one thing' to distract.  For the most part, do you not find that a jacket pulls together the outfit giving a finished look? A key piece. Maybe it's just me but I adore fall and love my jackets.  My collection is growing and I'd sleep in them if I could.

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The fabrication and cut of this jacket is simply exquisite. Most often I find the sleeves of jackets rather large and bulky; these are just perfectly tailored. Don't be fooled by the slightly longer length, falling below thigh level. I've worn mine with jeans and doc's and have seen it worn with a knee length skirt and funky ankle boots. So deceptively versatile, creating a multitude of outfits from one piece, taking you from work, to weekend brunch. It's really a 'try on' must!

Tobias equestrian long jacket (comes in black or grey) $ 220

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Isn't this a fun outfit? Yet so doable for a work environment; of course depending on the nature of the business. I love the skinny pants paired with the dangerous heels.

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This classic notched collar blazer is so transferrable and convertable. My favorite weekend outfit is (as above) jeans, t shirt and 'the blazer.'  Just so simple and pulled together looking (but comfortable as well).  Just add whatever bit of your own personality you like (scarf, hat) your mood gets to choose.

Tobias notch collar jacket with patch pockets $ 179

The length of the jacket, however, often dictates the balance of co-ordinating pieces. Such as how long the skirt, pants or top would best be to look balanced head to toe. When in doubt, Plum staff are only too happy to help with deciphering the possible perplexities of proportions (say that 3 times). This is a mere whiff of the jackets Plum has in store. There is one for everyone (or 3, if you're me). And so beautifully made and designed; will remain your favorites for years to come (as long as you don't sleep in them).

Plum's Tobias jackets are designed and constructed right here in Vancouver and many have co-ordinating pants and skirts. Take a look at some of Plum's other jackets.

 

Yours in jacket passion

Suzanne M

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