How to use fashion as your ally in the workplace

Work-life balance-bagstowear
Work-life balance- bagstowear

This post is as much for busy professionals like myself, my city-centric friends as it is for working mums and dads – all those who are starting to struggle with time and keeping up with the demands of your personal stylish self. While the post title is fairly aspirational in the context of the growing work-life balance topic I’ll start off by sharing thoughts ahead of digging for solutions which require a custom touch.

Question is – where from to start off first? Let’s dive into the core: the ‘balancing’ part:

Where we need to be versus where we’d much rather be..

When reading this – do mentally ‘raise your hand’ if you’re one of those who’ve managed to balance it out and have a clear ‘recipe’ to keep your work-life duo synced in complete harmony with one another?

Let me guess – there won’t be too many of us ready to admit they’ve found a way they are totally and utterly at peace with. There’s always room for improvement as circumstances change: our family commitments alter, lifestyle and assets changing, professional work dynamics would likewise shift etc.


Read on to enter – submit your answer below:

As per our tradition, let’s share some stories first, then ‘play’: there’s a giveaway at the bottom of the page, rewarding those who’d be ready to take an interactive angle to our topic today. Read on..

During a digital marketing event I attended recently I heard a reference to a ‘recipe’ on the topic coming from a highly achieving senior executive working at Facebook. She’s been in the company for a while now, has build a successful career and managed to engage in some of the busiest motherhoods – being a mum of 3. What she shared was an interesting idea around planning for your work-life scenario a year ahead – and that got me thinking on the subject.

We’re accustomed to a tough schedule, an almost army-inspired way of working where delivering to deadlines and working on tight projects is second-nature to almost any role. There might also be additional pressure deriving from the need to constantly innovate. This in turn ‘justifies’ our compromises to dedicate longer hours to our work when in fact the decision lies entirely – with us.

Longer hours and lack of sleep – multiply it by a frequency rate and what does that do to our stylish/good-looking self?

Did you know that according to a Harvard Business School survey, 94% of service professionals put in 70+ hours a week while 43%of respondents use their computers after 10pm.

While it’s fairly obvious that such a hyper-active lifestyle can’t be ‘greatly beneficial’ what seems to help here is to have a proper go at this ever-evolving ‘whirlpool’ of tasks and commitments and take a good step back, pose some key questions, lay down some priorities and start planning.

That’s when the idea of planning a year-long ‘vision for your life’ brought up above seemed to make further sense.

Questions you might find could guide here are:

What would you most want to achieve in the year to come?

Be a better friend? A better professional? A better parent? etc.

Start from there and then draw a plan as to how you think you’d best get there. Better answers would still be stemming from your knowledge of how to get there (even though you might realize you’d need some help to get there). This slowly but surely gets us:

So how to build your slick ‘personal brand image’ when you’re dealing with a tricky work-life balance?

Personal Brand Image
Image credit to Casey Smith

If working in a corporate environment is what’s been defining you for a while now and you’re not looking to freelance or start your own business anytime soon then your personal brand image is what’s been ‘growing’ alongside you for as long as you’ve been in that career-building mode.

So where’s the link with your work-life balance you might ask? To which – allow me to ask you in return: have you ever thought how much it counts what we wear to work, how we pose and speak to what we endlessly tend to achieve in any given working environment?

Have your say: how much you’d assign your achievements to your brand image vs. your performance self? Although I won’t be looking to spark any debates as it’s rather a rhetorical question (we all have to decide on our own based on what we see works for us) yet one area I’m sure all would agree is: our work attire, call it also work wear or office wear can be one of our best allies. Let’s have an exercise:


Have a look below at this image – what would you say this women does for a living and what is her work style?

Your white denim self

At first glance you might suspect she’s wearing her white denim trousers and a loose sweater being in a rather non-obligated, laid-back office culture.

She might as well work in media, be a creative designer/planner or be a freelancer. What sustains this ‘suspicion’, I’d say is her pace (she doesn’t seem to make longer strides and her heels are fairly accommodating:).

However, what inclines my thinking in another direction is her neck inclination – she’s one of the detail-seekers, fairly astute, accustomed to look and find answers on her questions. That’s my guess). On top of this – she might well be in a leading role, at a stage when constant reassuring is no longer that needed when she’s fairly established to allow a light-weight look.

Got the idea? Now let’s try some aspirational images I’ve checked from one of my latest fashion discoveries – an exciting brand originating in Singapore – Charles & Keith who’ve sewn sophisticated yet affordable workwear in their brand’s DNA (their variety of workwear styles and choices would probably come en par with sleek British-originating brands such as Boden, Paul & Joe, Hobbs, Stella McCartney a.o):

Big plans in a tiny pocket-bag

When despite of the size – you’ve got it all covered:

You’d probably see the part I’m getting to: it’s the choice of carrying a bigger all-fit-in tote versus a mini juicy-stylish croc bag. It’s when you’d give certainty to passers-by that despite of the size, you’ve got it all covered: your polished looks , your work day-to-day (where you’ve got it all planed to details), your family life – because what you care a fair amount of is how you feel about being the true You.

As for your fashion wardrobe – that’s your ally: not your master, not your guilty pleasure spinning your pocket from time to time) – rather your Ally.

Have your say – do you agree or rather look at your personal image any other way? Is fashion your ally or an occasional friend, passer-by or passive adviser rarely an action-driver?

Now that you’ve come at the bottom of the page – time to play! Leave a comment below answering what’s the percentage of professionals putting in over 70+ hours/week (shown above)?

The lucky winner will be announced on Tue 27th September at 2pm via a random choice at! (details below). Or if you’re an Instagram user – feel free to leave your answer on our Instagram post announcing the competition @Bagstowear.

The lucky winner will win a product basket of their choice in the value of £150 @Charles & Keith

Below are some of my basket inspirations from Charles & Keith :

Charles & Keith Chunky CHain Mini Bag - Bagstowear
The chunky chain mini bag
Metallic Push-lock Long Wallet - Charles-&-Keith - Bagstowear
Metallic Push-Lock Long Pocket Mini – now at £35 (45% OFF)

It’s not all about bags though, since bags go hand in hand with! & I can’t seem to take my eyes off this half-knitted pair:


Time for you to choose! Enter below and let’s stay in touch next Tue, 27th Aug, 4pm!

Very happy to announce the winner – Anastasia Yates!

Anastasia, we’ll email you back our details so that you can collect your winning prize. Have a fabulous rest of the week all and thank you for taking part in our fashion giveaway! x

For those of you still willing to explore the stylish workwear retailer – they’ve just announced the launch of their End of Summer Sale:

Get an extra 10% off!
Use code: SALE10FM

Sale ends 31st August!

Shop below…

Charles & Keith Sale - Bagstowear
End of Summer Sale 2019


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