A passion for fashion (and a good cup of coffee)

by Nov 22, 2019

A colleague recently pointed out that my work attire resembled a Frank Green keep cup – a plain block of colour on the top and a block of colour or a pattern below. Each morning they ask, “What KeepCup are we rocking today, Shell?”.

Why do I absolutely love this? Well, not only am I associated with a sustainable and beautiful brand (I mean have you seen Frank Greens 2019 colour palette?!), but because what I wear to work has become part of my professional brand.

Michelle in a white tshirt and pink skirt next to a resusable coffee cup of the same colours

Let me run you through how to create a professional brand through your wardrobe, increase your productivity, save you money and help the earth!    

Make sure your brand is appropriate

Choose an outfit that is appropriate to your working environment. I work in an office with no client-facing activities, so being neat and showing a touch of personality is encouraged. I wear a black or white tailored t-shirt and a high waisted skirt every day, hail or shine (every! day!). Choose a base outfit that you can wear more than once a week without washing and tops that can be used with every combination.  

Make some room in your wallet for extra cash

By having an established work brand, I do not feel the need to constantly purchase new items to wear to work – I have five skirts and around ten tops in rotation. This year alone I have only purchased one new work skirt and three new tops.  Not only will you save money by wearing the same thing over and over, you are becoming an eco-warrior by consuming less textiles (clothing and textiles are the second biggest polluter after oil after all).

Get ready to be more productive

As humans we make around 35,000 decisions in a day – that is a crazy amount of decision making – so by starting the day with one less you are off to a good start! I have a baby and toddler that I also need to get ready in the mornings, and you better believe they have a day care uniform. Although theirs is much easier to coordinate as it’s just anything I don’t care about getting wrecked with paint and glue.

By reducing your choices in the morning, you are able to focus on other tasks.  

Don’t compromise on your personality

Creating a professional brand does not mean you have to forgo personality, it is merely identifying what best represents you and hitting repeat. As long as you are keeping your outfits in line with the culture of your workplace, you will often find some leeway in other areas such as colour, patterns, or styles. Showcasing your personality AND fitting in in your workplace is completely doable.

Join the elite professional brand club

And if you need more convincing – Karl Lagerfeld, Michael Kors, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg all famously wear (or wore) the same or similar outfits day in and day out. I mean if they can do it as style icons, you can 100% do it too!

I will leave you with these last words: watch out – like all good brands, there will be copycats ?.

Two women standing next to each other, both wearing white tshirts and coloured skirts


Featured image courtesy of Unsplash

By Michelle Maarhuis

By Michelle Maarhuis

Marketing Consultant

Michelle Maarhuis creatively drives marketing strategies to connect students and employers with UTS Careers.