Monday, May 2, 2011

What exactly does 'corporate' even mean?

So it seems that there's quite a gap in the market for the stylish and quirky lady who is unfortunately constrained by the paradigms offered by the 'corporate' work wardrobe. I personally have no idea what 'corporate' dress actually is, though I've always assumed that it basically means plain, kind of boring and usually made up entirely of black, grey and navy. How dressing in this way makes you more 'professional' or hardworking has always escaped my comprehension. As in high school, where I cast aside the bleach-blonde hair, ugg boots and tracksuit that made up my school's 'uniform' in favour of pink dreadlocks and army shorts, in the few jobs I've had where 'corporate' attire was required, I could never resist the temptation for stripy tights and bright red cardigans with holes.

Given this history of mine, I was thrilled to be helping out the drab situation by crafting a pair of lovely, 50s inspired dresses a few months back that were, though black and grey and kind of conservative-looking, also interesting enough to free my ladyclient from the shackles of complete and utter sartorial boredom.

I was commissioned recently to undertake another 'corporate' venture, this time in the form of a pair of skirts, based on the client, Maarinke's current favourite, but with some P&E quirk added to ward off the aforementioned boredom. After some to-ing and fro-ing regarding adjustment of length, and a few hurdles arising from my own lack of comprehension of what a corporate wardrobe is and why it needs to exist in the first place, I was actually pretty happy with the results.

I'm quite partial to a bit of brown, so was happy to team this luscious chocolate with a beautiful vintage tablecloth that's all pinky-red and olive green. An autumnal delight, methinks! I was inspired recently by a skirt my exceedingly talented friend Ness made, which featured a totally hot bit of wide, pink bias-binding around the hem on the inside! Totally interesting and awesome, but not overwhelming for those afraid of flashing too much pink. I thought this would be the perfect touch to the chocolate brown number so added a similar band, which I detailed with 3 rows of gorgeous, deep-red stitching.

The black skirt is slightly influenced by the fact that I've been watching a little too much Deadwood at the moment. Not that it's in any way evocative of the North American frontier of the 1800s, but it does have a teeny-tiny bustle-inspired kind of ruffle thing on the back at the hem. Just a little one. Almost imperceptible. But I know it's there, and I rather like it.

This skirt also has trim made from a vintage tablecloth, though the colours in this one are more of your greens and purples (though of course the sun was shining SO brightly for the first time in about a week that the colour's all but washed from the photos). I also added buttons at the bottom of the pockets (which are lined with the same fabric as the hem and waist trim), just because buttons are cute and I was feeling kind of adventurous. Woo. Radical.


  1. They are gorgeous! I totally love your style. What are the solid coloured fabrics you are using? I really like cotton drill (I think its Indian) but I don't know how long lasting it is. I'm wondering what other cool stuff is around.

  2. The fabric in these skirts is a stretch poplin, though the black is a slightly heavier weight, closer to a stretch drill. I work with drill a lot, as I really love the weight. I have found that it is really long-lasting, though probably not as good as a heavy denim. If you want 100% cotton I don't think you can go past drill, but keep your eyes open at op-shops as I've often picked up big bits of heavy-weight cotton that is even better quality than the new stuff. x