Sometimes shit really gets real. You have a sucky week where you need to prepare for two exams, land a big project and organize a working group with stakeholders in different time zones. Whatever happens, you need to keep the sexy alive no matter what. So what do you wear?
We all have a “go to” (or emergency) outfit in our wardrobes that we use for those lazy or crazy busy days. I have 3 and today I am going to share the formula of how you can make a few of your own and then I will show you one of mine 🙂
In order to ensure that no matter how busy you get, you still look on point you need to ensure that in your wardrobe you have the following 4 things (more than 3 is admin):
First and foremost, it must be weather agnostic, or else it cannot be used in case of ANY emergency
Black cotton crop trousers
a plain blouse that needs little to no ironing or buttoning
Shoes that are comfortable, but don’t look it
You will see that on this list I have not included any accessories. The aim with these “go to” outfits is to look like you made enough effort not to look like the effort was “just enough”. I really like to keep my looks as minimalist as possible, if I am wearing a necklace on my super busy days, I need to be congratulated ’cause I would have gone out of my way for real. Usually its just wear a watch and studs.
Here is one of my favorite “go to” outfits that ticks all the boxes and I feel is simple yet super chic!
The diversification of my wardrobe has been long overdue, and thanks to my studies and travels, I’ve had to start collecting a few items which have been pleasant additions that I’d love to share with you.
Just like with my corporate wardrobe, I love adding timeless pieces that can go with “anything”. Dressing up is definitely a way to express yourself and I love to keep my message consistent across all styles which is- clean, classic and confident.
I purchased my latest addition which as you can tell, my Old Skool Vans in classic black and white in preparation for my trip across Africa. I was told I’d have 2 weeks to comprehensively cover trends in 4 African countries so I had to make sure that when I was working I was comfortable (and trendy… don’t forget trendy). My sister and I had recently travelled to Europe and throughout the trip, she religiously chose her Vans for sightseeing activities and highly recommended them, while I on the other hand had a few ailments around my NMDs, which came with a steeper price tag to the VANS (almost 3 times the cost of a pair of Vans)… so I though what the heck, let me try them out, and boy was it the best purchase! if you can get me in sneakers on an ordinary day, you must know that I love them and they are comfortable; and my Vans are definitely ticking this box! Thanks Ole 🙂
I love my Vans so much that I decided to write a blog post about them, so you must know, the love is real! Plus, you get so much value for your money so what is there not to love!? oh the jacket….? that’s a story for another day 🙂
What are your favorite pair of casual shoes that you take everywhere? I’d love to know so I can add them to my collection.
Depending on how adventurous you are or the culture in your workplace is, one might find themselves feeling a little out-of-place if they step out of the black, blue or grey trend in the office. I recently bought a pair of Burgundy shoes from Zara which have been receiving raving compliments at work and here is why.
As mentioned before, my wardrobe consists of predominantly black clothes and shoes, it’s what I feel most comfortable in. However, very recently I decided to step out of my mould. My wardrobe needed some color and a new pair of shoes so I thought why not, let’s go ox blood-red/ burgundy!
Because of the style of the shoe, which has quite a low heel, I have found my shoes to very easily be adaptable to both formal semi formal and casual attires which I love. One day you’ll find me wearing them with a pair of chinos and the next day with a pair of distressed jeans, maxing out that ROI I tell you!
One of the ways I love wearing them though is with my soft pink cigarette pants (as seen below) which I pair with an off white blouse. I feel this look is quite different to my constant black, but also very soft and feminine while maintaining the professional look which I like.
What do you love to wear when you want to take a break/ diversify your corporate look?
When it comes to clothing, there are two things I love wearing. Black, and anything else that goes with it. Some days I get lucky and my wardrobe spews out top to toe monochrome and I am ready and out the door in 45 minutes and other days I end up looking like a chess board or a waitress. But I am happy to say that most days than not I get it right and look elegant and sophisticated with minimal effort.
As you know, living life in the 21st century is fast, emotionally and physically draining. Most of us have so many other things going on besides a 9-5 such as furthering studies, running NPOs or trying to monetize blogs. Unless you’re trying to break into the fashion industry, it really isn’t practical to spend more than 30 minutes trying to figure out how to put an outfit together on Monday morning while trying to make it to an 8am meeting in peak Jozi traffic.
I frequently receive compliments on how I put my outfits together which is sometimes surprising as I don’t have a million pieces in my wardrobe. My number one secret is visualization (I have an idea of the image I want the clothes I wear to portray and create a theme around it thus always looking consistent and I don’t have to be in Ralph Lauren or Zara everyday). Something else that I do, which is very important when I buy clothing, is to make sure that my pieces can slot into multiple wears, thus ensuring that I maximize the ROI of my wardrobe, giving me more wear per item and versatility in the outfits I put together.
Here are a few pics of an outfit I put together which I have worn in the office. 3 simple pieces put together in a sophisticated way that works every time together, but most importantly, with other items in my wardrobe:
What is your favorite color to wear to work? I just love black because it’s both powerful and forgiving, and we all need a bit of both from time to time!
*Firstly, I want to start of by clarifying that I am by no means a fortune-teller/ marketing expert. The contents of my article today are merely based on my own opinions and research I have conducted around the company and do not reflect or indicate in any way with absolute certainty the fate of the organization being discussed. it’s a wild world and anything can happen :). COOL…
As I settled onto my bed to prepare for one of my Business School lectures, I had already prepared my mind for a half an hour of critical thinking and active reading.
This time around the business case I had to go through was based on Harley Davidson-The history, the journey and “the future”.
What I soon realized on the first page of the 12 pages of information, was a very dangerous situation. You know when a company starts sinking and they can see it but they don’t know what to do? Something like Nokia… Blackberry… HTC….MySpace….MXIT…The crux of the case focussed on the concert the leadership team had around their aging client base and felt that over the years they had neglected their existing millennial fan base who would prove to be crucial in taking the brand to the next level; as opposed to relying so heavily on its former glory days where the fans in the 80s lived and breathed the brand due to influences from pop culture.
Decades later, having neglected the marketing aspect of their business and not staying in touch with the evolving client base, the leadership in the company which was responsible for Harley Davidison’s strategic direction woke up to realize that their base was growing older and thinner by the year, their competition was eating their lunch (despite their local government assisting them with foreign tax implementation) and in regions where they had chosen to expand with their “more relatable” Buell, no previous research was done of competitors or of target audience preferences. The company had made the very big mistake on relying solely on their powerful and established American brand, not realizing that there was a possibility of customers all the way in Asia/ Africa/ Europe, who needed a customized story and message fit for their context. The HD brand and philosophy was just not landing with my fellow global millennials.
As I read on, thinking that there would be some kind of comeback strategy, to my disappointment, the case ended by subtly suggesting two brand revamp strategies which I don’t think have been implemented at all to date and quite honestly I believe, if done correctly and effectively, could win back the grace and image of the brand in diverse international regions.
Although this case is a bit dated. Having left the reformation to so late, I think it’s going to take more than a brilliant marketing strategy to reform the brand (effective execution is key) and the WSJ seems to agree, with projections of the company’s profits taking a downward spiral as can be read here .
Sometimes it’s better to bend. With new developments, the brand needs to take the millennial voice into account during product proposition design and execution (and it will take more than just paintng the whole motocycle black to win back the client base) or else I’m sad to say, will become obsolete and irrelevant for the future.
It’s no doubt that organizations have started considering and taking shape in order to be future fit. Some organizations could be progressing more rapidly that others due to a geographical influence but what matters is that the pivot in business complements the environment these organizations are working in.
Earlier this year I had the privilege of sitting in on one of South Africa’s most renowned business trends expert and from this engagement I was exposed to quite a few insights around where are businesses going which I would like to share with you.
Business disruption is occurring across all industries.
We are moving to an age where organisations are obsessed with company culture:
Being collaborative and not silo-driven, employers will hire employees who basically push beyond boundaries. We will begin to see a rise in people who are driven by achieving a greater purpose rather than a monomaniacal focus on profits.
Death of the legacy companies!!! Agile companies have a lifespan of 15 years and not because they exit the business lifecycle at the end of the 15 years but because they pivot frequently. (Because this is the future of the business and business- owner mind-set corporates will be serving/ servicing, the big question here is “what steps do corporates in South Africa need to take in order to become relevant for their future client?”
Collapse of the value chain. The space between the product and customer is getting narrower (E.g. Beyoncé and Tidal). Business owners are cutting the middle man and the need to quantify value for money/services rendered increases
The lengthening Omni-channel. It is becoming crucial for corporates to find out where customer are experiencing their brand and whether all the channels are “saying the same” thing.
Digitization pawns, the essential business pivot (Biggest disruptions globally being seen in the automotive industry: ride sharing and driverless cars, and healthcare: Augmented Reality learning techniques)
Mechanization, robotics and the erosion of jobs (Google: Relay Robot).
So in the midst of the tech hurricane, what’s going to happen to our jobs?
Critical thinking, leadership, communication and problem solving ability is key!!! The ability to display the skill of Lateral Thinking in a role will be crucial. Punt this and evolve in this.
New economies enabling new industries. People find themselves in industries they would have never imagined because of this new need of different thinking. (E.g. the partnership between the digital music guy who was hired by LVMH to help build them an ecommerce website….)
The on demand economy/ The sharing economy (Hyatt pairing with Airbnb to create “unhotel” experiences)/ The gig economy (This is forcing companies to rethink labour laws!!!).
The need for unconventional thinking will force educational institutions to ready students in a different way for the workplace.
Effect on education: The need for education disruption
What is your degree worth because there really isn’t any scarcity?
Already in EY UK no degrees are needed for employment
The biggest challenge and commodity will be the skills gap: critical thinking, problem solving, communication, leadership and ownership will be highly valued
So how do we bridge the gap?
What’s wrong with the way we learn? The education system isn’t geared for the knowledge economy….
Vocational training schools need to get mixed in with high tech. (No degree, actual training using holograms for surgeons (Google: HoloLens))
The future of work
It’s no longer linear. There are a lot of stop- starts and career changes
Hybrid skills will be needed
Organisations will hire for attitude, and retrain for skills (this will fix the millennial churn)
Nomadic work swarms. You don’t have to watch an employee working to know that they are getting work done. (reskill yourself to do what you want to do, get your work life flexibility by doing what pays the bills while leaving time for passion projects)
Remote flexi-working options and productivity impact
The impact of the female century will see an increases profitability in companies
Millennials see mentors as people they can take advice from and give advice to.
Jobs of the future- what will they look like?
Things related to drones, coding, virtual reality, UX (We will see skill and career combos that have never existed before such as Life Coaches with an IT background etc.)
Rwanda; the South Korea of the technology realm… delivering blood samples to hard to reach hospitals via drone technology
Ultimately, organizations and their staff must understand the movements of their industries in order to stay relevant in their environment and careers respectively. Nothing can be taken for granted anymore.
I am especially excited though to see how resourceful individuals will become with their toolkit of skills and how they will couple what they know in order to excel in the digital age where their customers are just as, if not more aware of what they need, how they want it and what their service providers must do in order to ensure excellent delivery in a radical and client- centric way.
So I just wanted to share a quick review of my experience this weekend when I purchased MY VERY FIRST MacBook!!!! The purchase of a personal laptop has been something that has been waaaay overdue and having been an apple product user for over 10 years now, I think the brand has proven its worthiness to me :).
I must say though, venturing into the Apple space for a laptop has been an incredibly daunting experience… almost as daunting as switching back to a manual car after you have been driving your automatic for a while. There are so many specs and so much to consider when you switch. As much as I am a millennial, I cannot say I am the most tech savvy individual, however, I do make it a point to research the shit out of any big purchase because a. I work hard for my money, and b. because I loathe the idea of being told why, how and what and I should spend my money on by salespeople who are looking to hit their targets- there is power in being an informed consumer.
Cool! Now that that is off my chest let’s get to some of the areas of focus I paid attention to (thanks to other bloggers, YouTubers and tech forums)that guaranteed zero buyers remorse after my purchase.
So the first question I would say a user must clarify in their mind is the reason for switching from Windows to MacOs. It is a significant shift and personally, I think fortifying the ecosystem (with your phone, I pad etc) just makes the transition so much easier. And of course it looks cool!
Honestly, one of the most difficult decisions I had to make, it took me visiting the iStore twice to make my final decision, and I must say, it was worth it! Silver> Space Grey any day. Its more practical, doesn’t show fingerprint/ scratches and its just classy.
AIR vs PRO:
I am a firm believer of contingency plans and as a result I overthink and over plan absolutely everything that I possibly can, as a result I “settled for the Pro” because its an over purchase that I am proud of if I underuse it but it is just perfect if I decide, and have the capacity, to use it for every possible thing I can think of/ imagine. With that said, for me it boiled down to two things that I found useful:
Do I just need something personal for emails and the internet- Get the Air/ MacBook
Do I need a powerful laptop that can multitask? (edit videos, blog, email, build models)- Get the Pro
If I am traveling with it, will the weight bother me?
If yes, get the Air
If no, get the Pro
Seems like a no brainer right? wrong. By default the 13 inch MacBook Pro (non touch bar) is configured with 128GB and 256GB; with an approximate price increase of R2 000/ R6 000 for 100GB more memory depending on whether you will forsake speed for storage. My opinion… external hard drives offer more space than a Mac will ever give you for a smaller fee.
For the price you pay for one of these bad boys, I really do not think the 15inch is worth it, I went to see the size difference in store and that extra 2 inches (5 centimeters) is not worth the extra R20 000 (and yes I am probably oversimplifying the tradeoff but then again, I am an accountant before I am a techie haha- LOGIC guys).
So yeah, I think if you are looking for high level black and white comparisons to make your decision and don’t really need to go into technicalities, I would say the above points will put you I good stead to make the correct decision for next purchase.
If you have any more additions to this list please feel free to comment below. Let’s empower each other to make wiser and smarter purchasing decisions!