Office Style 101 with Praveeni Perera aka. @thewkndfashionista
This month, we paired up with fashion blogger and career woman Praveeni Perera, aka. @thewkndfashionista to get the lowdown on how she balances fashion blogging and a full-time career and also her best tips for flawless office style. Looking for a little fashion (and career) motivation? Then keep reading!
Hi Praveeni, thanks so much for joining us! So, tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from and what do you do for a living?
I was born in Sri Lanka and moved to Canada as a child. I’ve been living in Ottawa for about 26 years so I pretty much grew up here. I work as a Project Manager and Professor at a local College where I teach international business.
How do you balance being a fashion blogger and working full time?
There’s definitely a lot of planning that goes in to balancing blogging and working full time. I like to think I’m pretty good at managing my time. I plan out my outfits and photoshoots for the week. Most of my photos are taken on the weekends – like the name of my blog The Weekend Fashionista suggests.
How and why did you get into blogging?
I’ve always loved fashion and putting outfits and looks together. Over the years I’ve had friends and co-workers ask me where I got my clothing or accessories so I thought what better way to tell them than through a blog. I started documenting my daily style as a hobby and sharing links to the pieces I love with friends.
As you love fashion so much, would you ever consider working in the fashion industry?
I think working in the fashion industry would be an exciting experience. If the right opportunity came along it’s definitely something I would consider. I’d love to contribute to a collection someday, perhaps curating a Weekend Fashionista collection ;)
How do you show your personal style AND stay looking professional in the work place? Any tips?
I find accessories and accent pieces are a great way to show off your personal style in the workplace. I like to incorporate colour and texture in to my workwear wardrobe. I prefer a more feminine look so I’m usually in a dress or skirt at work. Whether it’s a printed blazer, a colourblock dress or a statement necklace there’s always a way to show off your personality and keep things professional at the same time.
If you have a big meeting at work, what will you wear to feel confident?
This is a tough one. I usually wear dresses to work and a structured work dress is a great confidence booster. For a more formal meeting I might throw on a blazer on top of the dress. I may also go for pants and a matching blazer, there’s a reason it’s called a power suit after all. When you’re wearing an outfit that you love you instantly feel more confident.
What’s your go-to outfit outside of the office?
Outside of the office my style is pretty relaxed and casual. On the weekend you can usually find me in a pair of jeans or jeggings and a sweater or blouse. I may throw on the occasional blazer if I’ve got dinner plans etc. after my weekend errands. Weekends are also great for showing off your creativity so I definitely enjoy getting dressed up and going out in the evenings.
What are some of your favourite workwear picks from our latest collection?
There’s so many great pieces in your latest collection it’s hard to choose just a few but here are some of the pieces I’m currently loving:
This sheath dress is so chic! It totally gives me the Chanel vibes with the fabric and cut. This blouse is so pretty, I especially like the smocking on the sleeves and the ruffle neck. This skirt would look great with a pair of opaque tights and a blouse – perfect for Fall and Winter. Fall florals are all the rage and I’m loving the print on this blouse and the detail in the buttons. I love the feminine detail of the pearl button on this dusty pink blazer, so pretty!
What are your top 3 fashion tips for great 9 to 5 style?
1. Aim for a polished and professional look
Look for fit when shopping for workwear pieces and if that blazer you absolutely love is just a tad baggier than you’d like, consider getting it altered for a better fit. Make sure you don’t have any stray threads or tags hanging off your clothing and always iron or press your clothes. A well pressed outfit just looks more polished and professional.
2. Personalize your workwear looks
Don’t be afraid to show off your personality by incorporating colour or accessories in to your workwear wardrobe. Just be respectful of your workplace’s dress code
3. Add some feminine flair to your workwear
Many people think that workwear should be boring and restricted to black or grey pant suits but a feminine structured dress or skirt does the job too. I find myself drawn to colourful work dresses and feminine details on blouses and skirts. Dresses and skirts are versatile pieces as you can wear them year round, simply add opaque tights and a cardigan for the Fall and Winter.
When it comes to having great style and looking well put together I think Coco Chanel said it best “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman”
Thanks so much to Praveeni for partnering up with us on this blog post! If Praveeni has left you feeling inspired and you’re craving a little more fashion inspiration from her, make sure to follow her on Instagram @thewkndfashionista and check out her blog at www.theweekendfashionista.com.