OOTD – THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

INTERSTATE BUSINESS TRIP (FRIDAY)

CUE satin sleeveless fitted black peplum dress worn with white shirt (1)

After feeling like I was constantly showing too much flesh and overly exposing myself to business clients all day yesterday in the short tight sleeveless dress (the CUE Front Zip Jacquard Dress I wore was probably a size too small and too short – the dress ended a couple of inches above my knees), I decided to cover up for this morning’s meeting with the same set of clients. Yesterday evening was pleasure, according to the words of my boss, and this morning we’d be talking proper business.

 

So my day started with a dilemma in the morning: should I wear a classic white shirt/ black skirt outfit by pairing my favourite CUE long sleeved button-up fitted white shirt with a pencil skirt, or should I wear my versatile black dress from CUE and pair it with a blazer jacket as the alternative to wearing a skirt suit?

 

I threw on both outfits in front of the mirror but I couldn’t make up my mind. The white shirt/ pencil skirt combination is classic and conservative (and thus probably more appropriate business meetings), but I actually like the silhouette of the black dress more. Besides, it’s the end of the week and I am feeling ‘dressy’. However, I realised I have been wearing dresses already for the past 3 out of 4 days for work so I am thinking maybe I should give some variety to my outfit.

 

And then a thought came into my head – what if I combined the two? It’s winter, so I could pull off wearing a white shirt under the black dress without overheating. It will not only keep me warm, but the long sleeves will also provide enough coverage to fit the conservative business look.  So I threw on this outfit instead: a CUE button-up long sleeved fitted white shirt worn under a CUE satin sleeveless fitted black peplum dress, accessorised with a CUE belt (which came with the jumpsuit – see previous post) with silver buckle, and my NineWest heels.

 

The best of both worlds!

CUE satin sleeveless fitted black peplum dress worn with white shirt (2)

CUE satin sleeveless fitted black peplum dress worn with white shirt (3).JPG

CUE satin sleeveless fitted black peplum dress worn with white shirt (4).JPG

Occasion: Office/ work – Business trip meetings

 

Wearing:

CUE button-up long sleeved fitted white shirt

CUE satin sleeveless fitted black peplum dress

CUE belt (which came with the jumpsuit – see previous post)

 

OOTD – FRONT ZIP DRESS

INTERSTATE BUSINESS TRIP (THURSDAY)

CUE Front Zip Sleeveless Jacquard Dress (1)

I am still in Melbourne and this is the fourth day of the business trip accompanying my boss. Other than having to be physically next to my boss the whole time to take notes, fill him in with his diary schedule and pass documents around meetings, I don’t think I do very much. He does most of the talking, the negotiations, and sales pitches. But despite feeling that I am not doing much I am already starting to feel exhausted. Having to wake up at 4am the first day to catch the first morning flight doesn’t help. I can’t really sleep well in an unfamiliar bed, and the working hours are long despite thinking that I don’t do very much. We usually start at 7.30am and we haven’t been finishing until about 9 or 9.30pm the last two days. So if you can see dark shadows under my eyes, it’s not smeared mascara. It’s lack of sleep.

 

Today we are scheduled for another long day. But instead of office meetings all day, I noticed in the diary that from about mid-afternoon our meetings take place in more casual settings: we are entertaining clients in bars and restaurants at the Crown Casino complex from mid-afternoon onwards. To dress appropriately for the afternoon and the evening, I need to be in a nice dress instead of business attire.

 

Because front zip dresses are so on trend right now, I am starting to collect more than a few pieces in my wardrobe. Which worries me, because unlike dresses with a back zip, my fashion crystal ball is telling me front zip dresses are just a passing fashion fad and pretty soon I will have wasted thousands of dollars on dresses I can’t wear beyond next season… yikes!!

 

So I thought I’d better take the opportunity to wear them as often as I can before their time comes. So today, with this afternoon/evening’s schedule in mind, I am wearing a lovely satin Front Zip Sleeveless Jacquard Dress. And yes, you guessed it, it’s a CUE dress again.

 

When I first bought the dress I wasn’t sure if I would like it. It was the only one left on the rack in that design and I thought it was one size too small: when I tried it on it fitted snugly and I thought the dress was a little too short. And there was also the front zip dilemma like I explained previously. But I fell in love with the cut and the blue floral motifs, so I bought it anyway.

CUE Front Zip Sleeveless Jacquard Dress (2)

Buying it initially with wearing it to the office in mind, it ended becoming one of my favourite go-to dresses, not for the office (I still think the hemline is a little too short for the office), but for going out on dates, a night out, or the weekends.  I can’t explain why and how it ended becoming one of my favourite go-to dresses, but for all its flaws there was something quite lovely about it. Maybe it’s in the details: the blue floral motifs, little collar details, tiny little word ‘CUE’ embossed on the zipper tab. Maybe it is the breezy flared hem. Maybe it’s the flattering cut. Maybe it’s the flirty front zip (which usually starts fully zipped up at the start of the night and become progressively more and more unzipped as the situation requires and as night progresses…). Who knows. But whatever it is about this dress, I fell in love.

CUE Front Zip Sleeveless Jacquard Dress (3)

The last business trip last year ended well with me helping to persuade a client seal the deal, so there are high expectations this time around. Now that I am getting dressed and thinking about it I thought maybe I should have brought along and worn my ‘lucky dress’, one of my favourite dresses but incidentally the same dress I wore during the last business trip which ended well (well I didn’t bring the dress this time because of space and weight issues – blame it on the cheapskate boss who insists I travel on carry-on hand luggage only as he wouldn’t pay for checked luggage).

CUE Front Zip Sleeveless Jacquard Dress (4)

Finger’s crossed I can turn on the charm and help seal the deal again this time. Wish me luck!!

CUE Front Zip Sleeveless Jacquard Dress-detail (1)

CUE Front Zip Sleeveless Jacquard Dress-detail (2)

Occasion: Dinner/ Going out/ Bar (Entertaining business clients)

 

Wearing:

CUE Front Zip Sleeveless Jacquard Dress

OASIS black fitted blazer jacket

NINEWEST heels

 

Xoxo

Natalie

OOTD – A DRESS FOR BOARDROOM TO BAR

INTERSTATE BUSINESS TRIP (WEDNESDAY)

CUE black floral pencil copper zipfront dress 1

I must admit, wearing a sheer white sleeveless top in mid-winter in Melbourne yesterday was probably a mistake. Melbourne feels so much colder compared to Perth. I was feeling the cold all day yesterday even though I had blazer jacket on the whole time.

 

Determined to stay warm today, I am wearing a High Neck Dress made from a heavy satin material instead. From CUE, the dress is made from a heavy satin material, heavier and warmer than the soft satin material of the pencil skirt I wore yesterday. The dress is adorned with red, white and gold floral motifs, is closed by a trendy contrasting copper coloured zip in the front.

CUE black floral pencil copper zipfront dress-detail

It’s a truly versatile boardroom to bar dress: its knee length hem-line means it is never too inappropriately short for the office, and the front zip which zips all the way up to the neck means it is one of those dresses I zip up all the way to the neck and throw on a blazer jacket for a professional look in the office, but for after-work drinks in the bar I can throw off the blazer and unzip the front to show a little more if I wanted to. Like most clothing pieces I have from CUE, I love the dress’ flattering cut and it fits my body shape very well.

CUE black floral pencil copper zipfront dress 3.JPG

I have ALWAYS wanted to wear this dress since I bought it some months ago but have never worn it because it is usually too warm to wear in the Perth weather, so I am mighty pleased I threw it into my luggage at the last moment and I am finally wearing it today.

CUE black floral pencil copper zipfront dress 2

Occasion: Office/ work – Business trip meetings

 

Wearing:

CUE Floral Satin Spliced High Neck Dress with Contrasting Copper Coloured Front Zip

CUE belt (which came with the jumpsuit – see previous post)

OASIS black fitted blazer jacket

NINEWEST heels

 

P.S. I am really sorry for the poor lighting in the photographs – Melbourne appears to be a city of high rise and each skyscraper seem to tower over each other like a forest of sprouting bamboos. The hotel room look (too close for comfort actually) into a neighbouring apartment building and has little sunlight coming through its windows, and the room’s dark mood lighting doesn’t help!

 

Xoxo

Natalie

OOTD – MY TWIST TO THE CLASSIC SKIRT SUIT

INTERSTATE BUSINESS TRIP (TUESDAY)

BASQUE sheer sleeveless top, CUE floral pencil skirt (with contrast piping)2

Travelling on hand carry-on luggage only for a week long business trip, I am starting to learn to get creative with mixing and matching,. For my second day in Melbourne I’ve decided to throw on this outfit, my twist to the classic skirt suit. As you may already know I am a fan of skirt suits. I think well fitted skirt suits are professional, polished, and unmistakeably feminine. Today, instead of wearing a crisp white shirt (like what I usually like to wear) under the blazer jacket, I’ve decided to wear a sheer sleeveless top instead. Substituting the classic black skirt for the bottom, I’ve decided to wear a floral satin pencil skirt instead to add a dash of colour to the winter gloom.

BASQUE sheer sleeveless top, CUE floral pencil skirt (with contrast piping)1

Some of you might notice that the pencil skirt looked similar to that in a previous post. Well I must admit it is the same skirt I bought during the recent post-Christmas sales. The skirt was bought from CUE, and I am growing more and more fond of it with time. It is comfy, classy, fits well and casts a lovely silhouette: it flatters my body shape, but is never too tight or too short to be inappropriate for the office. In fact its below-knee length makes it ideal not only as a modest but classy skirt for the office, but also fitting for cold Melbourne winter days. Adorned with lovely floral motifs and the contrasting black zip and piping that runs around the waist, I find it both uplifting and flattering. This is easily my favourite skirt this season! J

BASQUE sheer sleeveless top, CUE floral pencil skirt (with contrast piping)3

BASQUE sheer sleeveless top, CUE floral pencil skirt (with contrast piping)4

contrast piping detail-CUE floral pencil skirt

Occasion: Office/ work – business trip meetings

 

Wearing:

BASQUE sheer sleeveless top (in white)

CUE satin floral print pencil skirt (with contrast black zip and piping)

OASIS black fitted blazer jacket

NINEWEST heels

 

Xoxo

Natalie

OOTD – FITTED BLACK SLEEVELESS PEPLUM DRESS

INTERSTATE BUSINESS TRIP (MONDAY)

in CUE sleeveless peplum black dress, sans make-up

The first day any business trip is often the most hectic. The day typically starts with early morning wake-up and lots of time spent on the road with flights and travelling. Even though I am usually already tired, thirsty and hungry by the time I arrived at the destination, I usually have to hit the ground running with tight schedules of meetings and clients and still remain cheerful and professional despite it all. There is little time to do anything else other than running around like a mad chicken. I don’t have time to check in to the hotel when I arrive (this is done only at the end of the long day) so packing all my items in a small hand carry luggage case makes it easier to lug the thing around town. There isn’t time to change, so whatever I wear when I leave home have to stay on for the entire day until I get back to the hotel. I put on my make-up on the go (its too hard to have to put on make-up at 4 am in the morning when I am blurry-eyed and rushing to get to the airport in time…), either on the plane just before it lands or in the back of the cab. Breakfast and lunch is also usually eaten on the go.

early morning flight to Melbourne

The choice of outfit for the first day of any interstate business trip is therefore one of the most important considerations for me when I travel on business. Not only must I be comfortable in it for the hours spent sitting in the air and on the road, it must also look professional when I finally arrive at the destination for the meetings and clients.

 

So for the first day of my business trip I decided to wear this versatile black dress from CUE. One of my favourite dresses, I have worn this understated dress both to the office as a work dress, and also out on dates and to restaurants and bars as a little black dress for after-work and the weekends.

 

When I wear this dress to the office I usually pair it with a blazer jacket as the alternative to wearing a skirt suit, and today was no different. Not only is it comfortable enough to endure hours of travelling, as a work dress for the office I like the professional, polished, and unmistakeably feminine look. My only two gripes about the dress:

(1) it did not come with a belt, so I had to accessorise it with my own. I usually wear it with the skinny black belt with a contrasting gold buckle (the gold is to break up the monotony of black) I bought from H&M.

(2) the satin material creases really easily so by the end of the dress usually looks wrinkled. I still haven’t perfected the craft of keeping it wrinkle free so if anyone knows of a way to do so, please leave a comment or email me.

CUE sleeveless peplum black dress (1)

CUE sleeveless peplum black dress (2)

And one thing you won’t see very often here: the first photo (without the blazer jacket) is me sans make-up, taken just before leaving home this morning. I know its probably criminal that I should be leaving home without any make-up on, but at 4.30am in the morning – it’s just too hard! (The other photos were taken in my hotel room in Melbourne after I finally checked in at the end of the day).

 

Occasion: Office/ work – business trip meetings

 

Wearing:

CUE satin sleeveless fitted peplum black dress

H&M belt (in black) with contrasting gold buckle

OASIS black fitted blazer jacket

NINEWEST heels

 

Xoxo

Natalie

 

 

INTERSTATE BUSINESS TRIP

 

When I think business trip, I think of my father. When I was young, he used to travel a lot for business. Off course I did not understand what it was all about until I got older. I remember my mother would ask us to kiss father goodbye, and we’d see him leave the house. Then I would miss him for a few days, not understanding what was going on. When I grew older, I started to develop an understanding of what that was all about. I’d watch him pack before his trips. The neatly folded shirts and suits go in a battered Samsonite case, documents go in a black briefcase, and toothbrush in a small hand-carry bag. When father came home from those business trips, there were stories, gifts from exotic overseas destinations, and cuddles and kisses for the children.

 

Growing up watching my father travel, I always wanted to do the same. It looked glamorous and exciting back in my father’s days.

 

But little did I know the reality is not quite the same as I thought it would be. As I only found out after I started working, business trips usually meant ridiculously early mornings (to make the first flight of the day) and late nights, usually to save the company money of an extra overnight hotel expense. There’s the long hours spent on the road, usually a combination of flying and driving. By the time I arrived at the destination, I usually have to hit the ground running with tight schedules of meetings and clients, and still remain cheerful and professional despite already being tired, thirsty and hungry. In spite it all, I still look forward to these business trips: there’s always the hope that there’s time between schedules to take in some sights or do some shopping (although there usually isn’t).

 

So this week I am looking forward again to the business trip next week, accompanying the boss to my absolute favourite city: fashionable Melbourne! My excitement fizzled a little this morning when been told by my boss to travel on hand-carry luggage only, which made me go into a little panic (I suspect he is trying to save on checked luggage fees). He wants me to pack an entire week’s worth of clothing, toiletries, make-up and work documents and items into a case weighing no more than 7 kilograms? Oh my god.

 

When I travelled to Melbourne on a week-long business trip last year, I posted my outfit of the day for the week. I am hoping I can do the same again in I have time on the trip (but no promises!). For now, I am just trying to pack. It looks as if I have to recycle my outfit and perfect the art of mixing and matching. For the time being, this is what I picked out to wear for the business trip next week:

outfit for carry-on cabin bag

Clockwise from left:

  1. CUE satin sleeveless fitted peplum black dress
  2. CUE button-up long sleeved fitted white shirt
  3. CUE button-up long sleeved fitted white shirt
  4. BASQUE sheer sleeveless top (in white)
  5. CUE pencil skirt (black)
  6. CUE satin floral print pencil skirt (with contrast black zip and piping)

 

To save weight, I am intending to hand-carry my trench coat, and wear my black fitted blazer jacket and my pair of work heels on the flight. But I haven’t quite decided what outfit to wear on the flight yet…

 

Xoxo

Natalie

 

I bought it! (OOTD – CUE floral print satin peplum fitted dress)

I couldn’t help myself. The day after I posted my current season’s fashion wish-list, I went to the shops to have a look at my shortlisted items again. I saw this dress on the rack, on sale. They had the correct size, so I tried it on again. The dress fitted me perfectly. The raised neckline is perfect for the chilly winter months. The knee length hemline is long enough to pull it off as a work dress, and the fit is snug and flattering without being overly tight. The dress is classy enough for all occasions: I can imagine this dress will be perfect whether it is worn for the office, for a date, for a night out, or for a reception of some description. I love it! I couldn’t help myself, I had to have it. So I bought it!

I decided to I had to wear it to the office today. And I did. Bliss.

CUE floral peplum fitted dress (1)

CUE floral peplum fitted dress (2)

 

(comparison: how it looked on the model on CUE’s website)

Floral-Print-Satin-Fitted-Dress-C90964-W16_1000x2000_635923462843365500_C90964-W16-690-1 Floral-Print-Satin-Fitted-Dress-C90964-W16_1000x2000_635923366815503690_C90964-W16-690-3

Occasion: Office/ work

 

Wearing:

CUE floral satin peplum fitted dress

Nine West heels

 

Xoxo

Natalie