Australian fashion labels that do business attire

Happy Australia Day, BusiChics!

It’s a complicated day of national celebration where the focus has moved from celebrating the day the First Fleet arrived in Botanty Bay (and the British disregarded the rights of our Indigenous people), to focusing on the positive and celebrating what’s great about our country. I highly recommend reading Dr Charlie Teo’s Australia Day Address published on MamaMia that touches on the state of multiculturalism and funding of science in Australia, a must-read for all Australians…

What does this mean for the BusiChic who has come here looking for business style inspiration? Well you might want to consider purchasing some business attire from an Australian fashion label. The Australian fashion industry is in a funny place and I think it’s important to pay attention to where our clothes come from, like we do with our food. While recognising that not all Australian labels produce their clothes in Australia or that some labels that do produce in Australia don’t do so ethically, it’s important to support Australian. Why? Because not everyone wants to accountant, banker or service professional. Some people are great at making things with their hands and it’d be great if we could help foster a future where our fashion industry was able to support a well-resourced workforce pursuing their passion for fine workmanship.

Here’s my list of Aussies to look into.

Portmans

Portmans, their hem-lengths can be too high for a conservative workplace but there are some great affordable pieces to be found too.

Affordable fast-fashion for Aussie gals working their first office jobs. A few years into my own career, I personally own a few pieces from Portmans that bear the label, “Made in Australia”. In 2012, I’d love to see them make Ethical Clothing Australia’s list of accredited brands.

What is the male equivalent of Portmans?

They’re not Australian by any stretch, however as they have opened doors in Australia and thereby hires local aussies to man their stores, Spanish zara and Brit Topman rate a mention here.

Jack London

A still from Jack London website

This menswear label that does sharply cut suits is very popular with BusiChic men. I really enjoyed reading this Janice Breen Burns interview with Jack London designer, Karl Bartl.

 

Cue / Veronika Maine

Dear Veronika Maine, I love your clothes for the workplace but business ladies don't stand around like this.

Under the same umbrella company, Cue is the younger sister of Veronika Maine although my tastes have moved towards the latter as I progress in my own career. Both are ECA-accredited and the source of fashion-forward business attire for the ladies, although I must ask what’s with the imagery – I’ve never worked with a business woman who goes swinging on a road sign as pictured in Veronika Maine’s Spring/Summer campaign! NB: per SMK, Cue are offer 25% to Cue cardholders this Australia Day, everyone else will have to wait until Friday.

 

Need a cordwainer?

Jess Cameron-Wootten, cordwainer

Did you know that despite popular belief, the proper word to describe the lady or gent who can make shoes for you is not called a “cobbler”? You see a cobbler, cobbles (i.e. repairs shoes). A shoemaker is a cordwainer. Thanks Jess Cameron-Wooten, cordwainer, who informed me such! According to Wikipedia the term comes from “cordwain” or “cordovan” which is the leather from  the leather produced in Córdoba, Spain.  Get your own pair of shoes made by Jess here in Melbourne in his ridiculously charming workshop in Prahran. NB: I have not asked Jess whether he treats himself ethically.

 

Expecting?

I was recently treated to a sneak peek of the Autumn/Winter range from Soon Maternity. Wow! Stylish maternity pieces that you can wear in the office and after you’ve had your bub! They have a dedicated work wear page but I think they’ve got a whole lot of really stylish dresses that are perfect for expecting in style in the workplace, heck I want some and I’m not expecting!

 

Need a new business suit or business shirt?

Farage has just opened its online store that serves both men and women.

P Johnson does beautiful suiting for men. beautiful. And fun website imagery that appeal to my fondness for Hergé.

Bento does beautiful timeless pieces that are perfect for women in the workplace looking for deliciously comfortable pieces to wear to work that don’t require much thought. Yes I have a crush on Bento and having personally made the investment in banker-turned-designer Sam Hardman’s pieces, I am perfectly content telling the world about it!

Cecil belongs to a chap who used to work at the same company as I did. Stylish-accountant-turned-interesting-shirt-and-suit-maker – worth a look in.

Poplin & Panache is a new shirt and tie Melbourne-owned purveyor that my friends at Couturing really like and I hope to work with in the new future.

Tate & Lawson is a made-in-Melbourne shirt label for women and ECA-accredited.

 

There are loads and loads of Australian fashion labels that do business attire; some more specialist than others but all with the opportunity to help you present your best self at work. In the future I hope to build some relationships with more Australian fashion labels to help show you how you can style yourself successfully. Are there any brands in particular that you think I should  include? I’d love to hear from you!

 

@BusinessChicTV | Facebook.com/BusinessChic 

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    Comments

    1. Hi Cheryl,

      I’ve just started a new crush on Alannah Hill blouses and cardies for work. I love her soft feminine pieces and beautiful fabrics, and the little out of the ordinary styling too. I do keep the rest of what I’m wearing fairly basic as her designs let out all the flair I need in one outfit. I haven’t found any skirting or pants that suit my workplace by this designer. Usually it’s a basque pencil skirt or pants.

    2. Hi,
      Thanks for your blog. I really enjoyed reading it.
      (i’m probably one of Melbourne’s fashion “un-conscious”, I hadn’t heard of Farage until now. They’ve got some gorgeous pieces I am looking at).

      BTW, the link to Bento didn’t appear to work.

      All the best

      • Thanks for your comment, Nessa!
        Let me know how you go with Farage!

        Unfortunately Bento has since closed shop 🙁
        I’ll do a follow up post soon to update this – let me know if you know of any labels that I should include!

    3. What a stupid useless fucking site.

      • Hi Marion,

        Boo! I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t find what you’re looking for on my blog- a little passion project of mine to give people ideas what to wear to work. What is it that you’re after? I’m happy to point you in the direction of what you may need. I’m making time to revisit content and welcome any ideas or constructive feedback that you may have. Cheers, Cheryl

    4. Ooo, Portmans looks really good! xx

    5. I’m currently pregnant with my first and have found that Ripe Maternity, http://www.ripematernity.com/, and Queen Bee Maternity, http://www.queenbee.com.au/category-maternity-workwear-85.aspx, have the better business offerings – both of which are Australian companies!

      • Thanks Tash, it’s really helpful to hear about the labels catering to stylish expecting BusiChics! Congratulations and all the best with your pregnancy and I hope that I come across you so that I can feature your style here on BusinessChic 🙂

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