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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!