The Workarounds

Because I have been so buoyed by this week’s Melissa Shoes coup as well as all of the encouraging feedback I’ve received through comments here on BusinessChic, email and via Facebook (did you know about the BC group?) … I’ve been thinking of new ways to add value to BC… So dear readers, I’ve been in touch and am waiting to hear back from the fairy fashion-god-mothers that be on whether I can get some last-minute media accreditation to attend the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival (LMFF) which starts this Sunday. Do not fret Nat, I am still going to your & Andy’s wedding but there are a bunch of shows (ok maybe all/any because there are sooo many good lineups) throughout the week[nights] that I would love to cover so that I can inform BC readers of the upcoming office-appropriate pieces the bevvy of Australian fashion design talent has whipped up for your wearing pleasure… how I’d style such pieces for your Corporate, Polished or Contemporary Business Wear environment.. and the tweaks that will take you out to dinner&drinks! … and Fashion Fairy-God-Mothers, I promise that I am professional and won’t wear a hat

Fingers-crossed the LMFF Fashion FairyGodmothers grant my wish and send me to a show - it'd be nice to try outdo Cinderella..!

While I wait to hear on that, I will leave you with three entries on some BusinessChic workarounds which I think are appropriate later-in-the-week outfits.. I’ll expand on this more in the BC Style Guides I’m publishing soon… So here we have three different corporate souls who have exercised some creativity in order to bridge the gap between their expectant bellies/artistic flair/down-right charm and the Contemporary Business Wear dresscodes they need to comply with as client-facing professionals… Enjoy!


Our very first mama-to-be, I am so very excited to feature Sara and her workwear maternity style on BusinessChic. I like how Sara has quite classic hair and pearls but adds some punch with still-classic items like her blazer and lippy, albeit in unexpected pops of colour. Also other expectants have told me how tricky it is to find maternity skirts/pants which are appropriate for an office setting – often the materials are stretchy but not thick enough or particularly good quality material- which does not make for a very professional look.. I think that Sara’s from Ripe Maternity Australia (that’s their name… I didn’t make it up..) fits the bill but hope that you dear reader will share with us here if you know of any other good brands/shops/sites for maternity workwear!


 earrings I got these in Port Douglas Blazer Pinko Blouse Kookai  Skirt Ripe Maternity Australia Watch Logines Shoes  Chloe

Classic coiffure&pearl studs are made modern with a creative colour contrast of lippy & blazer

Chic flats allow you to commute around town quickly and comfortably, change into heels once you reach office/client.. your heels will last longer and your chiro will think you less foolish..

While I do love her Chloes, for some extra interest, yummy mummies like Sara might like to use their BusinessChic offer on the Vivienne Westwood Ultragirl BOW  (in black) or STAMP – comfy flats that are still polished for the office + lots of personality! thoughts?

Shops that have provided you with maternity workwear Country Road and Kookai have been quite good for tops. I’ve only had to go a size up with Country Road to get some extra length and Kookai is good for stretchy tops. I’ve also liked maternity shops like Egg.. and Pea in a Pod in South Yarra.

Best for shoes Normally Dolce Firme, but I’ve a pair of Prada flats which have been deliciously comfortable and recent purchases have included some ballet flats from Country Road.. and a pair of patent leather ones from Witchery.

Make up for the office Aveda has been good to me for skincare. I go to Dior for foundation and Stila for lippies and glosses in colours that I like.

busichic – Thanks again Sara and good luck – I’m sure it’s not long now!!


“Louis” is pronounced like the prenom for ‘Vuitton’… not the pronounciation used for Kate Langbroek’s son. Readers, look twice. No, not into the blues of his eyes but instead, the split tones of his shirt – sillies! The first time, I saw Louis-Blue-Eyes in this shirt, I actually walked out after him to enquire where he procured this traditional-item-with-unexpected-twist. The answer  – The two toned shirt is by Vanishing Elephant… It is sold by Incu, Fat and General Pants (although the brand is produced by Incu, most of the products are sold in Fat and GP).


   shirt Vanishing Elephant belt Versace  shoes Jack London

Look for a classic shoe with quirky detail...

I love love Louis’ shoes which are by Jack London – a purveyor of stylish workwear for blokes.. my own dashing brother has some quite nicely cut shirts from this label… I’m hoping to attend their LMFF show too..  <fingers-crossed>

Describe your corporate dress style I don’t really fit into any one category, although I would like to think that I err on the polished side of contemporary business wear. I like to adapt depending on what my day will entail.

Favourite shops/brands for workwear I buy my shirts from Incu, suits from Ralph Lauren. I recently bought a suit from Saba though, and I think the cut is pretty spot on.

Most hardworking accessory Probably my watch. Most men have zero idea about watches, so I think it says a lot about someone when they think to wear a unique and personal item intentionally as part of their look.

busichic– LOUIS! I didn’t get a picture of your watch and can’t believe you didn’t point it out to me. So we’re going to have to catch up again so I can photograph it for the benefit of BC readers who will now be thinking “I didn’t see a picture of this watch… Edwin’s on the otherhand…”

Skincare that performs well for you I use a Lancome moisturiser for the face. Shaving rash looks shocking and is best avoided with such remedies.

Publications/sites you find interesting GQ is my biggest source of inspiration, along with The Sartorialist

Your favoured <<coffee source>> COT (Cup of Truth) in Cambell Arcade or Mess Hall  <<lunch>> Gills Diner or Cafe Vue  <<dinner&drinks>> Trunk or Cumulus Inc 

Reliable tailor you recommend The best tailor I know of is Nick tailors in Toorak (8/45 Canterbury Road, Toorak). He takes the time to properly line pants that have been taken up and is willing to make any adjustment, no matter how minor.  


And for our final blue-eyed stunner of this post, the ever-so charming Julia who reminds me of a modern day Audrey Hepburn.  A design-savvy dress in a strong colour that is tasteful enough for a conservative work environment.. and made ever more sophisticated by interesting collar detail.. and fashion-folk – what do i call the pleat thingy down the middle? … argh… Julia’s look is so visually arresting, I am going to give up the struggling for words and let you enjoy the pictures!


earrings Angus & Coote dress Arories – I picked this up at a market in Bangkok for upcoming designers bag Oroton laptop bag Crumpler belt Review watch Logines hosiery Best & Less shoes Tony Bianco

A classic monogrammed bag adds dimension..

Im loving the brown belt contrast and particularly loving this slimline crumpler laptop bag; much more stylish and professional than the standard issue..

Hmmm.. what do you think if we substituted Julz’ shoes for the lady-esque Vivienne Westwood Ultragirl STAMP or edgy Edson Matsuo Numas??

Ladylike earrings accent a quirky dress and rather polished side-plait

Beauty note: Kevin Aucoin The Pure Powder Glow in Soft Pink

Describe your work dress style A mix of corporate and contemporary business. Usually the week starts with suits and ends with a relaxed top.

Favourite shops/brands for workwear I really like Witchery and Country Road for work wear. Saba for suits and skirts.

Most hardworking accessory or item of clothing in your workrobe? My black straight leg pants. They look formal when worn with a shirt and blazer, and towards the end of the week can also be quite casual with a nice silky top.

Skincare or cosmetics that perform well for you I prefer Sohey's for moisturiser, Lancome for foundation, Dior Show for eye shadow, Kevin Aucoin for pink blush and my life line, my tube of [Lucas] paw paw.

Your favoured coffee source or lunch/dinner/drink venue lunch and dinner - I love Rococo on Acland street. Drink venue - Lily Blacks down Meyers place in the city for a relaxed drink, and Carlton Club for a big drink.

Good luck to Nat & Andy who are getting hitched this Sunday! xox

un bon week-end! xox


  1. Hi! I just found your blog via the Vogue forums and I must say – I LOVE IT. It’s so refreshing to see someone hitting Melbourne’s streets to take pics of fashionable people that *aren’t* all hipsters 😉
    And that you also provide much more than just the clothes. Thank you 😀 I’ll definitely be subscribing!

    • Hi Esz, thank you for your comment and subscribing! My, with all these Vogue forum referrals, I’m tempted to sign up!! Glad you like the pics and the ‘bit extra’ I add as it is a labour of love.. Yay!

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