Fashion-able: Office wear

After we style our hair, but before our morning Americano, we must get dressed. Each season brings amazing options, from the playfully printed to the chicest sportswear. We want to wear it all. And yet, when choosing our trends of choice, we must first consider our settings. 

Not every style fits in with every workplace. Just because you’re working in a corporate environment doesn’t mean you need to be without style, nor does working from home need to mean workout wear and pajamas. Our office-wear guide will help you work looks from the runway to your corner cubicle, open concept or kitchen table with ideas for corporate, creative and home work spaces.

From the fringe frenzy at Dior to the colour blocking schemes at Jil Sander, much of Spring 2011 fashion is bold. Despite the drama, the season also marks a return to fashion simplicity. With a minimalist comeback, fashion girls working in the corporate world need not feel limited.

Inspired by menswear, designers paired black with white for androgynous looks that were starkly simple but clearly current. A.L.C’s Tapered Jersey Pants have the right slouchy-meets-tailored look for any office. Mid-rise jersey with a drawstring waist and front pleating, these cool semi tapered pants have neat draped slit pockets. 

Contrast your black pants, with American Eagle’s Favourite Shirt ($14.95) in white. Made of soft stretchy cotton, this Oxford-style button-up has a chest pocket and double-button cuffs, which make it uber-preppy (in a good way). Complete the look with J. Crew’s Satin Bow Tie ($52). Expertly hand-finished English silk satin, it’s time to get suited up and looking sharp.

Creative Space
Bring on the feathers, rock out in neon and load up on print on print, because in a creative space, almost anything goes. From Prada to Miu Miu and beyond, designers clad their models in layers of fruit prints and polka dots.

Take a cue from the runways, and look spot on with ASOS’s Wilma Draped Pant ($82). The silky pants in black and tan cheetah print have back and hip pockets and a stretchy waist (bonus). Add another print to your outfit with the Black Stallion Blouse ($78) in black and ivory. Mix the horse print top with cheetah print pants, and you’ll be sure to stand out in this wild wear. 

Finally, to sparkle in your printed apparel, clasp on Dannijo’s Lilith necklace ($488). Made by hand with love, the bib necklace has rock chains and Swarovski crystals to balance even the boldest of patterns.

Home Office
Although the line of sweats may come in all the season’s colours, fashion girls working from home must beware of the Free City slump. So toss your hoodies aside for outfits that bring together the best in comfort and style.

Having a major fashion moment, Proenza Schouler offers its wearers not only the latest “it” bag, but also amazing crew neck tees. Available in cream and black narrow bar stripes, the Striped Tee ($375) long sleeve top is a true classic wardrobe staple.

Stay casual-cool wearing your nautical tee with J.Crew’s Minnie Pant ($98) in henna. Deemed the magic pants that look good on everyone, the bi-stretch fabric create a slimming fit that you’ll want to wear day after day. 

And because no casual look could be complete without a touch of denim, layer on Urban Renewal’s Vintage Cut-Off Denim Vest ($58). 

What’s your favourite office-appropriate look? Tweet us @rockitpromo

Teacher’s Pet: Big agency vs. boutique firm

Today’s Teacher’s Pet post is about the differences between interning at small firms and large agencies. It’s the time of year when many PR students start to look for internship opportunities, so this post should answer lots of questions for you. 

Natalie Schoffer is currently enrolled as a student in Humber College’s Postgraduate Certificate program. 

I am looking into internships and jobs right now and I am wondering what the difference is between working at a large agency and a small firm?
Michelle‘s answer: Both small and large PR firms offer interns a lot of solid PR work experience. It’s our opinion that the top two areas of distinction fall under day-to-day tasks and clientele, outlined below.
The Tasks
Small (boutique) firms: These interns get a lot of hands-on experience, including working events and receiving RSVPs, developing first drafts of media materials, building media lists, helping with media monitoring and tracking coverage, assisting with a company’s social media initiatives, and more. Interns have the opportunity to assist everyone from the president to junior staff, and the intimate atmosphere provides invaluable access to senior staff.

Large agency: The atmosphere can feel more corporate than a boutique, and these agencies employ many staff, so there are a lot of smart, savvy people to learn from. Large agency interns are part of an account team (with up to five staff members) and provide support on foundational tasks like media monitoring, managing press reports, building media lists and more. Many of the large firms have offices all over the world, opening the door to work-related travel, or relocation, which can be a fun perk (if you’re hired on after your internship).
The Clients
The size of company you choose also depends on what you are passionate about.
Small firms: Boutique agencies like rock-it promotions, Brill Communications and Pennant Media Group offer the chance to work with a range of clients, from local start-ups to national businesses to global enterprises. Boutique firms often work within multiple categories like fashion, entertainment, fitness, lifestyle, beauty, restaurants, etc. since there aren’t separate departments.  Budgets can be smaller than with big agencies, so creative outreach is appreciated.

Large agency: Large firms like Edelman, Strategic Objectives, Hill and Knowlton or National Public Relations are often separated into specific departments dedicated to client areas like consumer, health, technology and corporate communications, so you can benefit from tailored industry experience, which is amazing if you have a passion for a specific genre. Large corporate clients often have more regulations and specific branding guidelines, so getting a super creative idea off the ground isn’t always easy, but the larger budgets mean there are endless possibilities.

The Conclusion
An internship, wherever you do it, is really what you make of it. Make sure you ask senior staff about how you can help on an account, complete the tasks you are assigned impeccably, be cheery and personable (without being irritating), be eager to learn and go above and beyond. This will help land you a job, or at least a wonderful reference letter. Should you intern in an environment that just isn’t right for you, you can (and should!) easily transition between small firms and large agencies.