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Welcome to The Monday Best

The first piece of “fashion” (I am using the “F” word very loosely here) advice I received in law school was only a few weeks into my first year when I was told to a wear black, navy, or dark grey pantsuit to the upcoming professional event to ensure that I “blend in”. Bright colours were deemed unprofessional, as was any clothing that was too explicitly feminine.

This advice was absolutely not going to work for me. I had always been the fashionista of my family, my friends, and basically any room I entered. I wasn’t prepared to give up this identity and mourn the loss of my favourite form of expression – ESPECIALLY not for a life of pantsuits. However, as a vulnerable student with the goal of securing a legal summer student position, which would hopefully translate into a permanent position after I had obtained my law degree, I decided I would bite the bullet and dress as I was told – boring, unflattering, uncomfortable, and very corporate. I did, however, throw in a dash of “me” with my bright orange suede Kate & Mel penny loafers.

The “fashion” advice I received from the corporate world never improved, or even changed. Fast forward to the email I received from my then employer the week before I began working as a summer student at a large law firm. A portion of the email included what clothing summer students were expected to wear, and read something like this:

Business professional wear is expected at all times.

Male students: Suit, tie, button-front collared dress shirt, dress shoes.

Female students: Please contact “Female Partner” or “Female Associate” for information/details.

I promptly contacted the “Female Partner” and “Female Associate” for guidance on what I was expected to wear to work every day to which they responded, “you were told to talk to ME about what to wear?! I am NOT the person that should be giving you fashion advice.” These women were the first to acknowledge that they were not fashionably inclined or even in-tune. Not knowing what I was expected to wear to work for the summer, and having been told all year that what I deemed to be fashionable wasn’t appropriate in the corporate world, I was left with only one resource – Google – which provided me the same information I had already received: “Blend in with this navy polyester unflattering pantsuit that was originally made to only be worn by men and in no stretch of the imagination is flattering on the female body!”

After attending a number of professional events and working in a law firm for a few months, I decided that I was not content with wearing clothing I hated and that I was not going to sacrifice my personal style because of what I was told I needed to wear to be successful in the corporate world. I was determined to show that my style and dressing professionally were not mutually exclusive. From that point forward, I disregarded the “fashion” advice I received from the corporate world and followed my heart and my personal fashion compass.

Interestingly, it was at that turning point when I became inundated with questions of “where do you shop?” “where did you get those shoes??” and compliments like “I always look forward to seeing what you are going to wear!”. It was clear that my style was office appropriate – and also very different from what the corporate world was accustomed to… which makes sense; the corporate world had never had ME in it before.

I absolutely love being a lawyer. I also love fashion, curating outfits, and being outwardly authentic to who I am at my core. I have learned to navigate the corporate world while maintaining my own personal style, which DOES NOT align with the “fashion” advice I was provided early on in my career. Introducing colour, overt femininity, bold patterns, texture, and materials other than polyester to the office and the courtroom has certainly been accompanied by a fair amount of comments (not always kind) and encouragement (not always gentle) to conform to the corporate “fashion” expectations. However, it has also been a source of enjoyment for me and inspiration to others.

Between the outdated expectations of corporate “fashion” and the lack of informed, reliable, in-touch, modern, and relatable resources on how to make dressing appropriately for your 9-5 enjoyable and exciting, I recognized a void in dire need to be filled. As such, I have merged my love of fashion with my corporate 9-5 via The Monday Best.

The Monday Best has been on my mind and heart for a very (very) long time. A number of things prevented me from proceeding with it – and most of those things were silly. As I have traversed the corporate world, personally matured, and become more secure, confident, and at peace with myself, the fear I had about launching The Monday Best has finally been outweighed by my desire to allow this idea out of the safety of my mind and into the world.

The Monday Best is here to inspire you to incorporate your own personal style into what is appropriate in your work setting, and bid farewell to the corporate fashion expectations imposed on you. The Monday Best will provide answers to those questions we are all sick of Googling like “what does ‘business casual’ mean?” and “are open-toe shoes unprofessional?” The Monday Best is the workwear resource for the fashion-forward professional millennial.

So, without further ado, I personally welcome you to The Monday Best.

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