Dress for work like a BOSS


by Laura Chong of the 400Co

They say that you should act like a leader before you are one.

For us in the fashion world, this extends to dressing like you already have a seat at the boardroom table. And why shouldn’t you? A recent study in the UK revealed that managers favour staff with a similar style. So here’s some hot tips on dressing for the job you want, not the one you have:

1. Fit is forever
Finding a well-fitted suit is key to looking the part.
You don’t want to look like you went to your dad’s wardrobe and pulled out one of his brown-checkered suits from the 90s and simply wrapped a belt around it to cinch it in at the waistline!
A suit jacket needs to fit you across the shoulders and at the same time tailor in at the waist to give you a feminine shape.
We recommend a peplum jacket or a shorter blazer if you aren’t a confident shopper because they are usually tailored to accentuate a woman’s body.

2. Make a statement
A must in any boss woman outfit is a statement piece.
Choose one item to be your signature statement piece or mix it up from outfit to outfit. Whether it’s a statement pencil skirt or blazer or some killer heels, make sure it stands out and says “This is me!”.
When you look at the movers and shakers high up in the corporate world, most have a few statement pieces that they use to set them apart.
For this hot tip, we look to style icon Julie Bishop who, with her signature Brooches, always has something to say and isn’t afraid to stand up and stand out. It is with her statement brooches that she conveys through fashion who she is as a person and it’s what sets her apart from the rest.

3. Colour confidence
Don’t be afraid of a little colour in your life!
Leaders don’t blend in, they stand out.
Be the pop of pink in a sea of grey by pairing a hot pink pencil skirt with a black blazer and blouse. If pink isn’t really your thing, find a vibrant blue blouse that you can pair with a navy suit to bring out your inner confidence.
Embrace colour in your clothes or accessories (bags and shoes) and don’t be afraid to be noticed. That’s what its all about, after all.

4. Keep it real
Make sure whatever outfit you go with for the office, you remain true to who you are. Your clothing should have a personality too, so that your employer knows who you are before you even open your mouth and wow them with your wit!
If you’re not sure what your fashion personality is exactly, sit down and think about a few things that you like.
Do you like prints?
Floral or stripes?
What colours suit you?
Are you a dress woman or do you prefer to wear (the) pants?
These few key points will help you find your fashion personality and distinguish who you are in the office.

5. Strut in style
Above all, the golden rule to dressing like a boss is to wear it with confidence. Dressing well is more about how the clothing makes YOU feel than how you look in the mirror. If you feel like a boss, others will have no choice than to recognise it. So there you have it, promotions starting with fashion backed by research. Who would have thought it was as easy as going shopping?!

How to get outfit ready for Racing Season


Dale Olsson (of The Hat Box) shares how she prepares for Racing Season

How do you choose your amazing outfits for the Races?
I like sophisticated clothing, in good quality fabrics. They must be well fitted and in a good style. Choosing something in a flattering colour to my complexion is also very important. I am known to change my outfits completely the day before an event, if one of my milliners bring in a new hat I want to wear. I will co-ordinate my outfit accordingly.

What is your Style Secret?
I’m a perfectionist who likes to look her best. If I buy an outfit that doesn’t fit perfectly, I come to PQ fashions and they will fit it perfectly for me. The fit is very important for me. If you want to look your best, it must fit correctly. Especially since I work in the fashion industry, one must look the part.

What tip could you give to other women?
If you look good you feel good. Try and discover your own personal fashion styles that evolves over the years. when I was young I made a lot of fashion errors, looking back on old photos, wondering what was I thinking? Over time, you develop your personal style, just try things out.
It’s important if you are a business person not to look cheap, having the skirt too short, or top too revealing. Women need to look classy and elegant, in a pair of good leather shoes, with a beautiful designer handbag, and some good accessories.

Female lawyer on top

cassieWe talk to one of our favourite customers, Cassandra Heilbronn, on what it is like to be a female lawyer and why it’s important to dress the part.

Cassandra is a senior associate at Minter Ellison, and has written for and featured in many industry publications.








1. What motivated you to be where you are today?

My willingness to succeed and wanting to be at the top of my game in my chosen profession.

2. Can you describe your fashion personality in 3 words?

Classic and feminine, with a touch of tomboy for the weekends.

3. What role does fashion play in your work life/career?

A lot! I love wearing a different pair of heels each day and have been known to plan my daily outfit based on which pair of shoes I wanted to wear. Thankfully I also work with people who love fashion, and we are always asking each other where an outfit was purchased, or sending through links of potential purchases asking for opinions. It is fantastic that women take pride in their appearance and can show individuality in the workplace through fashion.

4. Why is it important for women dress the part in her career?

It is important to ensure you are dressed appropriately for each occasion. If you look the part, this translates to feeling the part and my girlfriends and I often talk about how our self-confidence is that one step higher if our outfit feels ‘on point’. Stylist, Sara Hatten-Masterson taught me the importance of a well cut and fitted suit, and since I started having all of my suits altered (all at PQ Fashions of course), I can’t go back to simply wearing what I purchased without it being properly fitted! I want my clients to know I take pride in my work, and presenting myself well to them assists in showing that.

5. What is your go to outfit to feel confident and empowered?

Up until today, it would have been my 400co Tamer Suit, but they are about to release the Magnficia Suit online (which is what I am wearing in the picture), and I would have to say this suit is now my favourite go to. I always wear heels and the black allows me to wear statement heels for that added conversation starter.

Autumn Wedding Trends for the Groom

Autumn Groom

By Balin Beinssen of Gentlemen United in Style

All you have to do is take a look at your parents’ wedding album to realize that marriage attire has trends, just like everything else fashion-related. Complicating matters is the fact the season, along with current fashion, helps determine what’s stylish and what’s not. In fact, one could even make a case that the time of the year to get married has become a trend itself. Traditionally, spring months were the time when most decided to tie the knot. However, autumn has become a recent favourite due to the colourful backdrop created by the changing foliage. In this review, we will concentrate on what men should expect to wear for these colourful fall ceremonies.

Perfect autumn colours
It goes without saying: traditional black is “in” for most formal ceremonies, almost any time of the year. A fall wedding is no exception. However, as weddings are slowly becoming less customary, other colours are making their way onto the scene. Depending on the décor for the wedding, it’s not uncommon to see men with jackets and pants in various tones of brown. These create a nice, earthy backdrop for shirts and handkerchiefs of fall colours such as orange, yellow, and hunter green. Of course, the tie is also a great place to adorn the groom with some fall tones. Burgundy is a particularly popular choice for men’s ties, as it fits the scene while still being masculine.

Designs for grooms
In terms of fit and style, you’ll want to take your physique into consideration. For instance, men who are stocky should avoid long jackets. Similarly, if you are barrel-chested, a double breasted jacket may be an option (they are officially back this year). You may also want to consider darker colours, as they will make you look slimmer. Additionally, keep in mind that vertical stripes will make you look taller. For those who are tall and thin, good news: you can choose most any style. However, if you want to fill out your physique, working a checkered pattern into the outfit will help considerably. In terms of fabric, wool is a good choice as the fall temperature dial begins to creep down. One final word here — regardless of body shape, a colour-coordinated cotton shirt to go underneath the suit is a good selection any time of year.

Don’t forget the groomsmen
You’ll want to follow similar rules for your groomsmen. However, you’ll definitely want the groom to stand out. A good way to do this is to pick a different but coordinating suit colour for him. You can also use the suit’s design to further differentiate. One technique is for the groom to wear a vest, making him the most formal of the wedding party to compliment the bride. This is a subtle but effective way to make sure there’s no question about who the man of the hour is.


Whether you play the role of groom or groomsman in a wedding this fall, make sure to consider the trends for the season before choosing your attire. Remember to take a cue from this beautiful time of year: be crisp and earthy, with a touch of colour.


Australia Day Miss Cocky Winner

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Jillian Hamilton won the title of Miss Cocky, at the Story Bridge Hotel in 2008. She has never forgotten the glory and excitement that came with the title. 2015, she Jillian wants to reclaim her throne, and commissioned PQ Fashions to make her an one-of-a-kind and memorable dress to help her reach her goal.
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With four souvenir Australia flags, and an old favourite Dogstar dress, our dressmaker Elaine was able to create this amazing outfit! Photo 26-01-2015 4 40 56 pm

Jillian was over the moon. Look at her posing in this picture.

And she was not the only fan of the dress. At the Story Bridge Hotel on Australia Day, Jillian was once again, crowned Miss Cocky!

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“Epic Dressmakers. Thanks for such an epic dress. Well done Elaine and the team! I recommend you guys any day.

Jillian Hamilton”



Please share with your friends if you like this creation by PQ Fashions.

Creating a stunning formal dress for Anitah

Anitah knows what she loves. She loves Sherlock Holmes, she loves singing and she loves a bold yet elegant formal dress.

After having a Sherlock Holmes costume made by PQ Fashions in July, Anitah had no doubt that we were the place to come to again, to create her dream formal dress.

Over 3 months, between choir rehearsal, school exams and G20 holidays, Anitah and her mum Carolyn flew back and forth from Townsville, for design and fitting sessions to perfect her formal dress.


Anitah was absolutely in love with her dress once it was all completed, and she looked simply stunning.

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“Absolutely thrilled with all the work Ping and her team did on this Prom Dress. From understanding and working with Anitah’s own design, waiting patiently for our fabric supply and of course the actual making and fittings. Ping and Jo were outstanding and we will never go anywhere else now! Earlier in the year PQ made a Sherlock Holmes coat for us and that was amazing so we didn’t have to think twice about where to get the Prom dress made. It was vital that someone could work with the European lace and fit in with our fleeting visits to Brisbane from Central Qld. for fittings etc. Ping you are treasure!

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Carolyn and Anitah”



Please share with your friends if you like this creation by PQ Fashions.

Isobel’s Unconventional Monique Lhuillier Formal Dress

Isobel is not a conventional girl. She is not into pretty floral dresses, or a normal formal gown. She wanted to create something special, to stand out from the crowd, and to reflect her personality.

Isobel first brought us a picture of Nina Dobrev in this black Monique Lhuillier ensemble. Ping immediately fell in love with the idea, and started planning how to pull off this look.

Isobel and her mum purchased a corset, and two gorgeous feather collar with a curtain of tassels. We helped her to attached one of the collar on to the corset as a belt. Isobel already had a well fitted pair of black pants, so the next step was to create the skirt. To reduce volume and gathering at the waist line, we cut a large piece of organza on a circle. Then we attached tulle on the hem to give it a more structured look like Nina.



The skirt was finished with a satin waist band, and attached onto the corset by hooks and bars. We all think Isobel looked stunning, and arguably better than Nina Dobrev!

Please share with your friends if you like this creation by PQ Fashions.




Gwen’s new jacket

Gwen has had many garments made by PQ Fashions over the years. When she found this gorgeous printed silk at Alla Moda Fabrics, she knew she had to see Ping quickly.

Lace prints were positioned on her body, to achieve the best effect. We used a black satin trim to boarder the neckline, and sleeves to finish off the look.


We finished the look by placing two small hooks and eyes near the neck of the jacket. It is completely hidden, thereby giving the jacket a polished finish.

Gwen loved her new jacket, and is planning on wearing it to many special occasions to come.




A Zimmermann transformation

Sandra Wilkie
Sandra wanted to wear something extra special for her son’s wedding. Most mother of the groom outfits she found, were two piece suits, that did not reflect her youthful look and personality. She wanted something romantic, bright, yet subtle.

Then she found this electric blue Zimmermann gown, and fell in love with it straight away. The colour, fabric, and shape of the gown, complemented her style perfectly. The only thing she wasn’t completely satisfied with, was that it was a strapless gown. That’s when she came to PQ Fashions.




She sourced some fabric, and asked PQ Fashions to come up with something to help make it slightly less revealing. A normal sleeve would have been too soft with the fabric, and we didn’t want to cover too much of the body by making a wrap. In the end, we used a small rounded shoulder pad and created a cute little capsleeve for her. The subtle structure of the sleeve complemented the softness of the dress, yet it is modern and smart.

Sandra was ecstatic with the result, and thanked PQ Fashions on our efforts. We are very happy for Sandra and her son. The whole family so very happy and well dressed for the big event.






The secret of how to dress for success

When dressing for success there are no words more important to remember than those of Coco Chanel: “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman”.


When it comes to dressing for success the devil is absolutely in the details. Nails should always be neatly manicured, hair should be clean, perfume should be worn and your clothes absolutely always need to fit you correctly.

To be successful one must be memorable, and there is nothing more memorable than a woman who arrives each day, utterly impeccably dressed, down to the finest details in perfectly tailored outfits.

Attention should be paid specifically to how your garments fit across your shoulders, waist, hips and in length. It is impossible to look impeccable if you are wearing ill-fitting clothes and you will be pleasantly surprised at just how much confidence a perfectly tailored or bespoke outfit will give you.

While it is important to dress appropriately for the job you hold, this should be no barrier to your creativity. There is no such thing as being over dressed, you may simply be the best dressed person in the room. Visit us here at PQ Fashions to have your clothes tailored to fit you correctly and help you on the first step to success.


Written by Taryn Watt – Fashion blogger for Watt To Wear