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.

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.






Emily’s dress makeover

In every woman’s wardrobe there is always at least one item that, as much as you love it, never seems to look as good on as you imagined it would.

This was certainly the case for one of our beautiful customers, Emily. Emily purchased this cotton/wool blend work dress, but the shape of it didn’t compliment her figure, and so it sat in the back of her wardrobe, having never been worn.

This was until one day Emily decided to bring it in to us here at PQ Fashions and consult with one of our expertly trained seamstresses to see what could be done to improve it.

After chatting to Emily about what she liked about the dress and how she would like it to be changed. Together it was decided that the sleeves and panels down the sides would be replaced with 100% wool knit. The wool knit is warm, comfortable and really compliments the body to give the illusion of a more slender figure. A lace collar was also adhered to add a little more style to the dress by using needle felting. This is where a 3prong needle is used, to poke through the lace onto the fabric continuously. This draws out the fibres in both fabrics and blends them together.

Emily was incredibly pleased with the end result and we think she looks stunning in her new and improved dress.

If you too have a dress that could do with a makeover, please bring it in to us and together we can create something you will wear time and time again.


Written by Taryn Watt – Fashion blogger for Watt To Wear