Finding your next favorite workwear piece has never been easier. That’s not a statement that many women can exclaim with much confidence. Once we get into the workforce where workwear matters, or when we are aware enough to care about how we present ourselves in the office, we generally have little guidance. Our go-to brick and mortar retailers have a limited selection and often need to appeal to the masses. On the other hand, the ease of online shopping is also daunting with too many options and the risky nature of selecting the proper fit. Then came the ever popular fashion box subscriptions. This is when I discovered MM. LaFleurand my workwear game was forever changed. Now, I am by no means a fashion blogger. However, I do have a real job that requires me to dress professionally. And since I address quite a few career issues on my travel blog, gushing about my favorite workwear company fits nicely (pun intended). Soon after I became a loyal fangirl, MM. LaFleur started rolling out their Out of the Office styling sessions and I finally aquired all of the professional attire answers I was looking for and so much more- like epic confidence. There’s no price tag for that.
Earlier in the year, I wrote about my hesitations with having an in-person styling session. However, it was such a great experience that I went back for more this Spring. Experiencing a series of MM. LaFleur Out of the Office styling sessions made me realize that there is something special about this type of one-on-one experience. This feels even more critical when purchasing investment pieces that portray so much about who you are in your unique work domain. Granted, I first tried MM’s garments in the comfort of my own home with their signature Bento Box (which is a fantastic option for those who don’t live near a showroom or pop-up city). Clearly, I became an instant fan, but it left me with the desire to try different sizes and colors while mixing and matching, something for which their pieces are perfect. This is what the in-person experience offers.
The Out of the Office experiences are generally pop up locations in major cities around the US. I find the best way to track new locales is through their social media, but their website will announce upcoming locations in a banner whenever you log on. They also have permanent showrooms in NYC, Chicago, and Washington DC. Once you make your appointment, all you have to do is show up.
Jump on their website and start adding pieces/ outfits to your Wish List to give your stylist an idea of where to start.
In the comment section of your online appointment, note pieces you are interested in or special needs that you have (“want to try suiting options“, “need to cover arm tattoos“).
Consider what might be a good starter outfit. Do you have a conference or interview coming up?
Don’t expect to take anything home that day. You will be shipped anything that you order at your styling session.
What I instantly noticed at each appointment, was the diversity of customers in the store. Women of all ages, sizes, and personal style. It made me feel like we had come from different little nooks of the city, but we were all in on the same best-kept secret. Check-in and take them up on a water, coffee, or prosecco and have fun! You will be introduced to your stylist, who will have the confidence of a seasoned professional- even if she is 10 years your junior. I was so pleased that my online stylist, whom I had been working with on my Bentos, was there from NYC at my first styling session. But worry not if that relationship is not formed yet. Your stylist will have read your comments and gone over your wish list and will have pulled some looks with which to start. You’ll immediately feel very VIP with your own clothing rack and a little cabana for changing. A floor length mirror all to yourself is an added plus. Grab something off the rack and start trying things on!
Wear your hair how you would at work to get a real feel for the overall look.
Use the couches and chairs to sit down in the clothes. I always need to check if skirts and dresses will cover my leg tattoos while seated.
Bring a pair of heels and flats to try dressing up or down a look.
If you feel like the fit if off- Ask! Your stylist knows how the piece is supposed to fit and can let you know if you need a smaller size or if that top is supposed to be boxy.
What I love about having someone focusing on your needs is that you have a second pair of eyes to really narrow down fit. I remember trying on a pair of trousers on at home and didn’t love them at all. I tried them again in person and realized that the size was off; one size smaller and now I wear them every week! The stylist is also great at showing you options that you may not have considered. How adding a belt or tucking in a top can completely change the look.
Also, speak up about whether or not you love something. It helps narrows down your style if you are able to be vocal about the things you don’t like. We are used to this being a very private experience. We don’t usually say out loud what we think about clothes and can be afraid to hurt someone’s feelings, but it will only bring your style and comfort level into optimum focus for you and the stylist.
There is a reason MM. LaFleur started the hashtag #BetterThingsToDo. We have a ton of better things to do than shop for clothes and MM.LaFleur offers options for everyone. As a police psychologist, my days are filled with attending to clients’ needs. Sometimes that means sitting across from them in my office and sometimes that means assisting the SWAT team with negotiations- which I successfully did on one of the the tallest bridges in Southern California while wearing my Oshima pants. Like I said…way better things to do.
If you don’t live in a major city where a pop-up is being held, definitely start with the Bento Box and start communicating with your online stylist. But if you have the Out of the Office styling session available to you it is the better way to shop for workwear if you can spare an hour. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did and you’ll go back for more.