Business With Personality

Corporate Couture by Daisy Seely


Fashionable yet realistic: Tower Knit, Audrey A Lister, and Shoe Knit dresses from Redhead Clothing.


If only it was as easy as a suit and tie, but a woman’s formal wardrobe is a difficult one to nail down. Merrily rocking casual clothes in formal colours, we are often guilty of underdressing in the work place. And, alas, like the trouser suit, we have had enough of the same old looks. Just because most of us do the same job day in and day out, it does not mean our wardrobe should match. But effort is an elusive concept first thing in the morning.

Work style is a balance hard to find: not too revealing or relaxed, but still feminine and office appropriate. Something that says “I mean business” but still has an air of style and personality. Women with serious jobs and hectic home lives need transferable office wear that one would be happy to wear to a working lunch, after-work drinks or simply at their desk.

Redhead Office is the Corporate Couture branch of New Zealand fashion label Redhead. The brand is a young one, with founder Kylie Tate originally creating a line in 2000 and launching into Australia in 2009. The Corporate Couture line is new this year with a broad range of unique office clothing that is both fashionable and, more importantly, realistically wearable.

On first impressions, Redhead Office is conservative and sexy, bright and dark; a cohesive mix of outlandish shoe patterns and feminine fabrics that work well with the sleek and subtle designs. Suiting the more mature woman, looks are sophisticated and tend to both slender and womanly shapes. Something to get excited about is their extensive range of dresses. They have taken classic evening-wear looks and channelled them into the formal environment. A favourite is the Tower Knit dress that features a low-cut cross over design with a black-and-white print. All dresses can be worn with heels or paired with boots for a more dress-down-Friday feel.

Redhead’s insight into a woman’s wardrobe is interesting. They seem to understand that office options are limited and usually only consist of a few items. They have attempted to make pairing pieces easy with interchangeable dresses, skirts and jackets being the same colour and material.

Tate says,”we wanted to create timeless pieces that could be considered ‘investment’ fashion for your wardrobe”.

If you are donning blacks, greys and blues to work everyday, it’s good for the body and the mind to inject some colour. Redhead’s office line certainly does come with a few quirky designs, such as a wrap-around dress featuring a collage of brightly coloured shoes and a suit jacket fitted with the same design inside. It’s a rainbow of stilettos – a “shoe-aholic’s” dream. Tate’s favourite piece is the Audrey A Lister dress because, she says, “it is so striking on the body and so feminine”. The Audrey A Lister dress stands out with its frill collar and sheer long sleeves. She attributes the success of the Redhead clothing line to “making the best of me”, aiming to make women feel comfortable and glamorous. The attractiveness of the collection is difficult to ignore, especially when a handful of samples causes quite an office stir. Women were cooing over dresses and admiring fabrics. In a time where women are spending longer at the office and breaking those glass ceilings, it’s time for our suits to match our successes. Redhead can supply the trousers, dresses and jackets: the shoes are up to you. Right, now back to work.


Original article as published in ZEST.

Click on the image above to read the original article as published in ZEST, THE PRESS, Christchurch Wednesday, July 4 2012.

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