Cheryl Marie Cordeiro in Vivienne Westwood dress, Dolce & Gabbana skirt, Roberto Cavalli heels, Tod's grained leather bag.

Our Norwegian Forest Cat walks in to say hello! (Where’s my food?)
Photo © J E Nilsson and C M Cordeiro-Nilsson for CMC 2010

Dress codes for the office varies from culture to culture and even from organization to organization. Just about forty years ago in Singapore, women were not allowed to wear pants or slacks to the office, the garments being deemed as too masculine and too unladylike. But the strict rule for ‘skirts only’ to the office for women in Singapore was relaxed around the 1970s and women were allowed to wear pants to work, on Fridays. It was from here that the concept of ‘dress-down Friday’ came about in Singapore, where for women at least, they could skip the skirts and opt for slacks that gave them greater freedom of movement.

In Sweden too dress codes vary between organizations. In some academic circles the codes are almost comically lax, where the higher echelons are so entirely focused on the minds of individuals that one can almost expect that the more bizarre a person dresses, the more unique and valuable their expertise. In the corporate world, values are fairly measured compared to academic circles, and people tend to dress in reflection of their position and work demands, steering towards what fits the occasion.

The myth that a Swedish CEO would arrive to a business meeting in t-shirt, clogs and jeans, is generally an exaggeration. For most of the time, it’s pretty much ‘do as you like’, as long as it is ‘lagom’. However any ‘dress-down Friday’, I have yet to see and my Friday last was anything but.

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro in Vivienne Westwood, Dolce & Gabbana. Norwegian Forest Cat.

Before stepping out the door with Cat.

One of my current favourite outfits is a Vivienne Westwood asymmetrical dress, gathered at the side seams and falling to the knees, a Dolce & Gabanna tulip skirt (over the bottom of the Westwood dress) and Roberto Cavalli black patent stiletto heels. A large Tod’s shoulder bag in cream calf grained leather is useful for files and laptop alike. A simple pair of pearl and diamond earrings to complement this outfit.

Tod's cream calf grained leather bag.

Tod’s calf grained bag in cream.

Cheryl Marie Cordeiro in a Vivienne Westwood asymmetrical dress and Dolce Gabbana skirt, details.

Front details.

Dolce Gabbana skirt, back detail.

A top-stitched line across the base of the zipper makes for interesting detail in this skirt.

In keeping with Louis Vuitton, Prada and Miu Miu filling up the frames of the fashion world’s size 0’s, this D&G skirt does exactly that with a simple pleat fold at the pockets close to the waist, thereby emphasizing the swell and curve of the hips. D&G has a sensual signature and this skirt is an intriguing combination of conservative, falling past the knee and sensuous, with the emphasized curve of the hips with the pocket pleats and a tailed-tagged zipper. Another detail at the back of the skirt is a straight top stitched line across the base of the zipper that contrasts the strict professional appeal of this skirt to its softly curved front pleats.

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