Trainers you can Totally Wear to Work

shoes

The trend for fashion trainers has been around for a while now, and doesn’t show signs of slowing down.

In my mind, they’re the perfect shoe. Comfy enough for any commute, and weatherproofed against the most unpredictable days of British weather. And they add a real edge to otherwise ‘safe’ outfits.

Luckily for us, there are several styles which you can incorporate into your workwear wardrobe without terrifying your boss but are still stylish enough to be brought out on the weekend.

My top tips? Avoid high tops and clashing colours, and when in doubt, stick to monochrome.

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Puma Suede Classics

I have a real thing for burgundy trainers at the moment, and these Pumas are high up on my lust list. The suede might not be suitable until Spring, but this colour goes with everything, and can really brighten up a monochrome look.

air_max_thea_white_white1Nike Air Max Thea

If you’re brave enough to go for all-white trainers, these should be high on your lust list. White gives a really clean look (both literally and visually) and these Air Max are guaranteed to be comfy all day long.

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Pebble Snake Glacier Vans Classics

Want to add pattern into your wardrobe without getting too ‘out there’? These snakeskin effect Vans are the perfect way to do just that. Subtle yet stylish, you’ll find yourself reaching for them again and again.

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New Balance 420

New Balance have been having a moment for a while now and it shows no sign of letting up. Get in on the trend with these black and grey babies. The natural companion to black jeans, even your boss will be eyeing them up across the office.

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Nike Stefan Janoski Trainers

I think I’ve saved the best til last in this post. These are very likely going to be this month’s payday purchase. Wipe-clean leather offsets the dangers of wearing white trainers in London, and makes them feel a little more luxe. Perfect for Spring and Summer, I just don’t think I’ll be able to resist!

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Have you bought into the trainer trend? What’s your favourite pair?

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Commuter Club: This American Life

this american life podcast

Welcome to the new section of the blog, a series on the best entertainment to brighten up the worst part of the working day: the commute.

Today, I bring you This American Life. Serial podcast fans might have picked up on this brilliant podcast series, as TAL is its ‘parent podcast’.

For the uninitiated, This American Life is a public radio show from Chicago which, each week, looks in-depth at a different aspect of American life.

From killer turkeys to wrongful imprisonment, by way of a blind man who taught himself to ‘see’ again, it really has it all.

What sets it apart is its ability to both inform and entertain – a surprisingly rare skill in podcast world. You find yourself genuinely interested in learning about how the legal system works, and yet it doesn’t feel like hard work to keep up with.

Alongside the more informative stories, it also covers really interesting human interest stories, like the parents who created the most elaborate Santa Claus experiences possible for their children – and how it backfired later in life.

If you want to spend your commute completely immersed in another world, and picking up some interesting facts at the same time, this podcast is for you.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/

What’s your favourite podcast?

The Ultimate Rucksack Round Up

rucksack

Rucksacks are an essential component of any wardrobe, the perfect companion for both workwear and weekend looks. Long gone are the days when you had to struggle along with an over-stuffed handback and wonky shoulders.

Embrace the new acceptability of backpacks and get your hands on one of these beauties. With the ability to hold everything you need (or might need) for a day in the office, and smart enough to accessorise any post-work outfit, there’s really no excuse not to invest! Since I’ve had mine, I haven’t once considered going back to a handbag.

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This gorgeous suede rucksack is the easiest way to nod to the seventies trend happening everywhere right now. Spotted on the catwalk at Burberry, it has already filtered down to the high street in the form of this easy-to-wear gem.

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Why pick one gorgeous Herschel rucksack when you can pick two?! The mint green is an understated way to add colour to your wardrobe, whereas the orange geometric 234034445alt3pattern adds an edge to any outfit. Both are guaranteed to perk up a rainy day, and are sturdy enough to hold anything you throw at (or in!) them.

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How to write the perfect cover letter

Writing a cover letter might seem like a daunting exercise – how to summarise how perfectly suited you are to a job on one page?! – but this quick checklist will help your CV get to the top of the pile.

  1. Do NOT use the same cover letter for more than one job

Every employer can spot a mass-produced cover letter a mile off and instantly dismiss your CV, no matter how well-suited you are for the job.

It’s fine to keep in a couple of lines about how great you are at multitasking, or introducing yourself, but the majority of the content should be tailored to each individual job.

It might sound unbearably time consuming, but it will pay off in the end – promise!

2. Read and re-read the job description

By getting to grips with the job description and what they’re really looking for you can make sure your cover letter is tailored to the job being offered.

If they say you’ll be using CMS and need to be an SEO expert make sure you’ve demonstrated each of these skills in your cover letter, to show that you really are the candidate they are looking for.

3. Make sure you refer back to the company throughout your letter

I’ve seen seriously impressive candidates instantly dismissed at work for not mentioning why they would be right for our company in particular.

It’s all very well saying that you spent a year assisting David Cameron himself, but if you’re applying to be a vet they probably won’t be very impressed. However, if you point out the excellent interpersonal skills it has given you that will help you when dealing with worried owners, it will seem much more relevant to the job.

4. Be selective

You only have a page to sell yourself (and definitely stick to a page at all costs) so make sure you’ve been ruthless when it comes to cutting anything unnecessary from your cover letter. Your Year 9 spelling bee award might be your pride and joy, but it doesn’t necessarily need mentioning in every application.

5. Double and triple check 

Check, check and check again. Then get someone else to read it through as well. A simple spelling mistake could cost you an interview – particularly if it’s in an industry such as journalism. It sounds obvious, but when you’re applying for ten or more jobs spell checking can go out of the window in favour of getting applications done as quickly as possible. Just remember, quality is better than quantity, and it’s more likely to secure you a job!

Good luck with your applications!

What tips have helped you write the perfect cover letter?