Meet Melanie: Smart & Stylish

There are many successful bloggers out there. But not only the "successful" are necessarily worth following. In today's edition of #fashionablefriends I'm happy to introduce Melanie of Deadlines & Dresses. She may be fairly new to the blogging game, but with her sense of style Melanie is bound to climb the ranks quickly. Not only does she pack a strong punch when it comes to style, but this girl has a lot of solid gold advice for any girl looking to climb the ranks in the professional world. As I may have mentioned before, I don't believe a blog can be called a "blog" without any actual writing. Melanie's got plenty of writing - and good writing! Other than her rad outfits, I'm totally obsessed with her motivational posts about women in the workplace. If you're a woman in the working world, or even in college then Melanie's blog is one you should definitely keep tabs on. 

Meet Melanie of Deadlines & Dresses on www.MarinaSays.com
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Melanie of Deadlines & Dresses Interview on www.MarinaSays.com

Hey Melanie. It’s nice to have you here. Care to introduce yourself? 
Hi Marina! Melanie is my second surname, I use it for blogging. I’m from Lyon, France but I live in Cologne, Germany because of work… and love! My blog is about fashionable office outfits (dresses) and career advice (deadlines), thus the name Deadlines&Dresses

So, I noticed that you post a lot of work appropriate looks on your blog. Is that something you’re passionate about or is it just convenient? 
The inspiration for creating my blog came from my own desk job, where there is no enforced dress code. I'm an ambitious and career minded woman who believes that just because there is no dress code doesn't mean one should not be aware of what she wears to the workplace. Therefore, Deadlines & Dresses is a blog for career minded women who love fashion too. I created this blog to inspire other women to keep on looking great while reaching higher goals in their career.  I try to show on the blog that you do not have to stick to suits to look professional. It has become a kind of a passion for me to demonstrate this with every new outfit on the blog. 

Who takes your photos?
My husband! Like I mentioned, I'm also in Germany for love. As a reward for taking my photos I gave him a great camera that he can also use to photograph anything else he likes. I really love doing shootings with him. It is a nice way to spend some time together somewhere other than in front of the TV ;)

I love the way you select your pieces. How much do you usually spend on one outfit? 
It is difficult to say how much I spend on one outfit because I never buy complete outfits at one time, nor do I go shopping solely with the purpose of the blog. While shopping, I’m always looking for items people would normally not want to wear – to work or at all – and, then I try to style them so that people actually like it or see it as office appropriate. I love challenges! 

The second thing is, I want to write a blog for “real people” who don’t go shopping every other day and who do wear the same items several times over. The real challenge in this is to combine these pieces differently each time. Of course, there are some trendy items that may only last one season, making it pointless to wait for sales... if I decide to try these, then I usually go for a “cheap” alternative. 

I also travel to France twice a year to buy expensive designer items on sale, usually stocking up on plenty of basics in great quality from my favorite brands that I couldn’t afford at their regular prices. Then I like to combine these over and over again. The more often I wear an item, the cheaper it becomes, right?  If you take it that way, some outfits of mine just cost a few euros but look like more. 

Jaquemus "hands on top" / www.MarinaSays.com

If you had the chance to work with any designer, who would it be?
One who does crazy things. Something a little bit dangerous. Jaquemus, for instance, because of that crazy idea of the “hands-on top”, if you know what I mean. If not, there’s this Pinterest picture of it. I’m pretty sure I could style it office appropriate ;)

Do you have any fashion tips for ladies looking to up their corporate dress code game?
Yes! Like I mentioned before, just because there’s no dress code, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of what you wear, especially if you want to climb the corporate ladder. You can use the way you look to turn some situations to your favor or make your life at work easier.

If you have a meeting with directors, then like you're one of them. When in doubt, wear a suit. If you have a creative workshop with colleagues, wear a key piece showing your personality. In the business world, It helps to communicate without words that you’ve got your own point of view. Look at how other colleagues dress to get an idea of who wears what (and what message that conveys). Don’t be afraid to show your personality, to wear colors, to try other things. Always be aware of the impact of your clothing on others and decide if it is the image you need/want to give. You can also take this decision on a daily basis!

In your opinion, are there any rules to dressing well? If so, what are they?
To me, dressing well has a lot to do with dressing appropriate. If you love fashion, dressing well is still dressing appropriate while having fun with trends and showing your personality. Don’t be afraid of wearing something no one likes.

The more you hear “I would not wear it, but on you it looks gorgeous”, the better. 

Tell us about your blogging process. 
My blogging process is a learning process and I’m becoming better at it every day! For the fashion part (dresses), I compose three outfits related to one key piece with the items I have in my closet. Because I work full time, my photo shoots take place on Sundays. Over the work week, I create, publish, and promote new posts on social networks mostly in the evenings. On Fridays, I crate a short recap video showing my outfits of the week for Instagram and Facebook. And each month there’s a monthly recap video on the blog. Every time I have a free minute, I am active on Instagram or on Facebook. 

For promoting the career advice part (deadlines), I go to Twitter. I look for interesting content two or three times a week and schedule some tweets for the next days. 

What is your biggest fashion struggle?
just can’t wear the same combination twice without being bored. In the morning I’ll try new combinations until I find a new one, even if it means that I come later to work. Luckily for me, I have flexible working hours. Oh and... I just can’t squeeze my feet into high heels, even if I love how it would look. 

Okay, now for something more fun. Imagine you’re in line at the supermarket and you see a very handsome man staring at you. How do you react?
I would probably look over my shoulder, wondering who he is really looking at!

Thanks for checking back! Melanie & I are looking forward to reading your comments.