M&S Trailblazers: Blogging and dressing for business

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A few weeks ago Marks & Spencer got in touch with me asking me to be one of their summer Trailblazers!  It’s not quite as exotic as that sounds, in short they wanted me to take a blazer from their current menswear collection and to style it in my own way.

I instantly made a beeline for the Kestin Hare capsule collection which had recently launched at M&S and choose this textured blue blazer.  It is a really versatile piece and due to the soft cotton material is great worn casually or a summer work suit.  Also included in the range is a pair or cotton chino trousers and shorts which match.  I’d recommend being the complete suit as an investment even if you will mainly wear the jacket on its own it is good to have the whole look to quicker throw on for a smarter occasion.

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As part of the trailblazer campaign M&S asked me to answer a series of questions on style and blogging so I though I would share my answers with you lot too as I often get asked a lot of the same ones…

How did the idea of The Everyday Man come to you?

I never really imagined that I would create a website like The Everyday Man when I started out.  My original project was more of a diary and through time it evolved into a lifestyle site.  I guess I have been lucky that it just fell into place quite organically without me having to spend too much time planning it too.

We all have great ideas; what do you think was unique about yours, and how have you been working to turn blogging into a business?

There was no plan for it to become a business and I think in some respect that helped me along the way.  I wrote about the thing I liked and thankfully other people seemed to like them too which brought me a strong audience.  I’m still amazed that anyone pays attention to the stuff I write about, it’s really quite nice.

What have you learnt from your failures?

Work harder.  If things are not really going as I have wanted them too at any point I use this as motivation to do better.  There is also great lessons to be learned from your failures but thankfully with this project I have not experienced too many of them…yet!

One thing you hope to achieve in 2016?

This year has started off amazingly well for me and i could really not have asked for anything more in all honesty.  My biggest wish for this year is for things to keep on growing and for me to be able to keep doing the thing that I love to do.

Have you ever over or under-dressed for a business meeting/event?

Loads of times but that is totally fine.  These days dress codes are very flexible and can be interpreted in many different ways.  It is a good thing but in some ways it makes choosing an outfit for an event even trickier as you don’t always have a set style in mind.  It means that you can experiment a bit more though.

A blazer should be hard-wearing, versatile and stylish, of course – what do you think is the most important factor when it comes to blazers?

Fit. It needs to fit you well and be comfortable to wear.

How important is personal branding to what you do? Any tips?

I think that it is quite important.  I choose a name and logo quite early on and have stuck to it.  It looks streamlined and professional too.

Do you draw a sharp line between your work and personal life, or does it all act as one?

It is hard tom draw a line between it although sometimes I wish I could.  My job is kind of 24/7 one as no matter what you do or where you go to a certain degree you are working or in work mode, it can be hard sometimes to switch off, even when away on holiday.

How do you navigate modern workwear – where there is a lot of flexibility between formal and casual?

Flexibility is a great thing.  Even most office jobs are a little more relaxed with dress codes now which is good.  Ties for example are not always essential but you should wear a shirt and a blazer or smart jacket even if you are not opting for the tie.  In all honestly though it is hard to beat a well fitted suit when you are trying to look smart for a more important occasion or meeting so always stick to that.

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Photography by Francis J Smith

This post was written in partnership with M&S however all of the words and opinions shared are my own.

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