9 to 3 wardrobe: My best purchase

How pleather trousers changed my wardrobe

I know I know, I’m not saying anything new here but I’m writing this from a Cafe Nero on a really wet and windy rain. It is the type of day that you wouldn’t venture out of the house unless you HAVE to and sadly, today I did. It’s my dog’s (Maggie) time to have a haircut and it means driving into the local town.

What has this got to do with my best purchase? Well because my pleather (faux leather if you prefer) trousers were the only clothes that I could contemplate wearing. Again. I’ve realised that I have been wearing them pretty much at least 2-3 times a week.

Why? Well they are super comfy (hello elasticated waist band), go with everything I own and are waterproof. They are also really warm and are wipe clean. Need I say anymore?

Wearing Next faux leather trousers
Me wearing my pleather (and faux fur!) with Maggie

The important bit is that you can wear them with everything – trainers, heels, jumpers and ‘dressy tops.’ They never look wrong and I love them for this. I can wear them from the school run to a business meeting, for school assembly and a networking event. I even wear them under dresses if I can’t face tights.

I’ve had this pair (bought from Next for I think £28) for two years. The first year doesn’t count because I felt too self-conscious to wear them. They were too far removed from my jumper/jeans wardrobe but since I “got over myself” and needed to wear clothes that are suitable for school run and business meetings, I have found these indispensable.

Holly Willoughby wears loose leather trousers
Holly Willoughby wears a looser style

There are loads of options to try from super tight leggings to a looser fit and I’m definitely thinking of purchasing some more in a different colour or fit. If you are looking for a bit of inspiration, then I can recommend looking at Cara Suthers Instagram/blog because she styles them brilliantly. I’ve also set up a Pinterest board called The 9 to 3 Work Style Inspirations that you can see a few other stylish ladies wearing them in a way that I would like to.

Cara Suthers
I’m a big fan of Cara Suther’s style choices.

This isn’t my attempt at becoming a fashion or style blog. It is just following the ethos that I set myself when I started this blog – if I find a book, app, system or something that works for me, then I will share it with you. I’m all for making a very busy and complicated life a bit easier. Pleather for life!

These are the ones I have my eyes on to move me into the Spring…

Cropped faux leather jeans from Next
These are Next at £28

How I Work: Charlotte Beattie



Time for another How I Work post and I’m delighted that Charlotte Beattie kindly agreed to answer my questions! I came across her lovely Instagram account as I was starting up this blog and was instantly hooked by her posts. Being a Virtual Assistant is one of the roles that I wanted to feature on this blog as it means putting to use life-learnt skills whilst being based anywhere in the world. Anyway, please do read Charlotte’s entry as it is full of helpful advice.

Name of Business: Concierge in the Cloud

Charlotte runs Concierge in the Cloud

What do you do: I am a Virtual Assistant offering business support, specialising in PA Support, Event Management & Social Media Management. Concierge in the Cloud aims to be the 25th hour in your day. We will give you back that all important commodity of time, to spend on what matters most to your business; talking to clients, growing your business or simply achieving a better work/life balance. We work remotely meaning no office space is required and there is no HR burden. Put simply we are your extra pair of hands, offering an efficient and cost effective service.

Where do you work: I’m at the kitchen table with my laptop, sometimes I venture out to a nearby garden centre café. I have an office setup in my house.

How did you get to this point in your career: Pre children I was an event manager in London for many years working for banks and law firms such as

Charlotte used to work at Deutsche Bank
Charlotte used to work at Deutsche Bank

JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Barclays Capital and Linklaters. However, after having our first daughter and with my husband then in the RAF, working in London was no longer feasible. I needed a job that I could not only move around with (due to the RAF lifestyle) but that also enabled me to work around my daughter.   Evening and overseas events just weren’t possible any longer. With my daughter 18 months old and living in Hampshire it was at this time that Concierge in the Cloud was created. Being a virtual assistant allows me to work remotely and at the times that suit me best. Now also having 3 year old twin girls, this has become ever more of a necessity!

The best part of my job is: The flexibility it allows me with having 3 young daughters. I also love the fact that every day is different depending on which client I am working with.

The worst part of my job is: No longer being able to nip out at lunch-time and get some yummy sushi from the amazing places in London I used to go to!

Favourite time-saving trick: Templates! Having spent many years working in the Corporate sector I know how valuable ‘Best Practice documents’ are. Now running a small business and trying to juggle it with a busy home life,

Charlotte advises on using Best Practice documents

having best practice documents in place literally saves me hours! Not having to recreate the wheel every time I do something is invaluable to me! Many small businesses just don’t get round to doing this, hence why we offer this as one of our services.

Best advice for anyone working 9 to 3: Embrace it. Make the most of being able to put the washing on, make a cup of tea when you want to and then being able to go and collect your little people from school at the end of each day. I really believe it’s one of the best gifts you can give them when they are small. My daughter loves telling me about her day straightaway on our journey home. Very often if we don’t chat about it until bedtime she has forgotten all the little stories or is simply too tired to tell me by then! Most importantly, don’t ever feel guilty for trying to achieve this great work/life balance!

Favourite social media accounts/blogs: I love so many! I follow a real mix

Charlotte is a fan of Clemmie and Simon’s Instagram accounts

from business related ones and lifestyle. Having 3 girls including twin daughters, I do love reading ‘Mother of Daughters ‘and ‘Father of Daughters’ daily stories as they always seem to resonate with me! I also love the way they balance their home and work life.


Please do find out more about Charlotte and her business by visiting her website and Instagram account!

W: www.conciergeinthecloud.co.uk

Instagram – @concierge_in_the_cloud