Big Business Wear

She couldn't find anything at the mall that fit her either.

She couldn't find anything at the mall that fit her either.

Note: This post originally appeared on WorkHerWay.com

It's no secret that clothing options are limited for women who wear size 14 and over. But you don't have to let that keep you from looking your most professional and fashionable at the office. The last thing you want is to find yourself in a meeting wearing something that isn't quite right for the occasion, simply because it was the only thing in the closet that fit. I've been there myself, so learn from my mistakes and save yourselves.

Think you're above fashion? Wearing stylish, appropriate, well-fitting clothes to the office projects an air of intelligence and competence. Don't believe me? Remember the last person you saw with a muffin top caused by too-tight pants, or a beaded sweater better suited to a holiday party than the workplace? You probably wondered what they'd been thinking leaving the house dressed like that. If you're not confident in their ability to dress themselves, why would you entrust them with an important task?

For suit wearers, the solution is fairly straightforward. Buy suits in your size, don't forget to have them tailored to fit you impeccably, and your closet is full of outfits you can throw on during your morning routine.

But if your dress code fits into the wilderness between business casual and full-on corporate, things get a little more complicated. It's hard enough to find clothes that fit your company's sartorial niche. Finding them in plus sizes can be almost impossible. A trip to the mall is likely to leave you tired, cranky and in possession of approximately one-third of the garments you had hoped to buy. 

Shopping in catalogs or online improves your chances of finding the perfect work outfit, but does take some effort. I can hear you complaining about the shipping and handling costs, but you'd probably spend the same amount of money at Cinnabon after four hours of shopping that have left you with precisely one top. The savings in time and frustration alone are worth a few postage charges.

Since you'll be buying clothes without having tried them on, it's a bit of a gamble, but most retailers accept returns. Once you've figured out what size you take at each online store, you'll be able to order with confidence. Even then, you'll still probably need a trip to the tailor, but you should be doing that with mall-bought outfits too. Yes, it's cheaper to wear hems that dowdily hit you at the top of the calf rather than at the knee, but you'll look so much more put together once you have them fixed.

Follow fatshion blogs to find out about sale codes and retailers that you may not have heard of. For inspiration on what separates to get and how to put them all together, take a look at the fatshionista group, which displays photos of plus sized women wearing their latest fabulous outfit, many of them office appropriate.

No, it isn't fair that your thinner co-workers can build a work wardrobe with hardly any money, time or effort. But you can do it too, with much less aggravation than you expect.

Does My Company Need a Blog?

A giant question mark in a field wonders if your company needs a blog.

Probably. It's a great way to keep your site fresh. Google likes it when you update your site, so new blog posts are an easy way to add new content. So if the rest of your website is fairly static, you definitely need a blog.

I'd say the only reason your company wouldn't need a blog is if you already have more business than you can handle and you don't want more potential customers finding you.  I'm not just being sarcastic here. Amazon.com doesn't have a blog because everyone already knows about them.

But chances are that your company name isn't a household word and you need a company blog.

But I don't know what to blog about.

That's fine. In fact, you're probably better off that way. I've seen some company blogs where the CEO treats it like their personal blog. They build websites, so use their blog to write about the latest technology. But guess what? No one cares what some random tech guy write about Twitter buying Vine. They can read that news in loads of other places.

If you want to write about things related to your industry, it might be more appropriate for you to do that in your own blog. Or in guest posts on other blogs that get your business exposure. 

Your company blog needs to be focused on content marketing. Your blog posts should be about the sorts of things that your potential customers will be searching for. What problems do you solve?

Going back to the web development company example, their potential clients are wondering: 

  • How do you pick a web design/development company?
  • What should my website include?
  • How much will it cost me to have a website built? 

So those are the sorts of blog posts the company should write. 

But I don't have time to write a company blog.

That's also fine.  Unless your company is Great Writers R Us, this is probably something you should delegate to someone in Marketing or outsource to a freelance blog writer. They can write faster and better than you can.

One potential client told me that it takes him four hours to write a blog post. I can't even imagine a blog post long or complicated enough for me to need even half that time to write it.

I'm not going to try to tile a floor myself because I just don't have the expertise. I CAN do it, but not as well as something with training and experience. It's the same with writing a company blog. You have a business to run. Let someone else worry about SEO and cranking out 500 words on how your company can solve their biggest problem.

So I'll just set up a free blog.

Wait, stop. If you set up a blog completely separate from your company's website, you're not going to get any content marketing benefits. Potential customers will find your blog posts, then will have to work to find your company website so they can give you their business.

Talk to whoever built your website and have them add a blog, fully integrated into your website. Just like this one is here. I built this site myself, so if someone who charged you money to build a website can't do it, then you need to hire someone else. (As an ex-techie, I can suggest a few good people, so let me know if you need a referral.)

So to sum up, your company needs a blog and it shouldn't hurt a bit.