Pajamas — good pajamas to be specific — are one of the things that Cyran (pronounced Kiran) loves. It’s funny too that this stood out to me. That and the exact pronunciation of her name. What it revealed though is how laid back and relatable she is. Many of us as women can identify as we often rush home to shed our “costumes” and “masks” for the simple comforts of a t-shirt or in Cyran’s case pajamas. As much as we love fashion and dressing up, bra-less and barefoot is still a win.
This week for our fashNcurious 5 I had the opportunity to get to know the woman behind the blog and instagram account corporatestylestory. As a wife, mother, lawyer and fashion blogger, Cyran is forever performing a balancing act. I marvel at how she finds time to juggle the demands of a three year old, write blogs and pitch brands. And I questioned her on how she balances the hard lines of the legal profession with the “any line would do” of fashion. Here’s what she shared.
How did you start fashion blogging?
I started Corporate Style Story because I wanted a creative project that really represented me, not just as a mother and a parent, but me as an individual. CorporateStyleStory is actually my second blog, I started a parenting blog when my daughter was first born after reading about a well-known parenting and food blogger in a magazine a few years ago and thought it sounded like fun – before that I really didn’t even know what a blog was! That blog gave me a fantastic social network, I was feeling quite isolated as a new mum and blogging really helped with that. I’d encourage anyone to get into it for the social side of blogging, everyone is really nice.
I’ve always loved fashion and personal style but I received the most compliments on my style at work. We spend so much time working and whether we like it or not, how we look really has an impact on our career trajectory, so I really take time with what I wear to work. Dressing for work is part of everyday life, it’s not like getting ready for a social event with friends and you’ve had 2 weeks to find an outfit and plan. I want to get it right but I don’t want to agonize about it either.
When I was returning to work, even though I hadn’t been out of the work environment for very long I wanted specific work wear inspiration, I found a few blogs but there weren’t any by bloggers in the UK. Brands always had their work style edits, but I wanted a real example from real working women, I couldn’t really find them.
Dressing for work is both fun and challenging but I really enjoy it – corporatestylestory was born in August 2016 and I’ve loved every moment of it so far.
How do you marry the world of fashion and law?
You only need to watch Suits to see how the media portray lawyers. Megham Markle who plays Rachel Zane in the show and Gina Torres who plays Jessica Pearson dress impeccably as lawyers. They wear gorgeous suiting which is feminine and classic and I loved the modern representation of lawyers on that show, instead of the stuffy look you usually see. I watched the series to see how they dressed as much as for the story lines. I draw a lot of inspiration from those characters as well as women in the media who tend to dress smartly most of the time, Amal Clooney, The Duchess of Cambridge and Victoria Beckham.
How you dress says a lot about you as a person and certainly professionally. 93% of communication is non-verbal which is huge. Non-verbal communication includes everything from your body language to appearance. People expect a certain look from a lawyer and it’s a balancing act trying to look the part whilst expressing myself in a tasteful way. I’m always tweaking things and changing my style as I get older and as my career continues to evolve.
Do you see any differences between European style and American? Explain
Certainly in the legal profession, as the profession is slightly different in the UK compared to the US, lots of Attorney’s in the US and Canada dress for court on a daily basis, which means wearing a suit and court appropriate attire. That isn’t always the case in the UK so I find that there is more of a variety of what is worn as a lawyer. I have lawyer friends that wear suits every day and some that wear t-shirts it totally depends on the environment you’re in.
I find that in Europe women tend to wear more color to work and really incorporate trends. Whereas in the US I think the dress code is certainly more clearly defined and people tend to adhere to it more strictly.
I think women in the US do casual or dress down Friday really well. It’s still a very smart look, heels, smart denim and gorgeous coats. I think the weather in the US certainly helps with wardrobe choices. In the UK we’re always prepped for rain unfortunately!
What 5 tips would you give a fashion blogger on how to balance work, motherhood, blogging?
- If you’re already working and you’re a mother, you know the drill. You’re probably already super busy, but don’t use ‘busy’ as an excuse. You make time for the things you really want to do in life. Make sure that the things you spend your time doing serve you and don’t keep you from achieving what you want to achieve. We can all find time to watch Big Little Lies, so find time to finish the blog post, get it live and promote it.
- I know it sounds boring and cliché, but organization really is key. I schedule Instagram posts, I use IFTTT to automatically post to Twitter and other social media platforms and I have a content schedule to try and stay on track. It’s a juggling act for sure. I’m lucky because I really enjoy my day job and blogging – but I’ll be honest I could do with a few more hours in the day, but I try to be as efficient as I can. It doesn’t always work, but the intention is there.
- Know when to put your phone and your laptop down. I definitely need to get better at this, but I think there should be times when you don’t look at your phone and for me that tends to be the time when my daughter is home from nursery to when she goes to bed. Try to strike a balance that works for your family.
- When deciding if you’re going back to work at all my main tip would be to find the right company. The ‘right’ company should value your contribution to the business and offer you a package that shows that they appreciate your hard work, it’s not purely financial when you have children in my opinion. It’s also about being able to work flexibly within reason and being adequately supported in your role. Choose wisely.
- Don’t beat yourself up and don’t compare yourself. It’s hard enough to figure out what you want to do to make your own heart sing let alone worry what other people are doing. You never know what another person is going through at a time that they’re posting a great picture of their wardrobe or kitchen so don’t compare. Its social media it’s not an exact depiction of real life so be aware of that and don’t take it too seriously. Remember why you got involved in the first place, hopefully it was to have fun and to be creative!
Do you ever see yourself leaving the legal profession and pursuing fashion full time?
That’s a great question, but one I don’t exactly know the answer to because I haven’t thought out leaving the profession. I really like blogging and fashion and I think that the legal skills I have are infinitely transferable so I doubt I’d ever stop using them. I’ve wanted to be a lawyer since Ally McBeal days so I feel like it’s part of me, but then so is fashion and style – I’d love to have both if I could, although that doesn’t necessarily have to be both at the same time I suppose! Watch this space I’ll say.
If you were to do it all over again would you still take this path or go directly into fashion?
I think I would still do the same thing, I’d pursue my legal career first and then marry that with my passion for style and self-expression. Dressing for work is something I really enjoy. I won’t try to keep up with those fashion bloggers that are really at the forefront of the edgy, super trendy, casual looks. I prefer blogging about and showcasing my corporate, smart style – it’s my forte and it’s my differentiating factor. In order to have cultivated my style I needed to have become a lawyer first, so I would do it all over again, I’ve loved the journey even if it has been challenging!
What do you wish you knew when you first started blogging?
I wish I knew how much work went into it! I totally underestimated how much work and how much strategy goes into blogging. The first time around with my parenting blog, I really didn’t pay much attention to SEO or images, I just wrote about what I wanted and made good friends. But if you’re blogging relatively seriously you need to take note of things like SEO, to taking the right images and engage with people, plan content, promote the content, pitch to brands the list goes on! There’s so much to learn and so much to do.
I’d say the number one thing I wish I knew is how key developing relationships with other bloggers is. I’d read so many things about finding your ‘tribe’ but I didn’t know how to do it. I have found mine now, they are other fashion bloggers I learn so much from them. They’re incredibly supportive, we promote each other and it makes blogging more enjoyable to have people in the same boat as you.
What are 5 things we don’t already know about you?
- My parents pretty much made up the spelling of my name. The name is common, it’s pronounced “kiran”, but the spelling – CYRAN – isn’t really found anywhere. Which makes getting an email address without numbers really easy but it also means that nobody knows how to say it properly, but I’m used to that now.
- I love dancing! It’s my favorite thing to do actually, I frequently dance around the house with my daughter, I still attend ballet classes and if I’m at a party I will get on the dance floor totally sober and have a good boogie. Moving makes me feel good!
- I’m what I refer to as an ‘indigenous Londoner’ – I was born in the City of London in Guys Hospital and I grew up in London. So were both of my parents, which is very rare nowadays. Naturally, it’s my favorite city in the world.
- I have a completely eclectic taste in music. I love classical music from my childhood days of dancing ballet and playing instruments, to soul funk which is what my parents listened to when we were growing up. I also love house music and Grime – anything goes really!
- My husband and I eloped. I never wanted a big wedding, so we took each of our mothers’ as witnesses and ran off to get married and told everyone afterwards. We don’t regret it one bit.