Work to live, I say! Don’t you dare live to work, for if you do, YOU’LL END UP DEAD… Dead I said!

by Tara Osipoff on July 26, 2012

Just your average day at the office

Looks like it’s cocktail hour

Trust me.. if you live to work, you’ll end up dead… dead I said

Okay, I’m gonna dish a little tidbit about me…

First I wanna mention that I’m loungin’ in a big beautiful white bed in a swanky hotel in Montreal, Canada. There is live music playing outside my window and I have a pretty little glass of chilled white wine and a warm glass of Perrier by my bedside… Okay, I know—the last part about the Perrier doesn’t sound so luxurious. But it would be a shame if I left it out, as I do sip on it from time to time to make the wine taste better… Oh and sweet Lord, does it ever.

So here’s the thing.

When I write, the setting has to be just right. The lighting has to be bright but not blinding; inspiring music has to be playing. I love old rock, indie, and folk; I rock to Beethoven and sway to the sweet blues. Okay—I pretty much like all genres. But the music I listen to must suit my mood perfectly.

Here is the other thing: I need to feel pretty when I write. I like to have my hair done, my heels crossed on the linen bed, be wearing some sort of lace, candy-scented perfume, and—of course—lipstick. I think it’s a confidence thing. I’ll be writing in a room alone, but I want to feel beautiful, confident and lovely. The way every woman should feel, in any situation.

So I lay on the white bedspread in Montreal, a city of fashion, passion and love. I have on my new Chinese Laundry shoes, a leather skirt from a thrift store (that I can’t stop smelling… mmmm the smell of leather never fades), and a Patty Smith shirt from H&M. My hair is lightly tousled and my lips are a pretty pink, and of course I am wearing my Pink Sugar perfume from Sephora (that stuff makes me want to eat myself… yum).

Well enough about me… let’s get down to business. That’s what this is about after all, isn’t it?

Yeah… it totally is.

This post is about modern business attire. The outfits in the shoot are intended to take you from the office to cocktail hour.

Office attire has taken so many turns throughout history and has evolved with the rest of the world. Office wear has gone from strictly suits in the mid 1900s to a business casual feel in the late 80s and early 90s.

Where are we now? With baby boomers on their way out, a new generation is emerging. I think “functionality” became confused with “laziness”. That, my friends, has ended, and as I walk down the streets of Montreal and even my own prairie home, it is clear: the lazy days of jeans and turtlenecks are over. And THANK GOD, right? Like my slogan says: “Life is beautiful, dress accordingly.” It doesn’t read “Life is drab, so wear that ugly turtleneck sweater your mom’s aunt gave you two years ago at Christmas that someone spilled red wine on and then shrunk in the dryer.” No, no… it doesn’t say that at all.

Here’s the thing though. Our Western way of living has things all effed up, and pardon my French, but I think we’re pretty real with each other, right readers?
We work too much to take crappy vacations to all-inclusive resorts where we sleep and drink our week away, trying to forget that we have to return to our over-worked society where we barely see our families, don’t make enough time to see our close friends, and have no damn clue what any of our neighbours’ names are. And for a long time, our office attire reflected just that: an over-worked nation that lost its swag. We started to dress as though we didn’t have time to let our personalities shine at the office—why would we have time for that if we didn’t have time for anything else? But I’ll tell ya people, like the great Bob Dylan once sang, “the times, they are a-changin’.” And why? Because we say so! We have to be the change that we want to see in this world. If we don’t, it will be overtaken by people who work so much that they forget they have a first name. Soon we will simply be known as “Worker 1″ or “Worker 23232838″ or even worse, we’ll start to be defined by the cable knit sweaters we wear to the office. “Purple Lint Ball Cable Knit Lady… Number 46474″… Yikes.

We shouldn’t be slaves to the economy, people—that’s what this post is about. It’s about taking back your right to live. Stop working so hard to buy things you don’t need to impress people you don’t even like.

It starts out small—bring your personality to work. Put on the black dress with a strange cut, lace trim, and shoes that don’t match but that you love. Wear lipstick. Get up early to do your hair, because you care. Go to work to make enough money to do the things you love, whether that be buying books on building paper airplanes or going to too many Tarantino movies at the old library theatre with your girlfriend. Or, if you are me, work enough so that you can buy art… art in the form of clothing. Oh, sweet humans, how I love clothes (drool runs from my mouth). That’s all I am trying to say here. Don’t waste your life away, and have a personality and show it off at the office. Don’t be afraid to change into a swanky evening gown if you and your colleagues are going for a nice dinner and drinks at a piano bar. You can wear whatever you please. Wear the lace tutu dress if you choose. Just please, please start to care, and take back your passion for living…

Maybe that’s why I get dressed up to write. This is my work, this is my life, and I want my personality to shine through like the beautiful sun that beats down on me. People, please—I beg you to listen. If you live to work, and you don’t work to live, you’ll end up dead. You will wake up when you’re 80, or 99, or maybe 67… What I’m saying is, at some point you will realize that you’ve missed out on life. You will wish that you wore that strange McQueen dress to the office, and you will wish that you let your beautiful personality shine.

It’s not too late!

Take back your life!

And start by wearing it to the office. Wear it to the office and pack a cocktail dress in case someone asks you out for drinks, ‘cause you won’t say no, if you know what’s good for you.

And remember, my zombie fashionistas: life is beautiful, so dress accordingly… and you can start at the office.

With love and passion,

Yours truly,

Tara Marie

A special thanks to my wonderful team that turns my blog into art.

The great and talented Mike Phillips—a creative character this man is. Aren’t his photos amazing?

Sara Lindsay—her makeup makes me feel like I can be turned into anything I desire.

Sophia from Salon 306—she understood my vision for this shoot and really made it stand out… or up.

Jess Martorana, my patient model who endures my tugging and pulling and goes along with all my wacky ideas.

Fazio Boutique in Regina supplied all of these clothes. Sarah, the shop owner, has a unique vision that shines through the more-than-beautiful clothing she brings in. The designers she carries are rare, and trust me—you won’t find them just anywhere. Thanks for helping me spend my paycheques.

Photography by Mike Phillips
Hair by Sophia at Salon 306 in Regina
Makeup by Sara Lindsay
Clothing from Fazio Boutique


you are god damn fantastic. Please keep going with this, i like the way you right, i REALLY LIKE the way you photograph. And most importantly, the way you can wear anything and absolutely crush it is astounding. Good for you Tara may not be best buds or anything but i am quite proud to at least have grown up with you somewhat. Keep on keeping on i look forward to every post. One day we will shoot, i lack crazy lights, makeup artists and hair stylists however i don’t think i need all that to capture you on a camera. Anyways sorry for ranting, Beautiful work as always to Mike Phillips, Sophia, Your model and of course yourself. Much love <3

by JLangman on July 26, 2012 at 8:03 pm. Reply #

Very nice article, just what I wanted to find.

by Fashion Blog on August 2, 2012 at 1:57 pm. Reply #

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