Amber Duettmann is 26 years old, German-born and the Co-founder & CEO of her own fashion brand with the mission to empower women in business. After studying Philosophy and Economics in the UK and while working in the heavily male-dominated Finance and Consulting industries, she started dreaming of starting a venture focused solely on the needs of women in business. This is why she founded SI BEAU .
How to focus on your career (instead of what to wear to it): A personal story about choosing your workwear wardrobe
Life in your 20’s most probably includes your first serious job and the beginning of your career. During this time, I believe you can lay the foundation for fulfilling your dreams. Hence, it can have a significant impact to really focus on the things most important to you or on figuring these out.
From my first interview over the first day on the job to the first promotion and now to starting my own company, I have often felt an emotional mix of anxiety, excitement, self-doubt and ambition. Each of these steps constituted a special moment, in which it was very important for me to feel confident and comfortable in my thoughts and state of mind as well as in my appearance.
Why I relegated my suit to the back corner of my wardrobe
During my first internship, for instance, in the investment banking division, I just wanted to blend in with the guys and their suits. However, I did not feel 100% confident as I could not fully express my personality. I realized I do not want to have to become a grey mouse at work in order to be taken seriously. As my experience grew and I gained confidence as a management consultant, I looked for a wardrobe with statement pieces, in which I could feel comfortable and feminine – and myself. However, I did not want to waste any time searching for the right outfit every day; it’s like wanting to dress as Amal Clooney but with as little effort as if you were Mark Zuckerberg fetching the same grey T-shirt out of your suitcase every morning.
I wondered why it was such a hassle to get high quality, comfortable and stylish outfits for my day at work? It’s really unnecessary for my friends, colleagues and me to waste valuable headspace on finding those outfits and I believe it is due to the lack of companies actually focusing on the needs of this growing customer segment. This is why we have founded the start-up SI BEAU, an innovative direct-to-consumer brand focusing on the needs of modern female professionals. We want to provide you with worry-free statement pieces, which let you focus on what you have to say instead of thinking about what you are wearing. We want to give you the tools – and the extra boost of confidence – to get out there, unfold your potential and focus on what you want to achieve.
Tips from my experience
In order for you to focus on what is most important to you, I would like to leave you with a short guide for your effortless desk-to-dinner wardrobe. Drawing from my experience, I have 3 brief recommendations for you – the first two are more practically natured, the last one out of principle:
1. Go for entire looks and build a modular (workwear) wardrobe:
Create your own 2-3 go-to looks, which you know you can rely on and feel comfortable in, even in unpredictable situations. These are your “5 minutes to get changed outfits” and the backbone of your wardrobe. When you have found them, mix them up with different accessories or try new combinations. My go-to outfits, for instance, are the Ada Pants with the Arendt Turtle Neck from my own collection as well as our Hypatia Jumpsuit. They are versatile, functional and make me feel confident in any situation.
2. Function AND form – pay attention to the fabrics and materials used:
Is it stretchy, will it provide you comfort when going the extra mile? Is it wrinkle resistant and still holding its shape when pulled out of your suitcase? Does it allow you the occasional sprint to catch your train/plane?
3. Make it yours. Express yourself:
This does not just relate to your wardrobe, but to approaching things in general for me: Trying to blend in is often not the way to feeling comfortable and confident in the long run. Therefore, ask yourself: What is it that makes you feel comfortable when forgetting any set or felt rules? Go for that.
The Story & Vision behind Si Beau
Our pieces are designed so that you feel comfortable throughout the entire day, from the (home) office to drinks with your friends. This was important to us: Our goal is that you do not have two different wardrobes anymore, but to merge your business and leisure closet. To achieve that, our intelligent cuts are combined with feminine twists to enable you to feel confident in any situation. We do not want you to waste any brain capacity or time on your outfits: one-pieces like our Hypatia Jumpsuit make your early morning decisions easier, the fabrics have easy-care functions and you can enjoy a 12h comfort with our stretchy materials. Our Designs symbolize the perfect work-life balance for your closet, so that you can save your decision-making energy for more important things while feeling comfortable and elegant throughout the entire day.
With SI BEAU, we want us women to focus on fulfilling our dreams while feeling authentically feminine and powerful with as little effort as possible. We stand for the fact that strength and femininity are not mutually exclusive, but complement each other without any agitation. That is not a new idea, but should be a given. For us, this is embodied by French philosopher and modern feminist icon SImone de BEAUvoir. She not only inspired our name, but we would like to also proliferate her ideas within our signature collection: Every piece features an illustration with our favorite idea from her, e.g. sewn in the lining of a jacket. So you feel empowered from the inside. Moreover, each of our designs is named after one specific bright female mind to spotlight her intellectual achievements (e.g. the “Lovelace Blazer”). With this, our pieces are designed to make it as effortless as possible for you to self-confidently express your femininity at work and at the same time self-reliantly focus on what you have to say.
Feel free to contact me with questions and, if you are ready to enjoy the synergies of your closet merger, check-out SI BEAU. 🙂
You can learn more about Amber and follow her blog here. You can follow her on instagram at here
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