Melissa Kluger, editor, Precedent magazine

A sharper image

Precedent's head honcho on dressing for the job
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Precedent's head honcho on dressing for the job
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While it may not look like it, a lot of fuss went into that picture of me up there on the left. I hadn’t changed up my editor’s photo in three years. After some gentle nudging by my colleagues, I agreed it was time for something new.

While I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it, I went shopping the night before for the perfect outfit that gave just the right image of former-lawyer-turned-magazine-editor-and-entrepreneur. On the day of the photo shoot, I fussed over my hair, my nail polish and how much makeup was too much makeup. I wanted looking good to appear effortless. But it’s actually quite a lot of work.

As you will read in the pages of this special style issue of Precedent, it’s not like one bad outfit ever ruined a career, but looking consistently polished and put-together can help advance it. I’ve heard of someone who was passed up for partnership, partly because they were sort of dishevelled-looking. This rumour came up when four lawyers joined me for breakfast in January to talk about style trends on Bay Street (“Review the expert testimony”).

Not every guy has to wear a three-piece suit (like Peter Sullivan from Cassels did) or every woman four-inch heels (like Leila Rafi of McCarthys did), but it’s worth it to put effort into looking good. Even when the results appear effortless.

To help you achieve a look that works for you, we wanted to let you in on some style secrets. The best-kept secret in town, we think, is Peter Feeney. Our gorgeous front cover features the tools and components that he uses to make custom shoes. Feeney trained as a cordwainer in Italy for four years before bringing his skills back to Toronto. I visited him at his studio and was blown away by the precision and passion that go into every pair he makes. I’m thrilled to feature this local designer in our pages. Other secrets we’ll share include places to shop off the beaten path and the fine distinction between being fashionable and having your own style. But style doesn’t stop at the clothes we wear, so we also went to criminal lawyer Daniel Brown’s house for tips on creating the perfect home office and curated a list of gorgeous items you’ll want at work.

As for me and my photo? I wore something I’d had in my closet all along.


More from our Spring issue:

The Precedent Guide to Looking PolishedSarah Armstrong FaskensCriminal Lawyer Daniel Brown Home OfficePaul Banwatt Secret Life