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office wear

Fashion

On a budget… work wardrobe

27th February, 2019

You spend a huge chunk of your life working so it stands to reason that you should feel confident and amazing every time you head off to work. Whether you’re in an office or you’re constantly on the road or manage your own schedule being self-employed, it’s important to have a functional office capsule wardrobe that will take you from your desk to an important meeting without missing a beat. Having done a stint in both a full-time office environment and also the varied schedule of having my own business, these are some of the things I’ve learn about looking great on the job without having to spend a whole lot.

Invest in key pieces

Starting with the right building blocks of a work wardrobe will mean that you’re able to get dressed everyday with minimal drama and just dress it up with inexpensive accessories. Start with classics like a great black blazer, tailored pants, a white shirt, a versatile skirt and a simple dress in either a block colour or an unfussy print. These staples can easily be worked back with other items in your closet but are key in looking professional for work.

Alter existing items

If you’ve got a few things in your work wardrobe that have become a little tired consider taking them to a tailor to have them reworked. For example you could alter a midi skirt and have it changed to be knee length so it feels like an entirely new garment but at a fraction of the price.

Add inexpensive accessories

A pair of classic earrings or a chic scarf are accessories that you can easily pair with your work wardrobe to dress your outfits up but without having to spend a fortune.

I’m all for stocking my work wardrobe with chic basics that can be paired with other inexpensive pieces
Know when to buy

If you want to update your office wardrobe it pays to keep abreast of when the big sales are happening so you know exactly when it’s time to snap up a few pieces. Sign up for your favourite brands’ newsletters and follow them on social media to be the first to know when things will be on sale.

Rework pieces from your wardrobe

We often tend to relegate certain things for work and certain things for play but sometimes they can crossover and make for a great office look. This effectively also doubles your work wardrobe. Look out for tops that can be worn under jackets, chic flats that will look great teamed with tailored pants and dresses that when paired with the right blazer and shoes, look super sharp and chic.

Fashion

Easy ways to refresh your work wardrobe

14th January, 2019

One of the things I like doing every year is re-evaluating my work wardrobe and seeing what pieces need updating and what gaps there are to fill. Having my own business means I have a little more flexibility in my office attire but I’ve always still approached what I wear in much the same way I did when I was working a full time job at a newspaper and that is to look professional and polished at all times.

If getting dressed for work every day has become a bit of a struggle then you know that it’s time to reassess what you have and think about giving your style a bit of a refresh. Here are a few great places to start when it comes to your office style.

Have the basics

The concept of office basics really depends on what kind of environment you work in. A corporate workplace will have a different dress code to a more relaxed creative environment, but the most important thing is identifying the building blocks of every look. So whether it’s a well tailored suit or jeans and a blazer, you need to ensure that these pieces are front and centre in your closet. Having this in place means you can afford to play around with your looks a little more.

Incorporate new accessories

Accessories are one of the easiest ways in which you can take your look up a notch and inject a little more personality into your work wardrobe. A great pair of earrings, a stylish bangle or a necklace are all simply ways in which you can inject a little new energy into your attire.

Change your work bag

It’s easy to carry the same bag day in and day out but it can also get a little monotonous. Your work bag is one of the easiest places to give your office wardrobe a refresh. This year, why not try something different? If you usually carry a tote, swap to a shoulder bag and vice versa. Push the boundaries as far as your office dress code will allow and have a little fun. After all, it’s the one accessory that you will carry with you every single day so you may as well love it.

Experiment with new silhouettes

Everyone has their go-to pieces for work. I know I have a few that I turn to all the time. However this year why not make a commitment to try new things? If you tend to favour knee length styles opt for a midi instead. If you’re a fan of voluminous pieces try incorporating a few more form fitting items into your wardrobe. A new silhouette can often make your work attire feel new.

Introduce bold accents

It’s easy to get caught up in the wonderful word of wearability that is neutrals but an easy way to refresh your work looks is to incorporate a few bold items into your ensembles. A striking print here or a vibrant shade there can easily lift an outfit and bring it to life. You can also temper this according to your office dress code so it’s easily adaptable.

Fashion

How to revamp your work wardrobe this year

17th January, 2017

A brand new year is the perfect excuse to get your work wardrobe in order. I always start the beginning of a new working year by taking stock of everything in my wardrobe so I can identify the key areas that I may need to build on or add to to inject some freshness into my office look. Here’s how to give yourself a stylish start to the year ahead…

Identify your dream work looks

Now is the time to pinpoint your ideal office outfits. Keeping in mind your work dress code, start by pulling together examples of everything from jackets you may like to suit styles you’ve always wanted to try so you can get an idea of how you want your work wardrobe to look. Once you’ve done this you’ll have a blueprint of your style which makes everything from decluttering what you currently own to what you need to shop for so much easier.

Bin or keep?

Pull out everything you wear to work and assess each piece with a critical eye. Does that dress really flatter you? Is that skirt the right length? The aim of this exercise is to make sure that you only keep things that you will actually wear and will help you look polished. Be brutal! Get rid of anything that you haven’t worn in awhile or is looking a bit worse for wear. Once you’ve got a pile of clothes that you intend to keep separate them into what you will need to get dry cleaned, mended or altered.

Compile a shopping list

I always tend to go to gravitate towards shirts for work meetings so it’s one area of my wardrobe I make sure I always have well stocked. If you’re like me then now is the ideal time to invest in some fresh new shirts to wear throughout the year. Look at what else in your wardrobe is looking a bit tired and consider replacing it such as the work shoes you wore virtually every day last year or the work bag that’s seen better days. Or if you can see that there are serious gaps in your wardrobe, for example if you have been avoiding wearing particular things because you don’t have the right belt then look into finally buying one.

Look at what can be altered

It’s a pain having to take just one thing to be altered so I always wait until I’ve got a few things that need to be done. What better time than a brand new year? This is the time to get any pants hemmed to the right length and get any jackets tailored to fit perfectly. A little bit of tailoring can really make all the difference and make something old feel new again.

Try on different outfits

Once you’ve got all your key pieces sorted start trying them on to compile a few key go-to outfits. This will not only allow you to get a better idea of how functional your office wardrobe is it’s always great to have a mental cheat sheet for those days when you’ve woken up and just want to go into auto pilot or you are having an “I have nothing to wear day” and need to get out the door fast.

Fashion

The dos and don’ts of wearing flats at the office

19th October, 2016

kate w3

When I was working full time I used to always wear high heels to the office. I know when it comes to workwear it can be nice to have a little height in the footwear department to help add some polish to an outfit but I’ve since learned that flats can work equally as well, if not more so. These days when I’m going to office I may have the girls in the morning or in the afternoon so my outfit has to look professional yet be comfortable at the same time. This is where I’ve found having a great flats wardrobe can come in handy. These are some of my dos and don’ts of wearing them to work…

Do experiment with different flats

I’ve found the best flats for the office are ballet flats, brogues and loafers [the closed kind not slides as these can look a little too casual] and flat boots for winter [see in order below]. Try to keep your flats as streamlined and simple as possible to keep them professional.

 

Do wear flats with dresses

If you tend to favour dresses for the office you’ll be pleased to hear that you can get away with swapping your heels in favour of flats for this particular look. I’ve found that flats look really great with tailored dresses and maintains a classy effect.

flatsalexa-chung-carolines-mode

Winning combination: Alexa Chung does ballet flats and a dress/ Image via Stockholm Street Style

Do opt for a slim trousers

Wide leg pants are on trend this season but I’ve found that they tend to work better with heels, especially if you’re on the shorter side. However when it comes to slim fitting trousers you can definitely afford to go with flats. A slim silhouette will help elongate your figure and when teamed with flats it looks very Audrey Hepburn-esque.

Don’t forget to flash some ankle

Make sure that if you’re wearing pants that they’re cropped so you are showing some ankle. This length will tend to be a little more flattering when worn with pants.

Do keep your look quite preppy

Flats such as man-style loafers and ballet flats work are a match made in heaven with a preppy-style outfit. Think a collared white shirt and a knee length skirt. It’s a little collegiate, definitely office appropriate and a stylish alternative to traditional corporate wear.

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Image: Stockholm Street Style

Don’t forget about the finishing touches

Flats don’t have to be boring. Keep an eye out for interesting finishing touches. Tassels, discreet bows, or a metal horsebit accent are all great ways to take an ordinary flat from so-so to stylish. One of my favourite brogues has a metal toe cap (see pic above) and I find that this helps give them a point of difference.

Do leave socks at home

A lot of flats look better sans socks so make sure to give them a miss. As I said earlier, flashing some ankle is flattering as it helps to emphasise the slimmest part of your leg. Also, socks can look a little too bulky.

Do team flats with opaque stockings

In winter I know going bare legged can be a little chilly so pairing a pair of flat boots with opaque black stockings and a nice dress is a good office appropriate look. I tend to favour stockings in black as opposed to nude as it looks much fresher and more modern.

Tell me – are you a fan of wearing flats to the office?