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Work It! How to Style Your Workwear Wardrobe

2 March 2020

I’ve been asked by a few clients about workwear and how to build a capsule wardrobe or outfit build from your existing wardrobe for work. As jobs can be so wide ranging it can be difficult to pin point looks unless you know the specific person and their dress code for their office and company. But there are some key pieces everyone can work with. With the idea of a capsule wardrobe in mind, and my focus on sustainable fashion, I always like to try and make wardrobe’s as hard working as possible. By that I mean that it should be possible to buy items which will work both for the office and for the weekend, if you know how to style them for different occasions. A lot of offices are more relaxed in their dress codes now, with a more smart casual vibe than they have been historically. This plays perfectly into mixing and matching your current wardrobe items. There are 6 key items which I think you need to invest in for a working wardrobe and the rest you should be able to pull together from your existing wardrobe.

My 6 key items for the office are:

  1. The Blazer

  2. The Cigarette or Smart Trouser

  3. The Pencil or Pleated Skirt (depending on personal preference and body shape)

  4. The White shirt

  5. The Blouse

  6. The Black Trouser (coated skinny jeans, black leather, black tuxedo trousers etc depending on personal preference)

6 Key Items for Your Working Wardrobe (all H&M apart from Jeans - River Island and Skirt - ASOS)

I will share some images from Pinterest on how to style these items below. A Blazer should be a really hard working piece in your wardrobe. It can be used for layering and to smarten up less formal pieces such as floaty dresses and black denim or leather trousers. Ideally it’s great to invest in a 2 piece matching blazer and trousers which can then be worn as separates as well. Checks tend to be a great timeless option for this, as they won’t date and tend to be neutral, working both with muted tones and colours. You can also mix checks with other prints as it’s such a subtle print.

Workwear Outfit Inspiration (Pinterest)

These are some examples which you can currently find on the high street. I highly rate H&M for this as their blazers are really well cut, good quality fabric, yet very affordable. I’ve also included a few options from vintage or second hand sellers as it’s a great place to be sustainable in your fashion choices, and get a good quality unique item.

The Blazer (clockwise from top left - Essentiel Antwerp, Tu Clothing Sainsburys, Whistles,

H&M, Topshop, H&M, Curate & Rotate, Second Stories, Vintage From Earth) A pencil or pleated skirt can bring a more feminine edge to your working wardrobe, and these items can be dressed down for the weekend as well, making them very versatile. A white shirt or blouse worn with a pleated skirt and blazer is a great corporate look, where as for the weekend you can dress it down with a casual sweatshirt and trainers. Don’t be afraid of colour and print in your workwear outfits. A lot of people shy away from colour as they don’t want to stand out and draw too much attention to their outfits. You should be able to have a bit of fun with your work outfits and show your personality. Colour and print don’t have to be scary, you can play it safe with a rust orange suit (see photo below) or a leopard print blouse, which will make your outfits more interesting.

Subtle Colour Suit (photo Pinterest)

If you really feel bold colour is not appropriate in your workplace, a good way to add some interest or colour is through your accessories. I love the pastel blue leather bag from Zara, and a bright red shoe or snake print belt would help to lift any outfit.

Print & Colour in Your Workwear Accessories (Clockwise from top left - ASOS, Oasis, Zara, Sam Edelman via Brand Alley, Zara, H&M, Sam Edelman via Brand a Alley, ASOS, ASOS

The great thing about the current trends for SS20 is that blouses are definitely having a big moment, which means there is a huge choice on the high street. Some gorgeous romantic blouses, pussybow detailing and bold animal prints, polka dots and pretty pastel hues can all work well in your workwear wardrobe. Again, there are some beautiful blouses to be found second hand, with delicate detailing such as lace and it’s lovely to own something that no one else will be wearing in the office!

The Workwear Blouse (clockwise from top left - Never Fully Dressed, Self Portrait, Sister Jane, Zara, H&M, H&M, Zara, H&M, H&M)

See below for some current Catwalk Inspiration from Chloe and Celine who showed some gorgeous outfit ideas for your work style,

AW20 Work Style Catwalk Inspiration (Chloe and Celine photos from Vogue Runway)

Drop me a line via my contact us form, or contact me on Facebook or Instagram to talk more. If you’d like some help pulling your workwear or total wardrobe together I would love to help. I offer bespoke services as well as my standard packages such as wardrobe edits and personal shopping.

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