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office wardrobe challenge

(10 Posts)
Menagerie Wed 15-Dec-10 18:42:32


Bit long but if you are style queens and fancy a challenge, I'd love your suggestions...

I've been offered some freelance work in-house and am not used to working in offices, as I've worked from home for years.

Was told by the boss that he liked me but co-workers who were at my interview presentation were less sure I'd fit in, so I'm on trial for now, freelance, to see if it works out for potential full time work later in the year. I'd really love to go full time.

When I did the presentation, I was aware I looked like a plump, mid-40s home counties mum (which I am) and all the office workers were young, waif-like trendy Londoners in pretend-scruffy layered clothes.

I'd love tips on how to dress to sort-of fit in without being mutton dressed as lamb. They're cool and 25, I'm not cool and 45. How would you dress to not stand out as a sad sartorial misfit?

Fibonacci Wed 15-Dec-10 19:50:24

Hi - i posted in your other thread. i'm in a similar office situation to you and I don't think you should try too hard or try and change your style to 'fit in'.

I wear jeans nearly every day (sometimes a denim skirt with opaque tights and boots) with a nice top and cardigan or jumper on top.

You can be different and still fit in. If you are trying to be what you are not you will be spotted as a fake a mile off.

I shop at standard boring middle-class, middle-age shops like White Stuff, M&S, Boden (a bit, not too much), plus Toast and Brora in the sales.

JustAnother Wed 15-Dec-10 20:08:41

you could book a personal shopper in one of the department stores and tell her exactly what you've told us here. I am sure they would help you.

Gillybobs Wed 15-Dec-10 20:32:02

Agree you shouldnt try too hard to fit in but if you feel you could be doing with a style "refresh" how about making sure you have some trendy shoes, bag and a couple of nice pieces of statement jewellery (try Topshop for excellent jewellery). I know its a huge cliche but its cheaper than buying a whole new wardrobe of clothes and it works for me.

Also, in terms of clothes Id say the simpler the better, you wont find the younger members of staff wearing anything appliqued or too colourful. I stick to simple shapes and plain colours to avoid looking mumsy. Then they'll only notice your fab shoes or gorgeous necklace!

Good luck, Im sure you will get along just fine

Fibonacci Wed 15-Dec-10 20:46:49

Agree with gillybobs - jewellery is key and I often get complimented by girls literally half my age on my nice necklaces (and diamond earrings!).

Menagerie Wed 15-Dec-10 23:24:39

Ooh, think I'll go and look in Top Shop for jewellery. Thanks for the tip.

Kristingle Thu 16-Dec-10 00:15:32

I am a 48 year old mum who lives in the country and works in a non trendy office in the suburbs

i would NEVER wear jeans to work, i find them very difficult. The styles of jeans that are on trend right now are not at all flattering to my body shape. Out of work i wear skinny flares, i know they are not cool but i don't care grin

i have good legs [modest] so if i were trying to look fit in to your office i would wear shortish ( above the knee) black skirt with opaques and boots, shoes boots or other non tarty shoes

and a top with one piece of statement jewellery.

or a similar dress

i wear lots of drapey jersey stuff as it suits my top heavy figure

i very rarely wear patterns, except in a scarf. Its very easy to look frumpy if you are middle aged with big boobs blush. So i never shop at White Stuff, Next or Boden

i think the key is to know what suits your figure and colouring, then you can see what will suit you from what is on trend each season

YY to personal shopper at John Lewis

Menagerie Thu 16-Dec-10 09:08:08

Thanks Kristingle. I love jersey stuff too but am opposite body shape to you. Boobs and waist are youthful looking but I get a bit matronly after that! And sadly have the ugliest legs I've ever seen, that no amount of exercise can prevent from looking like a hockey player gone to seed.

Mmm, I could happily try out the personal shopper service at JL. Our nearest branch is brilliant and has hoards of concession shops inside it, like Phase Eight and Kew. Do they choose stuff from all round the store or just JL clothes?

Kristingle Thu 16-Dec-10 09:37:24

no they select clothes from the whole store

the one in our local store will chat to you on the phone first, ask about your size, colouring, shape, budget and what you are looking for. they will then select clothes in advance to try on first, then will get loads more when they see you

they are very good at sticking to budgets - once they found me a whole wedding ( guest) outfit ( dress, shoes, bag,hair thingie, wrap) for under £100. So they don't just go for the £££££ brands

you probably don't want to spend a lot just now as once you get the job, you will probably change your personal style a bit

its free and very private, and you dont have to buy anything if you dont want to

BUT it gets booked up ages in advance and usually they don't have appointmnets during the sales. so you need to phone today

Menagerie Thu 16-Dec-10 17:22:42

Thanks. I'll book one for after the sales.

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