I'm not a fashionista, I'm 50, and quite round. I've been working for some years in a cosy family run office where clothing is fairly relaxed. I put on a suit for client meetings but otherwise there is no requirement to dress up, I've applied for a job in a big multinational corporate. If I'm successful I am going to need to upgrade much of my wardrobe. My impression is that corporate life is less "suity" than it used to be but I can't work out what the rules are. I would be so grateful for any advice, guiding principles or sugestions of must have pieces...
I work in the City - law firm, so pretty formal - and after returning to work after my last maternity leave I really noticed the number of women wearing dresses rather than suits. They're fitted, tailored dresses but dresses nonetheless. Where you buy depends on your budget but I like Reiss, Hobbs, Isabella Oliver 365 and, sometimes, Jigsaw and Boden. LK Bennett also seem to have nice ones although I've never bought from them. Oh, and Jaeger.
Good, smart shoes also a must and a nice bag - I suggest a neutral colour as it then goes with most things.
That doesn't mean you can't wear a suit if you prefer. Just don't wear black if it doesn't suit you (think about navy or charcoal, perhaps) - too many people do. And maybe go to a big department store where you can try loads on and see what suits you.
You're right, corporate women's clothing is much less formal than it was even ten years ago. The rules have relaxed to a large extent, and you can wear a t-shirt and trousers if they're the 'right' t-shirt and trousers. It is all about wearing fabrics and styles that aren't too tight and clingy. Your shirt doesn't need a collar, it just needs to skim your curves rather that show up the lumps IYSWIM.
If you're working in a corporate environment, get thee to a Jigsaw. All their stuff is lovely for work.
If you're going to be earning £££ go to Joseph, and I am jealous as they will make your bum look pre-pubescent. Guaranteed. Esp for round of bum.
If you're going to be earning £ go to Next, I don't like the cuts and fabrics but I have to say they get the styles right and you will find things that will suit perfectly for a corporate-but-not-too-formal workplace.
A bit similar, though staying in the same job. Mostly casual clothes, but visit clients in their offices sometimes. Most places I visit are casual clothes too, but colleagues have been saying that some newer clients have quite formal offices. I'd like to update my work wardrobe before going into the formal places, especially as I would be a new face there. I think people pay more attention to clothes when they first meet you, and get used to you over time.