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Smart Casual Work Capsule Wardrobe....

(37 Posts)
RedbreastRobin Sun 18-Aug-13 16:03:59

I'm starting a new office job. I want to be smart, but not overly. I'm working 3 days a week so would like 6 complete outfits, including shoes (I own flip flops or Uggs blush) budget is minimal, but could be stretched if I get on DH's good side!

I've been into town today and came away empty handed. I've no idea where to start online - spent most of last night looking but came up with nothing! I've no idea what to do with this style as I'm most comfortable with summer dresses/flip flops jeans/uggs!

Anyone fancy helping?!

I'm 30, blonde, 5'4" and a size 12.

Minimammoth Mon 19-Aug-13 18:38:57

My tips are: wear what you are comfortable in, get a colour that is great on you, rather than wear a uniform. Consider the fabric. Get a natural fabric particularly if you get hot and sweaty, have one that's not too flimsy. Think about the neckline especially if you bend down a lot. And def. comfortable shoes.

SucksAtRelationships Mon 19-Aug-13 18:45:11

I have just started building a little work wardrobe going on the colours black, grey, purple, and a little light blue and light pink so most things go together.

trousers are more practical for me so gone for a couple of different styles and colours

I am a cold person so nice jumpers and cardis. Leather jacket goes with most of my stuff and ankle boots/mid heel shoes. Got some flats for when I can't be arsed.

RedbreastRobin Mon 19-Aug-13 20:10:47

Thank you so much! Had given up on this thread, but have read through and just spent £200 on an H&M order.... thank you!! Amazing what just a few tips can do! I have stuck with skirts as I'm not sure I will feel comfortable in trousers. Got 2 maxi skirts - one black, one grey and a pencil skirt in charcoal. Got some loose fitting t-shirt type tops, a grey knitted jumper, a spotty blouse (cream with black spots) a pair of smart flat sandals in black, khaki and coral and a bright scarf (coral, turquoise, black and white pattern) and a brightly coloured bangle (lots together, similar colours to scarf). Oh, and some opaque tights. I have some block heel peep toe shoes in the back of the wardrobe, I'd forgotten them!

RedbreastRobin Mon 19-Aug-13 20:11:41

Oh - have just seen this is discussion of the day! blush

No wonder I have so many replies!

SucksAtRelationships Mon 19-Aug-13 20:47:06

Glad you had a good shop OP grin

ZutAlorsDidier Mon 19-Aug-13 20:57:30

summer dresses are fine. If they suit you and you are happy in them then you will look great, stick with them. If you feel you need zhuzhing, then get some new ones that feel fab and fresh and think about shoes and accessories. You can use opaques and cardigans to keep them going well past true summer and that can be a really cool look. I think. dresses are good if you are changing shape a bit because they will look fine if you buy them to fit you now, but if you lose a few pounds you will just look sleeker in them without having loose waistbands or something, and unless you lose well over a stone they won't be unwearably sloppy like trousers and skirts can be when you lose a bit of weight.

Cardigans are cute but if you want to be more badass get some little jackets, maybe cut like denim jackets but not denim, it's a way of looking sharp without looking officey.

My main capsule tip is that you have to decide whether you are going black or brown. Just pick one and go with it, and don't flirt with the other. That way everything will go together. (obviously don't buy all black or all brown; but for things like shoes, boots, bags, pick one; and then apply it to things like the base colour in prints, etc - or potentially navy as your third option, but you could arguably work a navy and a brown palette together, but brown and black will fight, so unless you are prepared to THINK every day, just go one way or the other, and if you are English and white, it is probably brown)
The only other passionately fighty colour schemes are pinks and oranges. if you tend towards lilacs and pinks, don't get a single orangey thing or there will be too many things it is unwearable with. And vice versa.

Get a cool neutral grey jumper / cardigan.

bunchoffives Mon 19-Aug-13 21:51:42

See you've taken the plunge OP but you might get some combo ideas here from M&S

How to Dress For Work

RosieLig Mon 19-Aug-13 22:02:47

I wore a lot of dresses as they're so much easier. Wrap type dresses or shift dresses. Can be dressed down with ballet pumps so you don't feel too dressy.

I always preferred to be more dressy than less.

Get yourself a couple of things and then see how everyone else dresses.

RedbreastRobin Tue 20-Aug-13 08:32:08

"Get yourself a couple of things and then see how everyone else dresses."

Everyone else is in shirt and trousers. I'm going to be the only female in the office shock

onlysettleforbutterflies Tue 20-Aug-13 09:06:37

H&M are good for affordable work basics, I have a few fine knit cardigans and jumpers from there, which have washed well and they come in loads of different colours. Also have a look at their blazers, work skirts, trousers and dresses, test the fabric first though, as some crease quite easily. My office is quite smart but I often wear black skinny jeans with a smart top, blazer and heels, you can't really tell they're jeans. For affordable shoes have a look at New Look, I have a couple of pairs of patent court shoes with a medium size heel in black and nude, I think they were only about £15.

Accessorise with a scarf, chunky necklace and bracelets to pull it all together.

Good luck!

sweetheart Tue 20-Aug-13 11:36:47


If you like H&M I'd suggest ordering a copy of their catalogue as it's really great at grouping their items together in capsule collections - you can just buy a whole look off 1 page.

Bathsalt50 Mon 30-Sep-13 13:23:04

Hello I have a black Lemuria dress for sale (EGG dress) size small but would fit a medium too. Multifunctional dress check the website
the link will show you many different ways to wear it. the one i'm selling has a very small thread pull but really not noticeable. these dresses cost over 350euro ...txt me if you are interested.

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