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Business casual wardrobe - please take pity

(18 Posts)
BonaDea Thu 06-Feb-14 14:52:51

Returning to work soon after a year's mat leave. Almost none of my work clothes fit any more (have gained 1-2 dress sizes) and anyway are probably at least 2 years old what with pregnancy and mat leave. I desperately need to update and have put a chunk of money aside to do this.

Although I like the idea of buying a few classic pieces which will last forever and all that, I do need to buy enough clothes to have a decent outfit each day for the office. Will be there 3 days per week, the rest of the time from home. So figure 6 outfits?

I work in a traditionally stuffy profession (think accountant, lawyer etc) but work in house at quite 'funky' tech company so need to look smart but don't need to wear a suit iykwim. The official dress code is business casual and that means I can wear jeans, but would need to wear heels and possibly a jacket to work it properly.

Um, I am now prob a 16 (or poss 14 in some shops), with big boobs (they were big to start with and am still bf'ing) and still quite a bit of baby belly. Hourglass figure basically, though, so balanced. I am 5'10' so can look slimmer than I am because of height.

What else? I have a good pair of mid heel black and nude court shoes and some nice low heeled knee high boots in black.

What would you buy if you were me? I'd like to wear smart jeans, a crisp white shirt and a tailored jacket, but not really sure I can work it. I also like pencil skirts, but think I don't have the figure ATM.

Can anyone send me some links or help me? Puh-leeeeease?

ceeveebee Thu 06-Feb-14 14:58:23

I was in your situation 2 years ago, put weight on on mat leave, and worked in head office of a media company!
I bought several dresses which made getting dressed very easy as no worrying about matching seperates. I like Mary Portas dresses as they are quirky shapes and very good quality.

www.houseoffraser.co.uk/Mary+Portas+Dresses/BRAND_MARY%20PORTAS_301,default,sc.html

BonaDea Thu 06-Feb-14 15:01:54

Thanks ceevee. Media place sounds terrifying! Like those dresses, but don't they highlight the tummy area? They look clingy!

libertychick Thu 06-Feb-14 16:27:08

Cos is the place to go for business casual with a funky edge IMO. I was in there the other day and could have bought a whole new work wardrobe!

Dress
layered dress
print dress

I don't think you need 6 outfits. 3 is plenty especially if you are planning to lose weight. If you stick to dresses in neutral colours then you can change the look around with accessories, layering tops under sleeveless dresses etc. People just tend to notice if you look good or not rather than the specific items (although the print dress I linked might stick out!)

libertychick Thu 06-Feb-14 16:28:55

Also with smart jeans I think a blouse or simple top is more forgiving that a fitted shirt and then a jacket over.

BonaDea Thu 06-Feb-14 17:43:13

Liberty I like the dresses you've linked to but I don't think they'll do anything for me. Big boobs and high necklines, especially if no nip in at the waist, just combine to make me look bigger than I actually am I think.

Having said that I've previously liked cos so will see what else they have maybe!

BonaDea Thu 06-Feb-14 19:40:18

<hopeful bump>

libertychick Thu 06-Feb-14 19:55:53

Another attempt to get you some dresses!

Great Plains
Another GP one
Phase 8
I love this

Any good? Apols for forgetting about the boobs/high necks!

MrsAmaretto Thu 06-Feb-14 20:00:42

I'm in exactly the same situation - please help!

BonaDea Thu 06-Feb-14 20:10:06

Love the first one on that list, liberty. Thanks!

libertychick Thu 06-Feb-14 20:18:15

Good smart work cardi - will look good with dark jeans or over a dress

BonaDea Thu 06-Feb-14 20:31:23

See. I would never have thought of that for fear of frumpiness!

libertychick Thu 06-Feb-14 20:38:21

I would have thought that once too but I got this about 6 months ago and wear it all the time. Looks very smart with navy trousers and a breton and also with jeans on more casual days.

libertychick Thu 06-Feb-14 20:41:18

I'm on a roll now this would be great with a black sweater, statement necklace and your black knee high boots

MrsLettuce Thu 06-Feb-14 20:50:14

might this work for you? Also in red and in black.

BonaDea Thu 06-Feb-14 21:00:24

Liberty thanks for taking the time! That whistles link didn't work - it just took me to the home page.

Mrs Lettuce - love that but poss a bit more dressy than I was thinking for work (might see if there's an occasion I can wear it to).

libertychick Thu 06-Feb-14 21:08:27

It works for me - you have to wait a minute for it to pop up - it's the floral leopard box pleat skirt in the sale section - great price £35 for a silk mix skirt.

MrsLettuce Thu 06-Feb-14 21:21:18

I'm pretty sure you could dress it down with flats and non-fussy hair.

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