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Help with smart casual wardrobe for new job!

(14 Posts)
JulietBravoJuliet Tue 28-Oct-14 23:02:15

Hi all, I'm new to this board but I need help! I've just taken a new job in a photography studio; dress code is "smart casual" but everyone I met there during my trial day looked so flippin' trendy, and I struggle with trendy!

The boss told me I was a bit overdressed, as I turned up in business wear, but I'm struggling a lot with what I actually should be wearing. I can do smart and I can do jeans/tshirt type combo, but I have no idea what is acceptable in between. Oh and I have a VERY small budget!!

Can anyone point me in the right direction? Pretty please! I'm 5'7", size 16-18 and more comfortable in trousers than dresses/skirts, but don't mind a longer length skirt. I'm clueless about fashion, but need to get a grip as I'll be working for a former fashion designer in an office full of trendy young girls (I'm 36 btw).

Did I mention I have a very low budget? grin

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Wed 29-Oct-14 00:15:23

Why not try Asda. They are very reasonable and not to mention smart.

JulietBravoJuliet Wed 29-Oct-14 07:13:40

Thanks for the reply smile What sort of thing should I be buying? My default would be black trousers and snart shirts; is that ok? One of the girls was wearing black skinniest, biker boots, an off the shoulder mohair jumper and a vest top - she looked great, but, if I tried that look, I'd look just plain stupid!!

Floisme Wed 29-Oct-14 07:14:57

Congratulations on getting the job! My usual smart-casual is either jeans or a tube skirt with a smart-ish jacket and some jewelry. That always gets me through although admittedly I don't work in a creative environment.

I would buy as little as possible until you've observed what everyone wears over a full working week. If the staff are friendly they may give you some shopping tips. And don't worry - your boss chose you because you were the best person for the job!

JulietBravoJuliet Wed 29-Oct-14 07:24:49

Thank you.

I'm planning on buying a 3 or 4 tops and some trousers or something for now, then getting more once I've sussed the place out! Not worked anywhere in years that's not either uniform or where clothes don't matter at all (current job in corner shop!).

fourthandfinal Wed 29-Oct-14 07:32:37

Get a variety of smart cardis to go with trousers and top combos. Combined with shoes (heeled always look a bit smarter IMO, even if only kitten heels) and costume jewellery, you'll be able to tone everything up or down. Enjoy!

CountBapula Wed 29-Oct-14 07:47:58

I'm 36 and work in a creative agency. I generally wear smart jeans (usually Gap Real Straight) with heeled ankle boots and a naice top - H&M is great for tops/blouses at v reasonable prices. For client meetings, I add one of those knitted bouclé jacket/cardigan thingies and some jewellery. For smarter client meetings, I wear a dress, but one with quite a casual shape - nothing too structured - black opaques and ankle boots. Hush is good for those sorts of dresses. Will post again with links...

CountBapula Wed 29-Oct-14 07:50:19

Unstructured dress

H&M bouclé cardigan

JulietBravoJuliet Wed 29-Oct-14 08:00:00

Thank you, I love that H&M cardigan. Off shopping this weekend smile

grumblepuss Wed 29-Oct-14 08:19:11

Ive got several knee length tunic dresses from H+M.
One with an elasticated waist a couple just straight square cut ones. I wear them with 100 denier tights and brogues or ankle boots.

Tiny100 Wed 29-Oct-14 09:53:43

What about a loose shirt over skinnies? Something like this snakeskin shirt with black skinnies/jeggings or this plaid shirt with blue skinnies/jeggings.

These t-shirts are a nice fit (Tees) and come in lots of colours, you could wear with a scarf/snood over the top.

angeltulips Wed 29-Oct-14 10:10:10

I work in media so smart casual and tend to stick to a uniform of skinny jeans or trousers (mostly cigarette length) with silk style tops or jumpers. Ballet flats or brogues if casual, heels or ankle boots and a structured jacket if in a more formal meeting.

Basic colours only ( black, navy, grey, white etc) with perhaps a patterned scarf or an interesting coloured ring. It's a uniform and I like it! Depends on what your body shape is like but it works well for me.

Uniqlo does excellent silk shirts and nice jumpers for a good price. H&m good for little tops.

JulietBravoJuliet Wed 29-Oct-14 10:53:36

Ooh I'm liking Uniqlo smile Never shopped there before - what are the sizes like?

Thanks for all the suggestions!

angeltulips Fri 31-Oct-14 09:05:23

Sizing is pretty high street standard I'd say. They have some fantastic work basics at affordable (not dirt cheap) prices. I love uniqlo!

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