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What do people wear to work these days?

(30 Posts)
MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Wed 28-Jan-15 16:52:09

I am a homeworker who has accidentally got a job where I have to physically see people. In person shock What the heck do people wear to work these days? The last time I had a "proper" job I worked in the city/Chancery Lane so it was all smart pin stripe suits, TM Lewin shirts and cufflinks which I think would be too much these days. I'm going to be doing a professional service at a professional services firm.

My current work uniform is PJ bottoms and big woolly socks and outside the house it's skinny jeans, tan slouchy leather bag, boots, slouchy washable tops and a big parka and a chunky knit scarf. So I am clueless.

I'm early 30s. Big boobs, hour glass, size 10. Not tall.

itstheyearzero Wed 28-Jan-15 16:56:52

Marking my place. I'm in exactly the same boat! Currently wearing jogging bottoms and an old sweatshirt, from next week I need to go back into the office 3 days a week. Yikes!

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Wed 28-Jan-15 17:57:29

I have already booked a cut and colour before anyone suggests that grin

And brows and contemplating manicure. May just paint.

BallroomWithNoBalls Wed 28-Jan-15 18:18:36

Congratulations! Don't go mad and buy too much - buy enough for a first week and plan a shopping trip for after that, when you've sussed out what everyone else is wearing and what you feel comfortable in. You don't want to feel like you're dressing up iyswim.

I'd suggest some good black trousers as a starting point - try Banana Republic for some straight / slim leg ones, slightly cropped is good but slightly impractical at the moment - and a couple of nice floaty shirts in silk or in patterned polyester. Laura Ashley have lots of lovely polyester blouses in the sale atm, I know it's a slightly random shop but it's truly fab when you get to 70% off, have a look.

And some great heels, M and S always have gems and they should be comfy and good quality. Simple courts, get some plain black ones now and splash out on more colours later after a few pay cheques wink

Do you have a suit jacket? It sounds like that might be your investment buy - if you wore suits before, it's likely all you will need is a smart jacket to wear over a less co-ordinated underneath bit. Probably black is most practical - Jigsaw, Hobbs and Banana Republic all good. Navy if it suits you better - and fine to wear with black trousers or over a black dress, just use accessories to tie it together.

Dresses - lots of sale dregs in Hobbs, and Laura Ashley again.

maybemyrtle Wed 28-Jan-15 18:58:16

Congrats! Will you be working in the same office day in day out or traveling around?

I was in a similar situation when I started my current job and I am so pleased I didn't buy a suit immediately, which was my first thought. I would never, ever have worn it and it's not necessary.

Agree with a good pair of work trousers in a style that suits you, a plain-ish dress is really useful too. Don't buy too much to start with, you'll be able to gauge the level of smart required and find your style as you settle in to the role. So much depends on the industry and company culture.

florencedombey Wed 28-Jan-15 19:15:29

Assuming you are a lawyer (Chancery Lane!), ladies in my firm tend to wear tailored dresses with cardigans / jackets rather than suits these days. Hobbs, Banana Republic, Reiss, Jigsaw and occasionally M&S are good hunting grounds.

applecatchers36 Wed 28-Jan-15 19:18:19

Embrace your great figure... what about wearing pencil skirts with heels and/ or heeled boots, you can wear with blouses or shirts tucked in ..looks smart & kind of 1950's office wear

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Wed 28-Jan-15 19:28:27

Thanks for the congratulations smile I'm not a lawyer, I'm in HR and have always dressed like the clients dress. Although these are new clients I could probably get a good idea from their website actually. They have some video and it's only a bit stalkery sensible now I've thought of it.

I have great shoes from the old days (pre DC) although heels might be a problem due to an injury so may need some smart, comfortable flats. I need everything else including coat and smart bag. I probably can't rock up in my Parka.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Wed 28-Jan-15 19:35:38

Just remembered I saw a Nine West dress recently and thought yeah, when I have a big girl job I'm gonna wear that!

I have various stores and concessions locally including Jigsaw (have literally never bought anything there although did hanker after a red leather bag there once), M&S (small store), Reiss (never bought ought), Hobbs (ditto), Ted Baker.

The last time I went shopping for work clothes I was 26! That's a rather sobering thought.

Ememem84 Wed 28-Jan-15 19:40:59

I'm a huge fan of pencil skirts. with shirt or floaty top. Also favour shift dresses with shirt/long sleeves and trousers with tshirt & statement necklace and/or cosy scarf. always heels in the office. flats for outside.

Warehouse is a good place to look. Riess is nice. Ted Baker usually do nice tailoring (pencil skirts...) but mine near me is a bit hit and miss. next have some nice basics at the moment too.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Wed 28-Jan-15 19:45:23

Can't really do floaty tops due to huge norkage which elicits unfortunate resemblance to a barrage balloon.

Pencil skirts are good. Assuming I can get one with a bit of give for escalators.

Would a mac be ok? Or would I look like a twat in the snow when I go North?

Oly4 Wed 28-Jan-15 20:21:25

Banana Republic does fabulous workwear. I'd get some fab black trousers and a couple of nice shirts/blouses/shell tops. And a couple of their Anna cardigans which are perfect for work.
Jaegar also does fab work clothes without being over the top. The sale is still on!
Banana republic will get their fab trench coats in soon. I bought a gorgeous pure wool black wrap coat in the Jaegar sale.

Ladyflip Wed 28-Jan-15 21:07:55

Have a look through Belinda's blog.

frankietwospots Wed 28-Jan-15 21:21:37

Have a look at the latest Wardrobe Icons issue for some good ideas and principles. Health warning: the prices are crazy so just look at it for ideas!

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Wed 28-Jan-15 22:29:05

Mmmm. Nice stuff in that wardrobe icons link. I have a Matches near me too. We'd have to sell the house mind... <muses>

I have had a good look at Banana Republic and Hobbs. Favouring Hobbs and have picked out a few nice shifts, pencil skirts and a tote. Also eyeing up the knitwear. I'm trying not to be put off by the fact my mother is a big Hobbs fan hmm grin

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Wed 28-Jan-15 22:30:55

Thanks everyone for suggestions. It's useful to know what I don't like so much so I can find what I do.

I used to be a fashion and beauty junkie. Then I had dc who eat face cream and draw on my handbags. And I got two stone heavier and somewhat lumpen looking.

Ememem84 Wed 28-Jan-15 22:44:21

moving im also blessed in the bork department. Find that floaty tops work for me esp with a pencil skirt.

Think christina hendricks a la madmen

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Wed 28-Jan-15 22:57:41

Ah yes, tucked in!

A while ago Banana Republic had a fantastic collection based on Mad Men. Sadly I was on maternity leave and it all looks a bit boring at the moment.

I have on my list so far: trench coat, naice flats, shift dress, pencil skirt, top that does not make me look like a barrage balloon but may kill a man Joan-esque knit, thick tights, long sleeve roll neck/scoop neck for going under shift, good bag.

Things to check: if I can still fit into my old smart cardigan, charcoal smart trousers (need hems taking up regardless), how tatty my dress for the annual client visit is looking.

Things to ponder: is there a jacket out there that doesn't make me look like I'm playing dress up/I look that woman off The Chase.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Wed 28-Jan-15 23:03:03

I forgot statement jewellery which is a baffling thing to me. I realise I'm too old to get away with any of the costume jewellery that used to look cute and funky when I last went shopping for work and I'm not old enough to pull off proper grown up jewellery. Nor do I have the means to protect it from the children or my innate ability to lose things.

I'd like some small diamond studs. Prob fake ones so if I lose them it's not the end of the world.

Armpitt Wed 28-Jan-15 23:04:15

Argos diamond studs are your nars. Quality glass

Armpitt Wed 28-Jan-15 23:04:28

Mates. Not NARS

GermanHouseCat Wed 28-Jan-15 23:05:10

I work in banking and tend to wear jersey dresses, thick tights and heels. Trainers on the tube smile

Easy - every Sunday I hang 5 dresses on the front of my wardrobe, 5 tights and underwear.

Good luck!!!

GermanHouseCat Wed 28-Jan-15 23:07:38

Banana Republic

And I keep a black jacket on the back of my chair for meetings with the big wigs

Greenrememberedhills Wed 28-Jan-15 23:08:59

A navy jacket is useful.

Grey flannel trousers.

I wear a lot of scoop neck T shirts with cardigans and pencil skirts.

Hobbs are good. Mistral is good for slightly more casual. The odd piece from jigsaw or Planet.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Wed 28-Jan-15 23:20:54

Thanks everyone. I'm taking notes smile

May try the shops tomorrow with my toddler if I'm feeling brave.

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