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Finding smart, properly fashionable work clothes

(18 Posts)
sergeantmajor Sat 30-May-15 21:58:30

I need new clothes for work, needing to look professional but hip. I like minimalist streamlined stuff, like Cos, except Cos stuff never suits me. Stuff that is fitted works best on me.

My budget is upper-end of high street or a bit above if necessary. Which are the good shops for this now? And what key items should I be looking for?

It's for a new job and I feel a bit at sea! Thanks in advance.

MonstrousRatbag Sat 30-May-15 22:11:09

Gerard Darel in department stores is worth a look. In fact, I get most of my good finds by blitzing department stores during the sale: so many brands in oneplace, you can mix and match then try it all on together.

Hobbs is also useful, if a bit unimaginative.

Jaeger varies wildly in usefulness from season to season but the quality is good.

A friend of mine swears by Agnes B, but you have to be a gamine pygmy to fit into her stuff.

sergeantmajor Sun 31-May-15 10:53:29

Thanks Ratbag, will get googling...

louloubelle2 Sun 31-May-15 12:31:42

Toast - but like Cos you need to try on, it treads a fine line between frumpy and classic with a twist.

For more fitted styles:
Joseph - not high street but lower end designer, loads on The Outnet. Gaberdine trousers great.
Winser London - online only, plain classics but great quality. Miracle range excellent as are the gaberdine leggings (I love gaberdine type fabrics, smart enough to wear for work but not too formal and conservative, I wear mine at weekends too with different styling).
Me and Em - plain classics again but great for work.

Bonsoir Sun 31-May-15 13:28:49

French brands like Sandro, Maje, Iro and Zadig & Voltaire are good for professional-but-hip, providing you don't choose their fullest on looks.

Bonsoir Sun 31-May-15 13:30:11

Vanessa Bruno is excellent for workwear, though more expensive.

NeitherHereOrThere Sun 31-May-15 13:34:48

Whistles and Jigsaw are other brands worth looking into - Whistles is a bit more edgy than Jigsaw (which is rather similar to Hobbs).

sergeantmajor Sun 31-May-15 17:09:57

Thanks all.
I used to get a lot of Agnes B stuff (admittedly I am a gamine pygmy as MonstrousRatbag puts it), but I swear it used to be £60-70 for a shirt, instead of now it's twice that. £145 is a lot for a shirt, even a very nice one. I suppose it boils down to whether I can find shirts I like just as much for less.
Does anyone else think that Agnes B prices have doubled?

Twinklestein Sun 31-May-15 18:09:10

To echo others I go for LK Bennett, Agnes B, Joseph, J Crew, Jaeger.

Jaeger I find good for trousers, sometimes jackets, but their dresses are weird and frumpy.

I don't recall Agnes B ever charging £70 for a shirt - if only!

Twinklestein Sun 31-May-15 18:12:15

Whistles and Jigsaw were great in the 80s and 90s and then something went very wrong. They used to have gorgeous stuff.

Kennington Sun 31-May-15 19:07:30

I second the outnet but the iris and ink range there
Have you tried And other stories?

blueshoes Sun 31-May-15 20:57:49

Another gamine pygmy here!

I don't tend to wear suits to work, more dresses, but one brand that has not yet been mentioned on this thread for suits and the more formal end of workwear is Austin Reed.

Pantsalive Sun 31-May-15 21:24:50

Someone linked to Finery the other day. I've not tried them but they look really interesting and good prices.

blueshoes Mon 01-Jun-15 08:36:55

You might want to consider Baukjen

The clothes are pretty body conscious and since you mentioned 'gamine' you might be game for this. No carbs allowed though on the days you want to wear it ...

Along the bodycon line, there is also Asos. There is a lot of choice and it is generally pretty reasonable in price. You can surely find something but be prepared to trawl.

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Mon 01-Jun-15 16:12:52

Jaeger, LK Bennett, Whistles, J Crew and expensive bits of Linea (HofF own brand)

Coastingit Mon 01-Jun-15 16:53:29

Dresses are really good for workwear but can feel a bit like dressing up as a grown up if you're not used to them. Me and Em have brilliant ones, quite spendy but have good sales. Also Hobbs. Then some good black 7/8 length trousers, with pointy heeled shoes, are a great base to add silk shirts and nice necklaces, or whatever nice tops you like from Topshop etc.

I'd buy

Black trousers, navy too if you want
2 pairs of heels, black and dark nude
Loads of tops - Uniqlo for silk shirts
Couple of fitted cardigans in great colours for you if you like them, Dorothy Perkins do good ones
Some dresses - Me and Em, M and S Autograph both good.

MonstrousRatbag Mon 01-Jun-15 17:03:35

Oh, I hope I didn't offend with the 'gamine pygmy' description!

For quite classic things, especially tops, Pure Collection is worth trying. Their sales are good.

Banana Republic do good simple basics.

WanderWomble Mon 01-Jun-15 17:31:30

I love these shirts: www.hawesandcurtis.co.uk/womenswear/special_edition/executive_shirts

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