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Help! Smart Casual workwear - what does it mean?

(12 Posts)
Kipsy Tue 05-Jan-16 12:54:08

Starting a new job in February - and the dress code is "Smart Casual" - what do I wear? And where do I buy it? I'm a size 14ish on top with massive arms and boobs and 12ish down below. Can't afford designer wear but happy to spend a little on good quality stuff that lasts. Please Help!!!

unlimiteddilutingjuice Tue 05-Jan-16 13:00:06

I would take this to mean work wear other than suits.

So for example-
Skirt with a smart jumper
Dress with a cardigan
Suit trousers or cords with a shirt

EmilyPunkhurst Tue 05-Jan-16 13:12:01

I'd add in to unlimiteds list, probably not (blue) jeans. Black jeans are usually ok.

What sort of shops do you like at the moment?

Kipsy Tue 05-Jan-16 13:31:39

Thank you! I usually buy from H&M, Debenhams, M&S, and sometimes Next.
I'm usually not very stylishly dressed (think jumper and jeans) - so this style upgrade is making me quite nervous, as you can tell grin
Reading the other thread on 'looking expensive' with great interest - hopefully can incorporate some of those ideas too...

EmilyPunkhurst Tue 05-Jan-16 13:37:48

There are the perennial MN favourites that it's worth looking at: Me + Em, & Other Stories, Cos, Baukjen.

I'm a similar body shape to you and I find dresses can be challenging (if they fit me on my bust they're huge on my hips, and I will not show my arms) but a sheath shape can work. As can jersey. As a result of that I wear a lot of trousers and skirts.

Have a look at the Shirt Company - if you sign up on their mailing list they'll send you perpetual discount codes.

Also worth checking out Finery, although they have a very specific palette which I think is limiting (wouldn't work for me).

EmilyPunkhurst Tue 05-Jan-16 13:39:40

Sorry, that last sentence was ambiguous - I meant that Finery doesn't offer "my" colours, not that having a limited palette doesn't work for me. Because it does. smile

Kipsy Tue 05-Jan-16 14:00:48

Thank you EmilyPunkhurt, I had never heard of these shops before, will definitely check them out. I got what you meant by Finery though - it is an unusual palette, and most of those colours won't look too good on me either.

burnishedsilver Tue 05-Jan-16 14:52:11

If I were you I'd walk by the office as people are finishing work to see what they're wearing. Smart casual in my old work place (IT multinational) meant most people wore jeans but dressed them up a bit.

CointreauVersial Tue 05-Jan-16 16:38:19

Avoid buying too much upfront until you have sussed out the smartness level.

specialsubject Tue 05-Jan-16 16:50:28

I don't think you can go too far wrong with black trousers (not skin tight of course) and a shirt that fits properly. Waistcoat/light jacket on top (offices are usually sweaty), job done.

because of office heat/stuffiness I always found dresses impractical, as whatever you wear on your top half will need washing after one day.

at size 14 I doubt you have ' massive' arms. If you really have 'massive' boobs then a smart top will avoid shirt gape.

Artandco Tue 05-Jan-16 17:30:49

Basically as above. Means a suit isn't needed but old jeans and old tshirt isn't either

Dh and I both dress 'smart casual for work'

Dh this morning wore dark denim jeans, navy shirt, black cashmere thin top, black blazer. Smart shoes. So jeans OK in his place as long as decent. No tie.

I'm in woolen knee length skirt, tights, silk shirt and round neck wool jumper. Brogue leather shoes

tb Tue 05-Jan-16 17:35:59

You could always look at Bravissimo for nice tops that you could then wear with black trousers.

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