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Grown up work clothes

(19 Posts)
PersisFord Mon 14-Mar-16 10:11:47

Hi everyone, I'm after some style advice! I'm about to go back to work after maternity leave but am going back to a slightly different role so need a grown up work wardrobe as I will need to look professional rather than just grubbing around on the floor with kids all day.

I have 2 pairs of really nice wool trousers (grey and beige, slim leg, ankle length) from Reiss that just about fit (but I would need a loose top to hide tummy) and a black high waisted pencil skirt, but no idea about tops, shoes, accessories, etc.

I'm a size 12 with a dreadful CS overhang (but good control pants thanks to you guys flowers) and I'm 5'7. The other women doing my job wear things like pencil dresses with tights, smart trousers with ironed shirts tucked in, leather shoes with small heels.

I will be working 3 days so I prob only need 6 outfits. I don't know where to go and shop. I REALLY like LK Bennett and Reiss dresses as they seem slightly more interesting but I can't afford them.

I'm sorry this is a bit vague and waffly - if I have left out anything key please let me know. And I really hope you can help!

carrie74 Mon 14-Mar-16 10:13:49

Have a look at Me&Em dresses, great quality jersey, and very flattering fit. Sales are excellent (but won't be for a while).

Banana Republic would also be a good bet and J Crew.

All brands you can search for on Ebay too if you know what you like.

PersisFord Mon 14-Mar-16 10:16:48

Ooooh that was quick, thank you!! I am bidding on an LK Bennet dress on eBay at the moment.....

I will check out those brands, thank you.

Can I ask what kind of top would look nice with my nice trousers? Pre-kids I wore fitted jumpers but that would look horrible now, I need something looser for the tummy.

KatharinaRosalie Mon 14-Mar-16 10:19:07

I have a lot of work clothes from here, decent quality and cheaper than Reiss

Artandco Mon 14-Mar-16 10:21:59

Add a silk smart casual shirt to the trousers and skirt. Buy 2

Try and buy two dresses

Add round neck thin woolen jumper when cold

Your only working three days so x2 trousers and 1 skirt, plus two new shirts and two dresses will be plenty to start with. The jumper or cardigan try and use what you have for now

Thelwell Mon 14-Mar-16 10:26:41

I would go for good quality simple wool shift dresses and get a tailor (ask in your local dry cleaners) to take them in perfectly for your shape. If your body shape changes again, they can redo, no problem.

PersisFord Mon 14-Mar-16 10:35:38

Thanks! Just have to pop to supermarket but will read and digest and reply.

Any ideas for shoes? There is a fair bit of walking involved and I am shocking at heels but not sure ballet pumps will cut it....

Artandco Mon 14-Mar-16 11:37:44

Some brogue flat leather shoes? Can wear with trousers/ skirt or dresses

Lilipot15 Mon 14-Mar-16 12:48:13

I'm hopping on to watch this as in a similar situation but I'm a size 14-16 (aiming to do something about this ASAP) and 5 foot 2. Which of these brands are good for smaller people, or is the best option to get a decent seamstress to alter clothes for me?

And OP, where is the advice about control pants - I have developed that CS overhang after my second!!

mrsmortis Mon 14-Mar-16 13:18:08

As a two time mum I get you on the shirt tucked in thing. I wear smart white/pink/blue shirts to work but I never tuck them in because I have flab at the front to hide. The important thing for me is the shape. The shirts can't be straight down but need to have proper darts and a shaped waist. I feel this makes me look a lot more put together. I mainly work with men though so I don't know if this is normal and accepted. It's just what I do.

I also wear a nice scarf, smart trousers, and a fitted jacket.

PersisFord Mon 14-Mar-16 14:11:48

here is my control pants thread lilipot.

Art I've got some of those in a peachy colour, that's a good idea. Are they ok with my black pencil skirt though?

mrsmirtis that sounds perfect, where do you get them please?

thelwell if I do that should I size up to make them a bit more generous?

katarina and carrie those websites are great, thank you!!

So exciting!!!

Can I also ask a stupid question - if I'm wearing a dress in the summer do I have to wear nude tights or is bare legs acceptable? I want to err on the side of being conservative....but I hate nude tights!!!

flowers to you all, thank you!!

KitKatCustard Mon 14-Mar-16 16:50:25

In the days when I went to an office I was a great fan of trousers like your and had a selection of wrap round and tunic style jersey tops. They are pretty forgiving, stretchy, so comfortable and don't need ironing!

Got them from places like Great Plains, Baukjen (in the sale), Masai Clothing, Adini.

MyFavouriteClintonisGeorge Mon 14-Mar-16 17:01:04

Pure Collection has good sales. At the moment there are nice tops on offer which would fit the bill. I particularly like this one. Their quality is very good, in my experience. Everything I've got from there has lasted very well.

Uniqlo is another good option for decent blouses and tops. They tend to do that nice floppy but thick enough viscose that drapes well.

& Other Stories has good separates.

And don't forget TK Maxx, if only for tights. My nearest branch had Donna Karan control underwear, which is excellent, and some fantastic tights from big name brands the last time I went in.

I would wait and see on the tights. I wear them because they make my legs look less mottled (ooh, the glamour!).

Office is quite a good bet for a cheap version of whatever kind of shoes are in at the moment. Try tassled loafers with a slight heel, and patent leather ones look smarter.

Artandco Mon 14-Mar-16 17:23:31

I imagine peach brogues will work with black skirt if you have white/ light coloured shirt on top. Should be fine with trousers also. Might as well try them anyway as saves buying something else straight away. Can always get something else later down the line

The people tree does ethical clothing. I like some of their dresses and skirts, but need keep looking as some stuff ott

Lilipot15 Mon 14-Mar-16 19:03:28

Thanks for the link OP. Enjoy your shopping grin

Gillybobs Mon 14-Mar-16 19:53:36

I really like Banana Republic for work clothes, have also had some success with blouses from Zara and Autograph at M&S

Hobbes8 Mon 14-Mar-16 20:00:40

The boden ravello top is quite nice for tummy covering. It's hip length, so you can wear it over trousers, and it's a silk / viscose mix, so smart enough for work and has a slight sheen. I'd get a plain colour rather than patterned though - it can look a bit busy.

PersisFord Mon 14-Mar-16 21:51:05

Oh my. I have had SUCH a nice afternoon of Internet browsing!!! Have lots of baskets full of stuff but am having a cooling off period before my splurge!!!

Thank you all, you are so helpful!! flowerschocolatewinecakestar

MyFavouriteClintonisGeorge Tue 15-Mar-16 12:15:29

If you like necklaces to posh up your look, East has a surprisingly good selection sometimes, as does ASOS.

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