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What do you wear to work? (Office)

(45 Posts)
blinkowl Fri 20-May-16 11:48:20

I'm starting a new job in an office next month where they all seem to wear suits or very smart / well put together outfits for every day wear.

I'm usually a jeans-and-top / dress-and-leggings person, this is alien to me- help!

I'm going shopping next week. What should I look for that doesn't break the bank - and suits someone on the <ahem> larger side?

HelloSunshine11 Fri 20-May-16 12:54:46

I'm on the <ahem> larger side too and I look ridiculous if I put a suit on, like I'm in fancy dress. I'd go for well-fitted shift or wrap dresses, as well as slim cut trousers with nice cross over tops. Oh, and get a couple of good blazers.

Congrats on the new job!

blinkowl Fri 20-May-16 13:06:58

Thanks smile

Sounds like good advice but seriously I'm clueless!

What kind of shoes do you wear with the trousers? I'm going to be walking a fair bit so they need to be not too high / actually walkable in!

Where would you go to get "a couple of good blazers"?

I've not bought a blazer in my life!
Well, I've had suits previously, but not blazers on their own.

Suits look OK on me, but I've found only if the suit jacket has at least 3 buttons to stop it gaping. I did have a look at suits the other day and tried a few on but all the ones in the shop seemed to have 1 button and they looked ridiculous on me!

Believeitornot Fri 20-May-16 13:09:35

Get a couple of structured dresses, a couple of jackets, a smart skirt and various tops plus a smart pair of trousers.
Try and avoid patterns.

Zara are good for Blazers as they keep their shape. Hennes is good for plain tops but you have to hunt for them online. Next is ok.

What's your budget?

I tend to get smart shoes from marks and Spencer's for work. You can get nice low wedges for example.

vvviola Fri 20-May-16 13:12:06

I wear ankle boots with all my suit/smart trousers for work. They may not be the most stylish, but if I have to walk across town for meetings, then at least I don't shred my feet! I keep a few pairs of dressier heels under my desk for occasions that seem to warrant it.

I mainly wear smart trousers, a shirt and a cardigan/jumper for day-to-day "stuck in the office writing reports" and I have a few trouser suits for more formal days. Shift dresses really don't suit me (on the larger side too), so I avoid them, but a lot of the stylish women I work with wear them (with ballet flats day-to-day and a pair of higher heels under the desk for meetings).

originalmavis Fri 20-May-16 13:16:28

Couple of plain suits (lewins often have sales)
Tailored black trousers, nice belt
Nice shirts that don't need much ironing
Easy to wear dresses and nice cardigans - boden or Ralph Lauren styles)
Flat pumps, heels - but I wear trainers on the commute.
Jewellery - I love a chunky necklace.

Tights are my bugbear. I have found that the boxes from primark are the most cost effective.

Believeitornot Fri 20-May-16 13:21:28



What size/shape are you?

blinkowl Fri 20-May-16 14:02:48

Ooh, lots of replies, thanks! I'll have a look!


I'm round! I have huge boobs and an even more enormous stomach. The ends of me - my lower arms and legs - are slim.
Size 18/20.

I look better in tunic tops and things that stop below the waist. (Hence short dresses and leggings. I look awful in things that accentuate the waist (dresses with belts look bad on me for example!)

blinkowl Fri 20-May-16 14:09:02

Budget - skint!

I have enough to buy maybe one or two outfits new if inexpensive, then I'm hoping once I get an idea of the style that works I can get more outfits 2nd hand via eBay.

blinkowl Fri 20-May-16 14:11:20

Because of my enormous stomach I can't wear shirts tucked in at the waist.

I need to wear blouses or tops that hang lower than the waist.

blinkowl Fri 20-May-16 14:13:11

Oops I was going to say, I have this ^^ .

Do you think it's smart enough for a smart place? It's Monsoon, but it's jersey material.

Queenbean Fri 20-May-16 14:20:00

The things that others have suggested are good but 100% check on eBay - so many bargains to be had on there

Particularly Zara Blazers

Itscurtainsforyou Fri 20-May-16 14:21:11

I like that dress! Maybe a jacket to go with it? Plus smart handbag/work bag and shoes and that's one outfit down smile

If budget is tight, check out sainsburys (the ones with the biggest clothes section). I've had a few work clothes from there and found them generally good quality. They have 25% off for the next week too - and go up to size 22 iirc. Try to coordinate the colours you buy so you can mix and match a bit.

itmustbemyage Fri 20-May-16 14:24:49

If you like the look of short dresses and leggings swop them for smarter tunic style tops over straight cut trousers. I have a chest size that makes fitted jackets impossible, loose jackets (not cardigans) are my saviour, my two favourites came from TK Maxx. For the same reason I can't wear shirts or dresses (as they would hang from my boobs and swamp me elsewhere) but there are plenty of wrap over tops (great for hiding a bit of a tummy) or lose fitting tops (that don't need ironing) available that will cover your bum. Light weight woollens can be nice if the office is on the cool side.
M and S (boring but safe) or Debenhams, sometimes Evans have a few reasonable pieces in your size.
Agree Next can be good but not great for someone with a large bust same goes for Zara, H + M or Topshop.
Cheaper options would be Matalan, or even some of the supermarkets have reasonable things that could get you started and you could upgrade as you go along.
If I find something that works for me I will usually buy it in more than one colour if I can.
Best thing to do is go shopping with an honest friend, try stuff on even if it's not something you would normally wear and ask them to be honest about what suits you. You are trying to be a more polished, professional version of you not completely obliterate your personality.

HoppingForward Fri 20-May-16 14:42:58

I like that dress

blinkowl Fri 20-May-16 15:09:54

The blazers on the Zara site look great - but they all have only 1 button.

I think that must be in at the moment - I did the rounds of all the shops in my town for the suit for the interview - I went to Next, Dorothy Perkins, M&S, Debenhams and others I've forgotten, and all their suits had blazers with one button. I did try a few on just in case, but they really did look bad! Even 2 is not enough.

Like this one from Zara. I really like the look, I would feel comfortable and smart in something like this, if it suited my shape. But I know it just won't work on me.

blinkowl Fri 20-May-16 15:14:06

Itscurtainsforyou interesting you mention Sainsbury's, that's where I got my interview suit from in the end!

I bought something that wasn't quite right but would do, from Monsoon in the end. Then happened across a sale in Sainsbury's the evening before the interview and got a suit I like for under £30!

Funny I didn't think of going back for more! I will though now you've mentioned it.

I'm also going to the city with better shops up the road next week, with a friend, so this thread is preparation for that. I only have one day free to go shopping so I need to make sure I know what I'm looking for. I'd love to do leisurely shopping seeing what suits but no time for that! Maybe when I get paid ...

Queenbean Fri 20-May-16 15:25:30

Blazers with one button would look much better on your shape, ones with more than one button or double breasted will add weight to you

I only ever wear blazers undone anyway, most of them that I own don't even button up

blinkowl Fri 20-May-16 16:05:25

"Blazers with one button would look much better on your shape"

I promise you they don't. I tried really hard to convince myself that one button would be fine when I went shopping for the interview suit, I ignored my past experience that one button doesn't suit me, as it's all that was available. So I tried loads on, just the other week.

And I found again that if I do the button up, they gape at the front. The material doesn't lie flat on my body, coming together at the button. It bows out, then squeezes together for the button. I've tried lots on and this is what happens. It's a shape thing, not a size thing - if I put a suit on with 3 buttons it looks fine.

I am about a 40G I think at the moment.

I know one answer is to just not do it up, but I would like to have the option!

blinkowl Fri 20-May-16 16:07:54

I do have a few old jackets that don't do up because I'm too fat for them now, but still like wearing them!

But would you buy something new that doesn't do up (if it's a style that's meant to be done up)? It seems wrong somehow!

Leigh1980 Fri 20-May-16 16:11:32

Whatever pajamas I wake up in 😂😂. I work from home sometimes from my bed if I'm feeling to lazy to actually get up. Luckily I have a wireless printer 👏

hollinhurst84 Fri 20-May-16 16:38:05

Evans has some nice jackets. I have this one (I actually wear it with skinny jeans and boots but it's comfy!)

hollinhurst84 Fri 20-May-16 16:41:04

Sainsburys is 25% off?


Believeitornot Fri 20-May-16 20:10:11

I'm a size 8 and my blazers do not lie flat. Not sure they're supposed to. On models they do as they have no chests.

However I would suggest not wearing a blazer if you feel uncomfortable or going for one with three buttons if you prefer, which has say 3/4 or 1/2 length sleeves as they looks better IMO.

Might be worth scouring Pinterest for ideas for a look then copy.

JaceLancs Fri 20-May-16 20:59:10

Find some trousers that suit you and buy in black navy and charcoal
Repeat with a few flattering tops in basic colours
I tend to wear cashmere cardigans in winter, fine knit 3/4 sleeve cardigans in summer, often in Jewel bright colours
Blazers in winter, linen jackets in summer, when I want to dress up a bit more
I wear low heeled pointy toe boots in winter, same in shoes for summer. Dune and Faith usually have a good range, occasionally M n S

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