Work clothes help(13 Posts)
Hiya. Currently on mat leave after my third child, have post baby thinning hair, seem to have misplaced my waist, and am almost forty... For the last eight years I have worn scrubs at work, so glorified pyjamas, and jeans at home... After this mat leave I am rotating to a job on the wards.... I need to look smart but be comfortable in a hot hospital on feet for thirteen hour stretches... I last had to do this a long time ago and cannot say I am feeling inspired. Also have to be bare below the elbow. Think I need a capsule work 'uniform' to get me through. Any suggestions?
Wd normally suggest dresses for ease of wearing and looking smart. UNless there is a chance of getting a stain , then a top plus bottom wd be good if need to change.Still like dresses better tho. Can add a jacket if you have to go to meetings looking even smarter.
Sounds like you need trousers, as skirts would mostly require tights which will be too hot and not so practical. Cotton would be best as not hot and easy to wash (rather than dry clean) - although you will have to iron them to look smart. So chinos basically. Gap and H&M are good sources.
And then you need smart but comfy tops. I tend to look for things that are just a bit smarter than a T shirt but equally comfy - a loose blouse for example, or a T shirt shape but made of a silky fabric so it looks smarter. Zara, Mango, Asos are all quite good at that sort of thing.
This will be on the "casual" end of smart casual but you can make it smarter with jewellery and bit of make up.
Shoes - I've got some shoes from Gabor which are smart but comfy (sort of ballet flats with a slight wedge) so would recommend a look there.
Ah cross posted!
Yes dresses are easier in that you don't have to coordinate, but depends how you feel about tights?
I agree. Suits are way out of fashion now for women at work according to the fashion bloggers. Separates are the way to go. Stick to basic colours and get some staples.
Black or navy trousers - cut slightly above the ankle (def not bootcut)
Cream scoop neck tops - easy to wear, wash and not iron!
Jazzier necklace - to wear with the plain top above
Dresses - I wear dresses most of the time now and I'm in a fairly corporate job, sleeveless or short sleeved and always machine washable. Life is too short to dry clean.
Cropped cardies - I often wear these now with a dress instead of a jacket, smart but not too power dressing.
One smart jacket - black or navy, preferably to match the trousers (try Next for reasonable or M and S).
Leopard skin belt - This sounds mad but I wear mine all the time with a plain navy dress and it just makes it a bit more interesting and stylish (it's a really cheap dress and the belt was a tenner).
Flat slightly pointed shoes if you can wear them - I can't cos of bunions so I've taken to wearing brogues. Sounds mad I know but so comfy and can be feminine. You need to have some 'skin' showing between the end of your trousers and the shoe to make it feminine not frumpy.
Where do you get your work dresses Ruby? I got a nice black one in Zara for interviews but if I actually get a job I will need a few more and I want non-cheap looking but actually quite cheap £25-£40 ones that are knee length and not too booby. The Zara one was £28 in the sale and is perfect for interviews but very 'serious' looking and they didn't have any other colours...I'd like a navy, maybe a colour block one? Not sure about patterns....
I think dresses are great for an office job (dresses are my workwear, plus boots or sandals) but it sounds as if trousers plus a pretty-ish blouse might work best for you.
Like the sound of chino type trousers and a smarter top. Shirts usually have sleeves that are too long so something smarter than a t short would work well. I have brogues so that is a bonus. Will need another pair of shoes. Floors are concrete so thin soled ballet pumps do t work but ones with more sole and support would be great, any suggestions? Will look at Gabor... Like the idea of a more interesting belt to cheer things to a bit. Dresses I like and ok in winter but in summer rights are too hot as the wards get a bit tropical...
So Zara, Mango, Asos for the smart t shirt and blouses, definitely need non iron!
Where does good cropped cardigans? Need to also be short sleeved as bare below the elbows, but still sometimes need another layer.
Hmm for cropped cardigans dare I suggest Boden?
Boden are also good for smart but comfy tops, although cost a lot more than Zara et al (and usually more than I'm willing to pay as I destroy clothes) but look out for sale or discount vouchers.
I have these from Gabor, they are really very comfy, proper padding and support. I admit I haven't done 13 hours on my feet in them though.
For dresses Me & Em are good, machine washable but smart, again a bit much at full price but they do really good sales.
Woolovers is good for cardigans and always seem to be having sales.
Not sure what you are doing on the wards but once dh (who is a doctor) had a dress code and it stated no woollens so cardigans might be out? Was going to suggest gap for chinos and for tops maybe gap, white stuff, Zara, uniqlo and I weirdly have some nice ones from JL weekend.
I love brogues and definitely my choice of work shoe, but dh only wears non noisy shoes to not to disturb people. A lot of doctors in his department wear campers for that reason. (Or at least this is dh excuse...)
FauxFox try M and S for dresses - they sometimes have really good deals and even in their Classic collection. I got a printed dress there for about £30 ages ago and it washed brilliantly. Next is ok too, the quality can be hit and miss but their shift dresses are pretty timeless. My navy dress if from John Lewis, it was £69 but I've worn it non stop and it still looks fine.
Thanks Ruby I would not have thought of M&S - that's a good tip. Next stuff never seems to fit me right but am going to sift through JL too - might be lucky with a sale bargain
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