Work wardrobe - 27, smart casual...(6 Posts)
I'm hoping someone can help me!
I started a new job almost two months ago and the wardrobe requirements are quite different. My previous job was in a very creative environment with an 'anything goes' type attitude. Some days I'd be in a dress, tights and boots, others in jeans with a blouse and blazer and others in jeans, a jumper and converse so it was quite varied but ultimately very casual.
My new job is more 'business casual' or 'smart casual' with a dress down Friday. Before I started I purchased a few pieces - blouses, a pencil skirt, black trousers and a couple of dresses (plain black shift and a black/cream striped shirt dress) however two months in, I feel like I never have anything nice to wear and sometimes feel a bit under-dressed because the clothes aren't that great quality-wise.
I'm around a size 18 (sometimes a 16 depending on style/stretch factor), quite tall at 5ft8 with a bit of a waist (however i find the waist on most dresses is too high for me because of my height) and big legs/a wee bit of a tummy. I prefer neutral colours that all work together (basically live in black)
I used to shop in the usual places - H&M, New Look, Primark, Gap etc. but every time I go into those shops now I can't see anything I like and just walk straight back out.
So my questions are:
- what sorts of pieces should I be looking for to build a nice workwear wardrobe?
- where should I be looking for these pieces?
Any help much appreciated!
Slim fitting black trousers at 7/8 length.
A nice top, normally just a tee shirt. I don't bother with shirts.
A jersey blazer, I have a nice grey one as the black one I would normally wear doesn't match my current favourite pair of trousers.
Or, a nice jumper - favourite being a cotton cashmere mix from la redoute.
I normally wear Chelsea boots or flat black shoes and a big scarf. This is as smart as I want to get!
Thinking about it, most of that is la redoute! I really like the simple, neat styling, and have found that most items wash and wear really well.
Boots are Aldo and shoes are Office. I've tried this year to only have a capsule wardrobe which has totally worked, so everything is mix and match.
For workwear I liked nice fitted trousers or knee length skirts with a nice top/shirt or dresses. My work clothes tend to come from Debenhams or Wallis. Also have bought some nice things in Evans in the past. Debenhams has a great range of designers but their own range is probably the best for reasonable price while still having quality. Some of their dresses I've literally had for 3/4 years for work!
I'm your age and having a similar dilemma because I'm trying to get up the career ladder and want to look more 'professional'!
I've wound up buying a couple of dresses from Hobbs for 'very best' - so expensive but for big work things where I need to look brilliantly smart (networking events, big meetings, presentations) they work really well. Day to day I'm living in shift dresses (also a bit of a tummy so prefer non clingy!) from Marks & Spencer, Oliver Bonas, Zara and Oasis. Still need a decent pair of shoes but I got a swishy new professional haircut last month so I'm incredibly poor! Hopefully it'll all pay off when I'm earning squillions... (hahah)
Forgot to say Next can also be good for workwear and sometimes Next Clearance is fab for picking up a bargain!
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