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What are people wearing on the office these days?

(17 Posts)
GrannyRoberts Fri 10-Jan-20 10:01:34

Background is: new job in new organisation, more senior role than I've previously had and I really want to look professional. It's a smart/casual dress code generally and people have very different styles - definitely not city corporate but not jeans and trainers either. My old work clothes are feeling a bit dated and "Ally McBeal". I used to always wear heels to work but I think that's probably quite dated now. Just looking for inspiration for some looks to aim for. I'm 5'5" and a size 8-10. Quite wide feet so certain shoes, especially flats can look weird on me - e.g some loafers and ballet pumps make my feet look as though they are spreading across the floor! I have quite short legs too in relation to my back. Any inspiration welcome! I'd like to come up with a basic "look" that suits me and then I can vary colours, materials etc.

DameCelia Fri 10-Jan-20 11:08:38

Hi op .

I'm in a similar situation except I'm returning to work after three years out. I had a free personal stylist session at John Lewis, was an hour long and no pressure to buy, although I did! The young woman who did it had a far better idea of what is worn in offices than me, and also suggested really clever ideas for making the same basics look more or less dressy.

mrslebon Fri 10-Jan-20 13:33:12

We are the same size and height! I'm a director in a company and at the moment I love wearing polo necks (like this: tucked into a wool or cord mini skirt with opaque tights and heeled ankle boots. Also 7/8ths trousers with a printed blouse tucked in and platform brogues or heels.

GrannyRoberts Fri 10-Jan-20 15:59:35

Thanks both - appointment at John Lewis booked for tomorrow smile

AfterSomeAdvice1234 Fri 10-Jan-20 16:15:03

Same as mrslebon - plus I often wear long shirt dress type things with a heeled knee high boot. Love a midi skirt with a plain
long sleeved top too but that's not to everyone's taste.

Sigh81 Fri 10-Jan-20 16:46:59

Senior role here at the edge of the City and FS. Size 8, hourglass (so emphasis on fitted but very covered up). I wear:

- slim silk/cotton polo necks tucked into midi pencil skirts (no meetings)
- fitted skirt suits from the 50s (super nipped waist, interesting details and colours if I am giving a speech)
- fitted shift dresses (midi) or draped dresses from the 40s. Always with a belt to nip in the waist.
- 7/8 trousers, blouse tucked in and blazer.
- city tailored coats like the Hobbs Tilda coat, collar turned up.

I will wear these with heels in the office or brogues to and from the office. I just like (small heels) and think they suit the outfits better.

KiteflyingKat Fri 10-Jan-20 19:26:52

Hi op I’m in an office in the City but not a super-formal place, although I interact with lots of City women.

Even among lawyers / bankers women tend to wear dresses with a complementary jacket rather than a full on suit these days. Or cigarette pants with silk blouse and jacket.

I do still see women in heels (I was at a big conference recently and most women were in heels) but flats (loafers, brogues, Chelsea boots) are much more popular now than say 10 years ago. Certainly most of the younger women in our office favour flats, although some of them do dress very casually and sometimes not in what I would consider work attire hmm

I often wear dresses as it’s only one thing to think about when I’m in a rush. I do still wear heels because I think they look better with the fitted dresses I wear but I’m currently wearing some shoe-boot things that I think look a bit more trendy than a traditional court shoe. I’m wearing opaque black tights during winter.

I used to wear flesh coloured tights but recently ditched them as I had noticed I was the only woman in the office wearing them and I did start to feel that I looked a bit dated and they set me apart from the younger crowd (I’m late 30s)

Eesha Fri 10-Jan-20 22:40:16

Interesting post as I used to think I was fashionable but then realised I too looked dated when I was working! Will definitely take on these tips when I'm back working again.

Egghead68 Fri 10-Jan-20 22:43:24

I’m wearing midi dresses and ankle boots with some metal on as recommended by a John Lewis stylist.

GrannyRoberts Sat 11-Jan-20 00:01:46

Good tips, thanks. I do tend towards a simple semi-fitted dress with opaque black tights and brogues these days but I'm so bored of it. I love midi skirts/dresses but my short legs look a bit stumpy in them and I struggle with finding the right shoes. I also like the idea of cigarette pants and silk blouse but can never find a combination that looks right on me. Will see what JL come up with tomorrow but thank you all for the ideas, I'm going to Google some of the looks mentioned for inspiration.

Alez Sat 11-Jan-20 00:18:25

I like mrslebons suggestions.

I work in a business casual environment in London (not the city though used to work there). I like to wear high waisted straight leg trousers (often slightly cropped) with polo necks (in my mind this is very shiv in Succession!), different coloured long or 3/4 sleeve tops or blouses. I also wear midi dresses, often shirt or wrap dresses. I like wearing heeled or flat ankle boots in the office. Heels at the moment tend to be stacked and chunky rather than slim.

& Other stories and whistles both have nice blouses with interesting patterns. I really like Massimo Dutti for trousers. Warehouse tends to be good for this kind of thing too, and it's a bit cheaper.

Egghead68 Sat 11-Jan-20 04:48:50

Hope you enjoy your session with the stylist @grannyroberts. I was really impressed with mine. He really took his time. He seemed to favour & Other Stories, Alice Temperley, Whistles and Warehouse. He told me to always wear a belt and to go for high waists.

Monty27 Sat 11-Jan-20 05:43:21

Surely it depends what industry. I find creatives usually look really cool.
I like a less corporate look deffo.

GrannyRoberts Sat 11-Jan-20 20:20:08

Thanks all, the consultation at JL was really good. I've come away with some good quality basics - tapered trousers, a lovely silk shirt, midi skirts and a range of tops that go with all. Plus a much better idea of what flatters my figure. I feel more confident building on those basics going forward. It was a good exercise in thinking about how hard each "piece" can actually work too, planning various combinations of just a few items. Result!

Egghead68 Sat 11-Jan-20 21:10:12


mrslebon Tue 14-Jan-20 13:30:12

Brilliant, well done!

MikeUniformMike Tue 14-Jan-20 18:15:03

@Monty27, what do creatives wear?

I work in a tech environment and have got a bit too used to jeans and t-shirts, but now find I am looking for work.

The last time I worked for a big organisation, I wore dresses or skirts and tops. I don't like trousers other than jeans, and I'm not keen on wearing heels.
Shapewise, I'm probably an inverted triangle but with a bust.

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