To be unable to find clothes to wear to work?
whosiwhatsit · 04/05/2013 20:41
I work in a place where it's business attire. The men wear suits, and most of my colleagues are men. The women wear dresses mostly, or other smart clothes. I can't figure out what to wear without looking boring and/or overdone.
I tried to go shopping today and walked away with nothing. I went into Monsoon and the whole shop looked like a clown threw up. Austin Reed was shockingly expensive. Zara and Mango almost all the blouses were see-through, low cut and very bright. M&S had some things that looked okay on the hangers but like shit when I put them on. How am I supposed to dress decent for work without spending a fortune, or do I have to spend a fortune to look semi-decent. I'm short and pale and tight and size 12-14. Where do I shop?
MortifiedAdams · 04/05/2013 20:54
Dorothy Perkins. blazer worn over a tunic dress or teamed with grey trousers and white shirt
Alternatively, they have a whole workwear section
Piemother · 04/05/2013 20:57
Sad to say it but Next is where I buy work clothes.
I don't wear dresses or skirts though. Tailored trousers and a smart top with smart shoes. I usually buy 3 pairs if trousers from oasis and done tops from next. I also buy stretchy vests from primark to wear under blouses to smarten up low cut or see through stuff.
Anthracite · 04/05/2013 20:58
I feel comfortable wearing suits to work, and I find a good range in Debenhams. I generally buy a new suit once a year, so have a decent collection now. Debenham's own brand (Collection?) usually does a jacket, dress, skirt and trousers, and I will buy the lot, although mostly wear the jacket and trousers.
I have also found some nice dresses in Debenhams, although it is hard to find any below the knee.
The hardest thing to find are blouses with proper collars. TKMaxx is good though.
schoolgovernor · 04/05/2013 20:59
How do you feel about charity shops? When I first went back to work I trawled charity shops in the better off areas and put together almost my complete working wardrobe. I even found pairs of shoes that still had price labels on. I think the only thing I purchased brand new were a really good pair of black trousers and some shoes from M & Co. I have a wide selection of Next blouses, dresses from Mexx and Designers at Debenhams, and jackets from all sorts of good brands.
javabean · 04/05/2013 20:59
I like Banana Republic, they're on the expensive side but their clothes last well. They do have a petite section, but sadly not online. Great Plains sometimes has some nice workwear, and Dorothy Perkins or Next have boring but ok staples.
That said, I think it's the wrong time of year to be looking - most of the shops have a much better selection of work clothes in Sept-Oct.
RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie · 04/05/2013 21:08
I am also short and pale and size 12. I wear lots of pencil skirts with mismatched jackets and plain scoop or cowl necked tops, or smart jersey dresses with mismatched jackets, or silk dresses and mismatched jackets, or cigarette or wide legged trousers with a little cropped jacket.
Skirts - mainly M&S and a few Vivienne Westwoods in sales
Jackets - Hobbs sales for good stuff and H&M for more throwaway
Tops - mostly Hobbs
Jersey dresses - White Company
Silk dresses - v occasional Warehouse and some ancient M&S, Oasis and Phase Eight ones from when you could still buy reasonably priced silk in such places
Cigarette trousers - current faves are from Cos
Nearly everything of mine is black or grey, with just a few coloured things.
whosiwhatsit · 04/05/2013 21:11
Thanks, all. I like banana republic too, and debenhams is sometimes decent. I think I'm quite picky due to my colouring and also being shy and not liking to stand out, and also yes it's the wrong time to be looming plus the fashions this season are just so bright and 80s looking and not to my taste. I do like charity shops and I also have tried ebay. However I find ebay very hit or miss as I'm not a great judge of what something will actually be like from a photo, and I've made a lot of mistakes buying stuff that ended up not being what I expected. I'll try Next next and Mexx. I find Hobbs and Massimo Dutti quote expensive but maybe I'd be better off buying a few quality things each season instead of buying loads of crap like I usually do.
marriedinwhiteagain · 04/05/2013 21:19
Mix of M&S, Laura Ashley, Boden, Phase 8, and as someone said upthread Banana Republic. I also like odd bits and pieces from East but I'm old and the HR lady . I think one or two really good pieces help too - ie, one pair of really good black trousers (even if they cost £100), one really good jacket that goes with a lot of things, etc.
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