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What do people actually wear to work these days?

5 replies

Gingerteabag · 01/10/2018 08:36

Returning to work after time out with the kids. No problem, I thought, I used to work, I'll have plenty of things in the wardrobe. Turns out I'm basically going to end up wearing black trousers and a "nice top" every day. I'd love some other inspiration. It's public sector, so I'd like to look smartish but not too corporate. I'm only part time so shouldn't really spend too much up front, but hoping for some inspiration of what I can mix and match for a bit more variety. I'm usually a size 10 and quite tall if that helps

OP posts:
Trills · 01/10/2018 08:57

If you don't want to spend too much then have a good think about mixing and matching with things you have already.

A pair of trousers in not-black, that goes with your existing shoes-for-trousers and at least three of your "nice tops".

A skirt perhaps? (there are a lot of midi skirts around) again that goes with at least three of your tops and that you already have shoes/boots that you can wear with it.

Dresses are good because they don't need to "go" with anything, they can be worn on their own.

The best place for inspiration on "what do people wear to work?" is looking at people wearing clothes to go to work. Especially because it varies a lot between workplaces. Start with your basic wardrobe, go to work for a couple of weeks, and pay attention and take notes any time you see a colleague, or a person who works in the building next door, or someone else on their way to work, wearing something you like the look of.

Clockwork95 · 01/10/2018 09:11

It does seem to vary quite a lot between offices. I just moved to a new department in the same organisation (but different building) and the difference is quite noticeable. My new workplace is much more formal. So definitely keep an open mind until you start!

Anyway, as a general rule dresses seem very popular these days. Much less thinking required, just throw on and go. Either jersey dresses (which I love), or something a bit more structured. Either above knee or midi length (rather than on the knee which seems less fashionable at the moment). In my office most women wear black opaques from September to May, and no tights at all in summer.

For shoes, people still seem to be wearing block heels everywhere I look. I love them - so much comfier than the old style stilettos. If you are more of a flats person, I see lots of people wearing brogues which look good.

For trousers, make sure they hit on the ankle rather than meeting your shoes. I don't see many people wearing full length trousers at my office anymore.

Gingerteabag · 01/10/2018 21:03

Thank you, very true, good idea to wait and observe. Never been very good at being patient! Love the idea of something midi/calf length

OP posts:
HundredMilesAnHour · 01/10/2018 21:59

I agree with Clockwork95. There are a LOT of dressers worn in my office. I see very few trousers & tops, and the few trousers on view are don't quite reach ankle length and tend to be wide rather than narrow.

As an example, I wore this dress today:

Worn with a cropped black boxy jacket from Jaeger and the inevitable black opague tights (from Heist) plus black sparkly low heeled shoes. No-one believed my dress only cost £20. It looks great on. Quite amusing that my tights cost more than my dress. Smile

AhAgain · 01/10/2018 22:02

Yes, I would agree to wait and observe.

A lot depends on what you feel comfortable in too and what image you want to give.

My work place varies between smart casual and casual (mostly software engineers, but most of us are client facing or potentially client facing - so image is fairly important).

Professionally I feel better is I am smart/professional, but prefer to be slightly feminine (to contrast the blokey environment). So I mainly wear dresses or skirts and nicely cut fitted shirts. Opaque tights in Winter, nude tights in Summer.

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