Keeping up with your style credentials isn’t always easy, especially when it comes to your work attire and trying to work this season’s key trends into your wardrobe. Staying up-to-date with the latest looks and trends doesn’t mean you have to splash the cash. Instead of shopping designer labels, high street stores offer the same kind of styles for a fraction of the price, which look just as good. Zara, Office, Miss Selfridge and River Island are just some examples of shops that produce great fashion for a small price. Although, sometimes it’s nice to treat yourselves to a designer piece or two, such as a luxury Saint Laurent or Mulberry designer bag to Alexander McQueen’s knitted ruffle jumper.
“it’s best to be over-dressed than under-dressed”
When thinking about your work wardrobe, you should consider buying pieces that are fairly plain, making it easier to mix and match. By doing this, it makes getting ready in the mornings so much easier when you have tops that can be styled with tailored trousers, a pencil skirt or culottes, and vice-versa. This way, you can then easily add and remove items, depending on the season, and stay looking stylish and chic. For example, you could liven up a pair of black cigarette trousers with pops of new season colours to conform to the current fashion, or even an embroidered shirt which are everywhere right now.
Here are some of my best workwear buys for the new season:
An over-sized tote bag is a great way to carry everything you need with you to work whilst keeping a fashionable look. Saint Laurent‘s large leather tote bag is a great option, despite being a little pricey, because it won’t ever go out of style and it goes with pretty much anything in your wardrobe. There are other high street alternatives to this that don’t cost too much, such as Zara or River Island. I have a black winged tote bag from H&M that I bought about 4 years ago for roughly £20 (similar to this bag that is available now) and it’s still going strong despite me pushing it to its limits every day with my tendency to take everything but the kitchen sink – sometimes you don’t have to pay a lot for good quality.
It’s best to stick to plain trousers to make it easier to dress your top-half with the latest tops and colours. My go-to trousers are either black skinny’s or cigarette trousers, allowing you to dress up the outfit easily – culottes are also great for the spring and summer months. Plain trousers are available anywhere at any time of year in the majority of shops because they are a classic wardrobe staple. By keeping the colours plain and simple, it enables you to use these in your everyday casual wardrobe too, where you can dress outfits more casually for a stroll in the park or some shopping.
Tops are a great way to add vibrancy and character into your look. It’s best to dress up your outfits through your tops/shirts rather than trousers. This season, embroidered pieces are very much in, as well as this season’s colour yellow. Blue is also a popular colour at the moment, making an prominent appearance in NYFW earlier this month. Ruffles seem to be a thing of the moment, with many fashion designers opting for large sleeves and ruffled fronts at both LFW and NYFW.
Zara Floral Embroidered Shirt 39.99 | Zara Blue Statement Sleeve Shirt 25.99 | RI Green Floral Blouse 35.00 | Boohoo Ruffle Sleeve Top 18.00 (perfect for spring) | ASOS Pleated Shirt in Raspberry Red 38.00
It’s nice to change up the regular black trouser and top combo once the weather starts to turn nicer and the sun is out more often. Flowing skirts are a nice alternative, as well as shirt dresses, which create a more smart-casual look that is acceptable in most workplaces. Bold colours and prints are perfect in skirts, which can be paired with a simple plain blouse for a more formal look.
Shoes can make or break an outfit in my opinion. Of course you don’t have to wear heels to work – you can still look sassy and chic wearing a pair of low boots or flats. For trousers, my go-to shoes are either my trusty T-bar flats from Clarks (similar to this pair), or a pair of low ankle boots from Office. When the weather is colder, I opt for my amazing Kurt Geiger Chelsea boots, but when it’s colder I opt for more weather appropriate low-heeled flats or ballet shoes for comfort. I find that although Clarks can be considered fairly ‘old-fashioned’, I find their shoes so unbelievably comfortable so I urge people to go and have a look at their spring/summer range.
“first impressions are very important”