Work-wear is not what it used to be. Our lifestyles have changed; many of us are ‘slashers’, perhaps moving from one line of work to another in any given day. Many people work in offices that don’t require the traditional ‘office’ attire.
The life/work balance of yesteryear doesn’t apply anymore. In my job for example, I’ll often be in the office from early morning, and then off to an event in the evening. This type of lifestyle requires clothes that are durable, comfortable and appropriate…as well as within your own personal brand of style.
If you’re spending so much time in these clothes, you should love them. I’ve had my fair share of work-wear fails (think busted zips and bum-showing seam rips) – here’s what I’ve learned…..
- Will it work in and out of work? Many of my clothes (aside from jeans, slogan tees and ‘fast fashion’ buys) work inside and outside the office. I might wear a pencil skirt with a shirt in the week, for example, and dress it down at the weekend with a sweater. Or pair the shirt with jeans. Living in a small flat makes you really think about what’s in your wardrobe. This skirt for example, I’ll wear in the week with a jacket and out of work in a more casual way
- Make sure you’re comfortable – that skirt might look amazing, but if you can’t sit down or breathe after a big lunch, how you gonna concentrate? This skirt
- Think about the temperature – layering is the perfect antidote to those air-conditioning/ dodgy heating woes
- Keep a spare pair of shoes at work – Especially if you walk in or use public transport (have you ever tried to navigate the tube in heels? Not recommended.)
- A tailored jacket instantly smartens up any outfit. And you don’t have to spend a fortune. My most-worn blazer is vintage M&S from a charity shop. Bargain. Goes with everything.
- Think about the wear-to-cost ratio. If an item is £10, great. But how often will you wear it? Sometimes you can spend a little more on a handbag or jacket if you’re going to be using it all the time.
- Check the zips and stitching. You would not believe how many times a seemingly secure item from a shop like Zara or River Island has busted on me. I’ve had a skirt split up the front, exposing my lady parts; a skirt split up the back, exposing my bum. I’ve had zips break when I’ve nipped to the loo and the heels of shoes snap off. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m hard on my clothes – but when I’m spending a decent wedge on an item of clothing, I don’t expect it to let me down and put me in a potential HR situation. So, I’ve learned my lesson. Now, if an item of clothing comes with a dodgy or flimsy-looking zip, I get another one put in.
- KEEP the spare buttons. Especially if the buttons on a particular item of clothing are distinctive. I always check how secure buttons feel when I pick up an item in store, but when you’re ordering online it can be a gamble. Keep the spare buttons somewhere safe just in case. And spare heel bottoms if your shoes come with them (Raid shoes always include spares in the box)
Do you have any work-wear styling tips? Share them below
*Featured image – Marks and Spencer S/S18 collection