This is a request post from my friend Jo at work. She wanted some ideas for ‘sort of’ smart work clothes. Unlike me, Jo has what I consider to be a ‘real’ job. She is a lawyer. She knows about legal stuff. She can read the small print AND tell you what it means. I, on the other hand, just try and get Pop Stars on the telly. I don’t have any real qualifications, I never went to University, I just talk a lot and send a few emails. Jo sometimes has to be smart to meet with other lawyers and important type people. I don’t really have to be smart, but I do like a good dress up, so I’m happy to accept this work-wear challenge…
As you all should know by now, the easiest way to immediately look smart is to throw on a blazer, so let’s start with that. Most of us don’t need to go the full suited and booted, a blazer and a reasonably co-ordinated pair of trousers or smart jeans will suffice. I have recently discovered J Crew (I know, late to the party), but they do a really good blazer in various colours that won’t date and will be a good investment for your wardrobe. Don’t scrimp on a Blazer, it’s a classic and deserves to be of high quality so it lasts.
The next thing you need is a decent pair of trousers. I think that Cos do the best trousers, although maybe not for shorter ladies as they are quite long. Whistles is also very good and my faves & Other Stories. Don’t discount M&S too, as they can also be a little goldmine for slacks plus they do their trousers in varying lengths, which is great for any of you smaller ladies. That said, I would go for a front-creased, slightly cropped pair, worn with a slip-on trainer or a brogue and good quality shirt.
This is a very easy option for work, it’s just one item of clothing you need to think about of a morning and everyone looks smart in a dress. I would always go midi length. No-one needs to see my thighs these days. I like to wear my dresses with trainers as I feel too dressed up with a heel, but a low heel or a nice sandal would work well if you can’t rock a sneaker at work.. Shirt dresses are a great option for spring, the buttoned-upness feels smart…
Skirts, I find skirts can be tricky sometimes. You have to get the fit right so they don’t cut you in half. Also those circular full-style skirts won’t work if, like me, you don’t have a discernible waist anymore post-children. I really should think about doing some exercise. I caught a glimpse of my backside in the changing room at H&M the other day. Gave me a terrible fright. I know the lighting is universally unflattering in there, but Jesus, it just wasn’t pretty. I just don’t like exercising though. It’s boring and it hurts. If I ever have a free evening, I’d much rather watch Broadchurch and eat a Wispa than go to the gym. I find that pencil-style skirts work best, they must have pockets, can’t be doing with a skirt without pockets.
You must have at least one really decent handbag in your arsenal. A grown-up business woman needs a quality bag. A grown-up ANY woman needs a quality bag. Just please, please, please don’t get a Michael Kors one. I can’t see the appeal of them at all. I know the price is on point, but they are just so, so basic. You know what I mean? Step away from the crowd and try something else. Here’s a few of varying prices that I love…
Please do let me know if you have something you would like me to do a blog post about, I’m always open to new suggestions.