After last week’s going out post, I got a raft of messages asking me to do a blog on going back to work. Many of you are now heading back to the workplace instead of hanging out in your comfies at the kitchen counter (or at least you were, who knows what this week will bring). Seems like you have also forgotten what to wear. I hear you and I hope I have some options for you this week. Not going to lie I found this one tricky. I have never worked in a formal environment. I could have rocked up to the office in a tie dye tracksuit and flip flops and no-one would have batted an eyelid.
I’m also, as of next week, leaving the job I’ve had for more than 20 years to go freelance so I will never ever have to work in an office again. It’s a daunting time, but if lockdown taught me anything, it’s that this is something I should have done a long time ago. For those who don’t know me, I have worked in the Music Business since I was 21. I do ‘TV Promotions’, which in a nutshell is getting music acts on the Television; performances on Strictly, Interviews on Graham Norton, Cooking on Sunday Brunch, that kind of caper.
I’m still going to be doing that alongside writing this blog, but now I shall only work the acts I actually like. My roster is pretty decent though, I still get to do all my favourites, Coldplay, Buble, Noel Gallagher, Stereophonics and more. I won’t have to sit in pointless meetings, I won’t have to commute, I won’t have to be nice to be people I want to punch. Although I still will have to be nice to people I want to punch. We all have to do that in polite society.
I won’t have a regular wage though, I won’t have a work pension, I won’t have job stability but you know what? I’m so happy this is happening. I feel I’ve done my time working for someone else. Time to be my own boss. But enough about me, let’s get on with some great work outfit ideas for you. I have tried REALLY hard to steer clear of my regular uniform of jeans and trainers, but I may have snuck a few sneakers in there, smart ones though…
SMARTER THAN YOUR AVERAGE DRESS
Going for a lunch meeting and want to look smarter than you usually do? Then this is a dress for you. For once I have also steered well clear of my beloved Buffet Dress, as I know that as much as it is beloved to me, there’s a large section of society that finds them hard to wear and deeply unflattering.
So for those who would like a more defined shape this dress from Kitri is ideal. It would also work for those with bigger boobs as it has the slightly lower neckline. The buttons down the front will slim the figure and the belt will give you a waist. Look at me, proper little Gok Wan… Although he had a tendency to add a garish belt to everyone he styled. I don’t do well with a garish belt.
I’ve steered clear of too many frills and ruffles this week, but a decent blouse is great workwear staple. You could go all smouldering Gillian Anderson in The Fall and try a satin blouse, but that takes a certain kind of a lady. One that doesn’t sweat for a start and fancies Serial Killers. Sidebar, when that show was on TV a few years ago I passed Jamie Dornan on the escalator at Selfridges the day after I’d watched it. Freaked me out. Still would though…
I’ve gone for a simple spotty number from New Look, team with one of the best jackets I own, the wool oversized blazer from & Other Stories. I have this in black from last year, but I think I shall get the beige version this winter and it’s one fo the most useful jackets ever. I sized down one size as I didn’t want to go the full David Byrne.
THE PERFECT BLAZER
‘Oh here we go again, she’s on about that Anine Bing blazer again the one I can’t afford.’ Sorry, I am, but I shall leave it aside for one week and find an alternative. How about this boyfriend style one from Whistles? It’s also 20 % off at the moment. Whistles are another brand that do very good workwear. I feel sometimes their prices are a little steep for High Street, but they always have regular discount weeks.
I couldn’t go for a whole post and not include a touch of leopard. This Ganni shirt dress would see you through all seasons. Wear a long sleeved black top underneath when it gets colder and try a belt if you fancy a waist. Here I go all Gok Wan on you again…
I mean real, actual trousers. Not jeans, not joggers, nothing with an elasticated waist. Proper tailored trousers. With pockets and belt loops and maybe even a nice crease down the front. My absolute go to place for actual trousers is Cos. I think they get it spot on every time. Great shapes, great tailoring and a good range of styles to suit all tastes.
Personally I prefer a cropped trouser because that works best with loafers or brogues with socks.. You know how much I love a good sock. My favourites are from Genevieve Sweeney, she does the best colours and the wool is such great quality. Other than that, good old M&S do the best knee highs that absolutely DON’T fall down and Primark do the best secret socks.
EASY PRINTED SKIRTS
Finally, let’s go for a printed skirt. Something to jazz up an otherwise muted outfit. I realise it’s been a bit lacking in colour this post, but all over colour and print isn’t for everyone and you might not want to be the centre of attention at a business meeting, so maybe just stick to your bottom half. Let’s be honest, in most business meetings these days, no-one even sees the bottom half, ‘Karen, you’re on mute!’ I’ve picked out this Boden (yes, Boden) pleated Midi Skirt as it’s got a look of Liberty Print and anything that looks a bit Liberty is fine by me.
I hope that if you are back at work that you’re finding it all OK. I think next week I may go the other way and do some casual loungewear for those of you who are still at the kitchen table but want to replenish your hoodies. Or maybe dresses? or even coats? We’ll have to see where the mood takes me.