Working Girl

I’m getting through some more of your readers suggestions. This week we’re doing work wear for the working girl. No, I’m not talking about Pretty Woman again, or Melanie Griffith in 80’s New York, (although to be fair those white Dad trainers she would wear on the walk to the city are bang on trend again) I’m talking more about what to wear to the office. I’m not talking about boring black suits, but some outfits that are just a little more on the smart side than Jeans and Trainers.

I am lucky as I can pretty much wear anything I like to work. I still frown upon flip flops, shorts and crop tops in the workplace though, everyone needs standards. My only rule when dressing for work is that I should not feel awkward in my outfit of choice if I were suddenly called to a meeting with the Chairman. If you go by that rule in whatever office environment you work in, you should be OK,

Maybe I should give you an overview of my job while we are talking about work. In July this year I will have been there for 20 years! 20 whole years! I mentioned that to someone in the office the other day and he said he was born the year I started! I am Head of TV Promotions for Warner Brothers Records and Parlophone Records. Basically my job is to get the acts on those labels on the TV. If you see Michael Buble on Graham Norton for example, I booked that and helped organise everything that goes with it, musicians, transport, catering, make-up artists, stylists etc etc.

My career in music has afforded me some experiences that I already look back on and think ‘Wow, I’m pretty damn lucky to have experienced that’, I’ve been in helicopter with Robbie Williams, I’ve been on Private plane with Coldplay, I’ve been on the Jubilee Line with Noel Gallagher, I’ve even been in car crash with Damon Albarn. I’ve been side of stage at Wembley Stadium and The Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury. I’ve been in Dressing Rooms with Tom Hanks, Bradley Cooper and Bono. I’ve been to LA with Michael Buble, South Africa with Tinie Tempah and Ibiza with Kylie Minogue. I always say that one day  will write a book about it all, but there’s an awful lot I wouldn’t be allowed to say!

If it all ended tomorrow, I’d probably be fine with that. I have no doubt it will end at some point in the not too distant future. Working at a Record company has increasingly become a young person’s game. I’ll cling on for as long as they’ll have me though and in the meantime I will keep writing this blog alongside my job, as Fashion doesn’t have an age limit. Let’s take a look at some work wear ideas…

SMART TROUSERS

A good pair of trousers should be the basis of your working wardrobe. I would more than often plump for a cropped wide leg as those are my trousers of choice. Find good ones at Cos, & Other Stories and John Lewis. I have these Culottes from John Lewis (currently on sale) They are made from wool, but are quite thin so you shouldn’t overheat in them for the next month or so. I’m not usually one for ‘fun’ shirt, but this one from Boden is so much like one I nearly bought from Current/Elliot early last year so it gets the OK! (it’s also on sale which helps) Found some decent Gucci Loafer dupes from Dune for you, they come in a wealth of colours too.

1. & Other Stories Oversized Linen Blazer
2. Boden Printed Cotton Shirt
3. John Lewis & Partners Wide Leg Culottes
4. Cos Leather Tote Bag
5. Dune Snaffle Trim Red Loafers 

 

SHIRT DRESSES

I mean you can wear any type of dress really, but shirt dresses just seem the most ‘worky’ to me. I love the prints on these two below.  It’s very hard for me to make a dress outfit without completing it with trainers, but I’m trying to put my own preference to one side again this week. I know a lot of you can’t wear trainers to work so I’ve really tried to find suitable shoes. I’m thinking if you must wear heels all day, you’re going to need a pair with a more comfortable chunky heel, and you’ll also need a good sized bag to carry your laptop and essential items.

1. Arket Floral Liberty Print Silk Dress
2. Cos Leather Detachable Pouch Bag
3. & Other Stories Leather Block Heel Sandals
4. Whistles Ditsy Blossom Shirt Dress 

 

EASY BLAZERS

For me, throwing on a blazer automatically makes an outfit smart. Add a decent blouse and a heel and you’re work ready. I’ve said before that J Crew make excellent blazers. Not cheap, I grant you, but they are classic, well designed and fit perfectly (take your regular size), so worth the money. & Other Stories do a great range of decent blouses and their silk shirts are also worth a look for office wear.

1. J Crew Parke Linen Blazer
2. & Other Stories Ruffled Blouse
3. & Other Stories Linen Trousers
4. The OutNet Truss Woven Tote Bag
5. & Other Stories Studded Block Heel Sandals 

 

MIDI SKIRTS

If you’re not so much of a trouser girl, or just fancy something a little more feminine then a simple midi skirt is your friend. I know a pencil skirt is your typical ‘Power Skirt’, but I’m just not that keen. Too obvious. Go for a flowy button up skirt or a classic pleated midi. Don’t be scared of a cardi either. I love a cardi, wear over your plain white T Shirt or a simple button up shirt. Look for more fine knit fitted Cardigans that you can wear buttoned up

1. & Other Stories Oversized Button Up Shirt
2. M&S Linen Blend Cardigan
3. & Other Stories Satin Coffee Bean Skirt
4. & Other Stories Straw and Leather Bag
5. Dune Wedge Suede Brogues 

 

SIMPLE SUITS

Maybe all of the above just isn’t acceptable in your place of business. Maybe you need to go full on suit. If that’s the case, would it be OK to wear a T Shirt underneath? Or would you have to go for a shirt? Does any business have these kind of dress codes for women anymore? I am interested to know. I want to learn. Would it be a bit too Theresa May ‘Look at me, I’m funky really’ to pair your suit with some bright kitten heels? I think not, but let me know if I’m wrong.

1. Arket Oversized Seersucker Cotton Blazer
2. Kara Red Glossed Leather Tote Bag
3. Arket Seersucker Cropped Cotton Trousers
4. Baukjen Roll Cuff Classic White T Shirt (use code WMM20 for 20% off at Baukjen)
5. Boden Red Leather Kitten Heel Slingbacks 

Thanks for reading, sorry this turned out to be a bit of lengthy one. Do you like long posts? or are you just here for the pictures?

K x

35 thoughts on “Working Girl

  1. The post I’ve been waiting for! Love all your writing but this one was made for me! Thanks x

      1. Personally I love the longer blog posts. Don’t get me wrong whilst the photos are good the blogs I tend to stick with longer term are ones where I really enjoy the writing styles too. Very timely advice as I head into self employment and looking to redefine my working style!

          1. You absolutely do not go on a bit! I love your writing style and the photos – yours is the first blog I turn to, so don’t stop being you. Love it all!

  2. Great post. When I first started working (temping mainly in the city…So ultra corporate), I was told to never wear trousers and preferably always wear pearl studs. This was only 20 years ago!
    I enjoy your writing so like the lengthier posts!

      1. Love your blogs,always find inspiration from them.soooo jealous youve been in breathing space of robbie.x

  3. I enjoy reading your blog as much for your style of writing and droll humour as for the content. I have job envy. One of my great loves is music, it’s what makes the world go round in my opinion. Hope to read your revelatory book one day, maybe you could write a thinly disguised novel of your experiences!

  4. Love the pictures and the writings, I really like what you have to say Kate and your style in particular is really smart casual. I’d like to think most work places have now moved on. I work in a secondary school in north London where the only ‘no no’ is blue jeans and flip flops, other than that they are really flexible about what you wear and so it should be, though I know many schools can be quite corporate and still insist on suit type clothing.

    1. I see that in my sons school, some still wear suits but most are little more relaxed these days

  5. hi, i really like reading your posts, interesting to read about your work, you’ve had a pretty amazing career so far. that’s a good tip about if you were to be pulled into a meeting, this makes me aware how much i need to up my workwear as i work from home, but good to be prepared if a client wants to meet up. I like 1 and 3 best probably because I’ve started wearing cropped trousers, though still wondering if they suit and feel they are one up from jeans. have a good week x

    1. I think a cropped trousers suits most people. I wear them when I want to get out of jeans too x

  6. Good timing. I’m going back to back in September after a four year career break and hoping to reuse some of my casual wardrobe instead of investing in too much. Think most places are smart casual now, I was told to “dress for the day”, I.e. if no external meetings then whatever you’re comfortable in. Looking forward to using “my head for business” again 😂

  7. Great post! Unfortunately there are still very clear expectations of a corporate appearance. I work for a global healthcare company and it’s definitely still suited and booted. I could wear a T shirt with a suit or some flatform shoes but trainers and floaty numbers would be a no-no!

  8. I like a lengthy post and context. This was very topical and helpful and should be adopted as policy for many workplaces, as they already agree on no shorts and no flip flops, so why not adopt the suits and trainers too? Loved it!

  9. Great post, when I started work 25 years it was also no trousers and always jackets. Still at same place and totally changed, much more relaxed and dress depending what meetings you have, though I follow your view of always dress so you would be comfortable going to a meeting at short notice. Shoes are my issue especially in the summer as don’t want to wear trainers or open toe shoes.

  10. I look forward to reading your post every Sunday with a cup of tea and biscuits in bed. Great fashion, great writing x

  11. You just had to get that in about Bradley didn’t you!🤣🤣. Job sounds fab,and you’re blog is still my Sunday morning fave! X

    1. I asked him politely if he could move out of the way of the toilet door so I could have a wee. That’s as deep as it got

  12. Really enjoyed hearing about your (frankly amazing) job Kate. I love these longer posts (and your personal style) and regularly turn to your blog for ideas. Many thanks!

  13. Love this!
    My job is smart casual, some girls wear jeans but I prefer not to.
    I like nice trousers and a good shirt or knit and I sometimes let my footwear do the talking… I think I’m overdressed compared to some of my colleagues but I don’t care, I love clothes and enjoy planning my outfits (I work in medical admin)

  14. Great post! Always look forward to reading your blog and I’m so glad I’m not the only one in the same company for 20 years!!

  15. Always enjoy your blogs – good content and well (and amusingly) written, which seems a rarity among bloggers at the moment. Also very envious of your amazing job…
    I run my own business and my office is a damp, draughty little box on a stable yard. Dressing for work has its own challenges as I can be holding a horse for the vet one minute, meeting a high-profile client the next. I read these articles and dream of wearing all the nice clothes, not just those ‘warm enough’ (bare ankles only about twice a year). I love clothes, but struggle with work stuff which usually end up being the same handful of things on rotation – thanks for the fresh ideas.

Comments are closed.