Monday, 10 March 2014

Style Advice: Everyday Workwear

Monday morning - how are you? Hope you had a lovely weekend. We've had our first taste of an early summer here in the UK this weekend and it was glorious. The unmitigated joy of being able to dry my washing outside for the first time this year is ridiculous [and perhaps a bit sad!]. 

This morning a little style advice for a friend who messaged me last week with a little quandary she was looking for some help with. 

She wrote:

"I am struggling with a work wardrobe at present. I have been in NHS uniform for the last 7 years and as I'm due to go out on a 6 month secondment, now need smart but not tailored city dress (as I'm still NHS). Shall get there, but bedroom currently looks like a clothing explosion has occurred!!"

Thanks for the message Helen. It's not an uncommon request with people who change jobs or return after a break. Any kind of transition can be tough on our wardrobes and pockets. But I would definitely suggest not rushing to spend a lot of money.

The easiest way to think about a professional wardrobe is as a uniform. I don't mean to cause a sinking feeling - this doesn't mean grey, dull, drab, utilitarian, it just means a standard look you're comfortable with that you can build around. Start with the pieces you already have in your wardrobe and, in the kind of environment you'll be working, you need to think practical and comfortable as well as smart. I would suggest a staple like trousers as your foundation. This means getting a few pairs that are pretty interchangeable day to day. Find a style and cut that suits you. 

Once you've got your basic piece in place you can add colour and personality elsewhere as I've shown below. Tops should be flattering, conservative enough for the working environment but show character and individuality too. Shoes again should be comfortable and practical, both these styles from Coast and Marks and Spencer are everyday shoes that should be comfortable to wear but if you prefer a completely flat shoe go with something substantial that offers support throughout the day.

Hope that helps a little. As always it's a very personal approach you have to take working out what is best for you and your budget, but I would try and pare it back as much as you can to a few pieces that you can swap and change day to day that won't cause that headache and explosion in your bedroom!

Good luck with the new role xx

1. Trousers, Marks & Spencer - SHOP NOW
2. Earrings, Agatha - SHOP NOW
3. Cashmere Jumper, Jigsaw - SHOP NOW
4. Bag, Next - SHOP NOW
5. Shoes, Coast at Debenhams - SHOP NOW

1. Daria Trousers, Hobbs - SHOP NOW
2. Earrings, Accessorize - SHOP NOW
3. Blouse, Mary Portas at House of Fraser - SHOP NOW
4. Blue shoes, Marks & Spencers - SHOP NOW
5. Tote bag, Made at Red Online - SHOP NOW


  1. Some really great advice Amy and enjoy this series! Now I have a question for you for a future blog post. The bloggers uniform. A usual day for me revolves around school and kindy drop off, back home to work and/or off to take photos and then school and kindy collections, perhaps an after school activity and every so often an opening or launch in the night. I love to feel comfortable, I'm terrible with heals unless they're wedges. I'd really like to look chic yet with an edge. How could I carry a look throughout the day? Mel xx

  2. Hey Mel, Thanks so much for the feedback and comments. I'll definitely answer your question in the coming weeks, I think I can get an idea of your style and taste from pictures on your blog. It's important to stick to a style you're comfortable and at ease with, maybe just honing it a little. Will get to work. ; D x

  3. Brilliant, your advise has been very helpful. I am now focused on what I need to invest in and love the fact that I can click a link to shop. I think I shall have a little spending spree tonight. After my first week it is very nice to not have to wear my very unattractive NHS uniform! Thanks again, your a star! x


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