Prompted by a friend who has returned to work this week after a 9 year career break I thought about what you do with regards to clothes when you land a new job. I won't even start on the whole debate about how you get the dream job that allows you to have a career/job you love and be a mother .. we won't go there today!
So, in theory, if I had to go back to work tomorrow what would I wear? Do I own any work clothes? A few items but they weren't bought for 'work' so they don't feel like work wear. I've not had to 'go to work' for 15 years now .. I've worked for myself for all that time so I don't own a classic 'work wardrobe'. And things have changed lately ... everyone dresses down so it's not uncommon to have casual trousers mixed in with a smarter blouse or a skirt with a jumper and boots. No wonder everyone is confused and it's the most popular question I hear from everyone I meet who returns to work - "what shall I wear?"
If, like me, you're on a small budget then you need to learn to mix and match and buy once, buy well and throw a few cheaper items in to mix it all up for some key looks for work. If you're ok with buying slightly cheaper but changing frequently (me me me me me) then go for that too.
There is so much to talk about that I'm going to break it down and do different posts for each element that I see as key to building your work wardrobe.
Sequence of posts:
1 - The Staple Work Dress
2 - The Trouser Suit
3 - The Bags
4 - The Scarves
5 - Dress Down Friday (did you say mufti day?!)
5 - Put it all together - what do you get?
So, back to week one - The Staple Work Dress
No-one who works should be without one! A simple item that is so easily dressed up or down according to the dress code of your office. I'll add scarves and bags in a few week's time but for now it's all about the dress, shoes and cardigans for dressing down the look and layering for winter. A staple black blazer would instantly dress all of these up - play around with cardigans and blazers for new daily work looks
Here are my top work dresses:
Matalan - Faux Leather Dress - £18 (perfect for dressing down for the day and jazzing up for the night)
So which cardigans would work? A bunch of colours and mix and match them with the majority of dresses
What shoes? I believe these would see you through the year with so many different outfits - dresses, trousers, skirts - the lot!
Wallis - Black Patent Shoes - £29.50 (also come in nude)
And there we have it - dresses, cardigans and shoes for your new work wardrobe. Next time we'll show and tell with the trouser suit!
Have you returned to work recently? How did you find organising your wardrobe for work? Are you returning to work in the future and need some help? There is a great facility on Avenue 57 which allows you to post photos as a 'help me choose' if you can't decide if something looks good - try it out, they're a nice friendly bunch!