As a girl who literally lives in gym kit, when I started a full time job in the city I really struggled with what to wear to work. It sounds silly, but I genuinely have more gym clothes than I do ‘normal’ clothes, and the ‘normal’ clothes I do have, don’t seem to go together. Hashtag problem @stormzy. On a usual day I live in leggings or trackies, find jeans super uncomfortable and smart trousers are just a no. Not to mention the fact that it’s 2017 yet still difficult to find good jeans that fit muscly legs and bums and a smaller waist.
To make it even more difficult, I can wear whatever I like to work (within reason). It’s a good thing really, I don’t have to wear uncomfortable corporate stuff. But I can’t wear my trackies or gym kit. So WHAT do I wear? It called for a whole new wardrobe. I had to find a balance between smart enough for the office, yet comfortable enough for me and still keep my personal style. That just basically means, pair every outfit with a fresh pair of kicks and I’m good to go…
I am still working on my work wardrobe as when I have an event to go to, I’m still throwing a mini tantrum at myself and my wardrobe saying I’ve got nothing to wear. The tops seem to be the main issue – when you’ve got a casual t-shirt on how do you smarten that up? I wish I could just wack a hoody over it but I try to leave that to only once a week… I also feel like smart shirts or blouses just really aren’t me! I think a lot of it comes down to the jacket. Anyway, here are my tips;
1. Keep things basic.
This tip is for the days that you really can’t be bothered to make a huge effort for work, but still want to keep it smart. I know I just said blouses or shirts aren’t my thing, BUT white shirts & denim shirts are my exception. Now that oversized white shirts are on trend, you can’t go wrong with a crisp fresh white shirt. A plain white button up shirt over black jeans, or leather/matte jeans is one of my favourites atm. I also like a shirt with a little bit of something different – whether that’s a flared bottom, or a bow at the back like this shirt I have from Zara.
2. Pair a pattern with a plain.
I like to pair a patterned, detailed or slogan tee with plain jeans or trousers. In an office environment I don’t think you need to have too much going on, it might hurt people’s sleepy eyes on a Monday morning. I like to keep things fairly simple but add a bit of colour like this patterned mesh top, over a plain black vest and black trousers with the lace up detail.
I’m not one to wear dresses to work often, but when summer comes around I know a midi will be a wardrobe essential. However, I don’t wear heels to work unless it was maybe a heeled boot, but there’s nothing wrong with pairing a smart dress with trainers. I wear trainers to work nearly every single day – a pair of black & white original Vans or some clean white Stan Smiths can give a smart outfit a cool, trendy edge and they’re comfy as well as look smart enough for work.
4. Choose comfort
At the end of the day you don’t want to be uncomfortable at work wondering if people are looking at your dodgy see-through trousers, or pulling up at a pair of tights and stumbling around in your heels. You want to pick an outfit that you know is going to be comfortable enough for the whole day, so if in doubt, wear something you’ve worn before until you have an outfit planned in your head – everyone is an outfit repeater!
5. Go oversized
Now as mentioned with the shirts, I am a sucker for all things oversized! Like this Sweaty Betty oversized jumper.
I get cold really easily (10% Nutella 90% ice queen) and so literally live in oversized knits or sweatshirts, both at home and work. When it comes to work though I can’t really wear a huge scruffy hoody, so I absolutely love an oversized knit. They’re thick enough to not wear a big coat, and keep me super snuggly in the office it’s like being wrapped in a blanket. Just don’t fall asleep at the desk, okay?
I’ve had so many convos with similar people who struggle with work outfits, so hopefully if this is you it can help a tiny bit!
Love, L x