It’s finally weekend! That means end of work-related stress, at least for two days. Working days can sometimes feel overwhelming, so it’s essential to understand how we can limit stress on hectic working weeks.
It’s universally acknowledged that most women with a truck loads of clothes in their closet, feel, they have perpetually nothing to wear when it comes to dressing up in the morning before leaving for work.
Let’s face it- dressing well for work reduces stress and increases productivity. How? The effect of your clothing choices might be much more powerful than you think. Fair or not, people judge us by the way we look and that includes the way we dress. Dress code or not, what we wear at work matters!
Work wear can be a tricky one, quite often it is an area many don’t want to spend too much money on,completely ignoring the fact that work clothes are what we spend the most time in, especially if you are in a traditional 9 to 5 jobs! So I don’t think it’s an area that can be neglected on too much either. In fact, where possible, it is worthwhile investing in a few classic quality pieces here, so it will last longer and never go out of fashion!
For some of you, work wear doesn’t even come in to worth if you wear a uniform for example, and then there are some who are in very formal corporate roles where suits everyday are a must or work in media houses as journalists, reporters, or facing the camera where you can take the liberty to dress up in a fancy way, this blog post is aimed at those who are somewhere in the middle. Office based, but in a slightly formal-to-casual environment.
Quite often I get asked both on the blog and in person ‘what basics should I have to build the perfect work wear wardrobe?’ The ideal work wear wardrobe is all about versatility, having classic and basic pieces that can be recycled and restyled across the whole wardrobe. Opting for classic neutral colours that can all work with each other.
Some key items for building a great work wear wardrobe are:
– A great fitted white shirt
– Tailored cigarette trousers in neutral shades- Black or white or Khaki or all, if you can. (ankle length or longer if desired)
– A well-fitted (comfortable) pencil skirt or a bell shaped skirt or both in black
– The perfect workwear dress – black or grey or both, and why not!
– Choose colours from classic palettes- black, white, cream, grey and neutrals like beiges, pinks, biscuit tones are ideal. They suit all skin tones.
– A pair or two of pointed court shoes in nude and black.
– Smart flat shoes (brogues can be ideal)
– A tan leather or a black handbag or both.
– Tailored blazers in neutral shades like black, white or off-white and for casual Fridays, keep a couple coloured jersey ones befitting boardroom to bar look.
If you are with me on Facebook and Instagram, you have probably seen the work outfit ideas I have shared from-Monday-to-Friday. Keeping in mind all those key essentials mentioned above, I’ve decided to round up more in details here of what I wore at work for the entire week.
Top tip: For work look, I prefer to carry one bag every day for the entire week, this saves me time in the morning, and also this way, I don’t forget leaving home without my essentials in the bag. If you get bored easily, change in every week, but stick to one bag for the whole of the week.
Monday: Given the time of year, I wanted to brave the weather and wore this slim-fit houndstooth dress with leather shoulder pad details and styled with a trusted blazer, ankle boots and tote – all in black. Classic and smart formal.
Tuesday: On Tuesday, I opted for a perfect workwear dress in black and teamed it up with a tuxedo jacket. A pair of comfortable yet pointed court shoes in black has completed this look in the early days in the week.
Top tip: Mondays and Tuesdays are the two days of the week when most business or decision meetings/ presentations take place, so wearing sleek formal dresses with blazers can make you look the part entirely.
Wednesday: It’s that day of the week when you start to feel a bit more at ease, so I went for simple, easy-going, fuss-free look picking up my favourite item from wardrobe- a well-fitted white shirt. Who doesn’t love a white shirt! A wraparound midi skirt in grey and pointed mid-heels in black have finished out the look.
Top tip: A beautiful way to add minimalist style with jewelry is to wear simple statement pieces that decorate you and your outfits without being ornate or fussy. As an example, I wore sleek rings and watch in rose gold, and a classic gold finish bracelet that go well with this sharpest work outfit.
Thursday: I don’t know about you, but Thursday is my second favourite day of the week! The promise of the upcoming weekend, with only one more working day to get through certainly puts a smile on my face when I’m getting ready for work in the morning. My outfit choice is comfortable but smart for Thursday. A pair of tailored ankle length cigarette trouser in white and white blouse or t-shirt combination gets it just right. Injecting a tailored long waistcoat in black into this all-white work look is chic but what makes it special is dash of colour- a pair of red pointed court shoes. The height of this pair is much more bearable than the others and it compliments the monochromatic look beautifully.
Friday: Finally Fri-Yayy! Hold on your excitement, because one of the trickiest outfit categories of the calendar year is what to wear to work on casual Fridays in the summertime. Depending on your work environment, you might be able to pull anything from denim trousers to tailored shorts in pastel hues. Taking my Friday casual look from boardroom to bar, I have opted for a polka dot silk blouse styled with a patterned black bell-shaped skirt. But because it’s Friday and I can, a jersey blazer is thrown into the look to add that pop of colour- much needed. A wardrobe must-have – a pair of nude heels (opt for a brogue, if you are not comfortable in heels) has completed the look by creating an illusion of having longer legs. Try it!
As for makeup and hair, I’m a 10 minutes on-the-go (literally in the train) makeup kinda working woman. Wearing bright lipsticks at work is a complete no-no for me, if I am attending an office party, I carry one in handbag. I wear sheer gloss and nude lipsticks at work. If you are working in media industry, go on, experiment any colour you want.
On a Friday, I put a little effort and make some soft, natural looking curls the night before, on rest of the days, it’s either natural straight hair (freshly washed) or wear my hair up in a high ponytail or donut bun if its 2 days old dirty hair.
Please let me know which look(s) is your favourite. Have a good weekend!