Building Your Work Wardrobe

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(Feature image courtesy of thelifestyledepartment.com)

Whether you’re fresh out of Uni or have been working for years, it’s all too Dress for the job you want, not the job you haveeasy to stare into your wardrobe and feel like you’re lacking in professional attire. Every workplace has a different guideline on what you should wear, so it’s best to check this first before you invest in loads of smart pieces to then find out everyone else is going casual! If you’re lucky enough to work somewhere where they don’t have a dress code, it’s nice to have some smarter items to improve your performance at work and make yourself stand out among the crowd. Research in the past has actually shown that you work more productively if you feel confident in your work clothes, and as one of my favourite quotes suggests: “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”

I’ve scoured the internet to find some great pieces that are sophisticated enough to wow your boss without having to break the bank.

blazerThere are a few staple items that are indispensable:


A smart blazer

This New Look blazer (from Asos) is a fantastic staple, as we all know black goes with everything! Going for this kind of short black ipinstripetem will ensure you get loads of wear out of it, and it’s less likely to get marks on it as it’s dark coloured.

Flattering trousers

These paperbag ones from Topshop are amazing – I actually have them myself!
They fit perfectly and are the most flattering shape for work. Navy is a great aleopard shoelternative to black, and pinstripes are timeless and classic.


Statement flats

If your work clothes are quite plain, going for a statement flat shoe can finish off your outfit nicely while still remaining professional. Again, Topshop is great for things like a statement shoe.

Bagbackpack

This Clean Double Studded Backpack is different to your
usual handbag style and can be worn easily to keep your hands free for coffee on your way in! At £39 it’s great value, and the light colour is perfect for summer.


Pencil skirt

The LaLa Midi Skirt from Boom Boom The Label comes in so many colours, including Blush Pink, Midnight Black, Slate Grey and even Bright Orange! Again, this item is £39 but if you find it a good staple that you wear regularly, why not collect it in every colour?Lala midi skirt

A suit
You may not want to go for a masculine vibe, but having a staple suit to wear to meetings can be useful and save time worrying about what to put on if something comes up. Missguided.co.uk do lots of blazers/suit jackets and cigarette trousers that go together or work as a set. I love this grey pair: grey suit

Hopefully these pointers have been helpful, and if any of these items sell out I hope this gives you enough inspiration to find more pieces suitable for work. If you have any suggestions for more workwear ideas, please leave a comment and let us know. We’re always looking for guest bloggers, if you’re interested in writing a piece similar to this one, please email your idea to polly@emmedia.uk

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Polly Snell

10 Comments

  1. I’m a college senior and literally just spent last weekend trying to decode “summer business casual,” so this is really helpful. Love these ideas!

  2. Yep, I need to grow my work wardrobe ASAP! I like the items you chose. I think I see a shopping trip in my future…

    Thanks! 🙂
    –Rachel @ Tidy&Teal

  3. i just updated my work wardrobe myself recently, so many great options out there

  4. Melissa

    Hi there! Great article. Question: How do you go about finding flattering trousers? I’m 5’3” and pear-shaped. I’m somehere between size 4-6 I guess. Every time I try on a pair of trousers I feel like a grandma (the pants button or zip at my belly button when they are not designed to be high waist trousers… it looks awful LOL). Also, sometimes they are lose at the waist/hip and tight in the thigh… but a smaller size would be too tight on my thighs. I’ve been a skirt girl and I would love to find a nice part of trousers for once! Thank you 🙂

    • I felt the need to reply as I always have this problem!

      M&S believe it or not, make the perfect comfortable, flattering trousers. I bought a pair for around £24. They are really good quality and look smart but still have stretch in them. Go to the work wear section, grab a pair of every smart trouser you can find and have a huge try on session. Honestly, it’s taken me so long to find the perfect pair but I have 🙂 good luck! Clare

    • Eilidh MacRae

      Thanks for your comment Melissa. Have you tried shopping petite ranges? The trousers will be specifically designed to fit a petite frame better. Toyshop and ASOS have lovely petite styles x

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