20 July 2019

Workwear essentials

Workwear - it's a subject that delivers fear in the hearts of many. It can be really hard to incorporate your personality into an outfit when you work in an office environment. I've worked in everywhere from a school to an office with 100 people on my floor. My considerations have always been the same - what's easy/durable/comfortable and fun? I've detailed my top picks of things that I pull out to make my work wardrobe hassle free. My top tip? Get organised! (I'll talk about this when I talk about how to 'rail' in a a separate post!)

I am the queen of coats. I easily own 30 different types but for me, a good coat or jacket really completes an outfit. The one I am wearing in these pictures is a really light duster from M&S's Autograph range. You can wear the most simple outfit like a plain black dress and chuck on a vibrant coat to pick things up. Make sure you have 3 variations - a wool winter coat, a light duster and a fun statement jacket. These three options will always mix and match with anything you wear.

Be sure to stock up on coats and jackets in seasonal sales. You always get amazing bargains. M&S, Zara, Jaeger and COS always have fantastic options. Even better when they are on sale!

Date to night dresses
I am constantly heading from the office to events (or to a family party or for drinks... you get the picture!). I have a selection of dresses which can go from desk to disco with a shoe & lipstick change. The dress in this picture is a Primark bargain but it looks as good with heels for work as it does with trainers for running errands! I've picked up loads of dresses in Zara & Dunnes Stores that come in around the £30 mark. You can layer with them too making them super versatile. I have a great leopard number which looks fab with a polo neck under it. Pick a decent length (knee or mid-calf!) and you'll feel comfy all day.

Shoes for on the go
Work shoes..... they sound horrendous but they don't have to be. I have 2 core shoes: a court shoe and a loafer. Quite often one of the pairs lives under my desk! It's important to be comfortable - there's nothing worse than sore feet so if you are willing to spend money on any part of your work wardrobe, spend it on your feet!

I will FOREVER be an advocate of M&S Insolia court shoes. During my teaching training year I lived in them, standing teaching for hours. They are cushioned and comfortable - plus I can run in them! I also love a loafer - think Gucci style. They look great with dresses & trousers plus they look really smart on non-work days with jeans & a tee. I recently picked up a pair in Austria in Coach. They are real leather and are SO comfy. Try to stick with durable fabrics with shoes as you will wear them so much that your cost per wear will balance out!

The perfect fit trousers
Being 5ft10, I really struggle to find good trousers for work. I usually come back to my old faithfuls - this pair from New Look. I've owned loads of pair s of them over the years as well as a similar pair from Matalan. I also have great work trousers from Jaeger. You need to work hard to find good pairs as every body is different but always make sure to find somewhere that does short and long lengths - even places like Tesco and Dunnes are great for this!

Be daring
Sometimes my office choices are a little bold - like a recent 2 piece bubblegum suit! At the end of the day, a workwear policy is there to ensure you look professional and represent the company well. I work for a company that has bold brand colours so it's something I try to bring into my outfits. I always say I'll never be a black suit sort of woman! Swap a usual navy or black blazer for a bright coloured one - it's fun and still professional.

Need more workwear tips? Grab me on Instagram @thatbelfastgirl or Twitter @GemmaLEBond