Your 9 to 9 wardrobe: work-wear and beyond
Phew it’s over and now life is slowly getting back to normal. It’s a bitter sweet normal, because as much as it has been impossible to pee on my own, let alone sit at my computer without several hands ‘helping’ me, I have had a brilliant summer with the kids. So wiping away the tears from the first-day-at-school milestone and now back to business with a new season’s worth of fashion to tempt…
Except it is 30 degrees today and the fashion calendar is so totally out of kilter with our weather which means the shops are full of woolly coats and puffa jackets while everyone is wandering around in summer dresses and shorts. But September is traditionally ‘back to school’ time so what do we grown ups wear to work in the absence of a school uniform and in times where suits are definitely no longer the thing and dress codes are a much more moveable feast?
Well, here is your guide to modern work-wear and the key pieces you need in your closet to take you from desk to dinner, 9 to 9 and all that jazz.
Trousers: the new silhouettes
Skinnies are now very much the old kid on the block and the new silhouettes for this season are way more relaxed. There are full length wide legged trousers everywhere and ME+EM has lots of options to chose from which cover both the sportswear and naval trends that were on the catwalks.
Back when I first started writing a blog, I mocked the culotte. But the wide leg crop is a whole different ballgame it appears and one which I love. Here I am in mine that I got in the States and have worn them in so many different ways – like this with a tee and trainers, with a cami and sandals for the evening… V useful but you do need to accept that your behind is not going to look round and peachy.
Perfect for this time of year and beyond, the wide legged crop works well with trainers, loafers, flats, block heeled sandals and boots alike. Mango has this pair of Pleated Crop Trousers £29.99.
If wide legs are not your thing then the tapered leg trouser is still very much around. Finery has some great options including the Boxmoor Pleated Peg Leg Trouser £55.
The elephant in the room: skirts
I very rarely feature skirts on my blog: I am just not a skirts girl. I think you either are or you’re not. I have one leather skirt that I wear quite a bit but mainly the problem is down to lifestyle and footwear – what do I put on my feet that I can a) walk in and b) be warm in. This season the skirt is big and I am not going to ignore it any more. It has to be midi that is for sure and there are some very sleek styles out there that are perfect work-wear pieces.
Warehouse’s Belted Midi Skirt £45 would look great with a shell top or cami and sandals for now but pop on a blouse or tuck in a turtle neck and add some boots and you would be sorted for cooler weather too.
Finery has this Deloraine Jersey Tie Split Front Skirt £39 which looks great with this top – knotting is a thing this season too. Would probably not go for the blue croc boots but that’s just me…
Hush’s wrap skirt is a nice update to a bog standard pencil Asymmetric Skirt £59.
Or go for classic pencil but make it burgundy with this Whistles Ribbed Jersey Tube Skirt £60 (also in black).
Go for knotting details or keep it super simple:
Warehouse’s Drop Sleeve Pocket Dress £45 is lovely in this khaki colour. There are lots of styles with big ties around the waist that look like you have a jumper tied round your middle. Not a big fan of this unflattering look but this is a nice nod to it.
Whistles comes up trumps with a gorgeous LBD that you can chuck on for work or play: Paige V neck Crepe Dress £120.
Leave the safety of the little black dress and embrace one of the autumn’s colours in this Teal Crepe Dress £45 &Other Stories.
Another biggie this season is burgundy and Hush’s Sylvie Dress £85 is the perfect midi length. It also comes in black if you aren’t sold on the colour.
The alternative: the jumpsuit
So trousers, skirts and dresses are traditional attire but the jumpsuit has also firmly wedged itself into our sartorial psyche. Great for going out and a very contemporary way to do work-wear. Warehouse’s Tailored Lapel Jumpsuit £79 is lovely.
Finery’s Milford D Ring Pinafore Jumpsuit £79 is a great wide legged style.
This Danehurst Knotted Shell Top Jumpsuit £95 from Finery is brilliant – looks like a top and trousers and ticks the knotting box too.
The chuck-on black jacket
Just because women don’t do 80’s power dressing anymore, doesn’t mean you can’t be smart. A jacket you can throw on with a pair of trousers or over a dress or skirt is vital – a cardigan just won’t cut it.
Hush’s Frayed Crop Jacket £85 is perfect because the texture means you don’t have to worry about it colour matching your black trousers – it’s supposed to be different. Plus it can be styled down as they have done here with jeans and a simple tee. This is a hard-working item in any wardrobe. Small issue is that you need to pre-order now and wait a couple of months. Damn you Hush for tempting us so… but it would be worth the wait.
If you can’t then their Edie Jacket £70 is also a good bet. Simpler but still a goodie.
Not a hint of traditional work-wear here, but there is one suit that it is 100% acceptable to wear this season: the velvet suit. Just don’t crack it out on a day like today.