I remember watching The Devil Wears Prada as a student and longing for the day that I’d have an excuse to get suitably groomed and glamorous every day of the week! I don’t feel too much guilt when it comes to indulging in work wear as the majority of my week (like most of you) is spent trying to present the best version of myself to the outside world. I believe that indulging in a few, great quality staple pieces is a long term investment-they work as a blank canvas that can be styled any which way my mood or occasion call for.
Victoria Beckham has almost single handedly revolutionised this season’s work style, with her tailored, military dresses and new midi length skirts paired with knee boots and leather accessories reigning supreme. I cannot get enough of this look-it makes me feel instantly groomed and the midi skirt is surprisingly flattering….when you’re only 5 foot and wishful thinking, you embrace these trends! This military trend is a new take on Power Dressing-no shoulder pads required….phew!
As much as I love to embrace a trend, staple pieces are where to make the real investments. A work handbag is an essential. I carry so many folders and notebooks when I’m travelling, I’d need a backpack! My current favourite is the Large Sybil in pony leopard. It ticks every box; big enough to fit all of my paperwork, my makeup bag and iPad….and still with room to spare, hard wearing and oh so chic in leopard print. No matter how simple the outfit, this gives it the Meowww factor!
I’m also a huge advocate of blouses; the finer and wispier the better! These are my go-to garment when I want to soften a suit or add colour, texture and luxe to my outfit. Pussybow, ruffled, printed….I love them all!! Zara do the best on the high street but if you’re thinking of higher end pieces, you cannot get much better than a tuft of Valentino lace peeking out from beneath a jacket…….I refuse to harden my look-I’m a business woman and choose to embrace my femininity in the workplace!
People constantly bemoan the ‘chore’ of dressing for work. They see it as dull, constricting and similar to that of a school uniform. But it really needn’t be! Of course if you work in a law or accounts office, the palette will be a muted one. But dress this up with a bit of bling bling. A statement necklace layered beneath a shirt or over a camisole will instantly perk up a look, or a bright shoe with a grey or black suit. Simple details bring an outfit from snore to score in a second! Experiment with textures-black on black can be one of the most interesting and fashion forward if you mix hard and soft materials! Or play on the muted tones with modern cut suits-think Vivienne Westwood and Roland Mouret for inspiration. Or exaggerate the primness a la Angelina below.
Though a special mention must be given to Carrie Bradshaw’s Vivienne Westwood suit for her first day at Vogue. I have been hopelessly in love with this since I first saw it. It’s my fantasy work outfit-she embodies everything I aspire to be right there!
And for those who have bit more of a free reign in the work place, enjoy it! Embrace colour! Now that we’re in the midst of winter we wake up in greyness, go home in darkness and are surrounded by black suits….paint your mark on everyone’s day and brighten up the boardroom. It’s the most simple way to draw attention to yourself and project a self confident attitude for as Miuccia Prada famously said; “What you wear is how you present yourself to the world. Fashion is instant language.”