What to Wear to Work - Core Wardrobe Pieces

  Core Work Wardrobe Pieces

Summer seems to have finally arrived, confirmed by the fact I spent yesterday morning lounging by a pool OUTSIDE in LONDON!!  Amazing. Following my very relaxing morning I then hit the shops to research for an upcoming shopping trip for a client so not an entire day spent lounging about!

For this post on workwear, I have pulled together some key wardrobe separates. We are wearing separates more and more to work these days, the traditional suit is usually kept for very corporate environments or big pitches and even then, they are less 'pin-stripe', more relaxed and styled in more interesting ways than before.

My ethos is to always dress to express yourself and have fun with it but at work we do need to follow some rules...

 

1) Jackets and Blazers:

Your KEY wardrobe piece today foe work and outside. No longer married to the suit, these work as a separate and with great impact. Put on a blazer or a jacket and you instantly look put-together. They will transform a pair of jeans and a tee-shirt or can be worn over pretty dresses to give some edge and structure to the outfit.

 

Choose classic white or cream plus one black one

Tailored off-white suit jacket

 

 

Theory Black Blazer

 

This season (Spring/Summer 2013 - floral as a trend is huge so I would also suggest getting a more avant garde jacket which can be worn for drinks or parties such as this one from Zara

China Print Blazer from Zara

2) The Smart Flexible and Fantastic Dress:

Next work staple item is the smart dress. First of all the shift dress which is really a hero piece for your wardrobe - put this on and some heels and you simply cannot go wrong:

This first one is the 'Julie' Tweed Shift Dress in Crimson from LK Bennet. Classic and simple but made more interesting with the tweed fabric - with black heels and black handbag this would l0ok amazing.

 

Shift Dress

This next shift is also in an interesting lace fabric.

Green Lace Shift Dress

The last dress for work in this list is a smart 'fit and flare' dress. this style works well for a pear shape or an hour glass figure where perhaps the stright up-and-down shift wouldn't work or feel comfortable. The fit and flare style dresses are great for girls with curves and Jigsaw always have a good selection. This one is nice and plain so can be dressed up with a bright jacket and heels or layered with a cashmere cardigan.

 

 

Jigsaw Work Dress - fit & flare dress

 

 

 

3) Number three on my list of key work pieces is a cardigan:

Some say this is frumpy but a fitted cropped cashmere cardi is always going to look good and give an outfit extra polish. Cardigans work nicely at work when a blazer or jacket feels too trussed-up but you still want to look smart and pulled-together.

 

This first one is from the luxury Scottish cashmere brand Brora. Because these are 'proper' cashmere they are an investment at around £150 but look great for years.

 

Brora Cashmere Cardigan

 

And this gorgeous crew-neck cashmere version from Boden - Slightly less cropped than the Brora above but looks smart when layered over a work dress or with a pretty silk blouse and pencil skirt at the office.

 

Cashmere Fitted Cardigan

4) Pencil Skirt:

There are so many stylish pencil skirts out there to choose from now this really can be a piece that shows your persoanality. What is brilliant about it is the fact the cut is very classic so it works really well for a work environment. Best on hourglass figures to really show off curves but will work on most body shapes.

This one from Erdem at Harvey Nichols is a total stunner - wear it with the navy cashmere cropped cardigan above and a silk cami underneath or a plain blouse or shirt for the office. Alternatively you can wear a pencil skirt at the weekend with ankle boots and a tee-shirt - this is a very versatile hardworking AND stylish piece.

 

Erdem Pencil Skirt

 

4) A great pair of trousers:

 

Always handy in the work wardrobe these are worth spending money on. This pair from Armani at Harvey Nichols are beautifully cut and the grey colour is less harsh than black for summer  and would look sharp with a pretty floral blouse and are  a good base to work from. Really my point to make here is to invest in a good pair of trousers and they will last for a few years and be a very handy no-brainer piece to include in your wardrobe.

 

Armani Wool Stretch Trousers

5) Finally!  A couple of good shirts or blouses:

No need to include a white shirt in this line-up as previously advised in most 'core wardrobe pieces' articles,  the shirts and blouses available in the shops now have moved on and you can be a bit more interesting. There are simply too many to list so I have picked this Georgette Floral One from the Joie Boutique at Harvey Nichols. Clearly this would clash terribly with the Erdem Pencil Skirt but would work beautifully with the great Armani trousers lifting this outfit from bland to grand!

Joie Chiffon Blouse

If you have these pieces in your wardrobe you will ALWAYS have the right thing to wear for work. Being at work doesn't mean looking dull and I am always attracted to a twist on a classic and this season (SS13), lots and lots of florals!

 

Lisa x