Business Casual With Oomph
It is entirely possible these days, and in fact I wholeheartedly suggest that wearing clothes that show some life and personality in the workplace is a great idea. We should all feel confident and comfortable in what we wear and at work I think, look like an elevated version of ourselves - still you, but a souped-up ‘pimped’ version full of life and personality. Showing passion for what you wear to work shows others you’re enthusiastic and in control - the goal is to strut in (strutting optional) in a fabulous outfit you know is just right, oozing the confidence that comes with that. I work with lots of professionals and they almost always say to me they want to look more polished and pulled-together at work. No-one really wants to look ‘fashion’ , what they want is to look good. If we drew a venn diagram with fashion on one side and ‘normal’ clothes on the other ‘good’ would be the bit in-between. Outfits that are not dull, nor are they fashion but they have personality and they have oomph.
This look below by Sincerely Jules perfectly illustrates what I would consider a really good, business casual outfit that hits that sweet spot between fashion and normal. The non-boring but still interesting zone that is pleasing and can bring real joy! Yes the shoes are pretty edgy in this outfit so may be too much for your office. Personally I love these but annoyingly I can’t find where they are from. You could swap them out for a plain kitten heel or a pair of classic black or grey court shoes.
The above cardigan has sold out but you can get a similar style at Claudie Pierlot.
Wear with these navy cropped tailored trousers from Whistles.
Keeping on the subject of wide legged trousers but this time not cropped I found these today in Zara. I tried them on and they are excellent! They hang beautifully but come up super long so might need tailoring at the hem. I loved them with this quite quirky organza polka dot blouse - good combination.
I found some excellent pieces in &Other Stories that fit what I’m after here. Clothes that have something about them but are still office appropriate. I’m going to add these to my insta stories today so if you read this today they’ll still be live.
First of all, and still on the wide legged trouser theme these satin, very high waisted trousers with a leopard print. I would pair these with a plain long sleeve top or a t-shirt and trainers at the weekend or in a really relaxed workplace.
Another good choice is a patterned skirt to pep things up a bit. Other Stories has loads. This chiffon skirt was really gorgeous on, so flattering and again could easily be dressed up or down for work or weekends so should get a lot of usage. I tried this on with the high neck cropped black jumper below and they worked really well together - you can see the whole outfit on my instagram stories now. A polo neck or a t-shirt would also work.
This final look is good too. Wearing the same colour tops as bottoms is very current and is slimming and lengthening. The fact this is a wrap skirt and cut up at the front will be more flattering on a lot of body shapes - especially if you’ve got wide legs. The panther print shirt adds a bit of personality and oomph.
Lisa Gillbe is a personal stylist and image consultant based in London. Spring bookings for wardrobe edits and personal shopping are now open - get in touch to book an appointment or find out more.