By Deborah Mills
You’d think that now more people than ever work from home, or freelance, or part time the whole idea of “office wear” might be something of an anachronism. Far from it. Many of us still have “work” and “non work” clothes – which means we wear things for the office we wouldn’t dream of wearing on our days off. Often we fall in with whatever the rest of the office is wearing. (We humans do like to fit in.)
But why fit in when you can be fabulous? We spend 5 days a week at work, so why not look amazing; enjoy what you wear and feel absolutely stunning while you’re there? Here are ‘Cab for Mrs Mutton’s’ top tips for releasing your fashion mojo whatever your office dress code.
Never have a day when you’re not wearing at least one thing you really like. I mean REALLY like; I mean ‘makes you want to do a little dance’ like. Life’s too short to put up with “meh” clothes. Stick those in the charity bag.
Get all your clothes ready the night before. I mean, everything – underwear, jewellery, shoes, tights, jacket. It’s the secret to looking well put together. Don’t change your mind – unless it suddenly snows and you’ve set out a sundress – just change your coat!
Embrace colour. Don’t be scared and do that lady MP bright jacket over dark basics thing. Seek out the colours that make your complexion sing, buy shirts, jumpers, skirts in them and mix them up in interesting combinations. At the moment I like olive green and tomato red together (it works, honest.) And hardly anyone doesn’t look lovely in some shade of teal.
Don’t be too matchy matchy. Earrings, bags and shoes in the same matching colour is too much for anyone who isn’t actually off to an 80’s themed fancy dress party. Mix it up a little.
If you need formal black tailoring spend as much on it as you can afford. Look for light wool that doesn’t crease, crisp, sharp tailoring and pair it all with shoes that make your heart sing. If you ever yearned and saved for those Louboutins, this is your moment to make them earn their keep.
And on that point, have your smartest clothes altered to fit you as if they were tailor made. This is the secret to Anna Wintour’s impeccably fitting clothes. Good dressmakers don’t charge the earth and they have magic powers to transform how you look completely. To that end, if you’re ever in doubt about sizes, buy up a size and tailor down (taking in is much easier than letting out).
Finally, buy off the beaten track. On the high street, Cos, Finery London, Bimba Y Lola, Zadig Voltaire and & Other Stories have quirkier takes on office smarts, if you fancy rocking things up a little – and all have strong online offers.