So, you’ve started back at work and you’re in full 2018 mode. You have goals set and plans made and you have everything sorted. Until you hit about week 4 and you realise that you’re wearing last, last, season’s blouse and a pencil skirt that’s definitely seen better days. Your outfit is boring and you don’t really care about getting dressed, and ironing that old blouse is certainly not appealing the night before work… hell, you probably won’t even bother to iron it, it’s that old. So, what to do? Buying a whole new work wardrobe would be lovely, but not realistic. Pop that one in the pile of ‘Oh if I ever win the lottery…”.
What you need is to refresh your basics. You need a mix of both new, on trend pieces and classics. Simply put, you need to cull the old and worn out. Go through your wardrobe and toss out all those white blouses with the unspeakable yellow stains under your arms, and the jackets that are starting to pill. Then, you need to replace the old with the new. But, the difference is, you’re going to pick pieces you can mix and match that way you aren’t stuck in just a white blouse x 2 black skirts and so on.
When you go shopping, avoid matchy matchy prints and colours, instead, you need to look for complimentary pieces. There is a big difference between those two. For example, matchy matchy is navy on navy, or different shades of blue. Instead, look for colours that compliment each other such as; navy, red, white and tan. That way you have multiple options rather than just repeating the same colour scheme. Even if you’re going from a skirt to a dress to pants, people won’t notice the actual item changing if its all the same shade, or matchy matchy colour.
So what’s on the shopping list?
- A white blouse. It can either be plain or could have some subtle detail. In these photos, I have chosen a lace detailed blouse from Portmans. Look for a good quality material, and if possible, find one that doesn’t need ironing, because you don’t have time for that.
- A navy pencil skirt is second on your shopping list. This one is a stretchy material from Forcast and has a front split – just be careful that front splits are appropriate for your workplace otherwise go for the classic back split. Luckily because I teach and stand for nearly 6 hours a day, I rarely sit down (at least when I am in the classroom) so the front split is not an issue. If you’re in an open plan workspace or meeting and sit constantly while interacting with team members and clients, then the front split wouldn’t be good for fear of the dreaded peek-a-boo….
- A brightly coloured pencil skirt. See above for the same reasoning on cut and quality, except this time, go for a brighter colour to mix up the colour palate.Just remember, it still has to be complimentary.
- Printed/coloured blouses x 2. You need two of these babies in your life. Choose totally different patterns for these as you obviously can’t wear them both at once, so you don’t have to worry about clashing! They are great for lifting and making your outfit more interesting. The red paisley print with the fun sleeves is from David Lawrence, and the blue and grey print is from Forcast (pictured two above). Both of these shirts will work well with the navy pencil skirt ( as shown).
You now have your new fun pieces for your wardrobe and have refreshed some classics too. All thats left to do is for you to go through your wardrobe and see if you can pair any of these with existing pieces. Eg the blue Forcast blouse with grey, navy or cream pants, or the bright pencil skirt with a complementary classic colour like grey, black or navy.
The final thing you can do is play with accessories. Luckily head scarves are becoming quite a thing. I will be writing another article on how to style these for work soon!
Until then though, I bought this little haul from Lovisa all for under $40.
Chunky necklaces, statement earrings and bangles are an easy way to brighten up, and transform a tired work outfit.
Leave a comment and let me know what you think!