Just because you work in an office doesn’t mean you can’t live a creative life. My lovely friend Kasia is a prime example of how you can look smart and groomed without looking stuffy and boring. I’ve worked with Kasia before and was always in awe of how well turned out she looked every day, while still injecting a lot of her personality and sense of style into the equation. So she kindly agreed to come over and give me a little insight into how she puts her office chic wardrobe together. Here are some of her top tips.
Denim shirt, £24.99 from TK Maxx, necklace £7.99 from H&M, black elasticated pencil skirt, £9 from Footlocker
Look for bargains in unlikely places
“I always find that if I go shopping to look for something specific, I come home empty handed,” says Kasia. “The trick is to keep your eyes peeled everywhere you go and to have a little imagination. For example, I went into Footlocker looking for some workout clothes and came out with a black pencil skirt for just £9. It’s timeless and a really great little office wardrobe staple, as it goes with almost anything.”
Look for items that could be dressed up or dressed down
“This denim shirt is great for a smart-casual office dress code, but I also wear it outside of the office with a more casual ensemble,” Kasia explains. “If your office isn’t too corporate, then go for clothes that double up for your everyday life.”
Blue dress, £9 in the Debenhams sale, necklace was a gift from a friend (from Zara) and shoes were bought in Kasia’s home town in Poland for around £10.
Dressing well doesn’t have to be expensive
“I already mentioned always being on the alert for bargains,” says Kasia, “but I always check out the sales to find something amazing for less. Don’t be fooled into thinking all the best clothes are gone, you may well find an unexpected gem.”
Don’t be afraid to be bright and bold
“My blue dress isn’t anything special,” says Kasia, “but the colour makes everything pop. Everyone notices the dress because it’s bright and bold – it instantly injects some personality and unique style into your outfit.”
Let your accessories do the talking
Kasia feels that less is more when it comes to complex outfits. “You need to be comfortable at work,” she says, “I always try to keep my outfits simple and accessorise them with bold statement necklaces and jewellery.”
Floral shirt, TK Maxx £14.99. Black jeans from Next, around £20.
Don’t be a slave to trends
“It’s fun to incorporate trends into your usual style,” Kasia explains, “but not at the expense of what suits you and works well with your wardrobe. For example, following the air tie trend of buttoning your shirts to the top also looks smarter for work and suits the outfits I’ve put together, but I would avoid anything that detracts from your own sense of style.”
Know your body shape
Kasia thinks that getting to know your body shape is a process. “In my younger years I worked in a few clothes shops, and so I’ve been around fashion for a long time. One thing I’ve learned is to know, at a glance, what will suit my body shape and what will be unflattering. This is a process of trial and error for most people, as no two body shapes are the same, and we change as we get older. Don’t be afraid to try things on and rule out certain types of clothes on the basis that they won’t suit you. For example, three quarter-length trousers tend to make my legs look shorter, so I avoid them.”
Take good care of your clothes
One question I had for Kasia was how she looks quite so groomed every morning. “I take pretty good care of my clothes. I always wash things according to the instructions, hand wash things that need to be hand washed, and I iron and steam my clothes when necessary so that everything looks neat and work ready.”
So I’ve definitely learned a thing or two from Kasia! Do you have any top tips for dressing creatively for an office job? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment box!