How we dress for work is changing, with traditionally formal styles being pushed out for outfits we might wear when shopping or going to a restaurant. It seems so strange to think that, once, the workplace dress code was all about power dressing — think formal suits, smart blouses and an almost exclusively monochrome colour palette.
The trend towards this more laid-back style is great — more options and not as many uncomfortable clothes. But getting the right balance of casual and work-appropriate can be tricky. Go too casual and you risk an awkward chat with your manager about appropriateness, while a formal outfit may look like you’re over-dressing to your colleagues.
If you want help and advice on revamping your wardrobe to suit the new dress code trend for 2018, check out our style guide…
What trousers work best?
When you’re not feeling a skirt or dress outfit, why not get creative with a trouser and top combo? You have lots of options. Wear tapered trousers to enhance your figure and wear them with flats or heels. Of course, there are also frill-hem trousers and culottes to consider — as long as you think they’re not too much. Perhaps stay clear of bolder prints and colours and stick to classic checks and stripes, to be safe.
Choosing which top you’re going to pair with your trousers is your next step. For a formal look, wear a smart blouse or an embroidered shirt, and when you fancy going more casual, pull on a loose-fitting plain t-shirt and slouchy cardigan.
Ideal denims for the office
Decades ago, nobody would have thought we’d be donning denim to head to work. Long associated with casualwear, jeans are now an office-ready fashion staple — so get in on the trend! Opt for plain, rip-free denim in a dark wash to give a formal vibe, then pair your jeans with a smart-casual shirt, formal flats and a chic blazer. Of course, if your company has a strict dress code, you may not be able to wear jeans at all, so check beforehand.
The perfect work dress
We all know that there is a huge variety of cuts, lengths and styles when it comes to dresses — but how do we decide which is suitable for the office? From midi dresses to occasion dresses, you can probably wear most styles for work, but be mindful of low necklines and short hemlines!
If you’d prefer to play it safe — why not choose a simple and chic midi dress in a subtle print? These dresses look great at any time of year and you can dress them up with high heels and jewellery, or down with tights and ankle boots, depending on your working environment.
Maybe you fancy dressing down in style. If that’s the case, throw on a jumper dress! This is a top style for the colder months, while belted shirt dresses are ideal for spring and summer — plus, their collars will naturally make your feel smarter and more office-ready! Pair with cute pumps and jewellery.
The range of shoe choices
From boots and heels to pumps and sandals, almost every shoe style is acceptable in most offices across the country. Go for over-the-knee boots teamed with a jumper dress for an on-trend look in 2018. Then again, heeled boots are also a great option when you want that extra height, while flat boots can also work for walking about the office.
Fancy a chic pair of flats that still look dressed up enough to wear with a cute dress for work? Loafers are perfect to wear with trousers, dresses, skirts, and jeans. You’ll definitely need a black and nude pair.
If you’re up and down from your desk for eight hours a day, or have a long commute to work, perhaps leave the stiletto heels at home. Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to wear kitten heels; mid-heeled, closed-toe shoes are the perfect choice. Strappy sandals are also good — especially when teamed with wide-leg trousers for a chic daytime look.
Bear these style tips in mind the next time you’re getting your outfit ready for work to bring modern chic into your business attire.