I’m not one of those people who goes weak at the knees at the sight of a uniform but I have worn a couple in my working life – red dungarees at Wimpy, red braces at Pizza Hut – why was the fast food industry so desperate to truss up their employees I wonder? However, working in fashion and retail, I can pretty much wear what I like now. My five year old son doesn’t have to wear a uniform either so it’s one big wide open outfit dilemma chez Stott on a weekday.
Personally, I like to be smart when working, mostly because I find it easier to dress that way, but there’s no denying it’s more of a challenge in the summer months. Particularly when the summer months are chilly and rainy and yet for some strange reason heavy black winter clothes look wrong. I have cold feet most of the time at the moment because I absolutely refuse to resort to socks and boots when I have so many lovely summery shoes to wear. Starbucks seem to take the same approach; at 7.30am when I picked up my coffee they had the air con on full blast and it was like walking into a shopping mall in Dubai in high summer. My feet still haven’t thawed out.
So how to dress for the office then when it’s June and you want to look professional, stylish and comfortable? I’ve taken two similar Reiss tops – the one on the left for the more curvy figure and the one on the right for the more boyish. Both are utterly versatile, I would be just as happy wearing either with jeans at the weekend, both are light and summery. As for the rest of your working wardrobe, well I’m looking to Amal Clooney for inspiration because while obviously she has endless amounts of cash to burn on such things, she does look good. Below are my high street suggestions so you can look just as sharp:
Keep Accessories Simple
Neutral, classic accessories will go with any outfit. Jazz up a skirt and blouse combo with a skinny belt with this season’s bow and take advantage of the many mid heel heights currently around – far more sensible for all day than a skyscraper (she says).
Mix and Match Neutrals
Navy is not only universally classic and chic, it is also more flattering than black in the summer. There is loads of it on the high street and the nautical theme is a perennial favourite with designers. Camel goes with just about everything and is one of very few shades that makes the leap from winter to summer effortlessly.
Make an Impression in Colour…
It doesn’t need to be head to toe, just the one colourful item will bring an otherwise low key work outfit to life (see Amal in her orange top). If you really haven’t the stomach for acid brights first thing, then stick to eye-catching accessories. The simply cut ivory Reiss blouses will keep the look from being too in your face.
Trousers are This Season’s Dress
I know I’ve said it before, but this summer the trouser comes in every shape and length imaginable so there will definitely be a style out there for you. These wide trousers from Next are an absolute steal at £25, I love mine so much I don’t wear them to work.
And there’s the thing, you don’t want to wear your best stuff to the office but then again you want to look and feel as if you mean business. That’s hard to do if you’re shivering under the air con shaft or sweating right next to the window. Put together five outfits with interchangeable accessories and you should be set. Given the brevity of the British summer, you won’t have the chance to get bored of them and perhaps you’ll get an extra ten minutes in bed in the morning.
My first book SHOPPED is released by September Publishing on 5th July 2016 and is available to pre-order for £8.99