I’ve been participating in a Autumn (Fall) fashion challenge throughout October over on Instagram. Organised by my favourite blogger Molly of Still Being Molly it has been a fun way to get me thinking about my wardrobe and the choices I have. As I mentioned in my last post I’m not entirely happy about my weight, I have so many beautiful clothes that I currently don’t fit. This challenge whilst making me think in new ways about the clothes that do fit is also helping me to focus on my eventual aim to fit into all my lovely clothes (especially my frocks) again.
My weekday wardrobe is a mixture of smart-casual skirts, dresses and trousers. I tend to buy most of my clothes from Next (Tall selection online and very good delivery service), M&S, Monsoon, La Redoute, BHS and White Stuff. I am tall (5ft9 with long legs) and not skinny (top heavy) so shopping can be difficult.
I’m the librarian at an Further Education College library so I have to look smart as I’m managing the library but I also want to look approachable to the students. I tend to wear a bit of colour and although I have suits and more formal clothes I tend to keep them for more formal meetings rather than my day to day job.
Day 21 of the #SBMFallFashionChallenge called for some animal print… I’m not really an animal print sort of girl.. but I do make an exception for wee owls… (all part of the looking approachable to students aim, I mean someone wearing colourful owls can’t be scary, can they?)
I tend to wear a low heel or flats for work. I have dodgy knees and a condition in my feet called plantar fasciitis which means I have to wear special insoles in my shoes so my requirement for work shoes is that I can get my insoles into them and that they look smart. I’m really sad that my favourite pair of teal heels are going to have to go to shoe heaven soon as the patent is all scratched and white scuff marks are showing – not so good for work! My shoes below come from New Look and are several years old. Most of shoes come from M&S (good old Marks & Sparks!) and Clarks. I have 3 pairs of heels from Monsoon that have been excellent work shoes back when I was teaching as well. I recently bought a pair of shoes from Hotter and they are very comfortable and don’t look like Granny shoes so I’m keeping an eye out for sales with them.
Layers are really vital in my place of work. The building dates from the early 1960s and can either be freezing or boiling hot. The windows are double height, floor to ceiling, leak and let the wind in.. but they also act like a greenhouse on sunny days. To combat this I’ll usually have a top and a cardigan or blazer and a scarf which I can put on or take off according to the climate during the day. I also keep a fleece in the office for extremely cold days (luckily only about 3 days a year).
So my tweaks for something super smart like this dress below (Next Tall) which is part of a suit would be, cardigan, coloured shoes, scarf and pretty jewellery.
My wardrobe is much the same as my teaching days and most of the same rules apply.
* Be comfortable, clothes which are not comfy or you feel unhappy in will just distract you from work.
* Keep covered up. Flesh on show with skirts that are too short or cleavage are not appropriate.
* Dress in a way that suits your personality but also suits the job and how you want to be perceived. Ie. I love colourful things but some of my wacky clothes are just not suited for work. I want to be perceived as friendly but also in control so hence the smart but a little bit casual apparel.
* Accessorize (if you want to). I love my scarves and jewellery and to me they finish off my wardrobe so I am very happy to purchase little bits and bobs (a scarf wherever I go) to complement lots of my existing clothes. They allow me to put my own stamp on my smart clothes.
* Don’t wear scuffed, broken, tired clothes. Yes you have had those shoes for years, yes they did the job well, yes they go with a million things in your wardrobe but if they are a bit past it then they have to be excused from you work wardrobe because people won’t know your connection and history with that item, they will just see a scruffy person who doesn’t care.
Anyway that is just some of my own thoughts. I spend 36+ hours of my week at work so I do have a large ‘workdrobe’ and I enjoy my clothes (although I am definitely not fashionable). For more working wardrobe inspiration I suggest you look at Fashionably Employed blog.