Just a quickie post. If anyone has a spare couple of hundred lying around they can buy me this whole outfit from Mango please.
Although I love shopping, there’s one area that I’ve always disliked. I know, but don’t desert me just yet dear friends! The bit of shopping I don’t really enjoy is buying work clothes. I’m sure I can’t be alone in that.
I’ve always thought it a bit odd that I hate shopping for the clothes that I probably wear the most. You’d think one would put more effort into them than anything else. Unfortunately I find two things:
So how do we sort out this sorry state of affairs?
When it comes to jazzing up the workwear wardrobe, contrary to what a lot of shops try and tell us (I’m looking at you, Warehouse) unless you work in fashion or design, or are a professional tennis player, shorts are NOT acceptable for the workplace! If I turned up in a pair of shorts to my office, I would give at least two members of staff a heart attack, and those who didn’t go into cardiac arrest would have asked me if I’d been drinking! So I need to find suitable alternatives to snazz myself up a bit.
It has therefore become my mission to banish grey trousers, pinstripes and those dreaded basic tops and funk up my work wardrobe.
Colour me beautiful: Imagine my delight when I discovered that coloured trousers are coming in. Obviously I’m not suggesting that I’m going to leap into a pair of neon breeches and skip into the office, but there are some colours that I think would be acceptable for the workplace, like navy, plum and burgundy. I feel the darker colours are better, personally.
Look at these! The first are from Topshop at £35 – they are available in three different lengths. I don’t know how well you can tell from the photo, but this second pair is purple, priced £24.99 from New Look. I can find their sizes a bit iffy, so I can recommend some trying-before-you-is-buying. I also have to admit to being a fan of these copper palazzos from Zara, but appreciate they wouldn’t be everyone’s first choice (also bottle green, black and blue.)
Pan-dering to our needs: Peter pan collars are all up in fashion’s face at the moment too – I think they add a cuter edge to an outfit, and I will definitely be buying one for my new work wardrobe. I love this classic shirt from ASOS – there are so many ways to style up this simple piece, and it will transcend the seasons, so it’s reasonable at £30. Then there’s this two-in-one dress by E1 London from newly discovered Fashion Union – top value for money at £30. I’d pop a tight fitting basic long sleeved vest in a similar colour underneath to combat the cold so I could wear through the winter. Finally I’ve found this slight variation in this scalloped number by Louche at Joy. It’s £35 and the colours are bang on. I’d probably tuck it into the Toppers trousers above actually!
Needles-s to say: When it comes to feeling good at work, I don’t think you can beat a nice knit dress. I bought a stripey one from Zara for about £9 three years ago and it’s still going strong. Add a pair of opaque tights, and Bob’s your mother’s brother. Rock this Mango boat neck with those tights to make this day-wearable – it’s £39.90 and available in about 6 different colours. Nail a beatnik look with this Kenneth Cole dress (in the sale on the House of Fraser website) It’s slightly pricier at £51, but it’s a silk mix and monochrome never goes out of fashion. That subtle wider black band in the middle will give definition to your waist too. Finally I found this cute little chappy from Dorothy Perkins for £35: wear with pearl stud earrings and some courts and nail the ladylike look.
I feel we’ve worked from 9-1, not 9-5 on this one, so we’ll have a lunchbreak and commence working the 2-5 soon. x
So, after much searching, I finally did that thing that men say women do when shopping and we say that we don’t: I went back to one of the first shops I visited. Sorry womankind, I don’t mean to set a bad example, don’t chuck me out of the sisterhood!
The store was Mango, the dress is ace. What actually happened was that I saw the dress in question a previous trip, but wasn’t in my size. After no success elsewhere, I then insisted on dragging my friend around every Mango we could think of in Central London until I found it in a medium.
So voila, the dress that does it all:
Attempt 1: With all my rules in mind, the first dress that I found was this beautiful green number called Ronah by Traffic People in concessions at Topshop. This dress is also available from aspirestyle.co.uk at £59. Unfortunately, it’s not made for big friendly giants like me: the waistband fell on my ribcage making me look like a green plank, but would be perfect for more petite girls. That high neckline will also make smaller boobs look bigger and the cap sleeves will broaden shoulders to balance any pear shapes too. I would have put it with metalic shoes and accessories – like these badboys: Skater Su from Dune at £80; or gone for these slightly kookier tribal lovelies to add a few other colours to the outfit: Lindemuth from Aldo at £60.
Attempts 2 and 3: After failing miserably with attempt 1, and a lot of online searching (I loves the research) I hit the streets again, and happened upon Mango. Aside from the wedding search, I dribbled a little on sight of their killer AW drop: there are many new season dresses and tops that I am lusting after! (Repeat after me: credit cards are for emergencies, credit cards are for emergencies!) I tried on this navy slinky cowl neck number for £69.90, and a cute black/nude mesh and lace cocktail dress for £59.90.
The navy jobby (also available in a colour I like to call ‘slutty red’) looks faintly like a replica of that one that Kate Middleton wore when she got engaged! It’s super clingy though, so unless you want to go commando, some Spanx will definitely be in order.
The mesh cocktail dress was also really lovely – plus came with a free belt; excellent. It fitted me perfectly, and was a very beautiful dress – ideal with pearls and nude accessories BUT I thought the sheerness of the fabric would mean I’d have to cover its loveliness up with a cardy. (Did I mention the wedding is in Ireland?) And was also very similar to a skirt/top combo I had worn at a wedding last year.
BUT if I had bought it I may have paired it with these lacy courts from Barratts at £40 (if feeling matchy-matchy); these nude flowery sandals from DP at £40 (if I’d checked the weather forecast) or these classic Keanah bow courts by Ted Baker at Office for £80 (if I was feeling particularly flush.)
The search continues…