With my current internship at my local Conservative Association, where I would describe the dress code as 'smart office casual', and a very exciting internship I will tell you all about soon in London where I will have to look very office smart, I decided it was time to start building myself a little bit of a work wardrobe; and with a little help from some local high street brands and Selfridges in London I've done just that!
The first and most important thing I needed to find was the perfect cardigan. This one was from L K Bennett, it was in the sale but these usually retail for about £75, so it was definitely an investment piece compared to the usual high street price tags! I chose navy blue as it goes with most of my wardrobe (I go for brown,s blacks, taupes, beiges, lavenders and blues). I also chose the cropped style as I'm short and a long cardigan would make me look very frumpy unless I wore heels all the time!
Another very important basic are camisole or spaghetti tops. They have these for hardly anything in Marks & Spencers and Zara, and similar in Topshop and American Apparel. They are the perfect wardrobe staple tucked into a skirt and you can have them in so many colours to match so many skirts!
The skirt is from Monsoon.
This top was from the new Topshop collection and the skirt is from N.W.3 by Hobbs. I like the top because, like the camisoles it's a basic but because it has shoulder detailing it makes it a bit more dressy and quirky. Also because it covers your shoulders it's a touch more conservative. I love the skirt because of it's button detail, but also because it's figure flattering, is the perfect length just about the knee and because it's made out of tweed fabric which looks great with loads of other colours, and is very hard wearing.
I know this skirt is a similar cut to the last one, but this lavender skirt from Zara was not just only £20 as a non sale item (!), but its cotton therefore lighter in the summer where the tweed skirt may be a bit warm. They are only similar styles because I know that's what suits me! It's also the splash of colour my wardrobe needs, because I know lavender is the colour that isn't blue that suits me best. If the colour suits you really well you can get away with brighter colours more. The belt came with it, but it looks fine without too!
Finally, and my favourite thing I bought in Selfridges is the perfectly fitting office dress. This one is from N.W.3 at Hobbs, my new favourite label. It is essential that the dress is flattering and fits perfectly, and though I wasn't sure when it was on the hanger I knew the dress was perfect the moment I put it on! Also, if you're under about the age of 30 you have to make sure that you go for a design with some detailing like the buttons and neck line on this one, or else you may look like you're trying to dress to be older than you are/ you'll look too old!
Everything I pair with basic jewellery, pieces I wear every day without fail; my silver Tiffany's key pendant and by solid silver bangle.
On my feet I'm wearing my very battered pair of Nine West sandals. I have new pair from Nine West but they have bright pink backs and are therefore not summer office passable (I'm pushing it with sandals as it is!) so I have my eye on a black suede pair from Bertie to replace them with, but when I checked they didn't have my size in store so I must go back to Selfridges one evening after work when I'm staying in London to try and try them on again!
What is your favourite office wardrobe staple?