It has been quite a while since my last visit to an office. My work-from-home wardrobe consists of a rotation of floral-printed dresses, overalls and suits for fashion writers. You can be creative with no dress code. My 20-year-old sister and I just happened to be two blocks away from each other in New York City. As an older sister, it was an honour to be asked for wardrobe advice by my little sister. I began making a list. This is the result of that list.
My first job after college was in the city’s summer heat. I considered it a lot. I didn’t have enough money to buy a new wardrobe. My wardrobe was so small that it was impossible to afford them. I concentrated on the key pieces in neutrals, like navy or black, that I knew would be my go-to for years. Today, four years after purchasing some of these pieces, I am happy to see that they have survived the test of time and proven to be sound investments.
This is a tip I wish someone had taught me sooner in my career. When worn correctly, a T-shirt is a great warm-weather work staple. A few things are important to remember. This is not the T-shirt you wear over a wet swimsuit as you return from the train station. The T-shirt should have a structured collar or a thicker fabric. You can have it in one or two colours. Wear it with your favourite trousers or a simple skirt for a casual outfit. You can layer a few necklaces or go bold with statement earrings. This versatile workhorse will make dressing up much easier, no matter how you spin it.
My college “trousers” looked more like cigarette pants than when I was there. But that’s not the case. You don’t have to spend much money to find a pair of vintage trousers. It’s the Golden Age in trousers. Many new brands are embracing the relaxed, wide-leg trouser look. For that Scandi look, pair it with the above T-shirt or a matching oversized jacket.
If in doubt, it’s better to be a bit bigger than too small. Beverly Osemwenkhae, aka Beverly (Wallpaper Stylist and founder of ProjectBee Consulting), believes that great trouser is made from quality and fit. She says that there are many styles and cuts of pants, but the most important thing is how it fits. A pant that fits well with your waist and hips is a good choice. If it enhances all of your best features, it’s a winner.
A solid pair of white sneakers are a great addition to any work wardrobe, just like a crisp, white T-shirt. For those days when you want to step up, it is a good idea to have a pair of shoes that aren’t a heel or a shoe but something in-between. It’s up to you what style appeals to you. Beverly prefers a closed-toe mule. She describes it as “a little more elegant than wearing a ballet slipper and just as comfortable.” I prefer a loafer. Investing in durable materials such as leather and thick soles is important. This will ensure that your purchase lasts long after you finish your internship. Avoid being distracted by trendy, cheap shoes. They will just be replaced in a few months.
Similar to the previous point, you will only know what you need from a work bag. It might be a good idea to wait until you have had time to use the bag on the job before you decide what you need from it. Do you need to carry a laptop from home to the office? You work mostly at home. Once you have decided what is important, keep a small pouch in your bag that you can use for emergencies. You can opt for a bag with built-in storage if the pouch is too heavy.
A blazer is the best way to say “hard at work”. Similar to trousers, size up if in doubt. Your blazer can be worn over a dress for happy hour that is more appropriate for summer. You can pair it with a pair of Bermuda shorts, or you can keep it simple and wear it with matching pants. You only need to have a handful of blazers to transform your wardrobe.
“I found this midi shift dress to be so chic. Beverly says it can be worn in many different ways. This is your chance to bring back the little black dress you wore to college with your mom. You can let your personality shine through the dresses that you choose. These three choices are examples of little black dresses worn in the office. After the first few days, you’ll see what works in the office and what should be saved for the weekend.
Midi slip skirts will be 2022 if pencil skirts are 2014. These skirts are a dream for anyone who wants to keep cool and not feel restricted by being too skintight. If the AC at work is running cold, you can pair any of these skirts with a white T-shirt, button or cropped cardigan. These skirts can be paired with boots or bodysuits in the fall and winter.