Head to work in style with our guide to workwear
There are fewer words in the fashion dictionary that inspire less imagination than “workwear”. However, we at The Upcoming love a challenge and as far as we’re concerned, styling smart wear never need be dull.
The great temptation, as we fall quickly into autumn, is to reach for the gloomy tones of black, brown and grey. While there is nothing wrong about this per se, it can leave you feeling – and looking – a little drab. The trick is to mix up fabric textures, add a little print or a statement colour and let the darker tones fall into the background of your outfit. Use our simple guide to pick out one key piece or mix them up to make a capsule wardrobe to brighten even the dreariest day this season.
Whether you match it with a dress, skirt or trousers, a jacket has to be a work wear staple. If you are bold enough, we say opt for a patterned fabric like winter florals or a block colour to really make your outfit stand out. This autumn’s palette of deep reds, burnt oranges and warm yellows look great in tailored shapes.
Flat shoes are finally in trend. Make the most of this opportunity and give your feet a well-deserved break from towering heels. The fashion pack love slipper styles (and so do we!) with gold embroidery or embellished detail on the front. Classic brogues and loafer styles are still chic and look great with slick cigarette trousers. However, if you yearn for a heel, try the super chunky ones which offer all the comfort of a wedge.
No one need settle for plain black trousers. If you have great pins show them off with an eye-catching print in a narrow leg. Tweed options lend themselves perfectly to the autumnal British heritage trend, whilst block bright colours hang on to the end of summer.
Smart classic shirts can be worn perfectly in androgynous styles, but if you fancy something a little more feminine look at soft and sheer fabrics and peplum shapes. Plain creams accompany busy prints perfectly whilst brightening garments in darker tones. The embellishment trend for AW12 has not forgotten shirts whose collars are often adorned with beads – a great day-to-evening piece for those post-work drinks.
Smart bags are essential for work, but that doesn’t mean they need to be black. If you’re not keen on committing your outfit to bright colours and prints, try adding a pop colour bag to give your wardrobe a make-over. The classic Pliage bag by Longchamp is a favourite, as its origami-inspired design means it can be folded open to accompany all the bits and bobs you need for your day.
The quickest way to a complete outfit is a dress. One piece in a range of shapes, from loose shirt-dresses to fitted peplum shapes, ensures you will find the perfect one to suit your style. The easiest way to create a smart look is to stick to minimalist styles, which will make your look appear tailored without the additional cost.