And of the course the age old issue of what to wear. In an interview setting you know what to wear (usually a suit or key tailored pieces) and the people interviewing you are usually dressed up to, but in a day to day environment what is the dress code? Is it smart smarts (suits/tailored shirts etc) or is smart casual (smart jeans, or trousers but casual tops?) Is it uber relaxed on Fridays with jeans and sneakers (yes I know I'm British and we wear trainers but the word sneakers is so much more fun!)
I'd been doing some Google searching and reading blogs to see what people wear to work...my last place was super casual so I wore jeans everyday. But the new place not so much, I think, I believe it will vary depending on where I'm based or what I'm doing but essentially a whole lot smarter than what I've been used to on a daily basis. Which is no bad thing as I've missed getting dressed up for work, I mean it gives another excuse to go shopping doesn't it if nothing else!!
But I digress, to day one. Now tricky while this may be I do think going super smart is the only way forward - the last thing you want is to rock up and be under dressed for meeting the MD who just happens to be in that day at a loose end...so here is my plan of attack:
A wardrobe essential - flattering, good quality trousers are worth their weight in gold. I know that Oasis are my go to place for jeans and trousers. A bit more pricey than some other high street stores (wait for the online discounts or sales as they happen constantly!) but their trews fit me well - they are cut I guess for gals with curves. So find your shop where you know the clothes will work with you not against you - for example me and Zara trousers don't gel, I am too short and curvy for their bottoms. Nothing against them they just don't work for me so why stress myself out?
Ideally on day one you want something you have worn before and you know you are comfy in. No stress about it being too low cut, or see through or pulling in the wrong places. You want to be put together but also feel comfortable as it will be stressful enough on your first day doing all the "firsts" without fretting about your wardrobe. I swear my Marks and Spencer, Dorothy Perkins and Zara for good office shirts/tops.
Currently in Blighty we have snow up North and flooding down South (where I live) no sign of Spring whatsoever...so for my first day to go alongside the trousers and blouse I recommend either a smart blazer/jacket or a colourful pop from a bright cardigan. Keeps you warm, adds a bit of individuality and can be removed if the office is snug before adding back on and facing the elements outside! Again I swear by Marks and Spencer they do the most amazing cardigans I think I have them in nearly every colour and they wash and last so so so well!!
Another core staple is a good pair of black court shoes - yes they sound boring but I don't think any working girl can be without a smart but comfy pair of black shoes. These ones from Marks and Spencer are ideal - nice height and super comfy - I love their shoes plus full price they are only £19! Amazing value. They also come in loads of cool colours for when you want to be a bit more daring!
Now if you've been a reader for a while you will know I LOVE my accessories...from statement necklaces to a handbags I do think choosing the right accessories helps personalise an otherwise "safe" outfit. However on day one as I've mentioned before it is better err on the side of caution just in case your colleagues don't get your style. Therefore I'd keep accessories to a minimum for me this means - no jangling bangles for example just a classic watch, a simple necklace as I'm wearing a shirt I need something but nothing too large and then a plain bag that won't overpower the outfit....
This bag from Zara is perfect
6. Make up/nails/perfume
Finally remember we always want to look groomed but try to avoid wearing more war paint than a Vegas showgirl. Less is more as my Mum would say!! I will aim (although not sure if I ever manage it) to look polished but have my make up look invisible like I'm not really wearing any...for me that means good foundation and powder to stop shine, some neutral eyeshadow and neutral lipstick/gloss. Again nothing too overpowering for perfume you don't want to be knows as the newbie with the stinky perfume after all! Finally on my nails I will be wearing Essie's Mademoiselle as I think it is the perfect barely there polish that just smartens up my nails enough to look done but in a unobtrusive way if that makes sense?
I hope you enjoyed this post, if so please comment and let me know...I have a part B planned of how I inject my personality into my working wardrobe - still using the basics above but adding more exciting accessories (shoes/belt/jewellery) into the mix
What do you wear for work? Is it smarts all the way or are you a casual dresser?