Every company has its own dress code. This can range from ‘smart’ to not having a specific code at all. When starting a new job or going for an interview, the decision to find what to wear can be a difficult feat and it can be daunting not knowing which direction to go with your outfits.
In order to make the decision a little less daunting, Adzuna got in touch with seven UK fashion bloggers, who provided their best style tips for office workwear, as well as what they think is the biggest fashion faux pas in the workplace.
Look and feel like a boss
Lucy Connelly, the owner of Florals and Corals, suggests to “throw on a blazer. Not just any blazer though, a well fitted, chic blazer that you can accessorise,” as a fool-proof top tip. “I find that when I put some effort into how I look, I actually feel much better. So, when I look and feel like a boss – I work like one too!”
Lucy Connelly (Florals and Corals)
Additionally, Lucy believes that the biggest fashion faux pas in the office is un-ironed clothing. “This drives me crazy, as it can look untidy and I prefer a polished look, especially for the office.” Her advice would be to “try a steamer – it only takes a few minutes and will make a world of difference to how you look and feel!”
Comfort is key
Natasha Henson (British Style Society)
The editor of British Style Society, Natasha Henson, favours comfort with regards to workwear. “Comfort is key, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be stylish.” Natasha will try the ‘sit down and stretch test’ when it comes to clothing to see whether the piece of clothing would be comfortable after prolonged periods. “If it’s too tight or restrictive, it can be a significant distraction during your working day.”
Natasha also mentions that “when the warmer months arrive, it can be tempting to relax your workwear to cope with the heat. However, strappy sandals and flip-flops can be a little too casual for the environment, but also present a health and safety issue, too.”
Prepare yourself for any midday mishaps
Similarly to Natasha, Iwan from Mr Carrington agrees that “flip-flops or anything else that could be considered beachwear should stay at the beach, in my opinion.”
Iwan Carrington (Mr Carrington)
Iwan’s tip for office workwear is to “pick a colour pallet and buy items in natural fabrics that you can mix and match – it makes getting ready so much quicker!”
Typically, commuting in the UK can be a whole mixture of temperatures. “A day at the office can involve a swelteringly hot, packed train, followed by a meeting room with the air conditioning stuck on high. So, opt for pieces that you can layer to work with the different temperatures.” he suggests. Additionally, “a spare shirt or top is also good to keep in your work bag, in case of any morning latte spills, and always carry deodorant!”
Let your own style shine through
Aftab Pathan (Fresh and Fearless)
The owner of fashion blog Fresh and Fearless, Aftab Pathan, finds that “style is personal. Everyone has their own personal ways of dressing and that’s my favourite thing about clothing. It’s open to your own interpretation and often enough, your character can shine through what you wear, without having to utter a word.”
“Bringing that personal style Monday to Friday can be challenging for some, but it shouldn’t be.” Despite the office fashion faux pas of “not wearing extravagant outfits and keeping it ‘professional’,” Aftab suggests using accessories “to give a little spark.”
“Where I have to look smart when I go to work, wearing a shirt and trousers on the daily, I go out of the box by wearing shiny patent leather loafers, colourful bangles, different designer belts or even a bright coloured or bold blazer with detailed embroidery.” He continues.
“Sometimes, I even go as far as throwing on a bright pink shirt – because a shirt is a shirt, after all. Right? Style is yours to play with, so never forget to add a piece of you to your daily outfits, even for work.” Aftab concludes.
Find your timeless signature style
For Renee Rispin, owner of Mummy Style, it is important to realise that “when it comes to 9 to 5 style, the rules about office attire are constantly evolving. Whether your company is more elevated casual than tailored to perfection; the trick is to perfect your workwear signature style.” A tip for dressing in the office for Renee is “to invest in a capsule wardrobe of timeless pieces that are reflective of your personality.”
Renee Rispin (Mummy Style)
Agreeing with Aftab, Renee mentions that “we wear our clothes weekly on a constant rotation, so our clothes are a way of expressing who we are, to our colleagues. Therefore staying true to who we are style wise, will ensure you always look together, whatever your day brings.”
When it comes to the biggest faux pas in the office, Renee believes that “a great outfit is built from the shoes up. Therefore, if the shoes don’t fit, don’t wear them. Many people fall foul of wearing ill fitting shoes to the office, or worst still, ones past their best”.
Stay simple and throw on a blazer
Similarly, Ellie Dickinson of Life of Ellie Grace also feels that ill fitting clothes or footwear are a big faux pas in the office. “No matter how great you may look, if an outfit or shoes don’t fit properly, you won’t feel comfortable and confident. Make sure that your entire office wardrobe is confidence boosting and fits you perfectly – even if you have to take it to a tailor.”
Ellie Dickinson (Life of Ellie Grace)
Ellie mentions that a capsule wardrobe is the way to go, with regards to office wear. “I’m a huge fan of a capsule wardrobe, so keep trousers and skirts simple, but switch up the look with a variety of blazers,” Like Lucy, Ellie finds that “depending on my day to day, I find a blazer is a great way to smarten up a look and take an outfit from casual to more traditional office wear.”
Keep it appropriate and professional
Joanne Hegarty of The Stylist & The Wardrobe expresses that “whether we like it or not, our clothes and appearance massively influence our work successes. Going to the office dressed like a slob won’t do your chances of progressing any good.” As such, she suggests to “dress smartly to give yourself the best chance of achieving the success you deserve.”
Joanne Hegarty (The Stylist & The Wardrobe)
She believes that “arriving to work in stained clothes automatically screams lazy and disorganised.” Additionally, “wearing skimpy skirts and heels when meeting clients and doing presentations is inappropriate. Keep those outfits instead for your social life.”
When it comes to dressing for the office environment, Joanne finds that “wearing sportswear and ripped denim are all too relaxed an approach for an office environment. Although massively comfortable, they won’t impress your bosses or give the right message about your work ethic or effectiveness.”
With all of that being said, it’s important to remember that you want to be remembered for your pitch, product, and company, rather than your outfit choices. In particular, for interviews and meetings with important clients, the last thing you want is to make a bad first impression based on your choice of outfit.