Thursday, 7 September 2017

A Wardrobe Overhaul - Work attire

You can never be overdressed or overeducated.
Oscar Wilde

So, having talked about the quest to find my style mojo, I've been spending quite a bit of time thinking about my wardrobe and what I want it to look like going forwards. 

I've been through my wardrobe and pulled out those things that I no longer like. It's still left me with quite a big wardrobe, no capsule wardrobe for me! 

However, I have noticed that I don't seem to have versatile outfits. I have half outfits, or pieces that are good for one season but can't be transferred to another season with ease. 

So I've decided to work on adding on those things to my wardrobe which I think will enhance what is already in it, and not adding in more than one or two new outfits. 

I have also realised that I have different wardrobes for different occasions, namely: 

  • Work;
  • Going out;
  • Casual with the kids;
  • Smart casual with the kids;
  • Smart casual WITHOUT the kids. 

So I'm going to work through what I have in my (recently reduced) wardrobe, and those items I am thinking about adding to my wardrobe to make the pieces I have work a little better. 

Work Wardrobe:

While I'm not actually going back to work until the end of March 2018, I still want to plan out what I have and what I need. 

I'm going back to work three days a week, which actually means I have the bulk of my work wardrobe already (yay). 

Outfit 1:

I have this Karen Millen cream checked dress, which I still love:

I usually wear this dress with this black M&S cardigan. I have this cardigan in several colours because it wears and washes well, although I'm feeling a bit carbon copy in them all the time!

In terms of finishing off this outfit, I sometimes feel that this dress is a little low cut, particularly for client meetings. I would also like to dress it up a little, rather than the perpetual black cardigan. 

So to finish off this outfit, and make it versatile for more formal meetings, I'm adding the following to my wish list:

This lace cami top from The White Company. To make the dress a little less revealing! 

A black blazer. 

I'm really struggling to find a blazer I like with a reasonable price point at the moment. I like my blazer's fitted and at the moment boxy, looser styles are everywhere, and I have really struggled to find something I really like. 

Thankfully Zara have come to the rescue with their basic black blazer

Black shoes. 

I've ruined my last pair of black work shoes, so they are probably going to need to be replaced before I go back to work. 

I do have a pair of nude court shoes which could probably work with this dress, but I think the black ones will look better. So I'm coveting these Karen Millen patent court shoes


I have a love/hate relationship with tights. I love them, but they are so uncomfortable. I'm constantly faffing about with them because they just don't stay where they are supposed to. 

Although clearly Facebook has some psychic ability to discern my discomfort with my current tights, as it keeps throwing up  an advert for tights from Heist Studios. Said advert states no digging, no rolling and no sagging will occur when wearing their magic tights. 

Ever a sucker for marketing promises, I think I'm going to test out their tights in both nude and the 80 denier black. Obviously I'll report back once they have been throughly tested!  

Outfit 2:

I only actually own one formal suit. I'm not sure if this is the exact suit, but it's as close as I can find. My navy blue suit is from Reiss. I love their tailoring, and when I was shopping for a suit, I literally went to every store in Birmingham before finding this little piece of magic in Reiss. 

I actually own two skirts, so I can send one to the dry cleaners and still have a full suit. I'm much less likely to spill something on my jacket, but you can guarantee that I'll need to send my skirt to the dry cleaners the day before a court appearance or a very formal client meeting. 

Currently I wear this Reiss button-back top in cream with my suit. I love this top, but had to size it down a little to give it the slightly more fitted look. I also own this top in navy blue and wear it a lot with jeans! 

Reiss also did this in red originally, but they had sold out by the time I was ready to buy it (and it has not yet appeared in their outlet, much to my disappointment). 

Again, to give this outfit a more formal feel, I'm on the lookout for the perfect white shirt. I'm currently considering this Fitted Shirt from TM Lewin, although I'm tempted by this Pleated Front Shirt, also from TM Lewin. I can't decide if I'll regret it when the pleats need ironing for the 50th time. 

The only other item on my wish list? These Karen Millen Court Shoes in Navy Blue

Now I know that these are quite a way down the priority list! I already have nude court shoes which are completely fine with this suit, but I must admit, they are the perfect navy, which I have been looking for, for what seems like forever! 

Outfit 3:

I love this Karen Millen pencil dress. The black parts are matt but the champagne/oyster parts are a silky/satin material. 

I think, given the items in my wish list to finalise the cream dress, I don't actually need to add anything to my list to finish off this dress. 

Outfit 4:

The same goes for this Karen Miller black checked pencil skirt (are you spotting a theme yet?). The white shirt and the black blazer listed above will happy finish off this outfit without me having to add more to the list. My bank balance will be very happy about that! 


I'm a little unsettled with a coat choice at the moment. I have a smart trench coat for the summer, but I just don't feel smart in the parka I had last winter. 

I am lusting after a smart wool coat, but it seems to be a little early in the season for winter coats to have hit the shops and I'm struggling to find anything I really like. 

Also, given I'm going back to work at the end of March, I doubt I'll get much use out of a warm wool coat until next winter. So I might save my pennies and wait until the winter collections come out next year. 

Shopping List:

So that's seven items on the shopping list to complete my work wardrobe. While it is quite a lot, given I only work three days a week, its definitely something I can work towards. I'm excited to get back into my work wardrobe, having given it a new lease of life.