What I wear to work

Every month I find myself lusting over features in fashion bibles (or magazines, as they are sometimes known) about what those who have earned their way into the fashion industry wear to work everyday. These aren’t normal uniforms; they are smart, elegant and highly desirable ensembles that I could only ever dream of being capable of wearing on a daily basis. In somewhat the same fashion as Elle, Vogue and those others that induce envy on every page, I thought I’d gather a collection of the outfits I wear to work. Of course my outfits are unquestionably less glamorous than those I aspire to, but I can still pretend I’m featuring in an edition of Elle, right?

1. Working Girl

I don’t wear red. Red scares me. Red is for women who know where they are going in their life and want everyone to know it. I neither know where I’m going in life, nor do I want people to know it (at least not before I do), and I still consider myself a girl, not a ‘woman’. Still, one of the rare spontaneous moments in my life resulted in me purchasing a red two-piece. This recent addition to my work uniform transformed my January blues into vibrant reds. With two items left to purchase before my business allowance expired, I was inspired by this two piece. It shocked me a little, and of course the regular questions concerning practicality were at the forefront of my mind. Would I actually wear this to work? How could I wear it outside of work? Can I afford it? The answers to which were: probably not, you’ll think of something and not really – so naturally I bought them anyway.

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Of course I was overthinking, there is an abundance of ways I can wear this, and hopefully pull it off. I’ve decided to reserve the full impact of the two-piece combination for more special occasions, but the jacket and trousers alone still contribute a lot to an outfit. This is my favourite utilisation of the jacket: paired with my high-waisted grey Joni jeans, a plain white vest top and always-a-sure-bet chelsea boots.

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2. Back in Black

Undoubtedly there are days when I, like so many others, just cannot muster motivation to get dressed, let alone to dress well. Unfortunately, when those days are filled with my going to work I do feel compelled to make some effort, which is what I reserve this outfit for.

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Sodd’s law made it so that as soon as I invested in this jumper, it went into sale; but I continue to wear it anyway. It’s warm, which I definitely need on the ground floor with a lack of heating, and also neutral which means any pair of jeans will do quite nicely. Of course, the jeans have to be Topshop, but in my completely unbiased opinion they are the most comfortable and size-reliable jeans anyway. So this is my lazy day work outfit: comfortable, casual and classic. Add a pair of boots and I’m ready to roll!

3. Sleek ‘n’ Slouchy

Strictly speaking, this is an ‘illegal’ outfit for me to wear to work because, I confess, these trousers are from Next. I struggled to find a pair of trousers that satisfy the ongoing tartan frenzy, but as soon as I spotted this comfortable and casual pair in Next I was instantly sold. I find that the partnership they have with this simple yet classy top (which is from Topshop, rest assured) is perfect for work. The looseness of both items is fab for stretching, bending and all of the other hard labour that we sales assistants have to do, but the sheen and colour of the top adds a little something extra. I long for the day when I have an after-work social commitment because I think this would be the perfect day-to-night time outfit. If only I had more friends.

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Plus some others –

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Crimson crepe-tee shift dress with grey woollen tights and, yes, my chelsea boots

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Grey Joni jeans paired with a cropped pink jumper

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The return of the Joni jeans matched with a lilac ribbon and mesh striped tee

I warned you that it wouldn’t be as glamorous as those features that I was inspired by, but it does feel good writing about what I can wear to work, given how insanely jealous I am of those we see in print. The uniform allowance and staff discount sure does help, but I feel as though being in such a clothes and fashion oriented environment really has inspired and improved my wardrobe. It’s extremely liberating working within retail and not having to sport the all-in-black, knee length skirt and Clarks shoes look, which I have had to do before. Now, however, I have to care about what I wear to work because that’s what working for Topshop is: clothes. Obviously it is not quite on the same scale as those who are part of fashion publication teams and design houses, and in no way as prestigious, but I’m a little bit closer than some people.

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