Grazia Workwear Special: How To Dress For The Office Now With 10 Simple Tricks, Tips & Fashion Ideas

28 January 2014 by

GALLERY >> Scroll through for the latest workwear fashion advice from Team Grazia >>

Pick a bag that means business

Big and practical enough for toting around the essentials but gorgeous enough to cause a palpitation or two, these smart bags will carry both laptops and other people’s envy! (From top left clockwise: Mulberry, MaxMara, Sophie Hulme, MICHAEL Michael Kors, H&M)

Pick up a modern power dress

Look out for classic shapes with subtle detailing like collards, pleating or folds. Floral prints are often seen as too whimsical and girlish, so look out for graphic patterns and muted tones. (Catwalk: Emilia Wickstead. Black/white: L'Wren Scott. Beige: Baujken)

Get specs appeal

Whether you’re a seasoned optical-buying pro or taking your first foray into the world of glasses, this one small item could be worn more than anything else. Always go for anti-glare coatings on lenses, especially if you work with computers. Not only does this help with screen glare but the lens looks more natural. (Catwalk: DSquared. Products: All from David Clulow)

Improve your mood with mantra jewellery

An inscribed pendant or motif ring may stay hidden for most of the day but there’s no denying a carefully chosen piece can add a personal touch to your everyday-wear – something that isn’t easy when it comes to uniformity. (From top left clockwise: Necklace, Annina Vogel. Ring, Annina Vogel. Necklace, Carat. Ring, Dogeared. Bracelet, Carolina Bucci. Bangle, Daisy Jewellery. Ring, Laura Lees. Braclet, Astley Clarke)

Investigate your office icons

From Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada to the more retro stylings of Melanie Griffith in Working Girl (ignore the hair), there is a bounty of inspiration to be taken from the big screen.

Find brands with boardroom potential. #1: Sharp shirting.

Menswear experts E Tautz (cobalt blue and white with pink trim) now design for women and if a posh white shirt is your idea of ultimate luxury then you’ll love the intricate detailing and fantastic pattern cutting fashion duo Palmer//Harding put into their signature shirting (blue and white ruched shirt)

#2: Comfy heel HQ = M&S

M&S’s patented Insolia technology is kind to the balls of your feet, plus their heel heights and simple and practical styles fulfill all other requirements too.

#3: Top tailoring at Zara and The Kooples

If Savile Row is out of reach then look to Joseph for a top quality, no-fuss top trouser suit, Zara for mix’n’match tailoring and The Kooples for ultra-skinny cuts. (Lookbook: The Kooples. Black suit: Zara)

#4: Bespoke attire at The Fold

New label The Fold has been set up by Polly McMaster who previously worked in finance – therefore both the brand’s ready to wear collection and the range of tweaks, alterations and options you can request make this a very handy name to know.

Cool commuting sneakers

It’s no mean feat to make trainers look good with opaques and a pencil skirt, but a couple of guidelines will certainly help. 1: Slim single soles separate commuting kicks from gym sneakers. 2: Make the base hue black or deep navy. Choosing a super-dark pair will look smarter with cropped trousers or bare legs in the summer, and jar less with tights in the winter. Nike’s runners and the 574 from New Balance are strides ahead in this department.

This week’s issue of Grazia has a section devoted to the modern workplace for women – along with the findings of our career survey where we questioned over 1000 women in business (and the results are fascinating), you’ll find a special fashion featured dedicated to office-wear. It’s possibly one of the trickiest tightropes  to walk on a daily basis – serious dress codes call for serious action, and while the original concept of ‘power dressing’ may have passed on, there’s no denying that what you wear affects your mood, ability and progress.

According to Grazia’s survey, what you wear to the office is also key in your ambition. Eighty two per cent of women no longer feel they need to ‘power dress’ to climb the ladder. Instead, 62 per cent of working women say they feel more confident in ‘fashion forward clothes’, half always wear full make-up to work and 41 per cent wouldn’t put foot in the workplace without heels on.

Our findings show that in general women dress to impress their female work colleagues – and they notice every detail. Two thirds keep a close eye on what their female colleagues are wearing and half admit they judge female colleagues on their fashion sense. In turn, four out of 10 women say they know their female colleagues judge them on their working wardrobe. A quarter of working women say they feel less confident if female colleagues are more fashion forward than they are, and a fifth of women lack confidence if colleagues wear more expensive clothes than them.

So if you need to be strictly business at all times and want to no longer feel the pressure of the above demands - but also don’t want to leave great fashion at reception - then follow our simple rules in the gallery above.


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Emma Boulter (Mon Feb 03 12:31:56 GMT 2014): Can you tell me which designer the last pair are by please....?