I just started a new job this new year. Being a lawyer (in most cases) means dressing super (or at least somewhat) formally. At my first job, the dress code was not very colourful and my closet was full of white, black and grey shirts, trousers and skirts. I, of course, didn’t mind this at all and these colours have continued in my personal wardrobe as well – red is pretty much the only colour I wear.
Being a lawyer means that I can never wear jeans to work. But formal wear need not be boring and this post is a sort of pay back for every time Bidisha made fun of my work wear.
I have picked out around five different items (in some cases, there is more than one of a similar item which is grouped together) in each category, the first four categories in this post and the last four in Part 2.
- shirts and blouses,
- jackets, blazers and cardigans,
- bags, and
- other accessories.
As expected, these are all affordable items from the high street, and practical. That means the shoes do not include 5-inch heels, the bags I picked out may actually hold a notebook and the shirts (as far as I could manage) do not require you to wear two layers underneath to be office-appropriate – something which really annoys me. Another clarification (you know how much I love this stuff!), practical doesn’t mean they are basic or staple items like plain black shift dresses and white shirts. All of these items are practical and wearable but with a little interest element to them just to remind you of your (many) options if you are stuck in a rut.
Shirts and Blouses
I actually did not realise these were clouds all over this shirt but apparently they are. I love shirts with tiny funny prints all over but hearts, stars, cats and pigs maybe adorable but not exactly appropriate to wear to work where you are to be taken seriously (consider this: you might want to get coffee and chat with someone wearing a blouse with pigs printed all over them but you might be wary of taking legal advice from someone like this, right?). So this was the perfect compromise. Its a cute print but not easily recognisable as a cute print – perfect!
I am in love with shirts with ties/ bows. This makes even the most basic white shirt so interesting. I also loved the checked one – with the tie in the same pattern. (Needless to say you can, of course, just add a black bow/ ribbon to any white shirt and make this work.)
I liked this one with the Peter Pan collar – extra points for the double layer.
Zara seems to have some great work dresses at great prices (many under £30 during sales). Warning: most of these maybe too short for you (and therefore not appropriate for work) if you are over 5.9 inches or so. And if you are, you have no sympathy from me!
The first one is probably the most basic of the all the dresses here but perfectly pinstriped for a lawyer. Pinstripes on an unexpected item like a shift dress makes it much more interesting than the usual trousers or suit. 🙂
This one might look weird at first glance but instead of that horrible greyish-brown shirt (I have no idea why they decided to style it this way), imagine it with a crisp white shirt underneath. Super chic right? I ordered this one as well as the Houndstooth one below. Loved them both but this Pinafore one is too big for me, but the Houndstooth one fits just right (strange, since they are both the same size). However, it comes till the knee for me. The gingham pleated one is from Warehouse. I love these slightly different patterns than regular checks.
I know I promised nothing basic black and white but these two are great non-basic black-white picks. You know how much I love layered looks and any piece, like this one, that does all the work for you is great. I picture this next one from Bershka with a bright cropped cardi. Also, its probably the only white dress you can get away with in office.
Loved this Gap pleated shirtdress but I would definitely wear it a little shorter than she has and add a skinny belt, in white or mustard. Also, look into wrap dresses if you are interested in different patterns. This one is from Banana Republic and they have both solids and geometric patterns.
And this is probably the cutest grey formal skirt – ever.
Ending with this pleated skirt I have long wanted but they don’t make it my size. 🙁
Although ordinarily I would not include black trousers on this list but these are so cool, easy and just different. Then there are not many other colours you can wear at work but this army green in such a formal cut is perfect.
So red trousers are usually not ok for office wear but I think this burgundy one could still pass. Picture it with a white shirt and black blazer – looks great, right?
Love these checked ones – I have similar ones which I look forward to wearing with a black top and blazer.
I will end this post with a pair of lovely pinkish-cream trousers – perfect for summer! (Too early?)
Do you like my picks? Look out for Part 2 of this post in a few days and let me know if there is anything I am missing!
Images used on this post belong to and are from the websites to which links have been provided.