Wednesday 8 January 2014

What to wear to work winter spring wardrobe refresh

My new year's resolutions last year were to a) stop squinting and get contacts; b) attend ballet lessons and c) learn to sew.

It all started so well. By 3rd January I had squirmed and writhed in the opticians, while lenses approached my eyes on unknown fingertips, until at last I mastered the technique. No more frown lines for me.

Ballet was a different story. I had imagined a Natalie-Portman-for-Black-Swan training transformation; in a matter of weeks I'd be engaging Darcey Bussell in a feathery dance-off. In reality, I've never felt like such a lump in all my life. I bobbed and bounded across the sprung floors, limbs flailing - more akin to a chicken than a swan. I hung up my ballet shoes after two lessons. 

Sewing has been more successful. I attended a couple of classes at Handmade London (if you haven't been, do book in for a workshop - they are lovely, have the patience of saints and provide food) and subsequently I have formed a sort of crafting circle. We meet every few months for tea, cake, gossip and crafting. My first solo challenge was an apron. I put Edward Scissorhands on the telly (it seemed appropriate) and I cut and sewed for hours until it was done. What a miraculous sense of achievement! 

However, I'm still incapable of sewing in a straight line on my machine, or doing anything more complicated than pinnies and laundry bags. But it makes me happy. And when I'm not hunting for dresses, I can be found drifting amongst brightly coloured fabrics in my local haberdashers. 

So that works out as a...66% success rate...right? Mathematicians?

I have a few resolutions for this year (I'll not bore you with them) but one of them, however vain, is to 'dress the part' for work and play. 

I'm a firm believer in dressing for the job you want/lifestyle you want. Clothes hold within their fibres the power to be inspirational and transformative. 

If you take one piece of advice from me, let it be this: divide your wardrobe into work and play clothes. 

I did this a few months ago and it has worked a charm. I can see what I have more clearly; it's invaluable when time is of the essence in the morning; and it helps to maintain work and play personas. Now, I'm not talking Jekyll and Hyde here, but the majority of us adopt different personas for different situations. It's inevitable. 

We can be a hundred people in a day, but our clothes speak the loudest. So make sure yours speak true. 

Styling Tips

Avoid the uniform 'city power dress' - you're more imaginative than that;
Dresses and skirts should be no shorter than a couple of inches shy of those lovely knees of yours;
Incorporate a variety of styles and colours and avoid wearing the same colour two days in a row - it will perk you up (see below);
Love your work clothes - you spend most of your time in them;
Never underestimate accessories: jumpers, cardies and jackets can work magic on a dress - it will look as though you're wearing another outfit altogether;
Organise your wardrobe!

The Work Edit:

Monday's Child

Reiss, £159

Brora, £159
Pure Collection, £89

Brora, £129

Brora, £89

Tuesday's Child
Joseph, £177

Boden, £139

ME+EM, £135

Wednesday's Child
Monsoon, £59

People Tree, £75

L.K.Bennett £110

Choies, $57.99

Thursday's Child
Anthropologie, £168

Great Plains, £27.50

Brora, £89

Zara, £35.99

People Tree, £78

Hobbs, £159

Friday's Child
Oliver Bonas, £40

Reiss, £159

Zara, £89.99

Me: hiding, dress: ME+EM, tights: John Lewis, shoes: Zara, glasses: Gucci, cat: Penny.

Similar from current season ME+EM £198:

And another drop-waisted design from Boden, £139:

Follow me: @spruceorpine


No comments:

Post a Comment