What to wear for Work – the do’s and don’ts (Part 3)

Hey there my lovelies,

Welcome back to my Blog!

I have been for long been doing research on this topic and a while back I have on two separate occasions shared my thoughts which you might want to check out before continuing with this one (here are the links for post 1 and post 2).

In 1985, Donna Karan launched a collection centered on what she called her seven easy pieces. This collection offered working women a stylish, flattering capsule wardrobe that could be simply mixed and matched for a variety of looks which is a solution to the never ending problem of what to wear to the office.

The “easy” part was very much the point. In most known ‘corporate’ offices, the suit, or at least a button-up shirt and nice trousers, was the men’s uniform. Women’s work dress wasn’t easy at all.  Women were expected to be feminine but not too feminine, creating a variety of ways their outfits could go wrong.  Too bright, too tight, too dowdy, too sexy, too masculine all were potential pitfalls.  Fact is “easy” did not describe getting dressed for women at the time.

Thirty-three years later and today it still doesn’t cut it, but for new reasons. Women have made strides in the workplace, but there is no longer any dominant office dress code. Conservative sectors, such as finance and law, may be slowly loosening up, but they still often require fairly formal clothing. Other hipper firms like betting companies, are bastions of informality, home of the business hoodie. In between those two poles are any number of offices that fall at different points along the corporate-to-casual spectrum. “Work clothes” no longer just means suits, blazers, starched white shirts, and tailored trousers. The situation can make it difficult for anyone to get a handle on what is and isn’t right for the office.

It seems an opportune moment for a designer to come along with a new set of seven easy pieces for women. But as of right now, brands such as ASOS, Boohoo, New Look and others who have for many years, invested in providing women with work clothes, are now failing to make the situation easier. They’re either being pulled in different directions, or can’t provide any compelling vision of how a modern women’s work wardrobe should look like in 2K18. Many are struggling to keep themselves, and work wear, relevant.  Truth is, it’s a delicate balancing act. Too much fashion for work can result in not adequate clothing.

Meanwhile, many are confused about what’s appropriate in different office environments.  The increasing freedom to choose one’s clothes may actually be making it more complicated for many women to decide what’s appropriate for work.



The underlying traits that define office clothing haven’t varied too much. For women (and men), clothes should probably not be too revealing, too tight or too sloppy. But our baselines for what those things mean keep moving. The line between athletic clothing and everyday clothing, for instance, continues to blur.  Leggings have become part of many women’s basic wardrobes.  But the fact that they have transitioned for work wear I must say it’s a big flat out NO.

This move toward casual clothes also means work wear brands are now competing directly with quicker, cheaper fast fashion. They scramble to keep up with the rapid turnover of fashion trends, but that’s potentially problematic in itself.   The customer is looking for more style and less fashion I guess but in this context, “fashion” usually refers to trend-driven clothes and items with unconventional design, while “style” means basics and pieces not so closely associated with a specific moment.


In conclusion to wrap all up in a nutshell:

Do wear sleeveless shirts, if your office has a relaxed dress code.
Do feel comfortable in an open-necked blouse or top that shows some of your decolletage but if you start to see a lot of soft tissue, you might want to re-think that blouse.
Do wear tailored walking shorts that reach the top of your knee, not the same kind of shorts you’d wear to your kids’ soccer practice. Don’t put on skirts that leave your mid-thigh uncovered.
Don’t think about showing off your toned abs with a crop top, nor should you risk anyone making a crack about your — well, you know — if you prefer low-rider pants. It’s not right to show off your thong out of the back of your pants.
Do leave your legs bare, if you have on a skirt.  Society has gotten to the point where it’s a woman’s right not to wear pantyhose.
Don’t slip into your flip-flops, unless you have such a relaxed office that your boss’ boss wears them, too. Flip-flops are not appropriate for 95 percent of offices out there.
Do wear a strappy sandal, if you work in a less traditional environment. “They’re not going to tell you you can’t wear your Manolos, however don’t bring your Birkenstocks anywhere near work.

So there you have it my thoughts on the matter.  What do you guys think of this subject.  I would love to hear your thoughts.

Until next time,

Until next time,



Disclaimer : Photo for this post are all from Pintrest 

Categories: Fashion, Outfits, Tips

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