Dressing for the work place can be at the best of times, a tricky business, and at the worse a figurative minefield. Every office has its own unwritten rules but tend to fall under that famous catch all phrase "smart casual." What even is smart casual anyway? For the most part it means we end up looking like we've rolled straight out of a catalogue and with the exact same frames (standard, wire, rectangle, probably.) Looking professional doesn't mean sacrificing style and it sure doesn't mean you can't have fun with your wardrobe or your eyewear. From a twist on the prim and proper pussybow to wearing shorts to the office (yes, really) Pretavoir gives our guide to giving you're work wardrobe a little va-va-voom. Ever wondered how to dress for the office? Wonder no more.
Who loves short shorts?
Okay maybe we lied a little when we said we could wear shorts to work. Culottes however are fair game. With wide legs and a high waist they are designed to look effortless, cool and sophisticated (as well as hide a multitude of sins.) We'd couple this with a cute shirt, something a little bit floaty to add some more movement. If you don't want to play about with pattern on top, you can always opt for a gorgeous statement bag. For us this means lots of texture and colour. A pair of Miu Miu sneakers are a staple for any wardrobe and can be worn with pretty much anything. To finish? Grab yourself a gorgeous pair of round frames. We think a cream acetate is a nice alternative to a black frame.
Get the look: Culottes - Roksanda Illinic -
£845 | Silk Shirt - Giles
- £675 | Bag - Nina Ricci
- £2,775 | Glasses - Stella McCartney
Cat who got the cream
We love cat eyes. Seriously. They just add a cute feminine finish to any outfit. Of all the frame shapes we own, it's a cat eye that appears in our eyewear wardrobe time and time and again. So why not finish your look with something that feels you, with a girly and polished look? A long a-line skirt is always going to hit the mark. It's stylish while ticking every office rule box you could imagine. A sweet structured top gives it a bit more shape and we break it up with a statement necklace. Because we're being sensible (as women about town need to be) we opted for a sleek pair of white flats (it's those Miu Miu's again) Smart, easy to get around in without looking scruffy. With a nice slouchy bag - this is the quintessential metropolitan woman work outfit.
Get the look: Top - Pribal Guring
- £535 | Skirt - TIBI
- £235 | Necklace - Mango
- £30 | Flats - Miu Miu -
£295 | Bag - Coach
- £295 | Glasses -Alain Mikli -
Blink and you'll miss it
A key trend we're working in to our work wardrobe is keeping it polished, but really having more fun with our accessories. A tailored crepe dress is an office wear no brainer. We'd wear it with a long necklace to break it up and a kitschy pair of flats. While some may say sequins aren't office appropriate (nay-sayers) we think they lift the outfit and give it life, and not having to stagger about impossible heels is always going to work. A cute slouchy bags dresses it down a little while still maintaining a strong sleek look. We love some bold acetate frames with some warm autumn hues to add some depth. There's a reason why these specs have become a hot favourite with fashion bloggers and business women alike.
Get the Look: Dress - Toga Pulla -
£360 | Necklace - Chanel - Vintage | Shoes - Chiara Ferragni -
£155 | Glasses - Miu Miu -
Fast and Loose
Sometimes you want to throw something on without having to think too much about it. A loose jersey dress in a block colour is perfect for this and looks smart while still being uber comfortable. We love accenting it with a long gold necklace (adding a 70's vibe) that ties in beautifully with a dark tortie frame. A good square frame is a nice alternative to a small rectangular frame, giving it a modern make-over. Finish with some boots and a gold watch you're ready to face the elements and any work load.
Get the Look: Dress - Mary Portas
- £79 | Necklace - 1928
- £30 | Boots - Mango
- £89.99 | Glasses - Victoria Beckham
Fix Up, Look Sharp
There are a few fail safes that work in nearly every office. Pencil skirts and pussy bow shirts have become every day staples for a reason. Obviously that doesn't mean you can't add your own spin to it. For us this means a statement shirt with a textured skirt. Of course if you want to make it simpler this can easily be opted out for something a bit less busy and still make a really strong look. The accessories
for this are a bit more conservative - including an elegant pair of brown pumps and a sweet gold wrist watch (as before.) A round tortie is perfect for softening the look and have the added bonus of looking great with almost anything.
Get the Look: Shirt - Gucci
- £570 | Watch - Nasty Gal
- £21 | Heels - Ted Baker
- £110 | Skirt - Ted Baker
- £129 | Glasses - Cutler and Gross
- £295What it comes down to it is what makes you feel good about yourself. Smart dressing needn't be boring, and if you opt for one statement piece with a mix of tailored and slouchy pieces everything will flow seamlessly together. For us though, it all starts with a gorgeous piece of eyewear.