Dressing for work takes up a large part of your morning rush. Time is limited, traffic is peaking, kids need to go to school, breakfast and work-lunch must be prepared. There are a zillion things on your mind. And, you need to look stylish, well-presented and most-of-all – feel comfortable for the next 8 hours.

If like many people nowadays, you are working from home. you need to get out of your pyjamas and get dressed. Spending the day in your PJ’s makes you feel dowdy, depressed and does not encourage a positive mindset.

Here are some tips to make dressing for work a breeze.

Sort out your wardrobe


Open up your wardrobe and take a good look! Do you have a jumble of ex-boyfriend tees and baggy pants? Pack them into a bag and donate them to charity. If they are too horrid to wear, ditch them in the garbage.

Do the same for all those items that are too small, oversized or worn out. Take out garments that have lost their colour due to years of washing, those that are fraying at the seams and those that you don’t even remember buying! Your new look must be chic and elegant.


Choose classic colours for conservative office environments

If you work in a conservative office environment, the best choice of colours are the classics. Black, navy, white, grey, brown and dark green are all perfect. Choose solids and mix-and-match the combinations by pairing tops with skirts or pants. If you enjoy prints, go for smaller, more discreet designs in these colour schemes. 

You want to avoid in-your-face bright colours like purple, hot pink, canary-yellow and shimmering metallics. You also want to avoid large, massive prints that shout tropical island or beach holiday. Those are great for weekends and vacations but are certainly not suitable for the board room.

For those arty-type ladies who work in graphic design studios, advertising agencies, theatre and the arts, obviously, the more way-out and colourful you look – the better.

Do wear and don’t wear

Conservative office environments do not encourage casual style clothes. Stay away from jeans if possible. If they are allowed, keep to straight cuts and dark blue. Keep your ripped, cut-off and flared denim styles for the weekend. 

Dresses and skirts should be knee-length or longer and never more than 2-fingers above the knee. Avoid long dresses that sweep the floor, they are great for dinner in a restaurant but not ideal for the crowded lunch canteen.
Tops are best if they are a formal shirt-style with a button-up front. Close the buttons – this is not the place to be provocative. Wearing a tailored jacket over a blouse creates a smart, professional look. Keep your cropped tops, tank tops, body-hugging Tees and seductive deep V-necklines for outside of working hours.
Pant suits are fine for work – avoid those that are too clingy and revealing. Go for a looser, more comfortable fit that you can throw a jacket over when the office air-con gets too cold. 


Don’t stumble around in sky-high heels

Rushing from the office to the boardroom, to client meeting areas and the presentation auditorium is not fun when you are wearing 6-inch stilettos. Choose conservative shoes with a low heel that are comfortable and fit well. Pumps and kitten heels are ideal for all seasons. Sandals with a small open-toe are fine for summer and low-heel ankle boots will keep you warm in winter. 

Avoid sneakers unless it is allowed. Ultra-high heels are a no-go, as are beach thongs, flip-flops, gladiators, high wedges and slippers!

Keep your sexy underwear for after 5

Working ladies don’t have underwear that is drab, ill-fitting or loaned from Grandma’s closet. You have awesome high-class underwear for every occasion. 

Make sure you separate your work underwear from your evening-out underwear. You don’t want to show off a diamanté-studded bra strap in the Monday morning staff meeting.

Team up your look with simple jewellery and accessories

We gals love our accessories and going to work does not mean you have to leave them at home. Be conservative and choose simple and elegant pieces. 

Keep your Swarovski crystals and antique vintage brooches for after hours. Wear a single bracelet and not an armful. You don’t want colleagues to hear you coming as you jingle-jangle from the other side of the office block. Choose a simple necklace and matching earrings. Long dangling shoulder-grazing earrings are not great for work, you don’t want them getting caught up in the paper shredder.
Bags, totes, briefcases and laptop bags are a must to carry to work to hold all your essentials, work papers and electronic devices. Get yourself a quality lunch box that closes tight and keeps your designer salad fresh and appetizing. Nothing dampens the mood faster than a soggy and unappetising meal in the middle of a work day.


Hair and make-up

Most offices are fairly lenient with hair-styles. Check with your HR department if there are any rules for your workplace. Bright pink or orange hair may not work. In general, hair should be clean, neat and well groomed. A pony-tail, bun or low-knot stops hair from falling in your face. Tied-up hair is often required if you are wearing a corporate uniform. 

For those working from home, you are probably interacting with clients and colleagues via Zoom or Skype. Remember that they are seeing a picture of you from the shoulders up. Your image shows hair and make-up. Take time to look smart and professional – make like you are on TV!

Vintage styles are classy and comfortable

For those ladies who just can’t get enough of wearing vintage dresses, day and night - we have relaunched one of our most popular styles – and it is perfect for wearing to work.

Our Rain Drops T Shirt Cotton Dress is classic and ultra-comfortable. It has a lovely deep emerald colour, ideal for the corporate world. The pattern is delicate and discreet and is a fun-take on a polka dot with raindrops in place of dots. The fit is flattering with a cinched in belted waist, button-down front and full flared skirt. Keep the length below the knee and team up with a long-sleeved emerald tailored jacket. Wear black pumps and carry a matching black laptop case. You are looking like a boss!


Don't forget your mask

In these difficult times of Covid-19, wearing a mask is a must to protect yourself and those around you. Masks help prevent the spread of germs, bacteria and viruses. Choose a mask that is soft and breathable with straps that fit comfortably around your ears. Match your mask to the colour of your outfit and you have a stylish, safe and important accessory. 


25 August 2020