Find out what happens when a floral-dress devotee rises to the challenge of smart office attire for a week. We give you Corporate Laura. She loved it so much, she might not return to her flower-loving ways!
I am dedicating this feature to our readers (and those friends who challenged me to walk a week in their more formal shoes) who work in corporate offices. We’re often told that, unlike the fashion world, they can’t rock up to work in a floral dress and strappy sandals. So I stepped out of my comfort zone. At first, I wasn’t even sure I’d find tailored pieces that would flatter or fit right (read: I’m fussy). Turns out, I’ve been missing a trick. With modern suits and roomy jumpsuits all working in today’s modern workplace, not to mention designer accessories that mean business, I’ve found the new-season staples you’ll love wearing.
“This Isabel Marant Étoile two-piece is my dream suit. I love the way the high-waisted trousers, with a slim leg and cropped length, pair so beautifully with the slightly oversized jacket that’s just waiting for its sleeves to be scrunched up. The subtle check gives the overall look a modern feel. I wore it with a jersey T-shirt bodysuit, which is a great under layer destined to be the hardest working piece in my corporate wardrobe – I’d love one in every colour.”
“In my search for the perfect work bag, I wanted a design that was minimal, slick and fit for several different purposes. This stylish grab-and-go bag from APC has lots of handy compartments, which is essential, and is perfect for those days when you’re not carrying a laptop.”
“I love sling-backs – they are office-appropriate, while being more feminine than some sensible styles. I have always worn Gianvito Rossi shoes because they are as comfortable as they are beautifully made. This stacked heel is walkable, plus the toe cleavage makes your legs look longer.”
THE SHIRT DRESS
“This Low Classic tailored shirt dress, with its modern touch, will be just as versatile as a suit. The pleating and ombré detail make it more interesting than a block colour, and it’s perfect for accessorising. I added a Valentino belt and chunky charm bracelet.”
“In a corporate office, it makes sense to gravitate towards a palette of black – it’s smart and flattering. However, a great way to add colour and texture is with leopard-print accessories. This cute little pair of pointy Boden flats are an easy way to update a bland look.”
“Chic accessories are the building blocks of a stylish work wardrobe. You can find great dresses on the high street, and the moment you pair them with designer accessories they come to life. This See By Chloé tote is lovely for carrying your files, laptop and cables while still looking sharp.”
“I have to admit I giggled at the idea of me in a straight-laced LBD, it’s just something I wouldn’t choose for myself. But this figure-hugging Boden one is the perfect fit if you’re looking for a power dress. The ridged-fabric makes it look so much more expensive than it is, and I love the scoop-neck and waist-enhancing, fabric-covered belt.”
THE LOGO BAG
“If I was looking for a bag that could elevate everything and celebrate my love of fashion, right now I would invest in this Chloé two-tone purse. I love that it can be carried by the top handle, or be cross-body. It’s the kind of bag that would have real longevity in a working woman’s wardrobe.”
“Really good black cropped trousers look great with a blouse and blazer, or this Pure Collection multi-tasking short-sleeved jumper, which is a piece you will wear over and over again. It’s one of those essentials that would be worth having in a range of colours.”
“When it comes to borrow-from-the-boys style, you cannot go wrong with smart loafers. These Chloés work with tights or bare ankles, and will get you to work yet won’t require you to switch before you sit down at your desk.”
“When you’re wearing plain, unbranded clothing, accessories can define and sharpen your look with very little effort. This is where a well-placed logo comes into play – and this YSL cross-body is a classic that fits all your essentials and takes you into evening too.”
“A tailored one-piece has become a modern work-wear essential, and this COS number is as stylish as it is comfortable. I love the long-sleeves and slightly oversized cut, which is very flattering. Even better, it only takes one decision to get dressed!”
“Every work wardrobe needs a pair of killer black heels. Aquazzura’s bow-embellished pumps are my idea of perfection, and would go with everything in a corporate wardrobe. Just be sure to bring some flats in your work tote for the trip home.”
“If I was representing you in (make believe) court, this is what I would wear to your hearing! This Zimmermann tailored dress is perfectly demure, with puffed sleeves and a bow for that feminine flourish I love in a dress. It will make a stylish statement at work.”
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