s our lives get busier, we’re not the only ones who need to multitask; our clothes must be cross-functional too. You’ve managed to nail your interview outfit and got the job, (hurray!) but the fashion minefield isn’t over yet. Now contending with a calendar stuffed with different occasions where you need to make the right impression for your company, deciding what to wear to this multitude of events on can be an added stress that we just don’t need. Luckily there are a few key hero pieces and staples like the pencil skirt, a killer dress and polished blazer, that when added to your arsenal, can be at the ready to swoop to the rescue at a moment’s notice.
Other tried and tested pieces like the classic button-down will come through for you on almost any occasion. They’ll form the basis of a timeless suit or save you from the stress of casual Friday. Whether it’s a crisp white version, a ruffled number or a slouchy chambray style, you can never own too many button-downs.
For most women, the dress is the undisputed champion of the wardrobe. A well-tailored dress can be your saviour for any occasion, it doesn’t even have to be black – the tone of the event can dictate the colour and style your dress. If you and your team are out celebrating a brand new client, there’s no reason to stay away from bright shades. Dresses are not only practical when you don’t feel like coordinating separates, they’re also the ultimate feminine staple. As Diane von Furstenberg famously said, “Feel like a woman, wear a dress.”
So whether it be a networking event, a client meeting or those pesky casual Fridays, with this handy guide, your outfit will always rise to the occasion, making sure that you do too.
A work evening event
Shop the look: Emilia Dress by Emile Vidal Carr | Debonaire Jumpsuit by Karen Millen | Euclid Pearl Earrings by Ora Pearls | Cropped Tuxedo Jacket by | Lovinni Bag by Victoria Lam | Duran Black Leather Heels by Lucy Choi
Your colleagues already know you have mean presentation skills, but an evening out with them can be a great occasion to show off both your fashion and social prowess. A standout piece like the Emilia Dress by Emile Vidal Carr is striking in royal blue, but the cut and style are professional enough to wear at the office during the day. Another great option for your multitasking wardrobe is the jumpsuit. A monochrome style like Karen Millen’s Debonaire Jumpsuit is perfect during the day worn with a blazer. Accessories can stay relatively simple. Euclid Pearl Earrings by Ora Pearls are all you need.
Desk to business dinner
Shop the look: Silky Wide Leg Trousers by Victoria Chan | Campbell Black Suede Heels by Lucy Choi | Braided Gold Chain Necklace by Helou Designs | Viscose Stretch Top by Joseph | The Perfect Tuxedo Jacket by Stefani Renoma | Silk Draped Peplum Top by Jaeger
Accessories are invaluable when you need an outfit that will carry you from day to night. Try a combination of smart wide-leg trousers, delicate blouse and statement necklace. Wear Silky Wide-leg Trousers by Victoria Chan with an equally delicate sleeveless top and pair it with a sleek tuxedo jacket. When your outfit is fairly neutral, go bold with statement shoes like the Campbell Black Suede Heels by Lucy Choi. The Braided Gold Chains Necklace by Helou Designs can go on at the last minute, transforming your look. Add a swipe of your go-to bright red lipstick and you’re ready to go.
A face-to face meeting with a client can be nerve-wracking, so having the perfect outfit prepared the night before will leave you with one less thing to worry about. An updated twist on the classic suit, like a dress and blazer combination, is a perfect way to look polished without trying too hard, which will only leave you feeling more nervous. Try the Carris Dress by Hobbs and top it with a white blazer like Stefanie Renoma’s White Tuxedo Jacket. Keep shoes stylish but comfortable – you don’t want to spend the meeting thinking about your feet. Sersha Black Suede Block Heel Courts by L.K. Bennett will keep you sure-footed as you navigate any tough-headed negotiations.
Shop the look: Gathered Side Wool Pencil Skirt by Max Mara | Viscose Stretch Blanche Top by Joseph | Halo Pearl Earrings by Ora Pearls | Primrose Hill Pink Snake Heels | The Originator Tablet Handbag by She Lion
You’ve spent hours preparing every last detail of your presentation until it’s perfect, so you know that your outfit must be too. This is the perfect time for a timeless pencil skirt, which exudes poise and confidence, while adding that extra touch of formality. Delicate ruching and subtle texture give the Gathered Side Wool Pencil Skirt by Max Mara something extra and set it apart from similar styles. Balance the structure of the skirt with a delicate top like the New Viscose Stretch Blanche Top by Joseph.
How casual is too casual? Will skipping the low-key attire for fear of getting it wrong make you look like less of a team player? Or do you risk going too casual and being perceived as the office slob? Casual Friday can be a curse for women in the office environment; luckily there are several ways to avoid being tripped up. The key to remember is that the dress code will be slightly different for every office. Some places can get away with normcore basics like jeans, trainers and T-shirts, but in corporate environments the balance is much more delicate. If you’re in heels from Monday through Thursday, go with chic flats like Lucy Choi’s Whitehall Shoes on Friday. If your office allows jeans, stick with dark colours and tailored fits. Add interest to your outfit with a dramatic piece like the Wilma Ruffle Blouse by Viktoria Chan or a bright splash of colour with the more comfortable Cashmere Sweater by Jaeger. If jeans aren’t an option, casual Friday might be just the right time to try a mid-length pencil skirt worn with a more casual but smart knit top.
Words by Minerva Jaquier