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How To Transform Your Work Wardrobe In An Instant (Well, Almost)

You may have to skip the $10 green smoothies and quinoa bowls for a while, but anything to make getting ready for your 9-to-5 easier, am I right?

Let’s do some math. Imagine a Venn diagram. On one side, we have the office. On the other side, we have the wardrobe. In the intersection, we have…ah, dang it, a shift dress and a pencil skirt. Again. For the working girl who works the 9-to-5, shift dresses are the perfection solution: flattering, professional, easy to find when you need to expand your shift dress repertoire.

But – there’s always a but! – they’re stuffy. Simply put, they’re not that fun. Furthermore, shift dresses are not what you would call a “versatile” dress compared to say. You can’t layer things under it comfortably, you can’t wear it over pants. You throw a blazer or a jacket over it and it’s the end of that story.

If your office has strict dress code, then you work that shift dress, girlfriend. You work it to the bone. However, if the dress code is somewhere along the lines of “professional yet flexible”, we implore you to work that.

Back away slowly from the shift dress and into the our five ways to up the ante on your work wardrobe – and they’re just as easy to work with as a shift dress. When you’ve got them, the shift dress will look like child’s play. You may be in for a splurge – might have to skip that green juice and quinoa bowl for a while – but you’ll be keeping these five things with your for a long time.

Scratch that – any blazer other than that single-button blazer from three years ago, as long as it has good form and a structured shoulders. Wear it over a white shirt, camisoles or knit dresses on dress-up days, then swap it with a white t-shirt and jeans on dress down day. Go for checks or stripes if you’re into prints, corduroy, double-breasted and ultra-strong shoulders if you want something old school.



If regular canvas sneakers and trainers are too casual, try white leather sneakers. They’re polished, comfortable as you walk from cubicle to meeting room to lunch and so dang versatile. Wear them with with a coordinated suit, jeans, skirts, dresses – everything but the kitchen sink, really.


If you asked us, the wide-leg is a wardrobe essential. It is dramatic as it is comfortable – you’ll be able to climb on stools to get extra paper or get in a few daily squats in these, easy – and its long length means you get to hide your platforms under for extra height. Like the blazer, the tailored wide-leg can be dressed up and dressed down with your eyes closed.


The white shirt is a wardrobe classic, but thanks to the likes of Demna Gvasalia of Vetements and Balenciaga – and to some extent, Carrie Bradshaw in the third season of in Sex and the City –  white shirts now have to come with extra long cuffs or overly long sleeves. Pick one that comes well-tailored and crisp, so it looks more masculine than sloppy.


Yes, the black pump is a classic and there’s nothing wrong with classics, but we’re firm believers that a beautiful shoe can make a day so much better. Some days, things like that matter. These new shoes of yours have to be beautiful yet versatile, comfortable and easy to slip on and off (in case you need to make those shoe changes when a client rolls into the office, y’know).


What To Read Next: 9 Outfit Colour Combos You’ve Never Tried But Now Wish You Did, The Anatomy of The Perfect Back-To-Work Bag and Farewell, Phoebe Philo: A Look At Her Most Memorable Celine Runway Looks | Cover Image: YOYOKULALA.com

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