Dressing for work is something we all struggle with from time to time. Is this too short? Is this too colourful? You might look to your colleagues for inspiration. But maybe they're not getting it quite right either, or they don't have the same style as you. Plus, office clothes can be expensive. If you've just started your first full time job, you probably can't afford to fork out hundreds on a new wardrobe.
But worry not. We've put together some answers to help you focus your efforts and get your wardrobe office ready.
Do your research
This may seem obvious, but one good way of choosing outfits for work is to have a look at 'office wear' sections on clothing websites. Often, this will be a good place to start and will give you an idea of suitable choices. Also, a lot of clothing sites produce their own magazines and style guides for particular occasions, so keep an eye out for those.
Another helpful source of office clothing advice is to follow some fashion experts on social media. There are lots of accounts that will help you to plan your outfits or guide you in the right direction. Try starting with Style Savvy. Laura has great style while still remaining professional. This will help you get some inspiration.
Invest in staple pieces
Office wear can be expensive, especially if you're in your first full time role and don't have a great salary yet. But, you still want/need to look professional and serious about your job. Try buying yourself one or two key (slightly more expensive) pieces and re-wearing them with different outfits. We're not necessarily talking about tops or shirts, but more like blazers or trousers that are versatile but also good quality. As time goes on, your collection will grow and you will soon have a decent amount of office suitable items in your wardrobe.
Top Tip: try put some money away each week and treat yourself to a staple piece at the end of the month.
You may assume that all office wear is expensive. But with high street brands and online fashion retailers often offering large discounts, it's is becoming easier to look professional for less. Asos usually has some good business style pieces and though it can be expensive, you can save items to your wish list and once they put up a '20% off ' code, add it to your bag and buy it!
Top tip: follow the brands you like on Instagram, this is where they are most likely to post about sales and discounts first, meaning you've got a good chance of getting in early and nabbing the items you want before they sell out.
Remember: You can still be you (but tone it back)
If you love expressing yourself through your clothing, but feel like you can't showcase your coolest items in work, try using one staple piece but tone it down with more muted colours. For example, if you are obsessed with the bright pink dress that you bought last summer but don't think its office appropriate, try wearing it with a blazer and black tights to make it more suitable. Similarly for men, if you like to go for funky colours and unique styles at the weekend, you can incorporate this into your midweek outfits by pairing your suit with bright coloured socks and ties (this can depend on the company and your role so be careful not to go too overboard).
As an Insurance Institute member, you have access to our member benefit scheme, Bonus. Bonus gives you access to a wide range of discounts and offers with brands around the country. Head to your member area to avail of 15% off TM Lewin office wear for men and women now!