How to Dress Elegantly for Work

Emma Does Fashion
by Emma Does Fashion

Navigating the office can be difficult for women in general, but we probably notice it most regularly when it comes to our outfits! Have you ever been late for work because you've spent so long agonising over what to wear, perhaps changing out of several outfits before you realise the time and rush out the door?

Here's some tips and tricks to stop that ever happening again.

A smart coat has always been a staple in my work wardrobe. You may not wear it all day but it's the first and last thing your colleagues will see you in, so make sure you leave a lasting impression! Wrap coats are my favourite because they are comfy (it's basically a tailored dressing gown) but they also show off your shape and look more dressed-up than other coat styles.

One thing people often forget about is eyewear. If you wear glasses, I'd recommend getting a pair of black frames alongside any colourful ones you might own. You have to wear your glasses with every outfit so it makes sense for them to be in a neutral colour. I find black is especially good for work because they contrast against my face and so I don't feel the need to spend so much time on my eye makeup in the morning, because my glasses highlight my eyes for me.

An easy way to look elegant fast is to put your hair up and wear a pair of statement earrings. If your job is manual you won't be able to wear drop earrings, but if you work in an office they are a great accessory. They draw the eye down, lengthening your neck, while also adding interest to otherwise plain outfits.

Keep makeup clean and simple for work. Most of us have to get up early for work and the longer we can stay in bed, the better! Identify the absolute essentials in your makeup collection and create a natural no-makeup makeup look using just those items. I use foundation, mascara, tinted brow gel and cream blusher for my office look (I used to use lipgloss too but with masks there's no point!).

It can be hard to feel feminine at work, especially if your job involves a lot of physical work and you don't feel you can wear skirts. Culottes are AMAZING for the office. They flow like skirts and feel as comfortable as pyjama bottoms but still look dressed-up.

A surefire way to look more feminine as well - wear pink!

I've always found scarves to be an essential workwear accessory. I've always felt that if I have a scarf, I can wear any top, no matter how much skin it shows, because I can just cover it with the scarf.

A wool scarf looks a little more outdoorsy but silk and chiffon scarves are perfect for work and look so feminine.

More quick tips for looking more feminine and elegant at work:

  • If you wear uniform or aren't able to wear exciting outfits to work, make sure your hair, makeup and nails are well-presented to make up for it. You can also add hair accessories such as a headband or nice jewellery to dress up your look.
  • Low-heeled boots are perfect for work. They're comfortable and presentable and give you that lift that makes you feel more elegant.
  • Take a small makeup bag to work with you and do your makeup on the bus or at your desk. This means that even if you oversleep, you'll still feel your best! I also like to keep a bottle of perfume in my handbag as I always forget to spritz it before leaving the house.

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