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28th January 2016

Work it

Rebecca Thomas teaches you how to swap Fallowfield chic for the world of the work place wardrobe

The thought of leaving the student nest for the corporate world is a dark one. Life will be ‘actionable’ and filled with ‘blue sky thinking’; hangovers will be out and Chai Lattes will be in. The sad reality is that faux pas are imminent. The most painless way of transitioning will be to have sartorial confidence: All jobs are different, but the best method is probably to start basic and learn your workplace’s dress vibe over time.

The most problematic of office rabbit holes will involve footwear: graduate roles are at the bottom of the food chain, and the ‘running’ jobs will most likely be slung towards the newbie. Happily, there seems to have been a general acceptance of the merits of flats. Christina Binkley, from The Wall Street Journal, wrote: ‘Long stuck in the purgatory of casual wear, flats are suddenly being promoted for polished occasions.’ The very best are the heeled ballerinas from Zara. A trick of the intern industry is also to wear impressive heels and carry flats in your bag.

Photo: Zara

Turtlenecks speak: Take, for example, Love Actually. Find your turtleneck niche and flaunt it, and if in doubt, opt for black and look like a successful career panther. Tucking in looks great and will help you feel as though you have your life together: invest in blouses to feed to midi skirts and trousers, either black or tailored. Your bag is your new life and will begin as your only friend; smart rucksacks and citybags will be there for you.

Photo: Whistles

For men, the trend is for attention to detail: London city wear dictates that point collars are out and spread collars are in, and added extras like pinstripe socks and coloured pocket square will give you slick credibility.

Consistently good places to shop for workwear are Whistles, Zara, Mango, and H&M, and aiming to dress like Olivia Palermo is not a bad idea. An alternative to this teething method would be to dazzle your work cohort by becoming a walking statement: in this scenario, make like the queen and hit the co-ords. Wear contrasting prints and don’t apologise.

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