So, it finally happened, I landed my first graduate job! I don’t want to bore you with all the details but suffice to say I am beyond excited to be working for an organisation I’m truly passionate about, & where I know I’ll be making a real difference to people’s lives.
I found out I’d been selected over the phone, & once I’d put it down (& had a flailing hug with the boyfriend) my thoughts instantly turned to what I would wear. The dress-code is smart-casual as opposed to full-on workwear, but I’m keen to look professional, especially as I’m going to be the youngest person in the office. That being said, I still want to retain some originality & keep it stylish, so the hunt for cool work-wear began. Below are some of my favourite items from my searches – all are available in plus sizes & online – good times!
First up, tops. I mainly picked long sleeve tops or camisoles which could be layered with a cardigan as I feel like they’re the most versatile, which is key for a capsule work wardrobe. // Items 1 & 3 are opposite colourways of the same shirt from New Look’s Inspire range. I actually already owned the white one (& wore it to my interview) but the fit is so good I decided to order it in black too. I’m hoping that the black one will be a little less sheer than the white as I only own one nude bra, although worst case scenario I can always layer it with the black camisole // Items 2, 4 & 6 are all different colours of the same long-line cami from ASOS – I went for two neutrals & one pop of colour for maximum flexibility, & I love the way the slight v-neck looks on my figure. // Item 5 is a bit more casual but could definitely be dressed up with a midi skirt & heels, & the stripes stop it from being too plain.
Next are the bottoms; I went for a combination of skirts & trousers – skirts because they make me feel more dressy & trousers because they’re more practical. // Item 1 is a pair of black jeggings from ASOS. I’m a huge fan of ASOS’ jeggings, & love the fact that these are not only suitable for work but could also be worn at the weekend with a big cosy jumper – double the value. // Item 2 is a black scuba pencil skirt from New Look; not particularly exciting but I feel like a black pencil skirt is a wardrobe staple & the scuba fabric keeps it from looking too dated. // The third item on my list is a light pink midi skater skirt from ASOS. I already have a wardrobe full of skater skirts but most of them are too short to be work appropriate, so I was keen to get some longer length ones as they’re really comfortable & great for days when I just don’t have the confidence for a bodycon pencil skirt. // Item 4 is probably my favourite item I purchased: it’s a pair of white, floral scuba trousers from ASOS Curve. Honestly, they’re incredible & I can’t wait to wear them – my only concern is with fit since the size chart suggested buying a 22 despite all my other ASOS trousers being 20s. I went with the size 20 in the end, & I’m hoping that the stretch fabric means I can get into them even if they are a bit tight. // Item 5 is another New Look pencil skirt, this time in a tartan check. I wore this to my interview & while the pattern is much less visible in person (shame, since tartan’s apparently super on-trend), the fit is great as it’s super stretchy.
Jackets are obviously one of the most expensive elements in a work wardrobe so my aim was to pick really versatile items that would work with a wide variety of outfits. I also already have quite a few neutral cardigans in my wardrobe (luckily) so I wanted some real statement pieces which could perk up more plain ensembles. // Item 1 is a sheer, midi sleeve cardigan from ASOS (I don’t really like using the term “kimono” as I feel like it’s culturally appropriative). I think it’s the perfect item to make the transition from Summer to Autumn, especially as I tend to run pretty warm, & the faded floral means it’s unlikely to clash with other pieces. // Item 2 is this oxblood blazer from ASOS; it’s another item which looks pretty bold but is great for sharpening up a look, plus the rich colour is great for Autumn. // Item 3 is my new Winter coat which I found on New Look’s website a few weeks ago & it’s been playing on my mind ever since (a sure sign that something is a winner). I’m not a huge fan of coats, but starting work means at least a five minute walk each morning up the road to catch the bus, & once the rain & snow starts, there’s no way a cardigan is going to cut it.
Last up is accessories, the final touches to every outfit. // Item 1 is a simple long-line necklace from the New Look sale. As a chronic minimalist, taking a second in the morning to slip on a necklace instantly makes me feel more dressed up so I’ve committed to trawling the sales for cheap pieces of jewellery that can add a little something extra to my looks. // Item 2 is the bag I bought for my interview & I love the fact that it looks classy while still being big enough to easily fit an A4 notebook, pens, phone, purse, keys, lunchbox etc. // Item 3 is a practical pick – the road to our flat is single track & lined by trees, meaning that come Winter it’s probably going to be a nightmare to walk down. Enter these black lace up boots from New Look. Based on the price I suspect they won’t last forever, but hopefully by the time they fall apart I’ll have the money to invest in a more sturdy pair. // I wear black pointed ballet pumps pretty much every day & my current pair look a mess, so I bought a new (basically identical) pair – maybe not as polished looking as heels but way more practical. // Item 5 is my current favourite statement necklace – gold chain combined with gold spikes & (fake) quartz – yes! I like the fact that it’s slightly edgy & original, but still looks great paired with a collared shirt & doesn’t dominate an outfit. // The final item (I swear) are these heeled boots from New Look. I wore these to my interview & they’re super comfy – my only complaint is that the ankle strap is really short meaning that getting them fastened can feel like a two-person job at times, not ideal when you’re trying to get them on in a hurry.
So that’s my capsule workwear wardrobe; I’m really happy with it & sure it’ll see me through to Spring with a few additions here & there. Are there any items you think I’m missing? The only thing that springs to mind is a couple of solid dresses, but honestly nothing was jumping out at me, so I’d rather save my money for when something does, y’know? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below & let me know if you’d be interested in seeing some workwear OOTDs.