When pondering work wardrobes, it’s not hard to get turned off by the 50 shades of grey to which ‘business-wear’ alludes. For the fashion conscious woman, making the wardrobe transition from college/university days where ‘anything goes’ to the professional working world is a difficult challenge. Here we need to build that capsule wardrobe that commands respect, denotes an air of self-respect, yet retains personality. Cue the reminder of the time-old adage: dress for the job you want, not the job you have.
With autumn rapidly approaching, we can revisit the spring catwalk offerings for A/W12 and gather inspiration from the reconstructed mannish tailoring with which the likes of Haider Ackermann, Lanvin, Prada and newcomer JW Anderson have gifted us. Comfort can be taken from the fact that where we are shedding our peplums, feminine focus still remains on the waist through tailored curves and belted hourglasses. Boyish frames can rejoice under the trumpeting of trousers – the championing of the cigarette, thigh-kissing leathers or the slouch of a boyfriend fit and we can take the concept of the ‘working woman’ and run with it, while sheltering beneath an oversized coat.
The designers for the new season have presented us with collections that are brimming with personality. We can thank Erdem and McQueen for keeping our clothing in bloom this winter, with the continuation of feminine floral prints and we can explore the inspiring collections by Etro and Mary Katrantzou with their iris widening optics and oriental designs.
Work wear can really have its cake and eat it, as next season is juicy with fresh direction and colourful choices that buttress the strong nod to sophisticated style. It almost seems simpler to saddle ourselves up as work clothes horses when able to choose from such a wide range of inspired cuts, prints and styles.