Corporate Dress Codes Can Be Cracked With These Workwear Essentials


Workwear is usually considered a practical and essential “grown-up” purchase (just like mattresses, kitchen knives and insurance). Granted, there are a million other things you’d rather spend your hard-earned money on, but like the aforementioned mattress, you spend a lot of time in the clothes designed to see you through the workweek.

That said, it’s easy to want to scrimp on daily essentials. However, a brilliantly cut pair of trousers or a tailored jacket have the power to boost your mood and in turn, your performance at work. Acquire a few key staples from the experts, take good care of them and you won’t have to replace a threadbare blazer after just a few months (which will save you more time, energy and, hopefully, money).

We’re lucky that in 2018 there are so many homegrown brands with a passion to create appealing pieces for working women. Consider this your handy guide to where to call if you need a new shirt, suit or bag. Scroll through the gallery below for the no-nonsense workwear directory.

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Find a pair of trousers that you love – and which more importantly, love you back – and dressing becomes a pleasure. Samantha Cameron describes her fledgling label as offering a “hard-working urban uniform” and her trousers are a brilliant starting point. Whether you’re a wide-leg follower or a tapered leg believer, Cefinn trousers are meticulously pored over from design to production to ensure the happiest of legs.
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This High Street stalwart has been delivering the most reliable outerwear for as long as we can remember. Whether you’re after a versatile trench, a punchy-hued overcoat or something with a little extra design detail, Hobbs quite literally will have your back – and always with a feminine cut to boot.
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Another British High Street success story, you could, quite frankly, pluck your entire work wardrobe from KM. But we’re honing in on its super-practical, supremely covetable bags, which have been designed with the working woman in mind. Discreet logos, oodles of pockets and quality leather have all our requirements nailed.
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Founder Libby Hart worked in investment banking before setting up her label from scratch, so dressing the part under pressure is something she knows first-hand. Hart does a mean line in versatile dresses but her skirts and co-ordinating tops are Monday to Friday saviours; understated enough to be mixed and matched with everything else in your work wardrobe (blouses, trousers… you name it) every piece is beautifully brought to life in London.
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Rose & Willard is a London label with a conscience – one that is mindful of sustainability, diversity and equal pay. Its designs are engineered to last over years, not seasons, so its suits are a savvy investment. You’ll be hard-pressed to pick just one jacket style (choose from tuxedo, drape, single-breasted, cropped, collarless or tailored) but whichever you chose, you won’t regret it.
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Everyone needs an arsenal of chic but hardworking tops – the sort of pieces that exude a quiet elegance and that can play the Best Supporting Role in your Monday to Friday attire. Cue Reiss, the British success story that has a mighty offering of said top. From satin, button-down blouses to silky, V-neck wrap tops, there’s something for everyone.
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Mid-heel courts in dark pink; suede kitten heels in mint leaf green; jacquard slingbacks… the choice at L.K. Bennett is dazzling. And like designer brands that cost three times as much, they nearly always offer half sizes. So regardless of what you wear to stomp to work in, be sure to slip in something arrestingly chic once you cross the office threshold – there’s really no excuse.
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If the Duchess of Cambridge deems The Fold’s frocks to be smart enough to don for a public appearance, then what more endorsement could you need? Loved by the smart City set for their premium fabrics and smart cuts, a dress from The Fold is a savvy investment to see you from your desk to a dinner in effortless style. Opening Image: @handinfire. Next, discover the outfit we’ll all be copying this spring.



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