The dress code for my industry (advertising) is pretty casual, all about showing off your personality and creativity. However, I work in Account Management/Client service, which means I still need to look pulled together to meet with clients without sacrificing style. I remember being completely baffled by the lack of dress code when I started my first job in advertising, until I realised that it was partly about making people think you were a young, hip, creative Account Manager. Coming from a legal background, my idea of work attire was your classic, somewhat staid corporate gear – blazers, court shoes, button up shirts, suits. I asked my office buddy about the dress code and visited the office before I started work, and I’m so thankful I did – who knows what I might have shown up in?
Even now, it’s a tricky business, looking polished but creative, professional and fun, all rolled into one perfectly presented package. Ok, so definitely not perfect, but I do my best. In light of the fact that I’m starting a new job in a little over a week, I’ve been updating my wardrobe and keeping an open mind as to how I can style my existing items in ways that toe the fine line. In my experience, it’s better to be a little overdressed on the first day of a new job – it’s much easier to tone it down in subsequent days than it is to make people forget that you were horrendously underdressed on your first day, and it’s an easy way to ensure your new boss and co-workers know that you are going to take your new role seriously. All that in mind, these are the outfits that I’m hoping to either recreate or take elements from in my first few weeks of work.
The common denominators of these outfits? A great blazer (bookmarking this post from Who What Wear), a white shirt (crisp or relaxed) and spot-on denim. A sharp pair of flats is also crucial. It’s both a blessing and a curse when shorts can potentially be office appropriate, but these key items ground just about anything to make it casual workwear. I’m not about to wear my Daisy Dukes to the office, but it’s nice to have the opportunity to dress up and experiment a little. The workhorses in my wardrobe will probably be a white, sleeveless blazer, black jeans (I’m on my fourth pair of these), black d’orsay flats and lots of stripes. Ankle boots also get a workout in winter. See above for my picks for the best casual workwear basics – perfect for working in a creative environment, for casual Fridays, or in some cases, as the building blocks of a corporate wardrobe coloured with personality. New job or not – for now, that Alexander Wang satchel will remain a pipe dream.