Fab Friday style tip: returning to the workforce

Nikki ParkinsonFashion 12 Comments

Finding just the right clothes to wear to work can be tricky at the best of times; try doing that for the first time in two or so years.

And that’s just the dilemma that blogger Sharni over at Sharnanigans wrote to be about:

“I have just been offered a job , a corporatey job, my thing is I have NO work/corporatey wardrobe anymore, having been out of the game so long. What pieces should I buy when returning to the corporate world after dagging it at home for two years plus? I’d love a guide to getting your corporate mojo back,” she said.

Sharni, this is such a great topic to tackle because it’s so true.  As a mum of small children you don’t need more than good casual clothes for Monday to Friday so when the time comes to return to work, it can be a bit of a shock to find your wardrobe is not offering you any love.

Key tips:

1.  If starting from scratch, you need to form a basic capsule work wardrobe:  tailored pants, tailored skirt, two tops, tailored dress, jacket, shoes.

2.  Gone are the days when a two-piece suit has to match.  A lighter jacket with a feminine top and dark pants is a more interesting work look.

3.  Embrace the dress – I love the combination of a patterned dress with tailored jacket.

4.  Only buy garments that are easy care and wear – getting out the door in the morning for work is battle enough; let alone if something’s not ironed and ready.

5.  To speed up the morning rush, have your clothes hanging and ready to go.

6.  Add an accessory to give the outfit a lift

Some shopping suggestions*

1.  Jacquie E jacket $139.95; dress $99.95

2.  Mimco Moonlight Hematine choker, was $199, now $159.20

3.  Witchery Jumble Bead bracelet $39.95

4.  Betts Eleanor pump $109.99

5.  Oroton Metropolis grip top handbag $395

6.  Country Road textured pinstripe pant $229

7.  Trenery Brushstroke dress $149

8.  Asos belted corset waist pencil skirt $53.79

*If some of these pieces are out of your budget, then use the styles as a guideline for what to look for when shopping.  With work classic basics, I always recommend spending the most that your budget allows as these pieces will be worn the most and need to go the distance.

I couldn’t do this blog post without mentioning the wonderful work that charity organisation, Dress for Success, does for women returning to the workforce around the world.  In Australia, there are offices in Brisbane, Sydney and MelbourneYou can help by donating new and good condition workwear to this organisation. They are always on the lookout for black work shoes and black handbags but check with your nearest location for what they might need right now.

So, do you have some tips for women re-joining the workforce?  How can they make the morning juggle easier?

Comments 12

  1. Nikki, THANKYOU! Some fantastic advice here which I will be taking onboard and I am sure will be of help to lots of women. Thanks for being so responsive to my question and offering such great tips! xx

    1. Post
    2. Hi Sharni,

      I went through a similar thing after working in a casual work setting for a couple of years. Add some unexpected weight gain – and suddenly nothing fit me anymore.
      I found Target an absolute winner for some good basic pieces. They have some great black pants (which are very wash and wear), and some good easy shirts which are around $20 and look good.

      Between DFO and outlets and sales, it becomes easier to pick up a few pieces to work with! good luck!

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