Planning what to wear to the office everyday can be really stressful . I found out by trial and error what I really hate wearing.
Namely knee length pencil skirts. I’m a bit short, so that length of skirt makes me feel way out of proportion. A-line skirts are my favourite, because they don’t accentuate my hips too much and they still look stylish.
The first work item essentials I would recommend having is a black skirt, a smart button up blouse, and a blazer. I used to hate skirts; especially because of my above described dilemma. I felt unattractive and lumpy. Once you dig around enough online store catalogues, you will find a skirt that makes you feel great. I actually prefer skirts to pants now, because they are so versatile, and can soften up your wardrobe. So, if you just don’t like skirts (then skip to the pants section), or if you haven’t found the right one yet then I’m challenging you to go find a nice one.
So, back to the skirt. Sometimes, when you start working, it can be super daunting to find something that is not too “worky”. Everything you put on feels corporate, and I did this whole dissociative thing, where I didn’t recognise myself in work style clothes. It felt like the world was against me, trying to force me to wear clothes that I didn’t feel comfortable in.
It doesn’t have to be that way. There is nothing worse, than going to work feeling overdressed, and essentially under qualified at adulting (if you’ve just come out of varsity). You feel like you’re strutting around, on display and a fraud, cause everyone knows you don’t actually dress like this. I really can’t think of much worse.
Pants were also a nightmare for me when I first started working. I’ve been lucky that I can wear black jeans to work (granted they don’t have rips). This sort of made it easier for me to alternate between real corporate pants, and skirts. So for pants, I would say stick to what comes easiest.
For me, it’s those pants with the zips that are almost like leggings – but their not. These pants are like a nice in between. You’re still wearing skinny pants, but they don’t really feel like your typical work pants that you see business ladies wearing. Their comfortable, and more like your usual skinny jeans (which means you won’t be fussing with these as much).
Where would I suggest getting work pants?
Try your closest H&M, or Woolworths. These places have nice styles for young people who are new to work. They have what I like to call “transition work wear”, for when you are really not ready for work wear.
You really want to spend time getting fitted pants, cause you get those pants that look fitted, and they are for the first hour that you wear them, and then you realise they are actually straight leg pants (slaps forehead).
These types of pants are a horror story… Because when did I wear straight leg pants before this? When did I ever wear smart blouses, except for evening events and smart occasions? And now, I’m wearing “looser” pants and a smart blouse? It can be very overwhelming. This happened to me a few times when I first started working, and yes, I am a drama queen, but it made me feel terrible. I was like, no I am not this “adult“ yet. I am not ready. If you’re at varsity and reading this, you’re probably like no, it won’t be that bad.
But I promise you, you get used to the comfortable skinny jeans/leggings lifestyle. So that’s my advice; take time and effort to find a nice pair of pants and a skirt so you don’t suffer from “adultitis” too much.
It can be really fun trying on different outfits and seeing what works for you. Once, you’ve found a few key items you’ll feel way more confident at the whole adulting thing. Then the rest will just come with time I suppose.
I made some cool outfits through VILLOID, which can be seen below.