Suz, thank you so much. Thank you for spotting the comments about about the scarf - I do think LisaP has spotted something that is lurking around in the background and I can bring forward. Yes CM is such a good store (for me in any case!) Massimo Dutti is another good store, although I find their sizing slightly off for me, but I do agree on the elegance. Ahh, yes, I hadn't thought about that advantage for a small wardrobe. That is helpful to have understood.

CardiffGirl, thank you so much, it is kind of you and very much appreciated.

Thank you Anchie, Aileen, KellyGirl and Anne.

Rachylou, yes, good spot! (There is quite a scary website called the Hornets Nest which is local to the area, and not one I ever want to feature on!) Quality luxe uniform sounds fab! I like the sound of sharp too.

Bijou, thank you so much, it is super to receive such supportive comments. I am good in the mornings, but the evenings are a disaster. I just can't get into bed quick enough some days!! Well done with your new role, and that sounds interesting to be client facing. I look forward to seeing your new suits. I bought a suit from Boden, which I really like, but generally don't do suits, so it will be good to see yours.

Jussie, thank you. I am not sure about the politicians, but I would think that Christine Lagarde has good a good look, it is her hair which is stunning I think! But she does wear a lot of scarfs.

Staysfit, yep, worked hard and a lot of emotional toil was involved! Your reply is thought provoking. I think the intimidating comment would relate to me, but somehow if I can remember to smile (genuinely) I can kind of take the edge off.

I would like to be a CEO of a property company (said it now!) which would be the next step, perhaps 3 to 5 years away. London probably, may be abroad. Message maybe something like 'elegant approach with integrity'. The integrity angle matters a lot to me and is important in the sector. Genuine and composed is very good. The dressing for the role I want is helpful.

Unfrumped, thank you, yes such good advice. I am prone to adding quantity too. I just need to remember that there are only 5 days in a week! I am nodding with you on the rigorous with returns is a good thing. I don't quite get the buzz of new clothes for workwear. Fit and style is really helpful. And I am nodding with you on the budget for the footwear. My OTK heeled boots were an excellent buy, thankfully on Black Friday, but still £££. 'Fit fit fit' and 'returns willpower' are logged in my head. Thank you.

Thank you Aliona, that is kind of you. Every so often I have a meeting with someone who wears jeans with an amazing blazer and shoes and then I do feel stuck in a rut! I also know that my look wouldn't work in many companies, and can feel like a fish out of water when I have to attend meetings in a different part of London where, say jeans, are worn consistently.

I've been thinking about this some more, Jane, and am just writing things down randomly here as they came to me, so sorry if this is incoherent;-)

First of all: you have an amazing wardrobe, and are already doing a fantastic job of dressing amazingly well for work!!

- I could really see you rock patterned hosiery whenever you need a change from your opaques. I know you're a bit reluctant about it, but maybe a good way to ease into it is only wearing patterned hosiery with on-the-knee/just-above-the-knee skirts and dresses and pairing them with knee-high boots in the beginning (or mid-calf culottes and booties)? That way only a small part of the hose is exposed, but it's still enough to add a little extra textural and visual interest. (Keeping things tonal will help too, e.g. navy dress with navy hosiery and tall black boots, or burgundy skirt with burgundy hose and taupe or grey tall boots, etc.)

- l love Angie's idea of tonal dressing too, that always looks sophisticated and professional. As far as adding colour is concerned (if you are interested in that to begin with, it's not a must;-): no need to do brights or "loud" colours if that's not your thing, and no need to do it head to toe. Adding a touch of burgundy, or olive or dark green, or whichever colour appeals to you could be a nice way to switch things up when you want a change.

- Would a leather or suede skirt or even leather trousers work in your line of work, Jane? If you keep the rest of the outfit very Modern Classic, it could be a great way to add soft edge to a look.
And how about dressy jackets that are not blazers?

- Playing with pattern even more than you are already doing. I love the pinstripe suit in your photo, and you have a knack for finding beautiful scarves and pattern mixing them with the rest of your outfit.

- Something else that you are already doing, and that makes every outfit look more special and interesting: Wearing one item in each outfit with an interesting design detail (sleeve or collar that is a bit different, an interesting pattern or touch of colour, the cut of a dress or skirt, an asymmetrical detail, a gorgeous scarf or piece of jewellery, patterned hosiery, a shoe with an interesting heel or buckle, a two-toned cardigan, coat with contrast piping, a peplum style top or skirt, pussy bow blouse, built-in layers, lace or other textural interests, decorative buttons, a statement belt..).

I'm adding some items below just to illustrate what I mean. Ignore the (bright) colours if they don't feel like you, it's just to show silhouettes, details and general ideas:-)





Hobbs
Phillipa Dress
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1
Hobbs
Eliora Velvet Dress
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Hobbs
Gina Top
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Hobbs
Lina Shirt
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Hobbs
Elma Top
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Hobbs
Maryanne Coat
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3
Hobbs
Essie Coat
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Hobbs
Jess Sweater
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Hobbs
Eden Coatigan
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Hobbs
Penny Cardigan
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Hobbs
Julianna Skirt
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Hobbs
Arianna Skirt
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Hobbs
Georgiana Skirt
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Hobbs
Safiya Jacket
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Hobbs
Angeline Dress
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Hobbs
Diana Blouse
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Hobbs
Sophie Dress
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Hobbs
Joy Check Dress
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J.Crew
Résumé dress
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Hobbs
Paula Shirt
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Hobbs
Imogen Trench
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And yes! love the idea of a Vivienne Westwood dress for you! And I may have mentioned Winser London before? They have lovely workwear pieces and do great dresses in knee-length/midi-lengths that are tailored but not body-con, the fabrics are lovely & substantial, and don't crease, and they usually have them in both neutrals like black or navy and a few other beautiful colours.





(I have this one, and loooove it:-)







Congrats on the new position!

In your photos, I see an effort on "keeping it simple', with a splash of color. I'm guessing that's smart in your sector. The watch is a great signature piece; no one could call it totally frivolous, but it does show attention to detail.

On upping your style, I'm bookmarking this post so I can mine the comments later. Christine LeGard is known for her fashion sense, in her very high position, but I don't think she's a good icon for me, because she wears so many light colors and pants, neither of which are my faves. They don't seem to be in line with your style either. If you find a fashion icon for professional attire, please post.

I really like the idea of subtle patterned hose--diamonds or pinstripes, not wild Irish rose or fishnet. Paired with your otk boots, I think they'd keep pace with jeans & blazer just fine. Not highlighted in any way, just there as a subtle detail adding texture and interest. Tonal matching, with colors that are next to each other on the color wheel instead of across from each other, also reads as sophisticated to me. I really like the wool flannel MaxMara dress Inge linked to (as long as the stripes aren't too shiny)

Good luck in your new role and on your next step up!

Inge, so many gorgeous pieces! Will you please fill my closet?

Inge: oh my gosh the finds you’ve added are gorgeous and seem so well suited to Jane! Wow :).

Fashintern - But of course!-))
Jussie - Ah, glad you think so!

This thread has people’s attention, Jane. I love it!


I like Inge’s references to: Hobbs, Jaeger, Windsor London. I’ll add Club Monaco, Boden, L.K. Bennett, Karen Millen (for tops), Scotch & Soda, and COS. Always give John Lewis a whirl! Yes, I can believe that the Massimo Dutti fit is a bit off.

Can you wear your white boots to work? If so, lets build a complement around them.

You need a separate thread on hosiery, and I have some ideas.

NICE train commute. The tube is sooooo hard on your clothes and shoes

And let's get you new specs and talk jewellery/accessories on a separate threadmtoo.

(FYI: Leather and suede skirts are a problem because you can't press them, and they get very creased).

Jane, we had a foreign minister who recently resigned, Julie Bishop, she’s a very well respected lady who dresses beautifully. I’ve copied some links to her outfits:
https://goo.gl/images/3C3qjG

https://goo.gl/images/xPxgDF

https://goo.gl/images/eidWdG

https://goo.gl/images/C9FJnZ

https://goo.gl/images/n9eVWY

Good luck with it.

My goodness this thread is a goldmine! Nothing to add but a warm congratulations on your new, and I am certain well deserved, position!

Wow! Completely taken aback and so grateful for the very detailed responses. I am so grateful, thank you so much.

Inge, thank you so much. I am so grateful for you having thought about this in so much detail. your choices are stunning! And numerous! I am very grateful that you have provided links, as I found the Max Mara web site quite overwhelming. I am going to look through and reply later today. Hosiery! ! it would be super to sort out that little problem!

I am a big fan of the uniform. In fact, that is how I dress in my off time as well. If you like the style - why NOT make it easier by not having a bunch of superfluous stuff you won't wear?

With the exception of the very eclectic style people, don't we all wear a uniform of some type? It matches our lifestyle. To shake things up, keep the cut/piece you like and just get variations of what works for you. For example, I have many just below knee length, high waisted skirts. That piece is a standard part of my uniform, I just wear variations of that piece.

But I think that's how we've always dressed & why we call accessories Accessories. Because *those* are the things we switch out...the rest has always been pretty much "rinse & repeat. "

I prefer to call it a formula though, then I just change out one or two aspects of the formula to mix it up. I mean, we only have so many options: pants or skirt (then variations on that) etc. etc. etc.

Inge, thank you! your choices have inspired me! I just hadn't even ventured to Max Mara or Amanda Wakely, but you have given me confidence! Thank you so much.

I have ordered two sizes of the camel skirt from MM, which seemed a classic, and quite different in terms of anything I have. Then AW had a HEWI, in an XS, which I am hoping will look suitably crisp, but not too crisp. Key for me to remember is 1. I can get alterations done, (I think the skirt may be too long) and 2. the white shirt has got to be a 10, so not too bunchy around the neck and small enough on the waist to tuck in neatly, with material that has some drape. I will share on a new thread when they arrive. Yay!

FashInTern, ah tights. Major issue!! I love patterned knee socks and tights, but they aren't so comfy when walking. I walk a lot and it is a key part of my day. I will need to have a look for more options.

Angie, thank you so much, the response has been stunning! I love those brands and have had good finds with them. Club Monaco is an absolute fav, as I walk past their store and they have regular changes. They are also good on their discounts. Boden v good. L.K. Bennett - not much luck apart from shoes, somehow seem a bit big proportion wise for me, Karen Millen v good, Scotch & Soda v good, and COS v good.

White boots - I would love to wear for work - I had visions of a lovely long pair of trousers with the toes peeking out - I am thinking I might be able to sort something out for summer. I will start a new thread one day soon on the jewellery and the hose.

Jussie, Julie Bishop is very stylish! thank you for the images

Shevia, thank you and this thread is such a wonderful goldmine, so supportive and so many options. I love it!

Luck3, yes, formula is probably better than uniform!

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Congrats Jane &am happy for you-and will be curious where your style will evolve -your work capsule is perfect and you always look chic, fab and elegant- but I can so relate to the desire to keep things dinamic and not stuck in a rut!

Ohh--if it's the walking thing, then get a garter belt! A fancy, sexy one that can be your secret.

Ahh, FashInTern, not quite - it is the rubbing of the pattern on the heels and toes of my feet. I could wear socks etc but it is too much of a pfaff in all honesty. Smooth tights / knee highs work best.

Thank you Lyn. I am curious too as to where it goes!

Angie - Got it (see that's why you are the professional!-) Out of curiosity: do you know if faux leather creases as well?

You are very welcome, Jane! I'm just glad it's helpful. And now I'm super excited for your goodies to arrive!-) The camel MM skirt is absolutely stunning!!! And I have high hopes for the beautiful AW shirt too (holding thumbs here)! And yes, very good point about alterations, and new purchases having to be perfect!

Oh, in addition to the stores Angie and I summed up above, I also just thought of Hugo Boss. I'm adding some links here just to give you an idea of what they are doing at the moment:

Dresses


https://www.hugoboss.com/uk/ch.....4_994.html
This one has a bit of a Vivienne Westwood vibe going on, don't you think?





Skirts






Tops






Leather jacket

Inge, you are an absolute gem and so kind. I have had two fab items from Hugo Boss this season, a pin striped dress and a hounds tooth checked skirt. Sometimes, I loose patience though as their proportions are often just wrong.

BUT, I have just now ordered the pin stripe navy skirt, which is the same fabric as my fav work dress, doesn't crease, so again, thank you so much. It might be a bit extravagant to have two items with the same fabric but I will be super fussy on the fit.

So, just to add to my fussy / particular nature, I like a dress with sleeves, because I like to take my jacket off at work when I sit at my desk, and my upper arms are not as toned as they once were. Which I am absolutely fine with, but will avoid if I can. I also find that if I only wear my jacket at meetings, and not at my desk, they last longer. Then also the lovely Viv Westwood style skirt (good spot!) has quite a lot going on, on the lower half, which sometimes can be challenging. I am going to see if they have the dress in the store near the office though.

And Inge, Queen Letizia of Spain, is a great inspiration. Thank you and again, the links have stopped me from going down an Alice in Wonderland type hole. It looks to me that she is similar height, which is helpful.

The on the leather jacket, years ago, soon after I started at my current job, I found a leather jacket, and really, I should have followed the YLF advice - here is the link https://youlookfab.com/welookf.....after-work

I wasn't sure then that I could wear it to work, but I am pretty sure that I could wear something like this now.

Thank you so very much Inge.

I love your hair in that old post! It looks so healthy and full.

Aaaww, I'm glad I can help, and I'm really enjoying browsing for you!!-)

Wonderful that you already have those two amazing Hugo Boss pieces. And I hear you, it's annoying when proportions are not right, isn't it. But I'm hoping the pinstripe HB skirt will fit you marvelously! It's a stunning skirt. Not frivolous at all, if you ask me, because you already know how fab the fabric is, and the skirt can be worn with so many of your tops!

And you're not fussy at all, Jane! It’s fantastic that you know what works for you and what doesn’t, and brilliant that you are being so discerning about fit and what you need/want.

I'm totally with you on wanting dresses with sleeves, by the way:-)* Also nodding about jackets staying pristine for longer if you only wear them for meetings.

Hopefully the "Vivienne Westwood" skirt is available in the store so you can try it on and see if it works.

*Just a thought: I don't know if you like that look, but if you have a sleeveless dress lingering in your closet, perhaps you could consider wearing it with a shirt, blouse, top or turtleneck underneath to get more wear out of it/to get it back in rotation? A white shirt always looks crisp but there's plenty more options of course with other colours/patterned shirts and/or pattern mixing if the dress is patterned etc. Could be one way of many ways to add that creative touch.

A few examples:-)










BTW: Mary of Memorandum (we featured her a while back on YLF as well), has more office-appropriate outfits on her website that might we worth a look too (don't want to send you down a rabbit hole of course;-)

That leather jacket was amazing, Jane! And yay, now that you would be able to wear a jacket like that to work, definitely keep it in mind for the future. I'm sure you will run into an equally amazing jacket some day, and then it can be yours;-)

Yes, Jane. Hugo Boss proportions/fits don't seem right for you. Too straight on the bottom. Makes sense. I suspect that L.K Bennett is too long, right? Their fits can be be narrow though, so don't give up yet!

Inge, unfortunately pleather skirts crease just as badly, unless they have a high neoprene or polyester content.

Jane - first, congrats on the recognition and promotion! Time to celebrate with a luxurious indulgence of which there are many in thread.

I can't help with any suggestions for a direction forward, as the right pieces aren't so much on radar with my real life. You ahve many others here who can give you that. But I think you are on the right track without much help. Your WIWs alway look so professional and stylish, it makes me miss my corporate days when I had reason to wear nice suits (but only a little). The sleekness, polish and cohesiveness are aspirational for me

I am bookmarking this thread as a favorite because of all the great info that is applicable even to those of us with the casual lifestyle. Particularly good timing with New Year's style goals needing to be formed.

I'm so sorry it took me so long to respond back. I had a touch of the flu and am only just now starting to feel human again.

You wrote: I think that colour is helpful but it needs to be at a level that is easily absorbed in a serious meeting and not distracting.

The "easily absorbed" and "not distracting" took my breath away. Is that one reason so many men only wear shades of navy and grey? Is that why I have slowly been evolving toward a wardrobe of black and navy? The black and navy can read boring, but at this point in my life, they seem so right to me.

You have given me much food for thought. Lovely thread. Fascinating read.

I enjoyed reading this a lot. Well done on the promotion!!!

Thank you Sal. It is a fab thread! I will keep coming back to it.

Horrid to have even a touch of flu, Sterling. Glad you are on the mend. It is a funny thing to have said, but it feels right to me to wear the darker colours. It is quite formal wear I work though! I do think if I was doing the same job in Australia, my wardrobe would be different, with fresher lighter colours!

Thank you Karen, your wards resonate with me! I do want to be able to look back and know that I did my best with my wardrobe with my available resources.I think though that those trees in your photos would win hands down over a corporate life!

Inge and Angie, I went into Hugo Boss, the dress with the VW look was very good on top, but below the waist was wide and not so good at all. I was a hot mess at the time of trying on, so didn't get a picture. Yes LKB is too long too. I won't give up though because narrow tops are good for me!