Dress Comfortably and Professionally at Work in 2019

A woman wearing professional workwear and giving someone a handshake

There are certain fashion pieces that can instantly make this job simpler, whilst maintaining your style, alongside some select fashion hacks to help make your favourite work looks more comfortable at the desk.

Here we take a look at this, plus how to dress for the desk to dinner look and most importantly, where to buy stylish work clothes.  

What to wear for work has always been the question every woman asks herself.

There is a certain importance to dressing professionally.

This generally means smarter clothes than you might wear at the weekend or at home, to show your co-workers that you take work seriously and they, in turn, should take you seriously.

It has also been suggested by many sources that wearing smarter clothes, no matter where your working environment, will help you to work in a more productive and effective way.

On the other hand, dressing comfortably is incredibly important, to ensure you are able to fully relax and concentrate on your work at hand.

There is nothing more distracting than an ultra-tight waistband, digging into the bottom of your rib cage while you’re sat at your desk.

The rules on what is appropriate hugely differ from job to job.

But, most office jobs or roles that require regular meetings with co-workers and clients require a certain level of professional dressing.

Shake It Up

Choosing what to wear can often become a task in itself every morning.

When work can sometimes be monotonous from AM to PM, do we really want to endure another arduous task each morning, whilst staring blankly into our wardrobes at a row of identical grey trouser suits?

We think not.

So, creating ways to not only make your workwear more comfortable whilst maintaining professionalism but also to enable you to mix and match pieces and easily create fresh outfits is key.

Nowadays, women are permanently busier.

If we don’t have a family-related engagement to rush off to at the end of the workday, we have an evening work function or possibly even drinks with the girls.

So, it’s important to make sure our office wear is not only comfortable and professional but also stylish enough to head straight out for dinner or drinks post 5 pm and feel fantastic.

The Best Styles for The Work Place

A woman wearing professional workwear and conducting a meeting

There will always be office wear sections in women’s wear stores, offering professional, yet dare we say it, boring choices.

Whilst these can be useful to pick up basics, such as shirts and blouses, it’s also good to remember that the non-work wear rails can be a great place to find stylish, office-appropriate clothing too, as long as it’s styled well.

Trousers with Stretch

Whilst suit trousers are the natural choice for the office, this style often has little to no stretch within the composition of the fabric.

This might look lovely when standing straight in the fitting room, but eight hours at your desk and you might just tell a different tale.

Try to choose trousers with stretch to the fabric to ensure that they are comfortable, whilst still being stylish.

They also tend to last longer.

Top Tip: When trying on new office wear, take a seat in the fitting room of the store and see how the comfort levels of skirts and trousers change with just a couple of minutes sat down.

Wide-leg Trousers

Luckily for the case of comfort at work, skinny trousers are out and wide-leg palazzo style trousers are in.

The right wide-leg trousers can be professionally smart, incredibly comfortable and also hit the style mark.

From classic black to on-trend prints, team a pair of chic, high-waisted trousers with a blouse or simple fine knit sweater, for the perfect comfortable office look.

Wrap Skirts

Wrap skirts are a great choice for office wear.

It’s an instantly stylish shape, modest yet flattering and at a midi length, is undoubtedly professional.

However, the best thing about a wrap skirt for workwear is the flexibility.

Unlike the restrictions of a pencil skirt, a wrap skirt has flowing movement and allows subtle give when taking a seat for an extended period of time.

Knit Skirts

If the pencil skirt has always been your favourite shape for office wear, a knitted pencil skirt is a stylish alternative to dressing in a traditional stiff polyester with no stretch.

Knitted skirts appear sturdy to the eye, but allow the comfort and the softness of a jumper dress.

Maxi Dresses

Never banish maxi dresses from your workwear wardrobe.

Yes, many floral, spaghetti strapped maxi dresses are inappropriate at most offices.

However, a short or long-sleeved crewneck maxi dress can work perfectly.

You can pair a maxi with a chic, fitted jacket to add a professional touch or wear it solo for all-day comfort.

Shoes

Along with tight, skinny trousers, the choice between stiletto’s or kitten heels is now not the only option within the workplace.

There are ultra-stylish brogue style flats to pair with anything from skirts to trousers, alongside loafers and driving shoe styles. One of the hottest shapes in shoes now is the mule.

Flat or low-heeled, the mule is the ultimate in office wear staple shoes due to its all-day comfort and ability to style with literally anything.

Tip – If you find that one of your favourite pieces of workwear is particularly restricting and uncomfortable but you don’t want to give it up, everything else you pair it with should be extra comfortable.

If you’re wearing your favourite pencil skirt, then team it with comfortable loafers and a soft knit stretchy sweater to ensure that the rest of your body can relax.


How to Modify Styles to Increase Comfort

A woman wearing professional workwear and conducting a meeting

There are certain styles within fashion that exude office wear character.

From the blazer to a smart trouser there are several hacks you can do to ensure that you remain stylish and professional but increase your comfort levels, allowing you to sit back and relax when facing a day at your computer screen.

Invest in The Jogger

We’re not talking here about running track pants with giant sporting logos and trying to pass them off in the office environment.

However, instead of a devilishly uncomfortable pair of slacks or suit trousers, have you ever thought about investing in some high-end, incredibly simple black joggers?

From certain brands and designers, it is possible to buy beautifully cut jogger-style trousers in luxuriously heavy fabrics, that with the right styling can look just as professional and chic as the classic pant.

Style a high-waisted jogger trouser with a sleek satin camisole, blazer and heeled mules and nobody in your office would notice for a second that you were wearing the ultimate comfort of the jogger.

The most important thing here is to dress them up.

Choose Knitted Jackets

Blazers are staples in the office wear world.

However, they can be uncomfortable, restricting and hot. Instead of heading straight to suit jackets for your next blazer, opt for a knitted blazer.

Knitted blazers are cut in the exact pattern of a regular blazer, with professional lapels and single or double-breasted buttons, but they have much more stretch and flexibility to allow for maximum comfort.   

Ditch the Stilettos

No woman has to wear heels now.

But, if heels are your things and you like the way you feel in them, you can still modify your choice slightly to help you last the entire day.

By choosing a block heel instead of a stiletto, you offer much more surface area for your heel to rest on, giving you a higher chance of all-day comfort.

Tip: When choosing your favourite styles, slightly modify your choices to help with comfort.

When choosing a blazer or a midi skirt, choose a fabric with stretch or a waistband with a little extra elastic to ensure it can withstand all day at the desk, especially after lunch.

How to Dress for The Desk to Dinner Look and Why It’s So Popular

A woman wearing a professional blue dress

Woman are busier than ever these days, so it’s important to have several office wear outfits that can go directly from desk to dinner in an instant.

Opt for Satin

Satin is a sumptuous fabric that can work for both a professional look and without a jacket, as a sultry evening look.

Choosing satin tops work for a desk to dinner style, as well as satin palazzo pants or a chic wrap jacket.

Switch Out the Blazer

If you know you’re going straight to a restaurant or bar after work, switch out your regular blazer and throw on your favourite leather jacket.

An A-line midi skirt with a blouse is beautifully finished with a cropped biker jacket and it works for both on and off-duty style.

Rock A Suit

A tailored trouser suit is a chic and professional way to let everyone at work know you mean business.

But, it can also work for a desk to dinner look with one swift change.

For the office, layer your blazer over a stylish blouse or simple vest top.

Then, for dinner, whip off the top and button up your blazer for a sexy post-work look with a little extra skin.

Tip: Add extra accessories at the end of the day to dress your look up.

Switch to a clutch and add statement earrings and your whole look will be transformed simply from what you have in your handbag.

Model Wearing A Hybrid Sheath DressWhere to Buy Smart but Comfortable Workwear

There are so many options on where to buy your workwear now.

If you don’t look specifically at workwear brands or even their workwear sections, you will find pieces that can easily slot into your office wardrobe and keep you stylish but eternally comfortable.

Department Stores

Department stores, both online and in store, are a great place to start with workwear.

This is because they have such a fantastic mixture of brands.

When you’re looking for specific workwear, a lot of the collection for each brand will be inappropriate, therefore in department stores, you have much more to go at before having to switch to a new store.

Chains and Independents

Independent boutiques are a great place to find comfortable workwear clothing if you have the time to browse.

This is often where you will find high-end, luxury knitwear like joggers or blazers that can be added to your comfort wardrobe and then be paired with your favourite tops and blouses.

High street chains continue to produce workwear lines, alongside options within the mainlines, that are perfect for a professional look.

Stores such as Zara and Cos offer simple lines and feminine blouses, whereas heritage stores, such as Marks & Spencer offer classic and comfortable options.

Affordable stores, like H&M, continue to offer skirts and trousers in workwear fabrics with features like hidden elastic waistbands for ultimate comfort.

No matter your personal style, professional dressing and comfort dressing does not have to run exclusively.

With just a few simple style hacks and amendments to your choices, you can make your workwear wardrobe just as comfortable as your weekend wardrobe and maintain your all-important style.