Otegha Uwagba | Contributing Writer | Monday, 22 May 2017

Affordable Summer Workwear For When You Want To Boss The Office

We Tried On Affordable Summer Workwear So You Can Win It In The Office

The Debrief: Give your wardrobe a promotion

As a freelancer who works in the creative industries, my ‘workwear’ dress code is pretty much ‘whatever the hell I want to wear’. When I’m working from home that usually means keeping things comfy and casual, but if I’m out and about and meeting people, I tend to go a little more dressy. Besides, working as a freelance writer and brand consultant, I also run a platform for creative working women called Women Who – so an average day might involve anything from having important meetings with clients to venue scouting for an upcoming Women Who event, in between interviewing creative women over a casual coffee. There’s often a lot to pack into a single day, so my wardrobe has to be pretty versatile – here’s how I do it.

Comfort Is Key 

H&M, Cotton Twill Trenchcoat, £79.99; Monki, One-Shoulder Ribbed Jumpsuit, £35; H&M, Ankle-Tie Sandals, £34.99

The jersey material of this wide leg culotte jumpsuit from Monki is super soft – it pretty much feels like I’m wearing a pair of PJs, which is always a good thing in my books. This H&M trench coat will be great for fending off the unpredictable ‘spring’ weather we've been having, and I’ve added a pair of dusky pink sandals to inject a bit of colour. The chunky block heel of this H&M pair makes them surprisingly easy to walk in, and I could see myself wearing these for a full day with ease. 

Ray Of Sunshine 

H&M, Smocked cotton blouse, £29.99; Warehouse, Crushed Velvet Midi Skirt, £39; H&M, Ankle-Tie Sandals, £34.99

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this velvet Warehouse skirt – the material feels a lot more expensive than its £39 price tag, and it hangs beautifully. I’d probably wear this outfit when hosting an event as it’s dressy without being overly formal – the dusky pink sandals work really well with the acid yellow, whilst the black high-necked H&M top balances out the brightness of my bottom half.

Feelin' Fruity

ASOS, Top with Open Back & Tie Detail, £28; Warehouse, Strappy Shift Crepe Dress,£39; V By Very, Melanie Pointed Court Shoes, £24; H&M, Shoulder Bag, £29.99 

The side split on this Warehouse dress keeps things interesting, and I love the splash of colour this orange ASOS blouse worn over it adds to the mix – it looks lovely against darker skintones like mine. The H&M handbag is surprisingly roomy on the inside too, so there’s plenty of space to carry all the important things, without spending the whole day weighed down by the mountains of crap I inevitably seem to end up carting around!

Get Shirty

River Island, Blue Stripe One Shoulder Frill Top, £32; River Island, Black Amelie Super Skinny Jeans, £40; V by Very, Pebbles Pearl Slide, £22

You can’t go wrong with a t-shirt and jeans, and this is basically a souped up version of that. This is the sort of thing I’d wear for casual coffee meetings, or if I’m going to be running around all day and want to give my feet a break from heels. I love the off-shoulder vibes of this River Island top, and the pearl detail on the V by Very Slides slides stop what’s otherwise a fairly simple outfit from veering into ‘boring’.

Return Of The Mac

H&M, Cotton Twill Trenchcoat, £79.99; Warehouse, Mixed Stripe Shirt, £39; River Island, Black Amelie Super Skinny Jeans, £40, V By Very, Melanie Pointed Court Shoes, £24 

The H&M trench coat has returned, although this time I’ve paired it with simple black heels and a shirt to give it a slightly more formal vibe. The multicolour stripes on this Warehouse shirt give it a contemporary feel that I’m really into - this is City dressing for anyone keen to avoid the unimaginative grey suits that seem to be de rigeur. 

Silver Surfer

ASOS, Tux Longline Blazer, £38; V By Very, Tailored Slim Leg Trouser, £16; V By Very, Melanie Pointed Court Shoes, £24 

Channelling the Starman with this silver ASOS blazer and its space-age vibes. I love that it isn’t nipped in at the waist as women’s blazers often tend to be – the oversized fit makes it feel way more on-trend. I can see myself wearing this to important meetings where I really want to make an impact.

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Follow Otegha on Twitter @womenwho

Tags: Changing Room Selfies