With the cool weather closing in, the sticky commutes of summer are becoming a distant memory. Sure, we may not be struggling with the fact that we have to cover up in the office (when all we really wanted to do was don our favourite denim cut-offs to survive the heatwave), but the new season brings with it a whole new set of workwear woes for us to contend with. And whilst it’s easy to set about overhauling your work wardrobe, you actually don’t need to; all it takes is a few carefully selected staples and a little bit of creative thinking. This is especially true during autumn; we’ve all layered up for a chilly morning, only to find that it’s turned into an unexpectedly mild afternoon. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you get it right when dressing for the office this autumn and winter.
Layer, Layer, Layer
First things first; learn how to layer! It may sound obvious, but layers are the key to keeping warm when you’re out and about – and not over-heating once you’re inside. Invest in a few roll neck tops; you can wear them under almost anything, so they’re an ideal extra layer on nippier days.
Much like the polo neck, knitwear is (unsurprisingly) another staple you won’t be able to live without this season. It’s important to remember that you can be just as playful when styling your knits; it’s easy to get caught in a rut when the weather cools, simply because jumpers are so easy to throw on with your jeans. Instead of sticking to this (admittedly failsafe) combo, invest in a range of jumpers, cardigans and knitted gilets to broaden your styling options. Look out for interesting details like embellishments, attached belts or bold motifs, and don’t limit your colour options; sometimes, bold is better!
Given that you’ve got a few different styles to play with, you’ll find that you can wear your knits with your pre-existing workwear. Throw a jumper or cardigan on over a crisp white shirt (with the collar on the outside – always!), or drape over your shoulders á la Alexa Chung on milder days.
Swap Out Your Lightweight Tops
If you don’t fancy wearing so many layers every day, you can swap out your sheer, floaty blouses for knitted tops and pair them with tailored separates as per usual. A fine knit top is perfect for wearing with high-waisted skirts and trousers, since they tuck and fall beautifully.
Dresses Aren’t Just for Summer!
As we’ve already mentioned, it’s easy for winter wardrobes to become uniform. After all, a jumper/jeans combo is sometimes the only thing you can think about wearing when faced with a dark and dreary morning commute. Get out of your seasonal style rut with the help of a few dresses (yes, you can wear day dresses all year long!).
Perennially chic, midi dresses are a must for this time of the year; choose something with a sleeve, and avoid overly summery prints (however much you may love the tropical trend!). Floral or folky prints are the way to go once autumn hits; look out for seasonally-appropriate colours like mustard yellows, burnt oranges and forest greens. Wear with a pair of knee-high boots in luxurious leather or suede to complete your ensemble.
A button up midi dress bridges the gap for work and play; the perfect desk to dancefloor number, it’ll see you through this season – and the next – with ease,
Don’t Be Afraid of Colour
When the weather takes a turn for the worst, it’s typical to wear colours that match the grey skies. And whilst there’s nothing wrong with wearing black or grey once in a while, adding a splash of colour to your winter wardrobe can definitely brighten your day – call it sartorial #MondayMotivation. Lift your mood with gorgeous jewel tones; a simple blouse in cobalt blue or emerald green will help you to break away from black without looking too OTT for the office.
Get Suited and Booted
Just like dresses, co-ords aren’t only suited to milder months; stay smart (and warm) this season by investing in a trouser suit that’s been cut from a slightly heavier fabric. Go for something in black or navy, so that you can mix and match the jacket and trousers with colourful separates. Finish by draping your coat over your shoulders (like every street stylist worth their salt) and step out in a pair of heeled ankle boots.