It’s that time of year when the ground starts to thaw and the clouds begin to part and the end of winter is approaching. The thought of being able to leave the heavy, black coat at home a few days a week has the mind racing; now people can see what’s under it, what the fuck am I going to wear? Now that spring will imminently have sprung, the layers concealing the pyjamas worn to bed (and then uni) are being stripped away, forcing a more careful contemplation of our wardrobes and what they have to offer.
Let’s not forget that it’s also the time of year when students across the country are making summer plans; booking holidays, buying festival tickets and securing those all-important internships. We’re reminded constantly throughout the year of the value of work experience and how without it you’re dead in the water, so it’s fitting that we also think about our workwear wardrobe now. We've got a selection of essential pieces, and advice on wearing them round campus and the office.
The wide-leg trouser, in our humble opinion, is one of the most versatile and underrated types of trouser; they can be taken from the library to the office with ease, and they're comfortable as shit.
The Early-Morning Lecture
The T-shirt and wide-leg trouser combo is as comfy as it’s going to get in a 9am. On top of the comfort-factor, the wide-leg is extremely on trend right now, with variations of every colour and cut (straight-leg, cropped and flared) appearing in collections from high-end designers to fast-fashion retailers - so no matter what your style or price range, there's a pair out there for you. What makes this fit literally perfect for early lectures is that the top-half is already sitting in your wardrobe. Cinching the waist with a statement belt, for example, a leather one with an interesting buckle, helps to elevate what is essentially the shirt you slept in and baggy trousers.
The Boardroom Meeting
As we mentioned earlier, the versatility of the wide-leg trouser is just one of the reasons you should pick up a pair. If you switch your crumpled and faded T-shirt for a sleek, fitted turtleneck jumper or bodysuit, you’re instantly corporate chic. To keep cosy in the cooler months, throw a longer coat over the top, like a trench or a duster, in order to exaggerate the lengthening effect the trousers already have. Extra points for monochrome outfits, which never fail to look expensive and high fashion. Double extra points for monochrome outfits in bright colours - these make a statement and create the illusion that, to the untrained eye, you are super stylish and look like you work at Vogue, but the outfit is easier to put together than peanut butter and jelly.
A dress is, by far, the easiest solution to multi-function dressing, but most of us are put off by wearing them in the winter due to the thought of icy winds whipping around our shins and ankles, but we needn't be put off.The slip dress, and here specifically the midi-length slip dress, is another extremely versatile piece that you should get your hands on for the upcoming season. It can be worn in possibly the most classic way - as an elegant evening gown, paired with strappy heels and sparkly accessories, but we’re telling you that it can also be worn as casual attire AND workwear.
The Early- Morning Lecture
For an early lecture outfit in winter, a thin strappy dress is understandably not the first thing you would pull out of the wardrobe, however with smart layering and the onset of spring, it is one of the easiest and most comfortable outfits you can wear. Because we’re using a midi length, cropped leggings worn under the dress will be undetectable while keeping your legs warm. A basic crew-neck long-sleeve or turtleneck sweater can also be worn underneath to add warmth, while in the summer months, you can wear a T-shirt underneath in order to retain the effect of elevation extra layers give the outfit. It will create the same illusion as the monochromatic outfits will. Alternatively, you could layer a chunky knit over the dress, to give the impression that you’re wearing two separates rather than a dress. If you get really cold in lectures, you could layer a sweater under the dress and wear another thicker one on top.
The Boardroom Meeting
To take your slip dress from library to litigation, all you have to do is change what you layer underneath it. Wearing a white button-up under the dress is an unexpected and playful twist on classic workwear. The shirt provides enough coverage for even the strictest offices, while the longer dress keeps things light and airy, literally. If you know a basic button-up is what you plan to wear with the dress, you could pick one up in a brighter colour or print, and for spring you already know florals are a go-to. In terms of aesthetics, we think this look is best finished with a pair of sock-style booties, which are everywhere right now, but for lectures and day-to-day wear, flats are definitely the better choice. We also recommend belting it because, as we’ve mentioned, it always elevates the look and more specifically here, it can prevent the waist from getting lost in the floaty dress.
Don't just take our word for it, unleash your inner Girl Boss and see how you feel.