What To Wear To Work When You Don’t Have To Look Dreary And Corporate

Because the lack of strict dress codes these days is confusing, right? Photographs by Viktor Vauthier


by Pandora Sykes |
Published on

Do you live to work, or work to live? No judgement, just a query. 'Cos either way, you're going to need some 'werk' clothes. The thing is, many places no longer have strict dress codes. You might well be reading this while wearing frayed denim, tartan socks and scuzzy old trainers, just like we are, writing. Which is great and everything – pinstripe is a hard look to pull off, after all – but it does make deciding what to wear when you stumble out of bed harder. Especially when you've snoozed that alarm six times.

So here's a few alternative work looks for you to run around in this summer. Sure, there isn't a court shoe in sight, but you'll still look pulled together and professional. Without looking like you've tried too hard.

Layer a split skirt and a camisole over a shirt dress

For a new take on summer layers, let the tails of a shirt dress poke out the bottom of a mini-skirt and layer a strappy top over the top. The preppy conservatism of a pale blue chambray shirt contrasts nicely with the relative bonkers-ness of a fleecy, wrap-around skirt.


Dalmatian 90s Wrap Skirt, £38, Isolated Heroes at ASOS Marketplace, Black Silk Camisole, £78, Bimba Y Lola, Cotton Shirt, £14.99, H&M, Hi Pool Slide Sandals, £22, Topshop and Starlet Satchel in White Textured Leather, £324, Angel Jackson


'Maryse' Wrap Skirt, £237.39 J Brand at Farfetch, Day Vidar Silk Lace Camisole, £40 DAY Birger Et Mikkelsen at My Wardrobe, Holly Silver Velcro Sandal, £135 Whistles and 50's Frame Clutch, £26 Warehouse

Pink and grey are little known bedfellows

A low-back, tight midi-dress looks surprisingly chic when paired with an oversized grey duster coat. And tractor-soled white shoes give everything that fierce '90s vibe that's enduringly good right now. If you're worried about not looking work appropriate enough, just layer a shirt underneath the cami dress and whip off when home time hits.


Run On Love Powdered Pink Midi Dress, £42, Oh My Love, Long Line Throw On Dogtooth Duster, £79, Topshop, Destroyer Cleated Ankle Strap Shoe, £33, Office and Ghost Sunglasses, £18, Jeepers Peepers


Wallis Flatform Sandals, £40, Topshop, Long A-Line Coat, £150, COS, Bella Dress, £249, Hobbs and Roundabout Round-Frame Acetate Sunglasses, £60, LE SPECS + CRAIG & KARLat Net-a-Porter

**Funk up culottes and a sweater **

Emoji clothing may be here in force but, if it's too kitsch for you, stick to a block colour and some graphic print shorts. A sassy net vest layered underneath, poking out, hints at something like netball mixed with S&M. A subtle influence to counteract the safety of a sweater and culottes.


Geometric Floral Shorts, £260, See by Chloe at MATCHESFASHION.COM, Talise Top, £50, Supertrash, Smiley Face Sequin Sweater, £265, Markus Lupfer at Liberty London, NIA Platforms, £99, Kurt Geiger and Thela Halo Backpack, £555, Meli Melo


Lara "Acid Yellow" Sweater, £57, Pepe Jeans at Jeans Store, Lona Flatform, £148, Jeffrey Campbell at Free People, Printed Culottes, £32, River Island at ASOS and Amelia Rucksack, £149, Jigsaw

Model: Grace Small at Elite London

Stylist: Sophie Ferguson-Jones

Hair & Make-Up: Lucy Joan Pearson

Art Direction: Anna Jay

Words: Pandora Sykes

Follow Pandora on Twitter @pinsykes

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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