The Art Of Febreze, The Dangers Of Kitten Heels And Other Things You Learn When You Acquire A Work Wardrobe

The art of Febreze. The dangers of kitten heels and other insightful things you learn when you acquire a work wardrobe. Read more on The Debrief.


by Lucy Hancock |
Published on

You’ve got a job. (Hurrah!). Which means you’ve got to acquire a whole new work wardrobe. Which also means you might recognise some of these life lessons that come when you buy a pencil skirt/anything that makes you look vaguely presentable for work, even when you’ve had no sleep:

  • Febreze is your friend

There have never been two more telltale signs of a disorganised employee than one whose head smells of tropical coconut and armpits whiff faintly of ‘aqua mist’. Apart from wine, Batiste and Febreze have become two of the most reliable liquids in your life. A quick spritz or two after you’ve shaken the crumbs from last night’s outfit and you’re good to go. If you’re a regular dirtbag, you’ll know all about the dreaded ‘reinvigoration’ problem. That horrible moment halfway through a meeting when last night’s aromas start to creep through the fibres.

  • **Heels are not

**When you pictured yourself as a sassy businesswoman of the future, you were wearing heels – but it only took one incident in a drain grate to change your mind about that. Anyway, no-one took you seriously when you slid into a presentation on the balls of your feet. If you have eyes, you’ll know that kitten heels are unacceptable and only human rights lawyers can pull off sports trainers and pencil skirt. Look at your feet. If you’re reading this during work hours (naughty), you’re probably wearing the same pair of battered old pumps you wear every day and that’s just fine.

  • Grooming isn’t something that fits into your schedule easily

In between eating, sleeping and watching Made in Chelsea it really is quite boggling where people find time for activities such as ‘exercising’ and ‘reading’ and ‘grooming’. You’re lucky if your legs get a half-asleep shave in the shower, let alone a full-on preening. Pretty much all your attempts at tarting yourself up are done quickly or drunk. The good thing is, there’s a whole office of people ready to critique your attempts at caring for your appearance. Your hastily dyed hair and the fake tan you slapped on just before bed will be talk of the town.

  • Comparisons to the self-appointed ‘smart lady’ will only lead to despair

In every office there will always be a woman so pristine, she looks like she’s been manufactured in Muji. All her clothes are clean and white, and she smells like a Dutch meadow after a rain storm. You are allowed to sniff this woman as she glides past, perve on her smooth brown ankles, admire the high-quality stitching on her Jaeger suit – but for God’s sake, don’t compare yourself to her. This can only end in sadness. This woman is not like you. Her bin is fragrant, her socks always remain in pairs and she sleeps on top of her White Company sheets. Let’s all comfort ourselves with the thought that she is probably very lonely.

  • Pastels won’t stay fresh for long

Not sure who you think you’re kidding with that duck egg jacket, but there are a limited amount of seconds it’s going to stay that way around here. As much as you’ve fantasised about it after a blow dry, you are not Kate Middleton. A pastel garment’s greatest enemy is sauce. The sweet chilli lurking in your lunchtime baguette; that indelible oil from your tuna nicoise – they’re all out to get you. And, not all sauce is edible. There’s round-the-communal-microwave sauce, pen sauce and my absolute all-time fave… tube sauce.

  • **The weather won’t help

**Back in the day, there was only one type of weather. A quick glance outside and you were in the know. Now, there are numerous micro-climates you will need to consider before leaving the house. It might be 30 degrees outside, but you’ll be needing a hat and scarf for the air conditioning at work. Plus, of course, your electronic fan and ice pack for the central line. Oh, and of course, your cycling shorts and windbreaker for the warm gusts on the train platform. Easy!

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Follow Lucy on Twitter @lucyannhancock

Picture: Jason Lloyd-Evans

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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