If you’re a regular reader of Style Splash you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of Marks & Spencer clothes, so I was delighted when I was asked to select some items from the new range based upon a style milestone – an event or lifestyle change that prompted a new way of dressing. I chose two outfits suitable for a smart work wardrobe.
A key moment in my style evolution was returning to work after having my daughter. I only took nine months off work, but when I returned to my job I wanted to upgrade my wardrobe and create a definite boundary between the clothes I wore at home and those I wore to the office. Having that time off also made me realise that it was time to move on and find a new job; so I followed the advice that you should dress for the job you want rather than the one you have.
I work in TV production where pretty much anything goes in terms of a dress code, but whereas before taking maternity leave I dressed primarily for comfort, returning to work and looking to change jobs meant that it was important for me to look and feel professional, while still expressing my individual style. Since then pieces from M&S have been the mainstay of my working wardrobe, from classic dresses to bold print jackets to versatile and feminine skirts, as well as stylish and comfortable shoes.
Looking through the website, I was somewhat spoilt for choice, but I eventually decided upon a lovely coral and navy lace shift dress (which is so comfortable thanks to the stretch fabric!) and a beautiful flower print top and bold red A-line skirt, which I can mix and match with lots of other items in my wardrobe.
The twist waist lace dress is a classic and subtle take on the floral trend, with coral lace contrasting against a navy under layer. It’s a real wardrobe hero thanks to its flattering cut which clings in all the right places, while the draping at the front skims over the tummy area. It’s an easy pull on style, with just the right amount of stretch, making it one of the most comfortable dresses I own. The cherry on the cake is that it doesn’t crease, and although I haven’t washed it yet, I dare say that it wouldn’t need ironing either, which makes me love it even more! I accessorised with a stretch faux pearl bracelet (also from M&S) and a pair of snakeskin effect leather peep toe court shoes, which are a previous M&S purchase.
Adding a few well cut classic pieces in bright hues and bold prints is a sure fire way to liven up your working wardrobe. This A-line skirt is a really flattering style which would suit all body shapes. The fabric and cut far outweighed my expectations; it’s fully lined and the Buttonsafe™ technology uses heat fused buttons that won’t fall off, which I think is brilliant and yet so simple! I can’t count the times I’ve had buttons fall off nearly new garments, rendering them out of action until I’ve had the time (and the right coloured cotton) to fix them.
The skirt also has pockets which scores extra brownie points from me! It’s available in red and pink – I chose red because it’s a confident, strong colour, so seemed more appropriate for work. However, I’m already planning to buy it in pink too – it’s such good value for £35.
The digital floral print top I paired with the skirt is such a valuable addition to a smart work wardrobe thanks to the mix of strong colours – in fact I picked out several different alternatives to the red skirt on the M&S website, such as these blue culottes, black tapered leg trousers or red wide leg trousers. There is a matching pencil skirt (currently out of stock on the website) but I opted to team the top with a block colour for added versatility. I chose a pair of red suede shoes to finish off the outfit, which I bought from M&S a couple of years ago (similar style here).
I’m absolutely over the moon with these new additions to my work wardrobe…I’m sure I’ll be wearing them for years to come!
Lace shift dress, pearl bracelet, red skirt and digital floral print top were gifted items.