The cold winter mornings are making it harder and harder to drag ourselves into work. With little to look forward to in bleak January except the next credit card bill, perhaps now is the best time to smarten up your work wardrobe with accessories that will make it a treat to leave your house in the morning.
Now that most of us use our mobile phones to find out the time, wearing a watch has taken on an almost retro feel. However, nothing says business-time quite like a reliable timepiece and this gold plated Skagen from John Lewis is a smart choice for the office, but not too boring to wear with a party outfit.
2. iPad Cover
Many of us balance a busy work schedule, flitting between meetings throughout the day so carrying around all the essentials can be a challenge. Moleskine’s hard-wearing iPad cover is a practical purchase for technology savvy ladies but includes a handy moleskine notebook for those who need to pacify their inner Luddite.
Your work bag is likely to be the one item that you carry with you whatever the weather. It needs to be large, tough but also pretty to look at, since you’ll be seeing so much of it. This tan leather tote bag from Zara is stylish and roomy
4. An ‘office jumper’
The on-going battle in my office for the optimum room temperature sometimes makes me feel like I’m living in a modern day fairy-tale. This is why I have adopted the ‘office jumper’ to help settle these heated disputes. The ‘office jumper’ is a warm and comfortable layer that is added to your existing outfit when the radiator police in your workplace decide that it’s too hot. I prefer an inconspicuous look for when I’m bucking authority so this black grungy jumper from Topshop is the perfect solution. Now, where’s my Nobel Prize?
5. Posh Belt
The trailblazing Guardian Fashion team first introduced me to the idea of posh belts as an easy way to dress-up a plain tailored outfit. The posh belt is essentially jewellery for your mid-section, a stylish metal waist belt that will go over simple outfits. Since the idea hasn’t quite taken off yet, most of the ones available are of the designer variety (read; pricey) but this enamel and chain belt from Warehouse is a good high-street alternative.
6. Smart flat shoes
The myth about businesswomen running all over town in high heels and looking impossibly glamorous needs to die a slow and painful death. This, incidentally, is what trying to run around town in heels actually feels like. Practical Sallys will have already discovered that investing in a smart but comfortable shoe that can take you from a business meeting to late-night cocktails makes life simple. These nude suede pumps from Office fit the bill nicely.
7. Laptop Bag
Confidence is often the best accessory to take with you into the workplace; but confidence alone won’t carry your work laptop up and down the office stairs when the lift is broken. This is where you need a snazzy laptop bag like this red number from Fiorelli to help carry all the essential items in between meetings.
My mother always used to say that if something is worth doing, it's worth overdoing. For me, nothing quite sums up this statement more than carrying the same umbrella as The Queen. Fulton custom-make umbrellas for Her Majesty, which might seem like an extravagance, but whatever your views on the monarchy may be, you have to admit that this lady knows how to put an outfit together. Fulton's slim line umbrellas are dinky enough to fit into small handbags, which come in a range of bright colours and patterns.
The right smart jacket has the power to lift any work ensemble from drab to fab in matter of seconds. Simple blazers are a great staple of any work wardrobe, but there’s no reason that they can’t also be fun. One look at Mary Berry’s sartorial choices will tell you that black is not always the chicest option. This blue ASOS blazer isn’t particularly flashy but the studded details add a little extra edge.
10. Statement necklace
A bold necklace will instantly introduce a new lease of life to a faithful work dress or glam up a simple shirt. This sparkly necklace from Religion is the subtle way to inject some bling into your work outfits.