Work wardrobe staples that are a little brit different!

Greetings BusiChic!

We’ve had a few rather fashion-trend-led looks on the blog of late so now it’s back to looking at classic, timeless workwear.

Now long-time readers will know how much I like classic work wear. Whether it’s a Little Black Dress, great pair of work shoes or The Perfect Work Trouser; I get excited because having great quality core basics that you love makes it so much easier to get dressed for work. Not to mention how much more confident you feel when you can easily pull together looks that you feel great in. If you are organised, you can create a matrix to help you easily mix and match the core basics and jazz things up with accessories. I find that a ratio of three tops to two bottoms plus a cardigan/blazer/trench coat can create at least six different outfits for the office. My personal styling clients among you will know how one of the first things I do after auditing and sorting a wardrobe is define these key pieces.

Are you wondering whether you have ’em?

UK brand Boden invited me to experience their range and I thought it was the perfect way to start illustrating a basic work wardrobe set up for Spring/Summer. The British retailer has set up an online shop for Australian customers and is full of preppy takes on classic workwear. This means modest tops and hemlines that are work-appropriate but available in fashionable prints, colours and fabrics so that you can put your own stamp on things.

The Boden Outfit Maker

The Boden online store has a very fun feature that also facilitates financial transparency. Have you ever grabbed a few items in a store and headed to the change room and then started mentally adding up all of the items that you like? Boden makes it easy through the Outfit Maker function where you can dress a model and the price of each item is tallied in a total just above her head!

boden clothing outfit maker B1

The Boden Outfit Maker allows customers to dress a model and tallies the total cost of the outfit just above her head.

boden clothing outfit maker B1 add shoes

See how the outfit and price total have updated after I add some shoes…

boden clothing outfit maker 2

…add a bag…

boden clothing outfit maker 2 open close options

Wondering what the outfit would look like if the cardigan was open? Simply hover over the image and select the radio buttons next to the item to open and close the cardigan! This same option is available to tuck and untuck tops – so clever!

boden clothing outfit maker B1 add bag

And there you have it, one full work outfit!

boden clothing outfit maker 2 colour change

Boden have staple items in lots of different colours. Change the colour of the cardigan by: 1. Hovering over the outfit you’ve created. 2. Clicking on “cardigan” and then 3. Clicking on a colour you wish to see on your model!

So. Much. Fun. A really great way to experiment with work looks as you play with your own work wear style!

The Boden Capsule work wardrobe

Here is a basic guide to creating your very first work wardrobe – great for new starters as you get working on accumulating some pay checks!

  1. 1x formal work top. I chose the Textured Silk Blouse. FYI you will need a camisole for this (the blouse is sheer) and I’ve since found that it is a little long in the sleeve for me and hope that Boden soon re-work in their Petites range. That said it’s still a beautiful item that I’ve easily layered under things or simply rolled up the sleeves. If you’re not short like me, you should be fine!
  2. 1x dressy but easy-to-move-in work top. I chose the Ravello top in leopard print which strikes me as being the perfect kind of staple top for Spring/Summer.
  3. 1x cardigan. Unless you work in a very formal Corporate dresscode, you can get away without a blazer. I chose the Cropped Cashmere Cardigan in Citrine.
  4. 1x pencil skirt. I chose the Printed Cotton Skirt in an abstract leopard print that matches the top at 2.
  5. 1x work trousers. Boden sent me the Chelsea Trouser.
  6. 1x work bag. You need something structured, that can fit in the essentials plus some work documents. The Draycott Bag is perfect for this.
  7. 1x shoes. Formal and that you can walk in. If aren’t accustomed to heels, start with a polished flat. Pointed flats look a little bit more formal than a round toe; I chose the Fashion Pointed Pump in Tan Leopard but if they were still available in my size, I would have loved the pump in Beetroot Patent.

If you like you can also add a belt, stud earrings and trench coat. However based on the above 7 items (8 as you will need to add a camisole for the blouse!), you can get at least six different looks which means that you can start each work week with a *new* look that wasn’t seen the week before!

[show_shopthepost_widget id=”381435″]

Each of these pieces are in great fabrics and timeless styles meaning that you’ll get lots of wear over the course of your career. I found that I quickly started mixing and matching Boden clothing into my existing work wardrobe:

Boden preppy cropped cashmere cardigan

Perfect for a start of the week look! A near head-to-toe Boden work outfit.

Boden cropped cashmere cardigan

I’m loving the cropped cashmere cardigan that is SO soft to touch! It folds up perfectly in my bag and has quickly made the transition to my out-of-office outfits as well. It’s the perfect thing to have handy for when the evening gets a bit more chilly. It comes in a wide range of colours and I picked this bright one just to show how wide the range is. If you are new to cashmere and cardigans, opt for timeless shades in black, caramel or navy.


Boden preppy classic style for work

Incorporating Boden pieces into my existing workwear. See how the blouse, bag and shoes are playful but still formal enough for work? Love.

Boden textured silk blouse

The textured silk blouse is just the thing for non-ironers. I like to handwash and hang to dry which saves on drycleaning bills – woo!

Boden leopard print pointed toe flats

Fashion pointed pumps look great with a cropped pair of pants. I like that this style comes in a number of different colourways and fabrics each season so that you can easily update your look. They also look great with jeans on Casual Fridays or the weekend!

Boden Draycott Bag for work

Could this be the PERFECT work bag? It’s relatively lightweight, made out of leather (looks the quality) and fits EVERYTHING while maintaining its structure. Also comes with an over-the-body strap.

Boden bag interior

The lining of the Boden Draycott bags pays homage to the brand’s British heritage – such a delight to see when using the bag. Also note how the bag is just the right size for carrying a heap of things – it opens wide so that you can easily find what you need.

Would you like to see how I’ve styled the other pieces?

If I had to pick, I would say that my favourite pieces are the Draycott bag and the Cropped Cashmere Cardigan. The cardigan is seriously such a delight – I think that everyone needs this. While our days are getting warmer, it still gets a little chilly here at night in Melbourne which is when the cardigan is such a soothing treat to throw on. And I must say that I’m also really enjoying the Ravello top and Cotton skirt too!

Disclaimer: This post features affiliate links to help you re-create these looks. If you purchase via an affiliate link, I receive a commission that goes towards the operations of this blog. And for that, I thank you!

[show_shopthepost_widget id=”381435″]

Leave a Comment


Facebook Like Box provided by technology news