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10 incredible 'back to work' outfit ideas

Give your workwear an autumnal refresh

Office Outfit Ideas
Natalie Salmon
Natalie SalmonFashion Digital Editor
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Autumn brings with it a ‘taking care of business’ mentality. The falling leaves and crisp air of September make us think of our ‘back to school’ academic years… and of course the twilight of summer means the end of long-distance travels and the reluctant packing of our bikinis and sarongs.

For those of us who aren’t lucky enough to pursue a digital nomadic existence,  and an endless summer, heading back into offices means there is one thing is on our wishlist: refreshed workwear. If you thought the pandemic would mean that the need for office-appropriate outfits was gone, think again. According to the Office for National Statistics, the percentage of people working exclusively from home has fallen from 22% to 14%.

While we may be missing summer before it even feels like it has begun, it also means that we can look forward to cable knits, cosy cashmeres and sumptuous autumn-appropriate textures such as corduroys and luxe velvets. Our favourite influencers and street style icons offer plenty of inspiration in that department, combining style and functionality.

Here are the outfits we are pining after this season:

The Midi Skirt

Giovanna Battaglia© Christian Vierig
Giovanna Battaglia

Style icon Giovanna Battaglia wearing an olive knit and Fendi skirt outside Max Mara during Milan Fashion Week in 2017. A statement midi skirt is anything but frumpy and essential for a modest-leaning workplace. The shorter the days, the longer the hemlines. 

The Jeans

Kelsey Merritt© Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin
Kelsey Merritt

Crisp straight leg jeans (without rips of course), can work in more relaxed office environments. Team it with ballet flats and structured outerwear for a sharp look that's meeting-ready. 

The Skirt Suit

Elsa Hosk© Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin
Elsa Hosk

The key to reducing the formality of a skirt suit is in the footwear. Pair it with some weird-girl Mary Janes, and opt for surprising colour palettes such as pastels or cream. Jackie-O would be proud. 

The Knit Co-Ord 

Lisa Aiken© Edward Berthelot
Lisa Aiken

A cosy co-ord, paired with hardware in the form of jewellery is feminine yet has an ultra-sophisticated edge. Dress is down with trainers or flats in the summer and dress it up with heeled boots for winter.

The Tweed Blazer

Julia Haghjoo© Raimonda Kulikauskiene
Julia Haghjoo

The tweed jacket, made famous by Coco Chanel, is a perennial classic. Paring a classic tweed with a striped blouse and coordinating flared trousers turns its from prim and proper to cool-girl in an instant, and is still of course elegant enough for work. 

The Suit

A Milan Fashion Week guest© Edward Berthelot
A Milan Fashion Week guest

Update your tailoring with refreshing patterns; styled with a white shirt and luxe accessories, such as tonal coordinating shoes, will ensure the outfit is  workplace appropriate while not compromising on personal style. 

The Luxe Knit

A Fashion Week guest© Edward Berthelot
A Fashion Week guest

Who says jumpers are too schlubby for work? A brown oversized turtleneck matched with tonal separates, creates a streamlined look. Make sure your knits are bobble free with a garment shaver. 

The Oversized Blazer

Alexandra Pereira© Edward Berthelot
Alexandra Pereira

As far as fashion girlies are concerned, bigger is better when it comes to blazers. When wearing it for the office wide leg trousers are comfortable, yet chic and a thin knit or shirt underneath always works well. If your industry is less formal, you can team with high-tops or retro walks to leave a sharp yet casual impression. 

The White Shirt

Emilie Joseph© Edward Berthelot
Emilie Joseph

Is any item in our wardrobes as classic and versatile as a white shirt? Its ability to transform even the most casual of trousers (such as Emilie Joseph's Adidas joggers) into an ideal fit for the office is astounding. When wearing with casual, up the style game in dressy shoes or courts.

The Statement Blouse

Leonie Hanne© Edward Berthelot
Leonie Hanne

Donning a silky lustrous blouse with sleeves, is probably an easy way to ensure a polished look. Wear it with matching tonal ladylike separates or dress it down with casual trousers.

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