The Stylist guide to what to wear to work in 2019

Posted by
Harriet Davey
Street style workwear

Looking for a smart back to work wardrobe? We’ve rounded up the best trousers, blazers, women’s suits, smart shirts and blouses for modern office power dressing.

It’s not unusual to buy an outfit specifically for a particular setting, or for a certain date in your diary.

We can often spend weeks choosing the right dress for a big night out, and months mulling over what to wear to our best friend’s wedding. Then there’s the question of how to dress at a job interview. Generally speaking, interview outfits should be tailored to the type of company you’re applying to – but it’s always best to go smarter than you’d usually dress.

Once you’ve secured said job, it’s important to continue to dress in a way that makes you feel professional, comfortable and self-assured. Leaving the house in a confidence-boosting outfit can make you feel capable of taking on the world – and confidence is an all-important element in getting that promotion you’ve been aiming for.

So with that in mind, here are three simple power dressing tricks to help you put your best foot forward at work. 

1. The power suit

Make a statement in a colour-block trouser suit and team with this season’s hottest animal print: python     

If you work in an office and want to wear a suit, long gone are the days where you had to stick to a simple black or grey option. This season, suits are all about making a statement. We’re talking cord textures, checked and animal prints and powerful punchy hues.

The best part is that you can wear the trousers and blazer as separates to enhance other outfits too – the perfect capsule wardrobe additions. You’ll end up getting so much wear out of your new suit that it’ll stretch far beyond strictly workwear. 

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Wear your suit jacket over a T-shirt, blouse or high neck top, and flats, heels or boots on your feet. Whatever you choose, the suit will keep you looking smart and show your colleagues you’re prepared to wear the trousers.

Find the best women’s suit jackets and trousers below.

& Other Stories oversized double breasted blazer

Workwear: & Other Stories blazer

& Other Stories, £84

& Other Stories belted trousers

Workwear: & Other Stories belted trousers

& Other Stories, £79

Tibi windowpane check blazer

Workwear: Tibi suit

Tibi, £695 at Matches Fashion

Tibi windowpane check trousers

Workwear: Tibi trousers

Roland Mouret, £795

2. The silky slip skirt

Clash with different bright hues to show extra confidence     

The usual workwear attire of the pencil skirt has been swapped for a floaty, silky slip instead. You’ve most likely seen Topshop’s rust and brown slips on Instagram: these sold out within hours, got restocked and have since sold out again in all sizes. 

The power of the slip is clear, and it’ll go with anything from blazers and fine knits to the crisp white shirt. There’s something luxurious about putting on silky fabrics that makes us feel instantly happy, and it’s bound to put a spring in your step ready for that promotion chat. 

Vanessa Bruno Marie silk-crepe midi skirt

Workwear: Vanessa Bruno slip skirt

Vanessa Bruno, £240

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Warehouse satin bias midi skirt 

Workwear: Warehouse slip skirt

Warehouse, £29 

3. The roll neck

Layer a printed roll neck underneath a cardigan for a fresh spin. 

We would like to introduce you to the hardest working fashion piece you probably already own: the roll neck - or turtle if you’re feeling retro.

Not only is it an extra layer that everyone needs come the chillier months, it also adds that certain je ne suis quoi to any look. Add it under a jumpsuit or cardigan, or team underneath a dress or blazer. Audrey Hepburn was a firm fan of the high neck top, and it’s the perfect level of smart casual we’ve been looking for. 

COS roll neck jumper

Workwear: COS roll neck

COS, £59

Staud contrast turtleneck top

Workwear: Staud roll neck top

Staud, £160

4. The belted shirt dress

Street style shirt dress

Layer your crisp shirt dress over another shirt for a cool way to layer that’ll beat the winter (and office air con) chill

We all know that a shirt is a simple step to looking smart. But as it gets colder, lengths get longer – so this season, it’s all about the shirt dress. Whether you go printed, bright or neutral, just make sure it’s belted. There’s something about belting up that makes your posture better and your wardrobe look instantly more professional.

Layer a midi style shirt dress over sleek knee high boots, or opt for a mini and wear over tailored trousers. Trust us, it works.

Cefinn belted shirt dress

Workwear: Cefinn belted dress

Cefinn, £360 at Matches Fashion

Richard Allen x H&M shirt dress

Workwear: Richard Allen x H&M shirt dress

Mango, £24.99

Images: Getty


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Harriet Davey

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