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Liberty's guide on what to wear to work

The Five Pillars of a Perfect Workwear Wardrobe

Wave goodbye to morning fashion paralysis with Liberty’s guide to what to wear to work, all with practicality, polish and professionalism top of mind
By: George Elliot

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The Five Pillars of a Perfect Workwear Wardrobe

The Five Pillars of a Perfect Workwear Wardrobe

Wave goodbye to morning fashion paralysis with Liberty’s guide to what to wear to work, all with practicality, polish and professionalism top of mind

By: George Elliot

Building a fail-safe work wardrobe is no mean feat. You want a ready-made capsule wardrobe of good-to-go outfit ideas to save you time in the mornings, but you also want pieces that still feel like you. If only you had a straightforward, advice-filled guide to what to wear to work at your disposal. Well, now you do. From carry-all bags and comfy knitwear to slick suiting, effortless dresses and after-hours accessories, follow these five fashion fundamentals to build a workwear rotation that’ll put in just as much hard graft as you.

Timeless Tailoring

Nothing says “I mean business” quite like tailoring, so let your first new workwear wardrobe inductee be a sculptural suit jacket. With sleek lines and strong shoulders, either team with the jacket's matching trousers or skirt for a new season nod to the power suit, or mix with a contrasting yet tonal pair in velvet, silk or a dark wash denim). Now that we're well into winter, a smart coat that’s both chic and chill-cancelling is another necessity. Consider one that's black or neutral; that way it'll compliment pretty much anything you have on underneath.

Read more: beat the chill with the best coats

The Hardworking Work Bag

A work bag needs to be big enough to stow your laptop, lunchbox and Liberty Umbrella, without feeling bulky, restrictive, or out of step with the rest of your outfit. Enter: DeMellier's Vancouver Tote Bag, £435. Crafted from grained leather, it’s durable and suitably roomy. Otherwise, Liberty’s Iphis Embossed Leather Little Marlborough Tote Bag, £495 is perfect for schlepping to and from the office, laptop in tow. Made from leather embossed with our signature Iphis print, this carry-it-all tote could very well be the next It bag.

Read more: invest wisely in the season's best designer handbags

Feel-Good Knitwear

Prep ahead for the inevitable aircon wars with knitwear sturdy enough to ward off the arctic extremes. It's important to go for those that speak to your fine-tuned sense of style, so if you've a less-is-more mindset, keep to jumpers, sweater vests and cardigans that embody the codes of minimalism (neutral shades, statement silhouettes and plush textures). More of a maximalist? Look to those emboldened with vibrant colours and graphic patterns, those with mood-boosting potential that'll put an end to those Monday blues, no problem.

Read more: learn about the psychology of colour in clothing and unlock fashion's mood-boosting potential

A Time-Saving Dress

Among the many reasons why we love to wear dresses to work, there’s this: it’s practically a whole outfit in one, the most snooze-friendly choice of them all. To make your outfits bloom, refresh your dress capsule with a few minis, midis and maxis decked all over in richly coloured botanics – they're perennial and require little (if any) styling input your end. Wearing plenty of denim is also high up on the fashion agenda right now, so invest in a denim dress that's as effortless as your favourite pair of jeans.

Read more: get in on the season's biggest fashion trends

Desk-to-Drinks Jewellery

So far we’ve covered the nine to five necessities, but as there’s every chance you’ll be invited to after hours drinks, it’s wise to keep some special jewellery in your desk drawer to elevate your workwear look when opportunity strikes. First off, ensure you have an oversize pendant necklace or chunky chain to clasp around your neck – supersize yet versatile pieces that'll go with virtually anything you can think of. The same bigger-the-better mentality should also apply to your earring choices, so have a shimmering, shoulder-sweeping pair of drops to hand, too.

Read more: upgrade your outfits with the season's trending jewellery

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