What you can (and can’t) wear to work


Gone are the days of having to wear a power grey or black suit with a white shirt, stockings and court shoes to work, but that doesn't mean you should look super casual or sloppy.

Giving guidelines on what is and isn’t appropriate workwear can be a little tricky, as they can dramatically vary from industry to industry and company to company. Bearing that in mind, here are some basic guidelines that will relate to most working environments.

1.    Know when trend pieces are appropriate

Try one trend at a time, especially if you work in a conservative work space like a law firm. For example, it might be on trend to wear your Adidas sneakers with a full skirt and cropped blouse, but this simply won't be formal enough in this environment.

Rather try to modernise a classic workwear look. For example, pair flatforms or heels, a pair of paperbag-waist black trousers, and a cropped pastel top long enough to cover your stomach with a bright lipstick and a low pony.

2.    Avoid showing too much skin

This doesn’t mean you have to cover everything up, but you do need to balance the amount of skin you show at once. For example, if you wear a short skirt, balance it with a flared sleeve peasant top instead of low cut blouse. If you opt for a sleeveless top pair it with a tailored pair of trousers or a high-waisted flare or denim skirt.

Local SA fashionista Lulama Wolf rocks the denim/crisp shirt look:

READ: 10 bra hacks every woman should know 

3.    Avoid wearing clothing that is overly casual, even on casual day

For example, avoid wearing strappy or off the shoulder tops that reveal bra straps. Rather wear a strapless bra or opt for a classic white shirt with a casual bottom, like a nice pair of charcoal skinnies or black shorts. Instead of wearing flip flops, wear Birkenstocks or a nice pair of leather sandals that look casual, yet still neat and sophisticated.

We love this look seen on model Emma Jane Menteath:

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