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Update your work wardrobe

Emma Campbell trawls the high street for fashion fit for the office

Published on January 26th 2011.


Update your work wardrobe

It’s only the tail end of January, yet Christmas and New Year celebrations seem so far away. The January blues had no problem coming back and settling in. The alarm is back to being set for 7am, and my diary - once full of exciting gatherings - is now blank; no plans, no pennies.

The rails of skinny jeans and uber-tight fitted trousers that take up 50 per cent of my wardrobe are no longer ‘what’s hot’ this season – it’s all about the tapered leg, a more ‘flowing’ silhouette with a 70s influence

It didn’t get any more exciting having a look at my work-wear wardrobe on that first Monday morning back to work. I had been so used to slipping on my sparkly numbers that my eyes did not like the rows of dull shirts and pencil skirts before me. I decided there and then to kick in with my New Year’s resolution; update my work wardrobe.

If you look into trends for 2011, there are some really refreshing styles that I know will really update my Monday to Friday wardrobe. My favorite one at present has got to be the wide-leg trouser trend. The rails of skinny jeans and uber-tight fitted trousers that take up 50 per cent of my wardrobe are no longer ‘what’s hot’ this season – it’s all about the tapered leg, a more ‘flowing’ silhouette with a 70s influence. These trousers look great paired with high heeled shoes to add some height to this look. Trousers with a wide-leg finish teamed with flat shoes can sometimes swamp your figure slightly, so try to stay away from the flats and embrace the heels. High street retailers Topshop and Matalan currently have a brilliant collection, at reasonable prices.

Matalan Black Wide Leg Trousers £14

Another big trend to see us through a fashionable 2011 is lace and crochet. I know the thoughts of stepping out in a little lacey top might seem a bit daring right now, but if you pick the right garments and incorporate lace into your work wear, you will be bang on trend. River Island have got some lovely new stock in at the moment, a pretty beige lace insert blouse caught my eye the other day and it will look fabulous teamed with my new wide-leg trousers.

River Island lace blouse £29.99

They have also brought out a beautiful cream lace and satin biker jacket, with a tiered bottom and asymmetric zip fastening. I have never integrated lace with my outerwear before, but it’s definitely going to be big this year so I think this jacket is going to be on my wish list.

Dorothy Perkins has also embraced the lace trend into their new season stock, with a collection of lace detailing blouses and dresses for a feminine work look. With the nude colour remaining a big hit for this year, their petite nude lace detail blouse is stylish yet professional for a day at my desk. To finish off my new work wear look, I figured my shoe collection needed updating too. Nothing can make me feel any better than walking into my office, strutting around in a new pair of stylish shoes. So if were talking about 2011 style, then were talking about clogs. Clogs are going to be everywhere this year, and although the word ‘clogs’ makes me think of chunky, awkward, unflattering shoes, there are actually some really nice designs newly available in the stores.

Selfridges Exchange Square has an amazing array of clogs on display, in all beautiful shapes and sizes. The ‘Barney’ shoe, from KG by Kurt Geiger features a clog style shoe with a sling-back detail. I also got a bit carried away with the clog collection and was tempted by Carvela’s ‘Shout’ boot, which is maybe a clog style shoe I’d consider more so for outside of work…

Emma runs Manchester fashion blog www.whatemmadid.com,winner of the Cosmpolitan Best New Fashion Blogger Awards 2010. She is also the resident Friday blogger for fashion retailer Matalan.

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