It’s that time of year when post-uni graduates feel the steep drop in temperature and the uneasy realisation that the student days are over and it’s time to get a job.

One of the difficulties in this student to graduate transition is the image you need to portray in the workplace, something that says more ‘i’m a professional go-getter’, less ‘I spent the majority of my money on booze at uni.

Trial and error is the only way I learnt how to dress, so here are a few key things to think about so you don’t make the same embarrassing mistakes that I made. First impressions are everything.

    When you start a new job and the office attire is smart-casual.

Despite the word casual appearing, you still have to take a bit of care with your wardrobe choices. Jeans are ok depending on the office, just make sure you invest in some that are dark-blue or black and of course, without holes. Head to Cheap Monday, Topshop or J Brand if you have a little more dollar to spend.

Even better, the cigarette pant looks chic and professional and gives the possibility of adding some much needed colour into your work outfit. Head to Zara, Asos and Next for vibrant prints and pair with some killer stilettos.

    What’s in

Sometimes, the clothes that are in fashion don’t always translate to the office. For instance, the material of this season, leather, is a tricky element to introduce to the workplace. I once wore a leather skirt to the witty reaction from my boss that he wished he had worn his chaps. Note, there is a fine line between professional graduate and professional S&M madame. If you are unsure about skirts, always go for a longer length and something with structure.

    What to wear on top

Jeans tick the casual box, and combined with shirts give it a polished look for the office. Shirts are a versatile piece that can immediately pull your outfit together. Fortunately we are all in luck as they are a staple piece in all high-street stores at the moment. Uniqlo has a wide range of classic shirts to pair with bright jumpers and chunky necklaces or head to Zara for printed blouse-type shirts that are a little more ladylike.


Most days you’ll wake up way earlier than you even thought possible and on those days, you need some safe-bet pieces to pull together quickly. Blazers are perfect for this. Tuxedo style jackets add a masculine finish that looks sleek or go for the Boucle jacket to add some glamour a la Chanel.

    Finishing touch

A large hold-all bag is perfect for work so you can carry your notes/laptop and your necessary daily supplies (make-up, notepad, perfume - you know the deal). The Cambridge satchel gives plenty of room and is a reminder of the uni days that already seem so distant. Personally, I always head to Zara for the best bags on the high-street. Beware though, even your bag can make an impression. Working in a corporate office, my studded Zara number gave me the name Biker chick which isn’t something i’m that keen to hold on to.