Ten workwear essentials: dressing for the menopause with Evey Amery Kurlander
Hi I'm Evey, fashion agent and television presenter on QVC, specialising in styling ladies over forty and I'm delighted to sit on Become's panel of experts.
‘Dress for the job you want, not for the one you have’
There are many different workplaces nowadays. Home, the office, or perhaps you’re on the go and travelling (which is the case for me). Wherever we work from, it’s important that our wardrobes cater for our ever-evolving styles and body shapes, whilst letting us retain some individual style and personality. This is particularly important in the menopause when our bodies are going through so many different changes.
I like to look for investment pieces as opposed to fast fashion. Clothes that allow some versatility, from day through to evening, that can be worn as both office wear and occasion wear, as well as working across the seasons. Not a lot to ask, dare I say! Here are some ideas and style tips for creating a working wardrobe that can really take you from desk to dinner, even on your most challenging of days.
A Workwear Saviour – The Capsule Wardrobe
Most stylists at some time or another will talk about a Capsule Wardrobe. The term was coined by Susie Faux, who launched her own London boutique in the 1970’s called ‘Wardrobe’. According to Faux, a Capsule Wardrobe is a collection of a few essential items that never date, all of which can be augmented with seasonal pieces. It’s a great way to build up your perfect workwear collection and here are ten great pieces to start you off.Tailored trousers
A pair of black tailored trousers covers all wardrobe needs, for the office, leisure, day and evening wear. Team with shirts, either printed or plain, or layer with your vest top from Become. Complete the look with a blazer for a stylish outfit that works all day long.
Invest in a well cut and slightly tailored blazer. This style is timeless and over the years I have accumulated a number of them, worn year in and out, which never fail to deliver a completed outfit. Blazers can be worn with pretty much anything; skirts, maxi-dresses, jeans and faux-leather or suede skinny trousers too. Look for a blazer that is ideally lined, allows movement in your arms and across your back and hits about mid-thigh.
I do a love a white shirt. It has to be very white in colour, not loose, and well fitted. This is key. Having dart details in your shirt can also give a flattering look. Style your shirts with jeans, culottes or cigarette-style trousers, and of course layer over your vest top should you desire.
When buying a dress, consider a small sleeve to cover the upper arms, and for the dress length to hit just below the knees. I would opt for a more fitted dress, which is figure flattering. Alternatively wrap-style dresses contour the silhouette beautifully and can showcase waists and décolleté areas.
Midi or maxi, both are acceptable in the office. This could be your opportunity to try printed shirts or blouses, teamed with a neutral block-colour skirt. I do love pencil skirts too, they are very feminine, sassy and classy too, also they're fabulous with a white shirt when worn with heels and opaque tights.
A power jacket
A peplum jacket can create a fabulous waistline and really does draw the eye in. Or a biker jacket is a statement style that can be worn over dresses, jumpsuits, jeans and skirts. Depending on your preference, a jacket is perfect for giving a stylish look that will also reflect your individual personality – power dressing at its best.
A coat will always complete an outfit. I love the iconic trench coat as it never goes out of fashion. My rule of thumb when wearing coats over dresses is that the length of the coat or outerwear should always cover, or be a tad longer than the length of the dress underneath. Choose neutral colours to maximise wear across your wardrobe, for example soft beige or tan, navy and classic black.
The jumpsuit has been an underestimated style for so long but it’s now a coveted look by many. Easy-going and infinitely versatile, you'll always look put together when wearing one. I favour a jumpsuit when I’m time-short in the morning and need an instant look, head to toe. For me, it's preferable to have one that I can step into. If you opt for a zip-fastening closure at the back, you’ll need to be able to open and close it by yourself, or you may well end up looking like a budding contortionist when trying to do it up!
I’ve searched high and low for the perfect pair of jeans. When I find a good fit, I tend to stay loyal. Nowadays, denim is an acceptable fabric in many workplaces. Keep the look effortless and chic by wearing a statement blouse or shirt under a jacket. Try higher waisted jeans to give a smoother contour of your body. Many jeans nowadays have wider waistbands, using high-tech fabrics to smooth and shape your waistline and bottom, without having to compromise on style or comfort.
Become Vests have found a permanent place in my wardrobe as they’re useful for sleepwear, athleisure, office wear and evening wear too. For me, it’s the length of the vest, together with the fine weight of the fabric and the amazing fit that allows me to style the vest in many ways. They’re perfect for layering, will keep you cool and stylish throughout the year, and will work well with all the pieces in your Capsule Wardrobe.
I do hope that September’s Blog has given you some food for thought for your workwear wardrobe this Autumn. I’d be delighted to hear from you should you wish to chat about office wear or styling tips.
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