Work trousers: everybody has them, nobody wants them. Mine stay segregated from the rest of my wardrobe, just so that I’ll never mistake them for real people clothes. I have always had to buy at least part of my own work uniform, which is a blessing and a curse. I got to choose the fit and had some style control (while I hooted with laughter at my friend’s shapeless standard issue uniform), but I also had to pay for it. That’s a tenner I’ll never get back – a lot of Freddos could have been bought with that. Now I’m a sucker for value for money, so let’s see what we can do about taking two pairs of unfortunate work trousers into the real world…
In my dark, dark waitressing days (it would be more accurate to call them dropping and spilling days) I bought a pair of black chinos. Four weeks later when the nightmare finally came to an end, they were promptly shoved to the back of my wardrobe.
Top & trainers- Zara, trousers- New Look
In my first outfit I wanted to combat the business-y feel with more street items. The trainers and the studs on the sweatshirt keep it casual. They also add a bit of colour and fun! It’s a little bit different to just wearing jeans and I kinda like it! The chinos could be revived..
Shirt- Zara, brogues- New Look
This time I thought I’d play more on the workwear feel, adding a shirt and brogues. The key to not looking like you’ve just emerged from a conference on the importance of spanners is the way you wear it. Keep the shirt untucked and the shoes unusual to channel play not work. I love these brogues- for a while New Look had them in 4 different colours and I seriously considered getting a pair of each… it’s a cutout love.
Next up is a pair of tan high-waisted trousers bought for a retail job. This is like the 3rd pair I bought because I got curry stains on the others when Greggs were doing those korma slices. This was the biggest challenge because any shade even close to brown is a write-off in my books. I was motivated to wear them outside work because they are the comfiest trousers known to man. Seriously it’s like having your legs cuddled by a pack of Andrex puppies.
Top- New Look, trousers- H&M, shoes- Clarks
I did feel like the sixth member of the Famous Five in this outfit. That’s problematic for several reasons, the most poignant being that the dog would be higher up the pecking order than me. Nevertheless this is my favourite. The classic striped jumper plays to the vintage feel of the trousers. Having a thin layer that you can tuck into high waisted trousers is great because it defines your shape a lot more, and you can show off a belt. I didn’t want to ruin the retro look with really modern shoes so I went with plain and simple monk shoes (also bought for work long ago).
Shirt- Waven, shoes- Topshop
Being the redundant sixth member of a group of five is all fine and well, but then I decided something more beachy might work with the trousers. I should probably explain that in Scotland beach attire very rarely includes a bikini. Instead, think layers, and rolled up trousers in case you decide to be brave and paddle. The relaxed denim and skaters take the trousers well away from work clothes, and more into a lazy Sunday.
So whaddya know, uniform can be worn outside work! The trick is just to pair it with something you would never wear to work. Use this earth-shattering information to feel less annoyed about having to cut into your precious Cadbury fund to buy trousers.
Later in the week I’ll be talking about my favourite fashion apps, so stay tuned!