Not working in a smart environment means that I don't realistically need my wardrobe to have a large area designated for smart items. However, there is a still a few staple items that I like to have in my wardrobe just in case the occasion does arise. I'm not a lover of super traditional smart attire as I find it really restrictive and quite dull. But these 5 pieces are so versatile and can be used in so many different outfit combinations whilst still meeting that sophisticated brief.
Shirts I find often can be difficult to style and I'm not a huge lover of blouses on my body either. But for a fail safe smart top that can be worn alone or underneath jumpers an oxford shirt has been a staple in my wardrobe for years. There are so many things that you can style with a shirt making it an incredibly versatile piece and it's suitable for every season in the UK too. You can find them at a number of price points but I've always found that the best fit, colour range and value for money is at Uniqlo. The only problem is that they don't have a lot of stores in the UK which makes trying on difficult.
There are a huge array of dresses that fit into the smart category but my favourite has always been the shift dress. I also think they're one of the most universally flattering styles on most body shapes and sizes. As they're so simple in their cut and tailoring and they can be styled a number of different ways with a huge array of accessories. They're also a piece that can be transitioned all year round which is key for any good wardrobe staple as it means you don't have to retire it for seasons at a time. They can also be worn day to day as well as on smarter occasions.
Smart trousers that are flattering are something I find difficult to come by. They can easily be frumpy, ill-fitting or be incredibly ageing. The skinny cigarette style of tailoring is a great one if you like your wardrobe pieces to have a little more shape and style. They're something that can be transitioned into an incredibly smart ensemble or be dressed down into a more casual outfit. So whether they take place in the smarter side of your wardrobe or are more for everyday wear they're a great piece to have.
If shirts or blouses aren't really your thing then a well fitting Breton is a lovely piece to own. Often they can be seen as a more a casual item but in combination with the right pieces they can look incredibly chic. One of the key aspects of a Breton being a smarter piece is the cut. If they're really oversized than they tend to look more casual. But if they're a little more fitted and form fitting they're an awesome smart wardrobe addition.
If you're a regular reader of anything I write that's style related you will probably know that the only bag I tend to carry is a tote bag or a small satchel bag. A tote bag is perfect whether you work in an office or just need a larger bag because they can fit in a laptop and a whole bunch of other accessories in with ease. I've always found a tote to be the cheapest way to have a smart looking bag as they're so simple in terms of design and can be found at so many different price points.