Working 9 to 5

Inside the office of three fashion creatives

Officewear - Back to school

We hate to break it to you, but come September you’re tousled hair and sandals just won’t cut it for the office. Time for our annual reinvention. From what to throw on when you’re running late to nailing that Pinterest-worthy desk, three fashion insiders share how they go ‘back-to-school’ in style. You might even make it in for 9am.

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THE STUDENT: Lily Kate of jolihouse.com

On her capsule working wardrobe

Currently coveting…
Velvet. I’ll be keeping my eye out for a well cut pair of high waisted jeans, and maybe a skirt or two. It’s not overly dressy, but is just that bit different for when denim gets boring. I’m loving the dusky pinks and purples trend too, so lots of plum and raspberry.

Go-to office look…
If I had to label my style of dressing, I’d go for preppy. I’m all about the white shirts, denim and flashes of red! Jack Wills is my go-to for a perfect mix of girly and sporty pieces.

The day to night dilemma…
A denim midi skirt: with a tee and trainers it looks casual cool, and can easily be amped up with a pair of heels. Oh and a matte lipstick – always good for an instant pick me up!

To carry her life…
A small black tassel bag that works equally well for day and night. It’s pretty tiny, but I manage to fit my phone, camera, small purse, hair grips, 5 lipsticks… and many other miscellaneous things in there. 

On nailing student life

The dream space…
Lots of white with splashes of colour. Pinterest brought to life, basically! I love having a really comfy chair, and enough desk space to spread out ALL my stuff. It takes many sheets of paper and textbooks to study, right? Always nice to have a fresh scented candle burning too – makes the whole space just feel more sophisticated, if nothing else.

On the desk…
At the minute, a stash of neckerchiefs. They just seem to spruce up any boring outfit without looking too dressed up – sometimes jewellery can be a bit much for every day, and that’s where the humble bandana comes in!

Chasing her goals…
Early mornings! I’m a bit of a broken record with this one, but I seriously can’t recommend early starts enough for getting the most out of your day. In terms of studying, I’d say never let it 100% take over your life. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and feel like you should turn down time with your friends and family, but giving up a social life isn’t worth it! The time off does you more good than harm. 

In the lunch box…
Lots of fruit! Plus an actual lunch too, of course, but I usually take 3 or 4 pieces of fruit with me too. Plus a hearty salad with more fruit and veg, couscous, pesto (always pesto), nuts, and whatever else I fancy that day. 

On that elusive work-life balance

Workout of choice…
Boxing! Most definitely. I started going to box-fitness classes a few months ago and I’m hooked – pardon the pun. After a day of studying the last thing you want is a tedious, boring workout, so for that reason I steer well clear of the gym cardio machines.

Post-work pick me up…
As a blogger myself this probably sounds really obvious, but I always turn to other blogs for inspiration. Sometimes I don’t even realise I’m looking for it – a post might come up in my feed and I’ll feel super inspired after reading it. Not to say a good book can’t do wonders for the mindset too!

Staying sane…
If the weather’s decent then getting outdoors for a run can be really refreshing after a day cooped up inside, although I have been known to jog in the pouring down rain, too! It’s easy to say ‘I don’t have time to work out’ during exam season especially, and it’s true that you shouldn’t push yourself to exhaustion when the number one priority should be studying. But to be honest, I find exercise does more for my head than for my body! It’s definitely worthwhile making a little bit of time to hit the gym – you’ll feel so much better afterwards.

Follow Lily Kate’s style: @lilykatefrance

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THE POST GRAD: Chloe of oh-chlo.com

On her capsule working wardrobe

Currently coveting… 
I’m really loving the minimal look at the moment, with simple colours and statement sleeves to add a bit of edge. I think that vibe will transition into my AW16 work wardrobe, for sure. I love the classic feel that Sandro offers, and Kurt Geiger shoes are just perfection. Comfort and beauty in one. I always think a bag says a lot about a person though, so I'd head to Coach, Mulberry or Chloe. It’s always been my dream to own a Chloe bag, and I should really get priority since that’s my name. Don’t you think?

Go-to office look…
I love wearing simple jeans and an elegant top to work. Black wash denim provides a beautifully smart base to experiment with more playful accessories. It’s definitely my go-to choice for the office. Burberry must be one of the must have designers in your wardrobe, and for a classy but chic workwear wardrobe, I am recommending shopping in the Village for amazing prices.

The day-to-night dilemma…
You can’t beat an off-the-shoulder top paired with jeans or a cute midi skirt and heels - it's the perfect transitional piece for the evening. I also carry a red lipstick on me at all times to inject a hint of glamour. 

To carry her life…
My Coach Edie bag. It's relaxed but smart at the same time and has plenty of room for all of my daily, let’s face it, non-essentials.

On nailing the 9-5 life

The dream space…
I'd keep it super clean and minimal. White walls, white floorboards and a white desk. Beautiful plants, cushions and stationary would bring colour, and a coffee machine would of course be mandatory. I'd also have a crushed velvet sofa in blush - another obvious essential.

On the desk…
My monogrammed notebook, rose gold copper tray and personalised mug -  it’s huge, and saves me running to the kitchen for constant coffee top-ups. 

Chasing her goals…
To help keep your focus, it’s crucial to have an idea of your long term vision so you can set positive goals for yourself.  Remember every job has ups and downs, and if you cherish the days you love and the highlights of your work, you can then see any challenges as stepping stones to your dream career. Everything's a learning curve at the end of the day.

In the lunch box…
I’ll often buy my lunch out but if I’m feeling particularly on the ball I’ll pack a protein shake for breakfast, a banana as a snack and a chicken salad for lunch.

On that elusive work-life balance

Workout of choice…
Either a Kayla Itsines circuit if I'm pushed for time, or I'll blast 30 minutes of cardio on the step machine and then spend the next 30 minutes doing abs, arms and legs. Anything that makes me out of breath and ache a little the next day!

Post-work pick me up…
If I'm after a bit of a pick me up, I just love indulging in an easy-to-watch TV shows for an hour, like Love Island (I'm completely obsessed). For a mental boost I always turn to exercise. The mornings that I can fit in a run before work I find I'm much more positive and focused.

Staying sane…
I think it's really important to have fun outside of work. Stay focused when you're there, but outside of work make sure you still socialise and keep your personal life going - it's so easy to get lost in work. I love to always have something planned, whether it's a holiday, dinner or drinks with a friend.

Follow Chloe’s style: @chloe.elizabeth.wilson

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THE CONTENT CREATOR: Elena Sandor of eatweartravel.com

On her capsule working wardrobe

Currently coveting…
This autumn, I’ll definitely be embracing the capelet trend - it’s such a retro yet elegant look. The pinstripe suit is also highly coveted for next season, lengthening all body shapes as well as adding power and mystery to every look.

Go-to office look…
Working from home plus attending events, meetings and dinners for my job allows me to be super flexible with my workwear. I might spend the morning answering emails in my pyjamas and the next minute be smartly dressed for a meeting. I must say, I’m really lucky because I can't see myself wearing the same type of outfit day in, day out.

The day-to-night dilemma…
Dresses are my thing - and I’ll always carry a pair of heels to transform my outfit from dull to daring. 

To carry her life…
Most of my bags are small to medium. I don't really need much when I am out and about, but I can't leave the house without a power bank to charge my phone. It’s where I keep my whole business life in order! Lip-gloss, powder and perfume are also must-haves for me.

On nailing the 9-5 life

The dream space…
My own office space is the dream - vintage but minimalist with white furniture and mirror finishing.

On the desk…
My watch and rose gold rings to pop on for a hint of elegance, plus my agenda.

Chasing her goals…
Buy a day planner and don't be afraid to use it. It will organise your life like nothing else.

Inside the lunch box…
Usually I’ll be out for lunch if I’m working in the city, and mostly choose either French or Chinese, my favourite cuisines. Since I do a lot of restaurant reviews, I’m very lucky that lunch will often be provided for me.

On that elusive work-life balance

Workout of choice…
When I write and edit, I don't switch positions too often, so I tend to stretch a lot in between work. Now I’m pregnant, I’m counting down the days till I can join the gym for a proper workout!

Post-work pick me up…
I like to read a couple of novels at the same time, just to unwind and connect to different worlds and perspectives. Currently I’m really into I am Malala by Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai. For a creativity pick me up, I’ll browse my favourite blogs like Garance Doré, Peony Lim, and Gary Pepper Girl.

Staying sane…
My hobby is my work - that’s definitely one way of mastering a happy work-life balance! If you do what you love with passion and determination, you won't actually work a day in your life.

Follow Elena’s style: @eat.wear.travel

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