What to wear to work: 7 style inspirations for the office

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I’m a lawyer and I never wear suits.

I’m also a proud fashion addict. Over the years I have learned to adapt fashion trends to work in the office and I share my outfits on Instagram as Style_by_Aggie. Here are my tips to inspire you to maintain your individuality while dressing professionally in the office.

Fashion is wonderful to play with and I use it to express my creativity. My style is fairly classic but I execute it in a modern, edgy way. When I say edgy, I mean within the context of my job. I never wear anything that is inappropriate or anything too short or too revealing. By keeping my colour palette neutral and my silhouette simple, I can get away with a lot of different styles and looks.

Although I’m a black, grey and navy devotee, there is something so refreshing about white and beige right now. I will also be channelling a tiny bit of the ’70s spirit which is still a strong trend. You won’t see me in flares, but dark raw denim, loafers and bucket bags are still the go-to pieces. I often start the season with new shoes and am on the lookout for designs that catch my eye, as well as flats as I live in the city without a car.

New shoes

One of the quickest and simplest ways of updating your professional look and keeping it relevant is to invest in new shoes. These edgy pointy kitten heel boots are so comfortable and give an an otherwise classic wardrobe a new look. Saint Laurent is undoubtedly the king of this style with their Cat Boots and their new season sees some fabulous interpretations including a crinkled patent that I would die to get my hands on. Miu Miu has also branched out into this style doing everything from sandals to pumps in the kitten heel. High street shops such as Topshop and H&M have also recently launched similar styles at a much more reasonable price.

Tailored pieces

The truly fabulous thing about having an office job is that it allows you to wear tailored pieces. Tailoring is the easiest way to achieve a flattering and professional look. It is worth investing in well cut pieces when buying blazers and trousers. Stella McCartney is known for her tailored pieces and they will last you for years without dating, but you do not need to shop high end. My tip is to find a very good tailor. Some of my best buys have come from Asos and Zara but have been adjusted to give the right fit. When I plan to do this, I often buy a size larger to give my tailor more fabric to work with.

When shopping for tailored pieces look for natural fabrics like wool, cotton and linen as they look better. Avoid the shine that man-made fabrics give.

How can you tell a piece is well tailored? When it skims your body without any tightness. These high waisted camel pants by 3.1 Philip Lim demonstrate this. They hit exactly at the waist, skim the hips and end at the right spot to show a flattering and office-appropriate glimpse of ankle.

The white shirtThe classic white shirt is a must-have in a professional wardrobe, but it doesn’t have to be boring. My favourite way to wear it is untucked, over pants and under a knit with the collar and a hint of sleeve showing. This look signals business but in a more nonchalant way. For the weekend I just swap the pants for boyfriend jeans and the pumps for Adidas trainers and I’m good to go.



I rarely wear prints, with the exception of stripes and animal prints. However, when I do, I choose striking colours in a simple pattern like this monochrome dress. What really brought the outfit together for me is the tote bag. It takes the most conservative outfit and gives it an edge, making the outfit eye-catching and interesting.


Ahh monochrome, where would we be without you? I like to invert the “uniform” look of black bottom and white top and then add something extra for interest. In this case, it’s these pumps in leopard. This outfit wouldn’t be the same if the shoes were also black or white but a little animal print does the trick. As for choice of bag, the bucket bag is still the style du jour and everyone is getting on board with this trend. The most desired (and always sold out) Mansur Gabriel bucket is on everyone’s arm this season (if you can find it!), but fortunately there are lots of other options. I chose this style because I like having two handles – for shoulder and for hand. It has subtle gold hardware and logo and works as well for carrying the office paperwork and laptop as it does for the weekend.


On Fridays I like to dress more adventurously for work, provided I don’t have important meetings. For me, this often means a leather jacket, and over the years I have built up quite a collection. This biker jacket in burgundy leather is my most recent addition and I’m loving it. The colour is punchy but not bright and it has exquisite lacing detail at the back. It’s a very edgy design and for that reason I have been dressing it up with skirts and dresses.

I have found leather jackets surprisingly easy to integrate into my work wardrobe. Provided the jacket has a clean simple look, it works fabulously with tailored trousers and other office staples. I often wear one to the office if I’m heading out that evening and I don’t have time to change. I also always keep a black blazer and pumps in the office, so if I get called into something that requires a more conservative look, I can easily change the look.

Borrow from the boys

My look really came together when I started to borrow from the boys. A little androgynous style adds a cool factor to a work outfit. My boy-chic pieces include oversized boyfriend blazers, flat fronted pants, simple shirts in white and blue and masculine shoes such as oxfords and brogues. I’m planning to wear these brogues with my tailored pieces but also with more feminine styles such as pleat skirts to toughen up those looks. And for the weekend, they will go well with straight leg cropped jeans in blue or black.





Aggie Goss is a Sydney based lawyer and fashion instagrammer @style_by_aggie.

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