looking right for the job

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
Help please!

I start my MA in Social Work course in September and I think in October we will be sent out on placement. I have no idea where this placement will be but I'm assuming I need to be smart/casual.

I wont go into a spiel of self loathing but my wardrobe is pretty uninspiring and I'm feeling pretty frumpy and gross. Do you think it's ridiculous to invest in a mini work wardrobe? As far as work wear goes I have been surviving on one pair of black trousers and a dodgy blouse which gets reigned out when I have an interview to go to.

I keep drooling over pencil skirts lately, but the thing is I can like one item but have no idea what to put with it. I always go blank when I'm in shops. I think my plan is to drag my mum out with me because she's pretty honest and will make me try on outfits which I can never be arsed to do when I'm clothes shopping.

Can anyone reccomend any reasonably priced shops for work wear? So far I like some of the stuff in Dorothy Perkins.

I just dont want to get in a rut and wear black trousers, white shirt alllll the time. But I am pretty hard up..so maybe one of those things called a capsule wardrobe? Are there any essentials? E.g. how many trousers? blouses? that kinda thing.

Thanks guys in advance :)

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Do you think it's ridiculous to invest in a mini work wardrobe?

    no! i have started doing this for when i start my placement. i've always had uniforms before so i've never really needed smart clothes except for interviews. i've got 2 pairs of trousers, one black and one grey, and i'll probably get one more or maybe a skirt, and then 3 or 4 shirts and mix and match. i got a cheap suit from matalan which is quite nice (although it looks slightly absurd on me as i look about 12 IRL) which i can wear if there are any important meetings or anything. i've got 3 cardigans from new look so i can make the outfits look a bit different. i've bought everything from cheapy places really, the workwear in primark is fine for basics and asda and matalan do nice things too. i'll probably invest in a few higher quality pieces when i've been there for a while and seen what other people wear, i don't want to spend loads of money (especially as i won't be being paid!) and then find that no one wears the kinds of things i've got.

    if you go for a pencil skirt i'd put it with a long-sleeved blouse tucked in. would really suit you :) if money is a bit tight buy a few things every few weeks up until you start and gradually build up what you have. it will all come in at some point so it's not a waste of money, even if it's not what you would have chosen for yourself usually.

    :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Asda is good for work wear if you're after good value, as is Tesco, New Look if you're the right shape, H&M, all work fine.

    The handy thing about all of their work wear stuff is it pretty much all goes together. Remember if you're doing social work that you'll want suitable clothing for meeting clients - so you'll probably want trousers as well as a pencil skirt. Until I got into wearing dressed I used to wear smart trousers, but make sure I bought them in pretty much anything other than black. Dark brown, grey etc all look more interesting and still go with most things. The ones with a checked pattern in are even more interesting.

    If you don't like wearing a blouse then plain 3/4 sleeve fitted t shirts work well too. Jazz it up with a chunky necklace and you're there. Through a bit of mix and match you can easily have a different combination every day off 4 tops, 2 trousers/1 trouser 1 skirt and 2 necklaces.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I also find those jumpers-with-a-sewn-in-shirt things quite useful for winter. M&S often do black ones with white 'shirts'.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    piccolo wrote: »
    I also find those jumpers-with-a-sewn-in-shirt things quite useful for winter. M&S often do black ones with white 'shirts'.

    I am wearing one of those right now :D. Well, it's a short-sleeved one but it's actually dead good for summer because it's thin (so thin I have to wear a vest under because the shirt part is white).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    omg hi wrote: »
    no! i have started doing this for when i start my placement. i've always had uniforms before so i've never really needed smart clothes except for interviews. i've got 2 pairs of trousers, one black and one grey, and i'll probably get one more or maybe a skirt, and then 3 or 4 shirts and mix and match. i got a cheap suit from matalan which is quite nice (although it looks slightly absurd on me as i look about 12 IRL) which i can wear if there are any important meetings or anything. i've got 3 cardigans from new look so i can make the outfits look a bit different. i've bought everything from cheapy places really, the workwear in primark is fine for basics and asda and matalan do nice things too. i'll probably invest in a few higher quality pieces when i've been there for a while and seen what other people wear, i don't want to spend loads of money (especially as i won't be being paid!) and then find that no one wears the kinds of things i've got.

    if you go for a pencil skirt i'd put it with a long-sleeved blouse tucked in. would really suit you :) if money is a bit tight buy a few things every few weeks up until you start and gradually build up what you have. it will all come in at some point so it's not a waste of money, even if it's not what you would have chosen for yourself usually.

    :)

    are you doing social work too then?? ooo!

    yeah i think that's a good way to do it rather than going on a spree :) i can relate to the 12 year old in a suit thing. i love how pencil skirts and suits look on some people but i get nervous i won't be able to pull it off. i have a good few weeks until placement so am not in panic mode yet thankfully.

    SM i hate black trousers too. i like how the wide legged work trousers look but I'm a bit of a midget so am unsure if i could carry it off. it's quite good that i can pick casual looking things too for meeting clients, im not a fan of the hard edged business look but oh gosh i do love the look of pencil skirts.

    ahh kate i know the shirts you mean and i hate anything 'built in'. especially those weird fake layered tshirts. i like the idea of going a bit quirky though and having a play with clothes. off topic but i saw my disability advisor the other day and she was wearing one of those turbans with carribean looking colours on it and crazy coloured jewellary. i dont have the balls to wear that but i wouldnt wanna look bland.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I would invest in a suit or smart jacket which you can then wear with a number of things, so for example you can smarten up a dress or even jeans by adding a jacket and smartish shoes. For example I have a black jacket I can wear with a black skirt to look super smart or over any number of dresses and then a blue jacket which goes with more blue/browny type stuff. Overall I like dresses and jackets as it means you only need to think about putting two things togeather rather than 3.

    I wouldnt' rush out and buy load of stuff right away until you get on the placement and see what other people are wearing that way you might fit in. It might be that everyone wears jeans and trainers.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    are you doing social work too then?? ooo!

    psychology :) placement with nhs so can't get away with jeans lol :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ohhh. are you enjoying it? one of my placements could be with the nhs, anywhere really. i've taken the advice on board and am gonna wait a bit longer to see what other people are doing. maybe it'll be brought up during the induction. for now i have to stop perving at pencil skirts!!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think you should still buy a pencil skirt then at least you can wear it to your induction! plus they are very very very in this season (good thing i still have mine from last tiem around) so you can look both smart and fashionable
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    im never going shopping with you :P but i think i shall once i get my moneh :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No you should it would be fun!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm such a plain black trousers girl atm. Nothing easier than the pull on school trousers from marks and spencers... I'm enjoying having a plain and simple 'uniform' type style for work. IT really saves me time and thinking the night before work -- just lay the shit out, don't worry about what shit I'm going to wear. M&S trousers I like
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    hey!
    Ive done a number of placements myself with social workers, and my adivce would be defently dont buy untill you have started or at least been to an indicution or interview type thing. My guess is you will have to go to a number of different social work placements and they will alll be wearing something different (which is akward i know!). Like the first place I went to they where all casual, with a hint of smart, so smart jeans and a nice top. Second place it was casual casual. Next place was black trousers but I relativly normal everyday top. But I never went into a placement where people where wearing full on suits or that kind of thing. I dont want you spending your money on nice things then not feeling comfortable wearing them.
    I hope this helps :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,329 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Maybe just have two pairs of smart trousers (one grey, one black - could be pinstripes so it's not too plain?) and one pencil skirt to start with, and rotate these through the week. Flat ballerina pumps in black or pale pink? Long-sleeved jumpers in a block colour from H&M should be smart enough, especially in autumn... I know I find shirts really restrictive and sweaty, and they might look too formal if you end up going on home visits in socially deprived areas.
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