Work Wear Inspiration

I’m going back to work soon, and my next job is in a banking environment, so I have been researching more formal office attire. There’s a few problems I’m trying to solve:

  • Firstly, after a year of chemo, surgery and radiation, I have gained weight. (Lying around all day will do that). Not much, and I’m hoping to lose it once my radiation is done, but it is unprofessional to wear ill fitting clothes. So I’m looking for work outfits that flatter my shape – tall, broad shouldered, with a larger waist than usual.
  • The bits of my existing work wear that still fit are fairly casual. So I’m trying to work out how to smarten up my existing wardrobe with minimal purchases.
  • If you are tall and broad shouldered like me, suits aren’t very flattering or comfortable. Sleeves are often too short. Jackets big enough for my shoulders look like sacks around my middle. Looser open jackets look better but it’s hard to find ones that fit a more formal environment.
  • My hair is still short after chemo. So I have to wear styles that make it look like this was a deliberate choice, rather than something I was forced to do. My solution is to go for the minimal, all black, arty look. I think it hides that I have cancer.
  • For a short time (hopefully) I will need to cover up my d√©colletage as the skin there has been damaged by the radiation. So I need high collars and necklines.
  • I also think the more arty look helps disguise a small budget. So some interesting shoes and jewellery can distract from really plain, baggy, loose clothes.

I found some inspiration for the kind of style I’m looking for at Eileen Fisher:

I first heard about Eileen Fisher from Susan at Une Femme d’Une Certain Age, who has a lot of their clothes, and is inspiring too! 


  1. I like all the outfits that inspired you! They look fresh and stylish, I think you’ll feel great wearing them.
    Good luck for the new job and congratulations for your blog, I love it! Rita

  2. Thanks for the mention! I think you’ll find that you can make Eileen Fisher clothes work in a business environment. The middle jacket in the top row is a fabulous option; it has a tweedy corporate look but is very soft and easy to wear.

    • Thank you for putting me onto EF. It’s hard to find brands that make this type of clothing. I’d buy half the store if I could!

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