It’s exam week in our house so things are very quiet and serious. It somehow doesn’t seem fair to be tripping about the house trying different outfits so I’m going to do a different type of post. As you know, up until now I’ve been focusing on reinventing my casual chic wardrobe and I feel it’s finally starting to get somewhere. For a change last week I pulled out some of my older workwear to give it a whirl and I think that’s the area I need to revitalise next. Strangely the idea doesn’t fill me with enthusiasm. Unlike the casual project where you can start with jeans and build around them, it’s much harder with smarter dressing. Firstly I should assess what I really need.  It also strikes me that it was quite an effort to dress up every day and also not the most comfortable thing to wear when I work in a pretty casual environment. I need to look smart when I have meetings or if I have to go to one of the boys’ schools for an event but really, the rest of the time I could get away with casual chic. I therefore need some kind of plan.

Myprivatestylist is an American website that I find can be really helpful with this sort of problem. They suggest creating a lifestyle pie chart by assessing the way you split your time and then arranging your wardrobe accordingly. Mine looks like this (the numbers refer to percentage of time but I couldn’t get that to work)!:

wardrobe planner

So, what this tells me is that for my lifestyle I probably only really need to pull together 4 or 5 smart outfits (it also tells me I should go out more!). At the moment I have a full rail of pieces in my dressing room that don’t work together at all. The MPS suggestion is that you work up a wardrobe based 70% on classics as below and then base the other 30% on more on trend items to make it a bit less stuffy:

working wardrobe planner


I think this could really work for me (although I might make the jacket a black or grey blazer and I would definitely choose an alternative to the black and white dress). I’m going to be planning it, in the background, for Autumn/Winter but any budget I have right now needs to be spent on Summer and holidays.

Here are a few outfits that I’ve worn over the last few days but it isn’t very exciting:

Saturday – on the way to the district primary school cross country race which our school won.

cross country

  • Parka (minus fur for fear of it looking like a wet dog in the rain): Zara (A/W 13-14)
  • Sweatshirt: Boden (past season)
  • Jeans: Next
  • Wellies: Hunter

Saturday night for a chilled out supper with friends we’ve known for a long time and with whom we have developed a happy tradition of scrimping on food (cheese and baguettes) so that we can indulge with champagne:


  • Satin front sweatshirt: Warehouse
  • Coated jeggings: M&S Collection
  • Leopard print shoes: M&S Collection
  • Necklace: Zara

On Sunday, caught hiding from exam-cramming stressed kids:


  • Chambray shirt: Top Shop
  • Jeans: Next
  • Necklace: Schoolgate Style (out of stock)

And on Monday I thought I’d try another take on workwear chic by wearing my M&S coated jeggings which I usually keep for going out and, do you know what, it gave me a bit of a spring in my step, I felt sassy (although I did notice much twitching of the eyebrows from the Joules mums in the playground)! Readers if you haven’t tried these, I really, really recommend them – they do amazing things to your hips and tummy and make you feel like a bit of a babe! They sound grim (they’re from the Twiggy collection), look awful on the website and my pictures never do them justice but they’re great on – give them a try.


And of course I know you’re all wondering about ‘jacketgate’ and what I’ve decided to do. Well first of all, thank you so much for your feedback. It was interesting, the ladies who commented on Avenue 57 universally told me to keep it, however I think you all know me better and gave me lots of constructive feedback. Mr MC has given me a deadline of tomorrow to decide (he’s getting a bit grumpy) and I think I’m going to keep it so I’m sorry but you will be seeing it a lot if I have to justify the cost per wear!

Today I’m going to ask for your input on the working wardrobe capsule above – what do you think – in your opinion would a wardrobe like that look ultra chic in a work / office context…or…is it frumpy? Remember I’m going to be a whole year older any day now so these things really matter!