fashion

34 women share exactly what clothes they wear (or must wear) to work and why.

Question: what kinds of clothes do you wear to work every day? But more importantly, why do you think you wear them?

Sounds like a simple enough question, right? But when we asked 34 women about how they get dressed for work and how they feel about it, turns out the answer is… it’s complicated.

Side note – watch this hilarious yet informative video on what you should 100 per cent not wear to work. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia

For some, their work clothes are chosen for them. Others find having a work uniform to put on every day liberating. Then, there are the women who use their wardrobes to create a brand or communicate their personality, either by choice or out of professional necessity.

And some of us just really love the process of getting dressed for work in the morning. Others don’t. At all.

If you’re curious to find out how other women choose their clothes for work, keep scrolling to see the glorious, unfiltered work outfits of 34 Aussie women and read about their approach to office fashion. Their thoughts are bloody fascinating.

READ: 37 women share exactly what makeup (if any) they wear to work and why.

1. Maria, in digital communications.

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"I work in digital comms for a transport and technology company. Our office is a mix of suits and 'CCC' (cool corporate casual). I dress the way I feel."

2. Bonny, on maternity leave.

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"My 'work' at the moment is as full-time carer of my five-month-old son. My uniform consists of a nursing bra (if I can be bothered), spew-stained top (optional) and leggings. I wouldn't have it any other way though!"

3. Lucy, farmer.

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"I’m a farmer and sometimes I wear a skirt just because I can."

4. Georgia, in mining.

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"I work on a mining site so hi-vis is essential! I am based in the maintenance office, however I still visit the workshop and surrounding pits during the day. I love my uniform because it's comfy and there’s no stressing about what to wear every day."

5. Sheridan, youth worker.

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"I work as a therapist for young people age 12-26, so I wear whatever I feel like, and what I feel makes me seem approachable."

6. Sophie, business owner.

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"I’m an eco-boutique owner/newly-launched designer. I like to dress with my mood. That’s eclectic AF so it changes every day. But usually it’s creative and I hope it inspires my shoppers to have a bit more fun (and be conscious) with their clothes."

7. Jessie, in corporate.

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"I have to be ultra-professional... executive meetings, media, stakeholders and meeting with Ministers are all a regular thing."

8. Abbey, healthcare.

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"I work in healthcare so I wear scrubs or a uniform, but I’ve started trying to find cute shoes that still fit into the 'black and enclosed' mandatory category. I usually put cute scrunchies in my hair for more personality as we can’t wear much jewellery."

9. Annalise, in production.

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"I am the client service lead at a music and content production company and I live for our office mirror. I love fashion and being able to express myself through what I wear. Most mornings, I wake up a little excited with what I can do to build my lewk for the day, but other times (especially in summer) I wish I had a uniform so I didn't have to think about it. My work is pretty varied. I go from looking like shit when I'm on set, to being put together for client meetings. And sometimes, just a little bit extra because I'm feelin' it!"

10. Ally, teacher.

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"I am a teacher. We have a fairly relaxed dress code. I do love my fashion though and enjoy dressing for work. If I like my outfit, I feel good for the day. I had to laugh though, one of the grade one boys told me I looked like a dog in this dress. I wasn’t quite sure where he was going with it, he then clarified he meant I looked like a Dalmatian!"

11. Charlie, journalist.

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"I'm lucky to work in a place where most things are acceptable so when I get dressed in the morning it really comes down to how I'm feeling that day. I would probably save time if I prepped an outfit the night before, but I like going with my mood on the day. Today, I feel lazy and uninspired as it's Thursday, so I went with a trusty black dress and white sneakers (also, added some earrings to make it a bit more fun). Fashion massively impacts my confidence - I feel 100 times better when I get dressed up, do my makeup and add accessories. I find it exciting when a banger outfit comes together before work!"

12. Julie, pharmacist.

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"I work in a hospital as a pharmacist. We don’t have a uniform but we need to look professional and modest. I often wear bright colours and prints (think Gorman, Little Party Dress etc.) because it makes me happy. I make sure the outfit is practical for lots of walking and bending over, and other than that, I go for what I like! I often get complimented for being the brightest in the workplace."

13. Stacey, office worker.

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"Here's me 36 weeks pregnant. My work attire is currently leggings, some sort of mumu type dress top thing and Birkenstocks (because I can’t do my own shoelaces up and my fat feet fit into no shoes!!). I work for a big company but our area is pretty casual. I love well-cut jeans or a skirt plus a nice top (I'm a big fan of boat neck long sleeve tops in winter!), a blazer if I’m feeling it and either sneakers, flats or cute ankle boots. I also like midi dresses with sneakers or ankle boots. I think it’s just what suits me best, and it works for our casual office. When I work from home, all bets are off and I’m pretty much in PJs. Right now, I am definitely pushing the limit of our dress code but I don’t think anyone is going to sass me on my last week of work!"

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14. Bella, horse trainer.

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"I spend most days in boots and breeches. I feel like it’s my uniform and I take a lot of pride in my business. Even when I’m in the supermarket covered in mud, with huge bags under my eyes and dirt under my fingernails, I’m stoked I get to wear this stuff every day."

15. Elli, school nurse and midwife.

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"I'm a school nurse a few days a week and have lots of fun with my outfits while keeping them professional (closed shoes etc.). I absolutely believe your outfit can make your day!! I also work as a midwife in a hospital and LOVE wearing scrubs, I've got the best of both worlds."

16. Steph, in finance.

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"I work in a credit union and absolutely love having a uniform that I feel nice in. It has taken the stress out of what to wear every day and I can still make it feel like me with shoe choice, minimal jewellery, simple makeup and curling my hair gives me a boost, too."

17. Peta, doctor.

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"I’m a rheumatologist and generally enjoy choosing what to wear each day. As long as the morning chaos with young kids doesn’t make it too hectic. Weekends are casual, unless I'm on call. My work outfit has to be professional, but also OK to move around in. And, on the off chance, OK to do CPR in!"

18. Elise, Executive Podcast Producer.

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"Because I work in audio in a building with a wooden floor I have to pretty much always wear sneakers or flat shoes - high heels are the arch enemy of podcasting! I lusted after these Adidas sneaks for such a long time. I live in fear of them being dirty that I have been seen to walk around the office with one shoe off because I sit on my foot and don’t want the shoe to get marks from my chair on it… These jeans are from Country Road and I live in them. They’re leggings masquerading as jeans. And this shirt I got from ASOS when I was feeling a bit down about my body and was going to a black-tie wedding so I bought a complete suit and this shirt to wear, but ended up just keeping the shirt because it’s lilac with a pussy bow so… no further explanation needed. I also love wearing earrings - which is another arch enemy of working in audio. But I love them so much that I spend most of my day taking them off and putting them back on again when I’m wearing headphones or in the studio."

19. Amanda, nanny.

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"I’m a nanny. I dress for comfort, modesty, and mobility! Something like this (except my hair is in a ponytail 99 per cent of the time) - T-shirt, leggings or jeggings, and sneakers!"

20. Karen, in Government.

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"I use to wear heels for years and then realised it is not a requirement of my job to cause pain to my feet every day. So now I have a lovely range of flats and cute sneakers that I wear with my work dresses every day."

21. Paige, office worker.

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"My office is somewhere in between corporate and smart casual. I generally wear a flowy midi skirt and plain top with a blazer, or a dress with a blazer. On lazy days, I wear black pants with a nice top or my work branded polo shirt. Most days, I wear black boots with a heel, pointy toe nude heels, or strappy nude heels. I 100 per cent dress to be comfortable but stylish at the same time. I love getting dressed for work, usually I feel super confident and happy in my work outfits."

22. Amber, in retail.

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"I work two jobs, both in retail. For one of my jobs, the dress code is neat casual, and for my other job, we have to wear black and/or white. What I wear changes a bit depending on the weather. Overall I prefer the neat casual dress code because I have a bit more freedom. The other dress code is also stricter, so as well as just black and white clothing, we can’t wear skirts above the knees, can’t show bra straps etc."

23. Sally, equine therapist.

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"I am an equine therapist and work for myself, so can wear whatever I feel like, but it’s usually my uniform shirt (I have long sleeve and polos), and jeans or shorts. Always very sun-conscious so I wear a different coloured bandana every day to mix things up, and usually a cap to match. And I try to wear fun earrings. No makeup, barely brush my hair... life is great! I don’t think I could do make up every day or having to decide what to wear - the horses don’t care if I’ve just rolled out of bed!"

24. Nama, freelance writer.

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"A visitor to our building asked if I’m someone’s housekeeper, and I said “Yes, mine.” I still have no plans whatsoever to up my freelance uniform."

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25. Anna, farmer.

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"Farming with dust and exhaustion makeup. Work clothes for me are men's shirts and pants cause I'm tall and they fit better than women's."

26. Naomi, office worker.

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"I work in admin at a training centre and wear my uniform shirt with black jeans and flat shoes. I prefer a uniform shirt because I’m a uni student and don’t need to spend my limited income on clothes."

27. Tracey, in recruitment.

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"I run a recruitment agency and have a pretty strict dress code (although I'm currently reviewing at moment). My outfit of the day largely depends on what meetings and interviews I have. I’m in pants in this pic but 90 per cent of the time it’s skirts, dresses etc. I genuinely love fashion so I love putting work outfits together and though it’s mostly because my role is client-facing, I do also like the dress-up factor. I’m also interviewing candidates, so I’m often having to provide guidance on work and interview attire."

28. Ania, office worker.

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"My office is relatively casual (but professional), but I like to wear a mix of corporate and dressy clothes. Dressing up is fun, I get to mix up items from my wardrobe that I wouldn’t wear on weekends and I feel much more comfortable/confident knowing I’m dressed well."

29. Danielle, in corporate.

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"We’re a corporate workplace so no jeans, but as I’m in a non-client facing role, no suits needed either. I tend to go dresses and maxi skirts with dressy tops. I’d love to wear sneakers to work, but for now it’s ballet flats and boots. I find it really hard to strike the balance between dressy enough for the office and still comfortable. A bad outfit choice can make or break my day. I’m much happier on my work from home days in sneakers and a beach dress or activewear."

30. Lauren, in education.

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"I work in a school, dress code is neat casual but generally I like to dress it up a bit for work! It makes me feel confident and professional, and it's nice to have an excuse to do my hair and makeup and wear something that isn't the activewear I live in when I'm home with my babe!"

31. Esmae, in corporate.

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"I’m obsessed with corporate office workwear and I am always looking for inspo. Getting ready every day for work gives me such pleasure and I love to share different ideas for how to dress on my Instagram account. My workplace is reasonably professional but not restrictive so I can really demonstrate my personality."

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32. Paige, marketing manager in fashion.

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"I'm the marketing manager for  online retailer Marks & Spencer Australia, so obviously I'm always wearing the brand. But as my office is based in London, I work from home a lot. Comfort is key, especially when I'm working late into the night coordinating with our London team over Skype. In any given week, I'll also have external meetings so when I'm out of the house, I like to look and feel my best. There are a few key pieces in my wardrobe I reach for again and again - a single breasted blazer or a trench coat to add instant style. I add colour with flattering dresses, midi length dresses are perfect for the office. And a classic suit never fails to make me feel powerful in a boardroom. I would describe my work fashion style as classic and uncomplicated. I love how great workwear can leave a lasting impression."

33. Kirsten, business owner.

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"I run a natural skincare business and our branding is pink, so that’s usually what you’ll find me wearing. Wearing a pop of pink does feel a bit like a uniform for me now, although it’s also my favourite colour so it’s a uniform I love to wear. It definitely makes dressing for work and work-related events so much easier!"

34. Amy, journalist.

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"Our office is casual so I can wear what I like, but I still need to look professional (even trendy, dare I say) for events, interviews and client meetings. An outfit I’m not comfortable in can really ruin my day and make me feel bad about myself, so I stick to combinations I know work - skirts and t-shirts, and dresses. And leopard."

Feature images: Supplied to Mamamia.

What does your everyday work outfit look like? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

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