Isabel Spearman is a brand and image consultant who previously worked as special adviser to Samantha Cameron at Downing Street. Each week , she offers a helping hand dissecting workwear dress codes and offering a modern take on power dressing.
To ask Isabel Spearman your workwear questions, email email@example.com or follow her on instagram @isabelspearman
This week, she offers winter florals as an ideal print to brighten up your workwear...
Q. These long, dreary winter days are getting me down, are there any work-appropriate ways that my wardrobe might be able to help?
A.I was feeling rather gloomy during a foray into the heart of the City of London last week as an army of black and navy headed to and fro. I suddenly spotted a woman dressed in a bright coat with a floral dress looking elegant and radiant as she carved her way through the crowds. It reminded me that the shortest and darkest days of the year are precisely the time to embrace colour and print- and you can’t get any better than winter florals, a soothing antidote to the dreaded prospect of commuting in the dark.
Traffic People floral midi skirt, £109, Lux-fix; Floral print tunic, £25, M&S
I am always encouraging clients to wear more print and most I have been able to convert. However, it will feel more appropriate in some work spaces than others where anything eye-catching can feel like too much of a statement. You need to feel confident so play it safe on the shape and style in order to feel comfortable. Michelle Obama is a brilliant example (and maybe an unfair one because quite frankly she is just amazingly confident) of how to wear print, dressing it down with a fitted cardigan or jacket and simple heels.
The best winter floral pieces to buy now
Prints are generally harder to wear in the winter as you are factoring in overcoats, tights and boots rather than tanned summer legs and sandals but darker tones will blend in well with your cold weather kit. If you are worried about looking too ‘girly’ then add smart leather boots. Another way to experiment with the look is via separates; this Warehouse blouse with its subtle red flowers and pretty flared cuffs would lift an all black outfit immediately. Or The Fold’s bold red leaf print looks excellent with slim trousers.
Courtiers dress, £149, Hobbs; Printed silk blouse, £165, The Fold;
Of course, floral prints come in many guises so you can find the level which works for you, from the muted feel of this Marks and Spencer navy dress to the dialled-up vibrancy of Lux Fix’s skirt. Hobbs has mastered botanicals this season- I love their midi dress which I would pair with black heeled boots. They even have a pair of floral velvet flats which would be perfect for testing this trend, they’re bound to brighten not only your own day, but your fellow commuters’ and colleagues’ too.