Your new 9-5 dress code

river island clothes

Waking up and dressing for work every single day can be overwhelming. To manage any morning mayhem you’ll need to acquire the basic pieces every working woman should have hanging in her closet—blazers, shirts, flats, heels, tailored trousers and a skirt. Just add a few key season trends such as monochrome, Prince of Wales check and berry hues, and you can go back to work this autumn in style.


Make an effortless transition with easy tailoring and effortlessly elegant 2-pieces and dresses that work from morning meetings to evening dos. From classic shades of grey and black to tweeds and Prince of Wales checks, look out for chic A-line minis, pencil skirts, midi skirts, manlike trousers, fitted jackets and ladylike dresses that will take you into autumn and beyond.


Flute sleeves, wrap styles are everywhere this season. Think of deep reds and purples, checks and stripes and you’ll be bang on trend. And don’t forget the LBD. A wardrobe staple, a chic little black dress will always be a 9 to 5 hero. Whether you are channelling Chanel, inspired by Hepburn or just a fan of the deepest shade there is, this is the one item that can be dressed up and down effortlessly.

  • Grey And Ivory Check Shift Dress £30.00 Dorothy Perkins
  • Berry Double Ruffle Shift Dress £24.00 Dorothy Perkins
  • Black Spot Print Asymmetric Wrap Front Dress £24.99 New Look
  • Rose Print Tunic Dress £20.00 Peacocks


Nothing screams girl boss like a crisp blazer and right now the blazer is having a massive moment. This time round, you can embrace colour and print. Look out for styles in statement red, Prince of Wales check and bold stripes that will take you from desk-to-dinner in no time at all.

  • Grey Check Contrast Cuff Blazer £29.99 New Look
  • Red Blazer £17.00 Primark
  • Red Double Breasted Blazer £34.99 H&M


In addition to the perfect white button-down shirt, shirting has also been reimagined for AW17, with asymmetric cuts, reworked silhouettes, and statement sleeves breathing new life into the work wear classic. For extra impact, look fro detailing in the form of peplum hems, pussy bow necklines and metal hardware. From frill front blouses in ditsy prints to shirts in bold block colours, stripe blouses with fluted sleeves, and wrap tops, if your shirt or blouse is full of detail then it’s a winner.

  • Black Star Print Wrap Top £36 Wallis
  • White tie-detail shirt £18 Peacocks
  • White Grandad Collar Peplum Hem Blouse £24 New Look

  • Yellow blouse £10 Primark
  • Pale Grey Crochet Trim Shirt £19.99 New Look
  • Black Floral Tie Neck Blouse £16 Peacocks


Trousers or skirts, whatever you choose you’ll be on trend as long as go for bold styles, bold prints and bold colour. Menswear-inspired trousers always look polished, especially in checks. Wide-legged and fluid cuts are the mood du jour and totally work wear appropriate.

A-line skirts of all lengths are holding it down in the skirt department, where zips and texture have been employed for a hit of newness. Skirts have been given a new season refresh with the new mini, maxi and midi hem lengths, while a pencil skirt will create a sexy silhouette. Go barelegged for now, while it’s still warm enough, and sport sock boots when it’s chilly out. On top, everything and anything goes from bodysuits to crisp white shirts and fluted sleeve tops. For extra points try for a co-ord two-pieces and the berrier the better.


  • Flannel Wide Leg Trousers £15.00 Primark
  • Burgundy Calf Length Skirt £29.99 H&M
  • Red Faux Leather Mini Skirt £22.00 Dorothy Perkins
  • Grey Checked Slim Leg Ankle Grazer Trousers £20.00 Dorothy Perkins


Every working wardrobe needs a classic pair of black suede or patent heels, commuter flats and essential knee-high boots. These are all working girl essentials. This season reboot your foot locker with kitten heels or block heels on courts if you don’t like skyscraper stillettos, look for flat brogues, ballet pumps and loafers with tassel detailing and opt for luxurious boots in luscious berry colour leathers.

  • Floral Stud Ballerina Pump £8.00 Primark
  • Burgundy Ballerina Pump £14.99 Deichmann
  • Navy Tassel Slip On Loafer £31.99 Deichmann
  • Hamble Oak Brogue £60.00 Clarks
  • Leopard Print Velvet Metal Heel Pointed Pump £15.99 New Look

  • Black Patent High Heel Court Shoe £24.99 Shoe Zone
  • Orabella Fern Block Heel £59.00 Clarks
  • Black Suedette Kitten Heel Chelsea Boot £27.99 New Look