What to Wear to Work: Why Everyone Is Wearing Pencil Dresses For Work

Taking inspiration from our favourite contestant on the Apprentice we are finding you all of the best dresses for the office.
Pamela Laird wearing cobalt blue Diva Catwalk pencil dress. Standing against a background of the city of London

 When we talk about workwear in 2019 there is much more freedom associated then there has previously been.

We know that when a lot of people think of workwear for women one image comes to mind, 1980s power dressing. Everything from those chunky suits with their masculine shoulder pad and boxy jackets. 

Of course, we aren’t saying there is anything wrong with wearing pantsuits, but women’s workwear UK has transformed from this era of dressing to impress.

Linton Pencil Dress in colour Salmon Red

For this beautiful pencil dress click here. 

One of the reasons for this shift in workwear style has occurred is because of the change in office expectations, a new survey finding that only one in ten people now wear a suit to work.

But, we know that just because work dress codes have become less formal, this doesn’t mean that you want to be wearing your Sunday comfies to the office. 

In fact, it is still very much recommended that you make the effort to look smart when you go to work. As 68% of people say that they are more likely to trust a well-dressed colleague to do a good job than someone in the same position who ‘didn’t make an effort’.

So, what should the modern woman wear to the office? Well, we have been inspired by the success of Pamela Laird, our favourite Apprentice member of this season.

Pamela Laird wears Ubrique Pencil Dress in cobalt blue

Pamela Laird wears the Ubrique Pencil Dress in cobalt blue

Pamela has managed to find that perfect balance we all search for in workwear: being confident and stylish in what you wear, while also being comfortable and professional. 

Inspired by Pamela’s ever-stylish, professional outfits, we want to help you bring boardroom winning confidence to your workplace. 

Go through what needs to be fulfilled in a work outfit to helo us understand why Pamela has landed on such a winning formula with the stretch fabric pencil dresses. 

Finding something that makes you feel comfortable 

It might sound really simple, but we do think that it is so important. 

I am sure that we all know the feeling of wearing an outfit that doesn’t quite fit, the whole day is spent pulling at your loose trousers, worrying each time you stand up from your chair that they might fall a little too far. 

This type of distraction is completely unwelcome in the wardrobe of a modern woman in our opinion. You have enough to deal with without having your outfit be an uncomfortable distraction in your day. 

Charlotte Hawkins in blue Diva Catwalk pencil dress with sleeves

This is our first reason for believing that stretch fabric pencil dresses are the perfect workwear option. The stretch of the fabric works around your body shape to enhance and support your curves, supporting you throughout your day. 

Another reason for the pencil dress style being the workwear outfit of choice is because of the shape and coverage it gives you. 

Dresses with pencil skirts are a guaranteed HR friendly length, while the option for pencil dresses with sleeves will keep you warm this winter. 

Wear something that gives you that boardroom winning confidence 

diva catwalk dress checked pattern

For checked dresses like this one click here

Finding something that makes you feel confident is another key aspect of dressing for work. 

As Harriet Danvy of the Stylist describes, from the interview for your dream job to ‘once you’ve secured said job, it’s important to continue to dress in a way that makes you feel professional, comfortable and self-assured. Leaving the house in a confidence-boosting outfit can make you feel capable of taking on the world - and confidence is an all-important element in getting that promotion you’ve been aiming for.’ 

As Harriet Dany describes how finding something that makes you feel confident can really make the difference in how you perform at the workplace. 

There is a reason that Pamela has worn her stretch fabric dresses to every boardroom so far because they make her look and feel her best. Who wouldn’t need that extra confidence boost when you might facing the ‘your fired’ finger. 

Donna Pencil Dress in Teal Shop the Donna Pencil Dress. 

The reason that Pamela has chosen to wear a Diva Catwalk pencil dress in every episode so far is because of the support they offer. Diva’s pencil dresses are made from quality stretch fabrics that been tailored in a style that best utilises the power of stretch fabrics to enhance your natural curves, to help you look and feel your best. 

Diva’s history in corsetry leaves the designers able to utilise similar techniques of pattern cutting and tailoring so every Diva garment is guaranteed to be your most figure-flattering piece of clothing. This intelligent design is combined with diva’s contemporary style choices.

 This is the reason that it has become such a firm favourite of BBC presenters. When going to work involves the concern that the camera adds ten pounds a stretch fabric pencil dress is regarded as your best defence. 

Lucy Hockings and Sharanjit Leyl being filmed wearing Diva Catwalk dressesSharanjit Leyl wears the Donna Pencil Dress in Royal Purple and Lucy Hockings wears the Lydia in the colour Fuchsia pink.

Helping you save those precious morning moments 

So the morning routine of Pamela on the Apprentice is maybe a little more intense than most of ours. Being woken up by a call from Alan Sugar horribly early hours in the morning, to be told to be in your taxi in 10 minutes. 

Just because most of our morning routines aren’t quite that level, it doesn’t stop the fact that most of us don’t want to be wasting those precious moments trying to put an outfit together. 

To have something in the morning that is a quick go-to outfit, guaranteed to make you feel comfortable and confident can be a real blessing. 

This is another reason that the stretch fabric pencil dress is the perfect workwear garment. Being available in such a wide range of styles and colours, wearing a different dress each day will make you look stylish and put together while requiring minimal effort and time. Just look at Pamela wearing the Ubrique dress in cobalt blue and fuchsia pink! With this particular style being available in eleven different colours we can't wait to see which other Pamela will wear to the board room.

Ubrique Pencil Dress in cobalt blue and fuchia pink

To see some other great styles in a wonderful array of colours click here. 

Why you need some colour in your workwear wardrobe 

picture of three dresses with text over the top

Have a look the Bracklesham Dress and the rest of the Seed Collection.

Another way of ensuring you are able to save yourself the time and stress of last-minute outfit picking, as we have said, finding yourself a style that works great for you in the work setting. But a way of stepping this up to another level is by paying close attention to the colour of these dresses. 

As we have seen from Pamela on the apprentice and so many of our favourite BBC presenters, stretch fabric pencil dress come is such a brilliant array of colours. These women are also a great inspiration for those of us who are looking to branch out of repeatedly wearing black to the office. 

We have seen of this seasons catwalks that bright bold colours are firmly here to stay. From the outfits of your favourite Instagram influencers to Pantone’s colour of the year we are assured bright tones aren’t going anywhere. 

We that the popularity of wearing bold colours is a really great thing as not only does it look great, but it can also make you feel good! 

Lydia Sleeveless Dress in many different colours
Just look at the beautiful array of colours the Lydia Pencil Dress comes in. 

Jules Standish is a style and colour consultant who believes that changing your shopping habits can boost your well-being and self-esteem. ‘Research shows that colours can have a psychological effect,’ she says. ‘When we look at certain colours it triggers neurological responses in the brain, and causes the hypothalamus gland to release hormones.’   

‘Looking at warm, bright colours such as red or pink, releases dopamine -  know as the ‘feel-good hormone’ - which can improve our mood and heighten the attention span. Cool blues, on the other hand, have been linked to the release of oxytocin, making you feel calm’

When you combine the fact that bold colours are one of the biggest trends of the last few years, with the knowledge that wearing colour can actually improve your mood, there is really no excuse to stick to that all-black uniform. 

Reggie Colour Block Dress in Navy and Raspberry pink

A great way of deciding which colours to inject into your wardrobe is by finding out what colours will best complement your own colouring. Helen Venables is an expert who specialises in locating the right colours to suit complexions explains the importance of finding a colour that suits you

‘wearing colours under your chin that you absolutely know suit you is vital. The effect of colour so close to the face can be surprisingly powerful - slimming, enlivening and health-giving, or ageing, adding weight and making you look as if you are exhausted.’ 

Helen's description of the effects of colour does make it all sound rather dramatic but rest assured working out which colours you should be wearing is much easier than it sounds. Have a look at this article to find out if you are a cool-toned Summer or more of a warm-toned Autumn. 

Or for an easy goto try primary red, which has recently been scientifically proven to be the most reliably flattering colour of them all. Helen Venables explains why primary red is so reliable, ‘it’s the colour that is right at the centre of all colour and has an equal flow through the colour spectrum.’  

two primary red dresses Diva Catwalk
The top left dress is the Azalea Peplum and for the bottom right dress click here. For more primary red dresses click here
Wondering what to wear to your next event? Find out here how to pick the best occasion dresses for your body say.