Wednesday, 10 December 2008

£200 working wardrobe challenge.

The school I teach at is about to introduce a 'business' dress code for sixth formers - and because the students didn't know about it before they signed up, the school is going to give each of them £200 towards their new wardrobes (it is a very small sixth form, but even so...) Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to see how far £200 would go and what I would pick were I starting from scratch.

First of course, are shoes. I've chosen these fabulous mid-heel T-bar shoes from Marks and Spencers. They are only £19.50 - which is a steal - assuming the quality we've all come to expect from M&S. I see the girls tripping around the school in skyscraper heels - but these are low enough to be practical for even the faint-hearted, and the retro styling will look smart and funky at the same time - especially since I'm allowing £50 for a selection of fun tights from Dorothy Perkins (£4 - £8).

So - £70 spent already, and what next? Well how about some tailoring. These girls are young; we don't want to stuff them in a standard suit, but this jacket (£16) from Peacocks has three-quarter length sleeves and cute, Victorian-style puff shoulders. Predictably, while I'm in Peacocks, I'm going to pick up this pencil skirt for £8 - available up to a size 22, too: my girls aren't all slim little things by any means. And that takes us to £94 down, £106 to go.

Next to New Look. Buying on the cheap side might be a false economy in the long term, but these girls might not need their smart clothes after they leave the sixth form, and they can always upgrade to better quality pieces one at a time as they afford it. So two pairs of trousers, adding up to £30, and we'll 'splash out' a whole £20 on this fun pencil skirt with animal print belt.

Lastly, tops. Our opportunity to inject some colour - I like these scoop necked tops (above) from Top Shop at £10 each, so we'll have all three. Finally back to Dotty P's - where £12 will buy you two of their £7 basic tops - so we can have four of them for our remaining £24.

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