Help, I’ve got nothing to wear! Top tips for office fashion when you feel crap

Sometimes getting yourself to the office is a tough gig. You might be unwell or unslept. You may have been up with the kids for days on end. Or you’ve been super busy and you’re just worn out.

Or you’d rather be at a pool bar somewhere than thinking about office fashion.


You’re unenthusiastically getting ready and you’re thinking “Shit, what am I going to wear?”

Yep we all have those days, hey. You end up flicking through your clothes and nothing is very appealing – too tight, needs ironing, needs a world of oomph that you just don’t feel, not comfortable, dirty…

Don’t worry – there is a solution! Here are my top tips for getting out the door looking stylin’ on those days when you really can’t be assed.

Be prepared

Some people find it’s easier to get stuff ready the night before. I don’t. I am much better in the mornings. I can’t think straight at night. I just lay everything out first thing when I get up and then after I’ve done all the chores, made lunches, brekky etc, I’m good to get in shower and get dressed. Do whatever you know will work best but a tiny bit of forward thinking will make a world of difference when you’re not feeling tip-top.

flat lay_hero


Wearing all black or black and white is a great way to pull an outfit together simply and look effortlessly chic.

Black trousers

On ick days, black trousers are my best friend. I have a skinny pair and wide legged pair by Sacha Drake. They are made of some sort of high-tech-super-fabric and don’t require ironing. I also have a pair of Piper ones which I just get dry cleaned every few wears (more like every few nevers!).

Myer Miss Top t-shirt, black trousers from Piper, blue bangle one of a pair I bough a million years ago in London. Hair up in a high pony.

Pencil skirts

I am an absolute sucker for a pencil skirt. As I am apple shape, they suit my figure well and I always feel glam. Mine are all made of stretchy fabric and don’t require ironing. You may look better in an a-line or a flared skirt, but the secret is to have these days in mind when you are shopping and grab something that can be a ‘go-to’ skirt.

T-shirt from Myer Miss Shop, necklace won in a charity auction, skirt from Target two seasons ago.


I have some very good quality t-shirts, in black, white and grey. I find these an absolute godsend when I’m struggling. Again, the non ironing factor is a blessing but also they look very stylish when teamed with any of my skirts or tops. If they start fading or pilling relegate to the gym drawer. If this is too casual for your work, throw on a jacket.

Nikki Parkinson has a great post on putting together wardrobe basics.

Wrap/Jersey dresses

I have a couple of stretch dresses which I can slip into at a moment’s notice and feel ready to take on the world. The secret is to find a dress in jersey, that is wash and wear, fits very well (beware that there is enough fabric in the wrap if you are busty like me) and is super comfortable (i.e. no fear of ‘wardrobe malfunctions’). This dress will take you through the worst hangovers or bloated period days with ease.

jersey dress
Sacha Drake frocks


Whenever I feel bleugh, I wear my stilettos as I get my instant glam on and feel rad. Check my Mad About Stilettos post. But that’s not for everyone. Go for comfort! But make sure you have one pair of comfy ballet flats that are in good condition that you can throw on on such occasions. Don’t wear your most scuffed old shoes just because they seem the most relaxed at the time. You’ll feel worse later in the day when you look down at your manky old bag-lady feet.


Less is best when you’re not feeling the most motivated. A coloured bangle can do wonders to pick up a monochrome outfit. A chunky statement necklace looks great on a t-shirt.


Things NOT to worry about:

  • Your trousers need dry cleaning – unless they’re covered in baby vom, no-one will know.
  • Your bra hasn’t been washed – wear it anyway, no one will see it (hehehehe clearly I’m a grubby girl!!).
  • Makeup seems too hard – just smash on some BB cream in place of foundation and put on some lippie as you’re running out the door.

Things you SHOULD worry about:

  • Wear deodorant and perfume – covers up a world of stink-sins.
  • Have a toothbrush in your bag – you’ll be amazed at how having a clean mouth can make you feel great.
  • Wear decent shoes – scuffed dirty shoes with worn soles make you look like you’ve given up.
  • Your hair – if you have wayward hair, brush it and put it in a ponytail. Mine is nuts and I can look like a mental person, so when I really can’t be bothered it goes up in a high bun.

What do you think – does that help? What’s your best tip for cruising into the office when you feel like hell?

Written By

Carolyn is the editorial director of Champagne Cartel and a freelance writer. In her spare time she is a long-distance runner, peanut butter enthusiast, and single mum to three incredible humans.


  • I’m having a day like that this whole year! You are so right for all these tips. Today I’ve dragged myself into a no iron pencil skirt & no iron black top & I’ve spiced it up with a blazer that hides the extra kilos I’ve put on recently.

    Comfy shoes & minimal jewellery is also the trick, if I ‘dress up’ when I’m having a ‘blah’ day I feel fake and uncomfortable.

    I do need a easy wrap dress.

    • Thanks Katrina! Geez that whole ensemble sounds totally glam for a ‘crap’ day!!!!! I totally agree that you have to be careful not to overtly. It can look very try-hard hey. Gosh I love the jersey dress, can’t recommend Sacha Drake highly enough but her dresses are a bit pricey. She does FANTASTIC sales though….. I recently saw a few wrap style dresses in Big W from the Peter Morrissey range. They were quite awesome!

  • Gigi, I love those t-shirts! I need to get to Miss Shop and snag a few. So much more office appropriate than tank tops.
    As a girl who only washes her hair once a week (because it’s such a fucking hassle), the ballerina bun is a polished look that hides a multitude of sins (and grease). x

    • Oh yay someone who doesn’t wash their hair everyday! Mine is currently very long and the hassle is just annoying. I am getting it chopped at Christmas time (donating the pony tail to the Cancer Council for wig making) and CANNOT wait to have breezy short hair. In the meantime ponytails and buns are the go.

  • Love this and totally agree with so many of your tips – especially this one ‘Your bra hasn’t been washed – wear it anyway, no one will see it’. I have done this so many times. I have a few go-to outfits that I will always go to when I am unorganised, otherwise it is all black. Love these tips. x

  • Great post. I have suits and dresses that only ever get worn to work. Every Sunday I take 10 minutes before I go to bed to make sure that they are all good to go. If I need a bit of a boost a giant sparkly brooch does the trick, or a pair of really ridiculous heels. I struggle with casual Fridays, usually I just drop the jacket from the suit. That’s casual isn’t it?

  • Sharp black Review pants and plain t-shirts or go-to black ASOS dress with forgiving waistline paired with statement necklace and bold flats. Hair; high ponytail, fold over and jab bobby pins in at random. Maybe a bright lip if I can be arsed!

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