Five game-changing e-stores elevating women’s work wardrobes

Where to click for chic but hardworking staples

System of Motion cotton poplin Paul shirt, £115
System of Motion cotton poplin Paul shirt, £115

High-performance white shirts

It is quite a task to set out to reinvent the classic white shirt, but Prabha Rathinasabapathy is busy doing just that. Having spent seven years cycling though London every day (she once specialised in urban planning), she needed functional clothing that could move easily from bike to boardroom. Finding nothing and feeling frustrated, Rathinasabapathy become a fashion innovator. Her online store System of Motion is focused on refining the working woman’s classic white shirt so that it lives up to its form-meets function promise. A major factor was selecting a fabric that tackled perspiration but also felt as good as crisp cotton against the skin. The chosen material, “dri-tech poplin”, is quick-dry and wrinkle-resistant. Styles come with Bauhaus-inspired names – Walter (£98), a boyfriend-style shirt; Ludwig (£98), a slim-fitting number; and Paul (£115). The latter, named after Paul Klee, comes with a playful twist – wide sleeves that can be transformed into narrow at the pop of a button. Walter and Ludwig are also available in blue and a blue-and-white stripe. somolondon.comMARY LUSSIANA

Dai stretch-jersey Trail Blazer jacket, from £345, and stretch-jersey Power Move trousers, £190
Dai stretch-jersey Trail Blazer jacket, from £345, and stretch-jersey Power Move trousers, £190 | Image: Marija Vainilaviciute
Advertisement

Fitted but fabulous-feeling separates

Struck by how stiff and uncomfortable she often felt in the clothes she wore to work, Joanna Dai left her investment-banking position at JP Morgan in London in 2016 with the idea of creating tailored, office-friendly workwear that would allow women to move just as comfortably as they would in sportswear. She launched her own online store Dai in 2017 with a capsule collection of elegantly tailored but stretchy and comfortable trousers, jackets, cuffed blouses and dresses. “My personal preference was for dresses, but it was a suit – Trail Blazer jacket (from £345), Power Move trousers (£190) and a Now and Forever blouse (from £145) – that was by far the most popular.” Dai’s designs now include mix-and-match separates in neutral colours like navy and cream: cropped trousers (from £155), sleeveless shift dresses (from £245) and a fetching cream blazer (£395). “I use mainly performance fabrics, but also silk because it’s breathable,” she says. One fabric she sourced from an Italian company, Eurojersey, was chosen because of its easy-to-wear properties such as wrinkle-resistance, as well as for its eco credentials. daiwear.com. ELISA ANNISS

From left: Michaela Jedinak Anna bodycon dress, £395, Brina dress, £395, and Inez wrap dress, £520
From left: Michaela Jedinak Anna bodycon dress, £395, Brina dress, £395, and Inez wrap dress, £520
Anna Mason Jasmine chino top, £360, and cotton Beau trousers, £360
Anna Mason Jasmine chino top, £360, and cotton Beau trousers, £360

Form-flattering styles for high-fliers

For women, a work wardrobe is not a simple formula: it’s about finding something that is modern, fashionable… and feminine. Enter Michaela Jedinak, whose eponymous label was created with high-flying, busy women in mind. The focus is on figure-flattering silhouettes, premium Italian fabrics and fine tailoring, and the elegant results are regularly seen on influential women such as Arianna Huffington, the co-founder of The Huffington Post. On her e-boutique, Jedinak offers 106 dress designs, all of which are made in the UK in a range of fabrics and colours. The collection ranges from contemporary-classic pieces – the full-skirted, box-pleated Alana (£395) or the bodycon Anna (£395) – to the more versatile and flirty, such as the Inez wrap dress (£520) and the feminine Brina (£395). The website also allows shoppers to select pieces according to body shape (of which there are seven choices). michaelajedinak.com. MING LIU

Flair Atelier No 200 dress with shirt-style top, £400
Flair Atelier No 200 dress with shirt-style top, £400
Advertisement

Punchy pieces with personality

Designer Anna Mason launched her London studio in 2012 after a career that took her from the Royal College of Art to the design teams of Karl Lagerfeld, MaxMara and Valentino, before returning to London to work for Amanda Wakeley and then as a personal stylist. But it was the clothes that she made for herself that inspired her own label, available online. Liberty prints, chambrays and cottons are elegantly cut with bold but romantic silhouettes to create a high-powered, womanly collection that turns heads.The Bardot midi dress (£650) matches subtle balloon sleeves – a design favourite of Mason’s – with an easy belted, full-skirted cut, available in black or cream cotton sateen. A balloon-sleeved blouse (from £350) has delicate pleat details and deep cuffs and comes in navy and khaki cotton or raspberry and cream-coloured cord, pairing well with Mason’s high-waisted, flared Beau trousers (from £360). There are both ready-to-wear and made-to-order options. annamasonlondon.co.uk. CLARE COULSON

Customisable, made-to-order dresses

Marianna Ferro’s experience as a trader, a private-equity adviser and in international development gave her a very good idea of what working women want in their wardrobes. Her chic e-site Flair Atelier offers three dress silhouettes, put together by former Burberry design director Dean Thomas. The No 100 (from £290) is a clean-cut shift shape; the No 200 (from £330) hugs the body with a more fitted shape; and the No 300 (from £360) is a flattering fit-and-flare dress. Each can be customised with a choice of six tops (from a simple V-neck to an elegant tie-neck), seven sleeve options and a choice of skirt lengths. For the time being, the “colour” options are black, white or a mixture of both. The final product is cut and constructed by hand, in London and Italy. “Our fabrics are made by some of the best Italian mills,” says Ferro of the tactile crêpe-cady and stretch-cady viscose that appear in each design, as well as the linings and lace inserts. Fabric swatches can be sent out, and in London Flair Atelier can book an appointment with one of its personal stylists, who offer a full style consultation. “We are also working on a ‘travelling collection’ – a capsule wardrobe designed for women travelling for business that is made from a high-performance, entirely wrinkle-free fabric.” flair-atelier.comCLARE COULSON 

See also

Advertisement
Loading