Pristine office style picks according to Phola Gumede, Kelly Fung and Pelontle Mosimege
Words: Jabulile Dlamini-Qwesha | Images: Supplied
Looking impeccable while you’re on the job has often been linked to better performance in the workplace and – even better – creating a good impression of professionalism with your coworkers. Putting in that extra effort may seem a little tedious when you have to do it on a daily basis, often at the crack of dawn when you’re not in the mood, but the benefits of being office style goals outweigh the schlep by far, especially when you consider that a large part of winning at work is managing perceptions well.
As at every workplace, there are the star players that do the style thing so well that you wonder how they get it right every time, we took it upon ourselves to get a quick rundown from three of our faves for some useful tips. Here’s what Digital Media Communications Manager and DJ Phola Gumede, magazine Editor-in-Chief Kelly Fung and Business Analyst and Blogger Pelontle Mosimege have to say about clocking the office style game…
Defining her look as ‘super comfortable and relaxed’, Phola throws the fashion factor into her work wardrobe by getting inspiration from Instagram stylistas like Mercedes Benson as well as putting together Pinterest boards. Which is a failsafe method, because having a clear vision of how you like to look allows you to shop with the type of purpose that consistently leads you to impeccable style choices.
And while you may experiment at times, having go-to pieces helps on the days when you really don’t feel like thinking about your look too much. Phola picks suits as her must-haves; ‘they can be dressed up formally or casually. I’m also such a sucker for a good slingback heel’.
A fashion aficionado we have all taken a lot of inspiration from, whether through her work or the outfits she puts together, Kelly Fung’s style is as consistent as it is fresh.
“I’m leaning toward having a uniform as I’m getting older; tailored black trousers, a good white tee and a red lip. I'll switch up the white with more black and throw a boyfriend blazer over it sometimes – usually when I need to feel the part in a big meeting. But right now, my main thing is expressing how I’m influenced by simplicity, classic wardrobes and garments that play various roles for different occasions – it's about ease of movement but distinct polish.”
Striking a superb balance between looks that borrow from trends of the moment and tasteful classics, Pelontle Mosimege’s office style comes through with a subtle power and lots of poise. ”My work style can be described in three words: comfortable, classic and chic. I think it’s important to invest in good basics – a blazer or high-waist trousers that you can easily switch up with accessories or on-trend pieces – and take it from there.”
Pelontle Mosimege started her blog The Office Edit when she started working straight out of university and couldn’t find a corporate fashion perspective that she could relate to. “There are lots of amazing street style bloggers and influencers in South Africa, but I had no one to look up to for everyday workwear inspiration, so I took it upon myself to be that person.”
Picking her Superbalist style staples according to her insistence on easy elegance, she went with a peasant blouse, tie-front trousers, a blazer as well as a bag that doubles up as backpack for versatility.
The key takeout: start with the classics, factor in your comfort and then sprinkle in the trends for a wardrobe that works as hard as you do.