Is your work dress code one of those horrific 'smart-casual' categories, leaving you somewhere between jeans and a trouser suit? This jumper dress, from Stella McCartney at Net-a-Porter, is a great example of how to avoid flashing flesh whilst also not looking too uptight. It injects colour without blinding anyone sharing office space with you (take note, lovers of neon). The high street should have something similar next season, so keep an eye out.
If you feel too frumpy in trousers but you need something smart, this Primark dress (from the Autumn/Winter collection, as seen at Look Magazine Online) is the perfect solution. You can pick up a slip to wear underneath it, then add brogues or sandals depending on what the weather is doing at the time. The mid-length of this dress means that it's appropriate for work, but just keep the cleavage area covered. The shape of this piece is similar to Miu Miu's SS/11 collection, showing how the British high street is really listening to designers but hopefully moving away from producing carbon catwalk copies.
For classic shapes in neutral colours, see these three pieces from Vivienne Westwood online [collaged by me]. With a simple pin-tuck, the pinstripe pencil skirt is more flattering and forgiving on the hips - great if you're not exactly boyish in figure. The Dryad dress is an example of how to do work function chic - still looking smart, but with a more relaxed and summery vibe in white. Lastly, the striped shirt with tie-print detail shows how you can have fun with your 9-5 wardrobe. On the high street, look for skinny ties or shirts with piping detail and contrasting cuffs.
Is your workplace full of creative types and fashion-led outfits? Take a tip from Alexander Wang [also at Net-a-Porter], where you'll find the edgiest sunglasses for popping out of the office on a coffee run, the sensible black maxi skirt that spirals into ribbons, and the sheer shirt with leather edges. For similar products, check out River Island, Urban Outfitters and Topshop. Similar shirts are widely available in the sales at the moment, if you're willing to add your own panels.