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By Chief Bargain Hunter Chelsea Thomas

Heading back into a new work year can mean schlepping around in the same pieces.  Black pants, black blazer, black heels. It can get a bit tiresome.

This year why not try and shopping ‘n’ styling things up like a girl boss, with some high waisted, patterned skirts, big-sleeved power shirts and colour. Lots of bold colour. All the pieces below, are under $100 and available at Marks and Spencer, now.

Corporate, or not your ‘work ‘drobe’ needs to be sharp and easy. All the tops I chose can easily be paired back with denim and black so you can mix and match pieces with what you already own.

  1. Ruffle some feathers

I have always been a fan of ruffles and since owning a steamer (got one for Xmas) I can wear ruffles any day of the week, and they’re feminine and fun.

Only $58 and great for a casual Friday-thing. Shop it here.

Try styling it with some hoop earrings and some fine gold jewellery.

The tied the fabric belt at the back instead of bringing it around the front. Gave me a waist.

2. Day to night

This look is classic, on-point and says ‘I’m all business’. The flute cuff round neck top (how’s the sleeve detail? ohhh) is only $35. I have worn this a handful of times already and I always get comments. It’s a very flattering cut.

I tucked it into the Cotton Blend Printed Fishtail Skirt ($71) and the contrast of the white top against the emerald green works a treat.

For extra glam, pop on a bold set of statement earrings. These ones are Enpointe Collective.

3. Let’s do lunch

Every now and then, sport a mini and a shirt. It’s a cool, sexy way of doing work wear. The Petite Pure Cotton Floral Embroidered Shirt ($58) is a must-have (imagine it with a pair of denim for dress-down Fridays as well!). Embroidery is big this year.

The contrast trim patch pocket mini skirt  ($63) is a fun addition to the back-to-work wardrobe. It won’t be for everyone but I always think if the top is covered well, you can afford to wear a shorter skirt. My mantra. Noone elses. 🙂

I teamed with a neutral tan pair of heels. Ankle boots or nude heels would also work.

4. Grey All Day

Have you ever worn an entire outfit in the same colour tones? It is such a nice change to black and white!

The ruffle checked midi skirt ($71) is all about fun and stealing the high farshuuun, without the hefty price tag. I’ve teamed with a printed star tee of my own (super dooper affordable) and I’ve kept my heels in the same tone too.

I shopped a size 10 and it’s pretty snug but true to size.

Always wear a midi like this one, with a decent heel, otherwise you might appear slightly shorter than what you actually are!

Drum rolllll. I know you will all think I’m nutty for pairing stripes and florals. But it just works. You can see both of these garments would quite easily work by themselves. The petite floral shirt ($49) with some tailored pants and the striped skirt with a simple tee.

The assymetrical wrap print dress for only $35 (YES WAY!) is probably one of the most comfortable skirts I own. The shape is very cool. And may I add, the waist is elasticated! Massive bonus.

Add some coloured heels if you dare.

I Heart Bargains is sponsored by Marks and Spencer and Shopping Links.

Photography: Lizzie Halloran

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