Dressing for work in Singapore can sometimes be a no-win situation. It’s sweltering outside but frigidly cold in the office. And on especially hot days, when you’re dressed in your most lightweight, built-for-heat outfit, the office AC seems to be at its coldest.
What does a savvy woman to do? One word: Layering.
Layering is an effortless way to score a win against unforgiving office AC. Keep the layers on when it gets cold; peel them off when you need to head outside or when the office air seems stuffy. But there’s a trick to workwear layering. You need the right pieces and some basic style guidelines to pull it off with flair. With these outfit ideas to keep you warm, your days of banging at your keyboard with numb fingers are over.
Gucci leather and canvas trekking boots, S$1,640 from Farfetch; Prada floral-print pouch and leather-mesh tote bag, S$1,115 from Matches Fashion; Andrea Ya’Aqov vest slip dress, S$244 from Farfetch; Etro intarsia-knit cardigan, S$1,892 from Farfetch; HATCH The Chunky cardigan, US$360 (S$486.79) from Net-a-porter; Isabel Marant It’s All Right charm necklace, S$375 from Matches Fashion
The trick to layering is to start with the thinnest or most lightweight piece and work your way up in bulkiness so you don’t end up looking frumpy. Oversized cardigans in varying lengths, and with patterns and textures will give dimension to your look.
Team a slip dress with an intarsia-knitted longline cardigan from Etro and add a chunkier beige cardigan. Complete the look with accessories that will complement your look even as you shed the outer layers when you leave the office. Our suggestion? A dainty layered necklace and trekking boots.
Chloe Vick textured-leather tote, US$1,190 from Net-a-porter, Acne Studios Avalon Double wool and cashmere coat, S$972 from Mytheresa; 3.1 Phillip Lim crop knit sweater, S$916 from Farfetch; Chloe silk blouse, S$1,085 from Farfetch; Ann Demeulemeester skinny knot leather belt, S$390 from Matches Fashion; Fendi pleated-panel wool-blend tweed pencil skirt, S$2,815 from Matches Fashion; Sies Marjan black rea 40 crocodile embossed patent leather slingback pumps, S$1,027 from Farfetch
For a sleek and polished outfit that’ll also keep you warm, team your standard work-blouse-pencil-skirt combo with first, a cropped knitted sweater (here's our guide to the best sweater for your body type) and then, a sophisticated cashmere coat. Cinch the coat with a skinny belt to fake an hourglass figure under all those layers.
Mani striped leather clip-on earrings, S$515 from Matches Fashion; Shrimps Astrid faux-pearl and crystal-embellished bag, S$685 from Matches Fashion; Lisa Marie Fernandez belted linen maxi skirt, S$915 from Matches Fashion; Stand Mariska contrast collar faux fur jacket, S$426 from Farfetch; Faithful The Label Sloane cropped smocked linen top, US$140 from Net-a-porter; Weekend Max Mara Paglia cashmere scarf, S$435 from Matches Fashion; Proenza Schouler eyelet-embellished woven leather mules, US$813.21 from Net-a-porter
Still love your made-for-the-heat outfits in spite of the freezing temperatures in the office? This outfit’s for you. Pair a crop tube top with a high-waisted maxi skirt, and bring along a faux fur jacket to work. Leave a cashmere scarf at your desk too – it’ll keep you snug and warm when you feel the need for extra layers.
Prada jacquard-knit blazer, US$1,770 from Net-a-porter; Timeless Pearly mismatched hoop earrings, S$275 from Matches Fashion; Alessandra Rich crystal embellished cropped mohair blend cardigan, S$1,020 from Farfetch; Prada jacquard-knit straight-leg pants, US$1,300 from Net-a-porter, Miu Miu mesh patent-leather slingback kitten heels, S$1,185 from Matches Fashion; Chloé Marcie large croc-effect leather shoulder bag, US$2,250 from Net-a-porter
A coordinated blazer-and-trouser suit will make a fashion statement in the office. Wear the blazer unbuttoned over a knit sweater or fitted turtleneck, and a pair of matching trousers. When you leave the office, ditch the blazer (here's our guide to the best blazer for your body shape) for a look that’s equally chic and perfect for the humidity outside.
Marni Melville acrylic-trimmed leather shoulder bag, US$2,490 from Net-a-porter; Nili Lotan Isabella silk camisole, S$495 from Matches Fashion; Khaite Lucia oversized embroidered cashmere cardigan, US$1,750 from Net-a-porter; Self-Portrait ruffled asymmetric skirt, S$368 from Farfetch; Prada logo charm thin belt, S$460 from Farfetch; Malone Souliers Daisy leather boots, S$970 from Matches Fashion
Here’s a layering tip: Colour-coordinate all the different layers – too many colours makes for a sloppy-looking outfit. You can either stick to neutrals such as white, black, greys and browns, or build an outfit centered around one colour, but in different tones.
We put this style tip into play with this outfit: A white silk camisole with a beige statement asymmetrical skirt and a simple white cardigan.