She’s the baddest gal on the block, and we love her for it. Lee Chae-rin, who goes by the alias CL, rose to fame when she was the leader, main vocalist and rapper for the now-defunct girl group 2NE1.

The group put out top songs like Lonely (2011), Falling in Love (2013) and Come Back Home (2014), before disbanding in 2016.

Despite so, Lee didn’t flinch. She went on to debut as a solo artiste in America in 2014, releasing her first song, Hello B*tches, just a year later. In 2018, she ventured into film, starring as Queen (how apt!) in Mile 22, alongside Mark Wahlberg and John Malkovich. At the end of 2019, CL released her first solo extended play, In the Name of Love.

She’s also known for her bad-girl streetwear-inspired style. However, there are moments where she switches it up, stepping out in something understated and elegant that surprisingly, could sit well in an office setting.

To commemorate her 29th birthday (which falls on Feb 26), we have shortlisted five of her most fashionable looks that you, too, can rock from 9 to 5.

1. Beauty in black

Photo: Instagram/chaelincl

Instead of a slinky bodycon dress, opt for a midi wrap dress for your 9 to 5 job. You see CL in a black wool coat as a dress, but you get the idea. Go for the style in cotton, silk, viscose or polyester for to reference the look. Complete the outfit with a crossbody bag.

Helmut Lang cutout ribbed-knit mini dress, US$403.81 (S$563.13) from Net-a-Porter

This might look like an ordinary LBD (here are some not-so-ordinary little-black dresses) that ends right above the knees. But once it is worn on the body, it reveals sexy well-placed cut-outs that show a little skin and accentuate the feminine form. The dress ends right above the knees so it isn’t too much for the office either. Put on a pair of sharp black sandals and a bold red pout to ease from the boardroom to bar on Fridays.

2. Printed pants

Photo: Instagram/chaelincl

CL’s checkered wide-leg trousers matched with a black turtleneck top is kosher in almost any situation. Wear this with a pair of heels and let your trousers swoosh down to the floor.

Acne Studios Patrina cropped pinstriped grain de poudre wool flared pants, US$384 (S$535.51) from Net-a-Porter

Vertical stripes serve to create an illusion of longer, leaner gams – a look everyone would gladly have. Moreover, the pale orange colour adds a touch of brightness without being too overpowering like a neon. Finish with the matching coat and black leather boots.

3. Suited perfectly

Photo: Instagram/chaelincl

Despite the Asian squat pose, we couldn’t help but admire the outfit. The power suit needs not much introduction. We’ll just say that it’s perfect for those Monday boardroom meetings. CL’s was in a pinstripe, but also look for one in black, navy, burgundy and camel. You can’t go wrong.

Altuzarra Olivisi belted double-breasted cotton-blend blazer and Ned cotton-blend twill flared pants, US$1,646.68 (S$2,296.38) and US$632.71 (S$882.35) from Net-a-Porter

Instead of the formulaic black, try adopting pops of colours with your sharp pantsuits. You can start with this crisp orange Altuzarra number that features a detachable leather belt with contrast detail. Simple gold hoops and pointed heels would complement the outfit.

4. A touch of glam

Photo: Instagram/chaelincl

Bedazzlement in the form of a jewelled collar or sleeves dresses up a plain outfit. CL kept her accessories muted, and the main colour of her dress black, making this an appropriate style for the office.

Paco Rabanne crystal-embellished jersey midi dress, $800 from MatchesFashion

The long sleeve midi cut provides a balance against the crystal-embellished detail of the dress, making it perfect for the office. But if you think this is too conservative for you, this Paco Rabanne design has a cutout back for extra sex appeal points. Heels or boots would complete the look.

5. Jumpsuit and sneakers for Fri-yays

Photo: Instagram/chaelincl

Friday’s the only day in the week where you can dress casually to the office. However, don’t show up in a tank tops and shorts.

Learn this trick from CL: Look sharp and smart in a jumpsuit, but give it a casual twist by donning a pair of cool kicks. For additional fierceness, paint your lips ruby red.

Emilia Wickstead Rosabel sweetheart-neckline wool-crepe jumpsuit, $1,600 from MatchesFashion

This ivory jumpsuit is made with sumptuous wool crepe. We’re loving the clean lines of the sweetheart neckline and the fitted waist that opens to flared cut trousers. Pair it with wedges or white heels.