There comes a time in every woman’s life when we’re standing in front of our curated workwear wardrobe, and we’re left feeling uninspired. The blazer’s been re-worn with the same crisp poplin blouse one too many times, and our good ol’ reliable tailored trousers have made a full orbit around all our polished tops, that we’ve run out of any possible new combinations.
To add, in all honesty, there’s only that many times we can style (and re-style) around the same fail-safe shirt-and-pencil-skirt formula before we once and for all proclaim, “That’s enough, time for something new.”
That doesn’t mean we have to frantically click “add to cart” for a whole new set of work-appropriate essentials. Instead, we suggest getting creative with the things we already own – but mostly overlook when it comes to dressing for work: Our summer-time staples.
Your lightweight pair of silk shorts can be paired with an oversized blazer for a contemporary finish. Your crochet top need not be set aside mainly for casual weekend styling; how about teaming it with a pair of leather trousers instead? And that dreamy floral dress you’ve been saving for your next dream vacay to the Bahamas can be worn it underneath a cropped jumper for a chic, feminine look.
Refresh your workplace ensembles and incorporate your summer wardrobe into the mix with our styling tips below.
1. Floral dress + Cropped jumper
Wiggy Kit Marina floral-print silk maxi dress, S$1,075 from Matches Fashion; Nagnata + Net Sustain cropped ribbed organic cotton sweater, US$179.68 (S$245.15) from Net-a-porter; Cult Gaia Kaia sandals, S$535 from Mytheresa
One of our current favourite things to do is to throw a cropped jumper on over a maxi dress. It mimics the look of wearing a sweater with a high-waisted flowy skirt, looks totally effortless, and feels comfortable to boot. So it came almost naturally to us to employ this styling trick with one of the biggest summer mainstays, a floral dress.
We’re opting for bright perky colours to put a little pep in our step; this light blue dress with vibrant red, orange and yellow floral motifs will team perfectly with a slouchy cropped hem turtleneck in a soft lilac hue. Finish the look with whimsical colourblocking sandals and you’re good to go.
Photos: Matchesfashion, Net-a-Porter and Mytheresa
2. Silk shorts + Oversized blazer
Raey pleat-detail silk-taffeta shorts, S$480 from Matches Fashion; Rokh plaid oversized blazer, US$1,708 from Farfetch; Staud Charlie snake-effect leather sandals, S$470 from Matches Fashion
Perfect for summer days due to its soft feel and breathability, silk shorts are heaven sent when it comes to dressing for scorching hot days. A tailored number such as this pair of dark blue pleat-detail shorts from Raey, would also work great for the office.
Inspired by the recent trend of foregoing the usual trousers for shorts when coordinating sharp tailored suits, we’ll be teaming our pair of shorts with an oversized plaid blazer and completing the outfit with ankle-strap heels with contemporary, sleek lines.
Photos: Matchesfashion and Farfetch
3. Cropped top + Culottes + Trench coat
Matteau The Square crop bikini top, S$145 from Matches Fashion; Osklen rustic culottes, US$251 from Farfetch; Isabel Marant Etoile Tipo trench coat, US$1,224 from Farfetch; Chloe Betty two-tone rubber ankle boots, US$378.02 from Net-a-porter
Elevate your cropped top and favourite pair of comfy culottes with a lightweight trench coat for a look that’s polished enough for the office. Opt for stylish autumnal neutrals with this look we’re propositioning: A rusty red bikini top styled with mustard culottes and a well-constructed khaki green trench coat.
To finish the outfit? A pair of military green-coloured rain boots elevated with elegance from Chloe.
Photos: Matchesfashion, Farfetch and Net-a-Porter
4. Crochet blouse + Sarong + Leather pants
Zimmermann Allia ruffle-trim crochet top, S$590 from Matches Fashion; Johanna Ortiz Costa Del Sol printed cashmere and silk-blend pareo, US$243.30 from Net-a-porter; Zeynep Arçay high-rise leather pants, S$2,439 from Mytheresa; Aquazzura minimalist 85 wedge sandals; S$685 from Mytheresa
Two of the biggest trends to emerge for the S/S ‘20 season are crochet knits and pareo skirts, so you can bet that we’ll be incorporating these two key items into our wardrobes pronto. One of the attributes of sarong skirts are their sort-of risque high-rise slit.
Countering this for an outfit fit for the workplace, we’ll be teaming ours with a pair of polished high-waisted trousers such as this smooth brown leather pair. We’re completing the ensemble with a romantic crochet blouse, and a pair of ‘90s inspired cork wedge heels.
Photos: Matchesfashion, Net-a-Porter and Mytheresa
5. Playsuit + Blazer
Tibi cotton-poplin playsuit, US$463.76 from Net-a-porter; Rejina Pyo double-breasted wool blazer, US$1,805 from Farfetch; Wandler Isa square open-toe satin mules, S$490 from Matches Fashion
A playsuit is like the jumpsuit’s cheekier, fun-loving younger sibling. The latter, with its lengthier-cut pants, packs a punch in sophisticated energy. That’s not to say you can’t rework the playsuit for a more work-appropriate styling though. Throwing on a relaxed blazer on top of it, for instance, can add refinement and an urban vibe to any playsuit.
Go for a cool utilitarian number, such as Tibi’s beige playsuit with a collar and patch pockets, and complement it with a dark brown oversized blazer, finishing the look with modern minimalist mules with squared open toes.
Photos: Net-a-Porter, Farfetch and Matchesfashion