Years ago, there was your summer wardrobe and your summer work wardrobe, and never would the two sections of your closet meet. Not anymore—summer workwear dressing has evolved dramatically. “The rules have changed,” says Toronto stylist Erin Nadler with Better Styled. Nadler breaks down 5 ways to the season’s hottest runway trends to work this summer.
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Summer work style rule #1: Transition your winter pieces
“Pick the best trends from fall and spring and pair them together,” says Nadler. Try a long slip dress with a cozy cardigan, or a blazer with a coloured ankle pant. (Bonus? No need to a layer an oversized winter coat over top.) The idea is to work in key summer fashion trend items into your wardrobe of basic pieces. “Pick up a pastel blouse in lilac or baby blue for a light and fresh piece for spring,” she adds.
Summer work style rule #2: Update your office suiting
Menswear-inspired fashion is heading full force into spring—with oversized collared shirts at Alexander Wang and striped short suits at Ralph Lauren leading the way. “Try a striped contrast collar shirt tucked into a straight skirt,” says Nadler. Or wear under a shift dress to add a sophisticated touch to a playful summery frock (note: this will also keep you warm in frigid air-conditioned offices).
For a sportswear-take on the tuxedo pant, look for a racer stripe along the side, and pair with a peplum top. “It’s the athletic trend—only elevated!” says Nadler, adding that you can add a jacket over top to wear to meetings during the day, then leave it at your desk for after-hours events.
Summer work style rule #3: Try a graphic print
“Colour and prints are making their way into the office,” says Nadler, citing mix of painterly swirls with nautical stripes showing up in blouses under suiting or in fun, chunky heels. This way, it’s easier to adding bright corals and milky pastels into your work wardrobe in a less conspicuous way.
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Summer work style rule #4: Test-drive sheer and cutouts—strategically
We’re leaving no fashion trend left out of our work wardrobe this season—and this means yes, wearing sheer lace blouses and cutout skirts to the office. Nadler suggests layering under (and over) a sheer blouse for maximum coverage. To preserve the delicate nature of the look, leave the item sheer at the top of the neck or at the waist—same goes for a cutout dress. “It can be cool and office appropriate at the same time,” she says.
Summer work style rule #5: Embrace your sporty side
Crop tops, bomber jackets, even high-top sneakers can have their place in the office, depending on the corporate culture and how you wear these pieces. Try a bomber jacket—in a variety of styles and fabrics—and pair with an ankle pant and great pump. “It can still be super corporate,” says Nadler. For a crop top, add a high-waisted skirt with a longer jacket. And if you’re in a more creative environment, or on casual Fridays, pair jeans and a blazer with a high-heel trainer.
Then take it to the game after work.
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