Trend Tutorial (Office Edition): From Work to Play

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By Joyce Chua

Because the question of what to wear to work comes back to haunt us every day from Monday to Friday, we’ve decided to put together a guide on how to throw together an outfit that is 9-to-5 appropriate.

And just to be clear, office-appropriate doesn’t mean boring or stuffy. Whether your office conservative, sophisticated, or casual and creative, here are some pointers that apply to any style-conscious lady.

Get inspired and check out these work wear OOTDs.

Work that Monochrome

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This is arguably the easiest way to dress for the office. You can’t go wrong with a monochromatic blazer and pants/skirt ensemble. But it may also veer into the predictable territory. To spice up your look, add a statement piece, or a fun item to your look — that can be a pair of killer heels, a bag, jewellery, a watch, or even your lips or nails. It’s all in the details.

[Related article: 5 Style Items to Refresh Your Work Wardrobe]


Work that Statement Dress

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If you’re a girly girl who loves flowy maxi dresses, flirty flare dresses, dainty jewellery, it may seem like the office dress code is restricting your style. But there is a way to make gingham and tulle look smart-casual.

[Related articles: Trend Tutorial: Minimalist Chic]

The key lies in the hem. Knee-length or over-the-knee dresses or skirts works in almost any colour or print, especially for a conservative workplace. Cinch in your dress at the waist and throw on a smart blazer, and you can pair it with footwear ranging from heels to ballet flats.


Work that Layering

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Blazers, vests, and cardigans not only add some professional flair to a basic outfit, they also protect you from the office A/C. Dial up the style factor by layering with a statement print like houndstooth or checks, or ground a loud print with some monochromatic outerwear.


Work those Vertical Stripes

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One of the most classic prints you can ever wear, stripes are timeless, classy, and can easily find a place in any wardrobe. Vertical stripes also flatter your shape in every way. Just ask those stylish ladies seen on the streets of Milan and New York!


Work that Slouchy Silhouette

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Slouch too sloppy for the office? Think again. Loose silhouettes, when coupled with crisp accessories, can look work-appropriate too. Look for crisp shirts to go with your slouchy pants, or stilettos to match your slouchy blazer. Add on a structured tote bag and you’ve got insouciant-chic down pat.


Work those Extra Details

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Like they say, the devil’s in the details. A statement work bag or an unexpected fabric juxtaposition (denim and tweed, cashmere and leather — go wild!) can be all you need to add some pizzazz to your office OOTD. So be bold and take on an accessory or two to pair with your outfit!

[Related article: A Working Woman’s Guide to Wearing High Heels Pain-Free]

What’s your go-to look for the office? How do you update your basic workwear look? Share your style tips in the Comments section below!