If you work in an office, you’re probably constantly on the lookout for work-appropriate clothing you can add to your wardrobe. The good news is that since the pandemic, work wear trends have become more casual, focusing more on comfort. This means you can do a lot more, in terms of style, with your work wear outfits. There’s no need to stick to only neutral colours like black and navy blue. You can add more colour and statement pieces to your closet. That being said, how you dress should be dependent on your work environment. From business formals to smart casuals, there are different types of work wear styles so you can customise your looks. In this blog, we focus on some of the most stylish smart casual looks you can opt for to start your new year work outfits. But before we get to that, what are smart casuals?
One of the most popular dressing styles for everyday work wear, smart casuals are predominately casual styles with hints of formal attire thrown in. The apparel is neat, well-fitted and polished while yet being informal. This would include Polo t-shirts and casual trousers for men and A-line dresses and blouses for women. One of the best ways to nail this style is to pair one formal piece with a casual piece.
Here are a few such combinations to start your year off right:
Outfits for men
Layered in a sweater
With the last days of winter upon us, make the most of this season with this smart work outfit. The slim Polo t-shirt with a band collar from Fame Forever can be worn as the first layer. Add the red V-neck sweater from Colorplus over it to have hints of the Polo tee showing through. Complete your look with the regular-fit casual trousers in blue from Jack & Jones.
Spruced up in a Polo
Forca’s well-fitted Polo t-shirt in rust red will grab attention, especially when they notice the embossed logo on the chest. Tuck this t-shirt into the slim tapered formal trousers from Louis Philippe for a sophisticated look. This outfit will be perfect for a pair of loafers or derby shoes.
Classy in black
If you can go without a tie, this formal black shirt from Code is perfect for your new year work outfits. The slim fit, along with the mandarin collar will lend a more refined feel. Club it with the beige tapered casual trousers from Louis Philippe. Pair it with black formal shoes and accessories.
Dressed for sweater weather
Add that extra pop to your work wear with this full-sleeved sweater from Colorplus. The multi-coloured stripes add a casual appeal, while the zippered collar makes it look dressy. Slip on the black casual trousers from Code, and a pair of loafers for a more relaxed work outfit take.
Take your waiting-for-the-weekend look to the next level with this muted ensemble. Wrangler’s olive green Henley t-shirt can be worn with the dark-washed jeans from Killer. Throw on the zipped jacket in black from Code for a laid-back yet smart appearance.
Outfits for women
Elegant in purple
Become the talk of the office when you’re dressed in this full-sleeved shirt from Code in a luxurious purple hue. You can either pair this shirt with flared trousers or contrast the loose fit of the shirt with a tight pair of elasticated treggings. Add silver jewellery with hints of purple, such as purple gemstones, which will give you the confidence you need for those morning meetings.
Blazer for when you’re in doubt
A blazer never fails when you’re styling your work wear. And if you pick one like Van Heusen’s printed blazer, it will be an instant pick-me-up to your ensemble. Wear the light pink knit top from Code Classic underneath the blazer and Vero Moda’s slim-fit navy blue trousers as bottom wear.
Top notch in a skirt
Love skirts? You can elevate your work wear with the textured A-line skirt from Code. The playful plum-pink colour will transform your weekday mood. The midi skirt can be paired with the off-white casual top from AND. Go for three-quarter sleeves or cap sleeves, depending on your preference. Find yourself white and black heels and a white handbag for the right finishing touches.
Keep it simple with a jumpsuit
Allen Solly’s formal jumpsuit in white and black is ideal for any workday. The cropped-length trousers and inverted lapel neckline is what really stand out. A lightweight layer and subtle accessories will look polished.
Be the desi office girl
Leave the mixing and matching to the experts and pick this kurta set from Aurelia for an ethnic day at your office. The red A-line kurta is embellished with gold ethnic prints. It comes in a mustard green, also covered in pretty prints, and elasticated leggings in the same colour.
Tips for always looking work appropriate
- Dress according to your workplace: Some jobs require business formals while others have a more casual working environment. It’s important to dress for the occasion, so you blend in.
- Colour matters: The brighter or lighter a colour, the more casual it is. For example, a light blue pair of trousers is much more casual than navy blue, which is considered formal.
- Wear the right fits: Relaxed and loosely-fitted clothes are seen as more casual. The key is to avoid clothes that just hang on your body and hide their shape while also staying away from clothes that are too tight and skimpy.
- Stick to simple accessories: Save the chunky and heavy jewellery for your casual wear and opt for simple, timeless pieces instead.
- Buy the right shoes: From block heels to loafers, the right footwear will pull your whole outfit together, making you look much more professional.
- Be you: Despite all the rules around dressing for the workplace, don’t let them bog you down. The best way to be confident and ready to tackle the workday is by feeling comfortable and being yourself. So don’t forget to add your personal touch to your outfits and always pick apparel and accessories that reflect your personal style.