5 on-trend staples that are perfect for work (or play)

As tailoring moves into the mainstream, and the line between smart and casual clothes is increasingly blurred, workwear is more versatile than ever.

Which is excellent news – because shopping is way more fun when it’s for clothes you’ll be wearing for weekend fun-times, and not just the daily grind.

Once considered office-only attire, blazers, blouses and Savile Row-inspired checks are breaking into off-duty territory, so you can invest in these on-trend pieces and mix them into your existing wardrobe with ease.

What to wear to work now? These five staples will help you crack the modern nine-to-five code…

1. The bold blazer

The undisputed jacket of autumn/winter 2017, check blazers have been trending massively over the last few months and long may that continue, we say.

Whether you coordinate it with matching trousers, or rock it with a white tee and jeans, your heritage-inspired blazer should be straight-cut, slightly oversized, and with a general nicked-it-from-my-boyfriend vibe.

(JD Williams/PA)

JD Williams Double Breasted Check Blazer, currently reduced to £54 from £60, and Tapered Check Trousers, £45 (shoes, stylist’s own)


ASOS Bold Check Blazer, £55

2. The statement blouse

More languid than the classic cotton shirt, this season it’s all about block-colour blouses in soft fabrics with beautiful detailing.

Think ruffles, rouching and wrap fronts – anything that adds interest and elevates a simple blouse and trousers combo into something a little bit special.


Kitri Agnes Burgundy Satin Blouse, £65, and Sergei Check Trousers, £85 (shoes, stylist’s own; kitristudio.com)


Lipsy Satin Knot Blouse, £40, Next

3. The high-waisted trousers

Crisp tuxedo pants will never go out of style, but for a 2018 update in the trouser department, it’s all about the paper bag waist – high, ruffled and with a tie belt.

In super-bright hues, these cropped styles are the ideal on/off duty separate, looking equally at home with the aforementioned statement blouse and blazer, or a chunky knit and pair of Adidas Gazelle trainers.

(Miss Selfridge/PA)

Miss Selfridge Ochre Paper Bag Trousers, £35

(F&F at Tesco/PA)

F&F Red Crop Trousers, £16, Tesco (available April)

4. The check skirt

The miniskirt has made a major comeback of late, and while Instagram’s favourite zip-up leather versions may not fly in your office, an understated check style probably will.

Teamed with opaque tights, a fine gauge knit and ankle boots, this is your short-cut to Sixties-esque chic.

(Miss Selfridge/PA)

Miss Selfridge Dogtooth Checked Mini Skirt, £28

(Tu at Sainsbury’s/PA)

Tu Monochrome Check Printed Floral Border Skirt, £16, Sainsbury’s

5. The shiny boots

There’s also more than a whiff of the Sixties about the season’s coolest footwear; shiny, block-heeled ankle boots

Dressy enough for the office but with a practical heel, they’re perfect for pairing with any of your new-season separates.


Sosandar Burgundy Patent Leather Perspex Heel Ankle Boots, £95 (sosandar.com)

(Jones Bootmaker/PA)

Jones Bootmaker Madalyn Boots, currently reduced to £69 from £99)

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