Fashion Correspondent is a monthly column curated by recognised voices from within the world of style. This edition is curated by The Times fashion director, Anna Murphy. Read on to discover her list of inspired workwear ideas for this summer season, available from King’s Cross and Coal Drops Yard retailers.
Summer workwear? It even sounds wrong. Isn’t summer supposed to be about everything but work? About fabulous far-flung fashion. About one variety of two-piece, not the suit, but the bikini. About looking the exact opposite of professional, thank you very much. Think cool-girl deshabillé not can-do smartness.
That’s why it can be hard to get dressing for the office right when temperatures rise. But there are also practical reasons. Even if it’s hot outside, air conditioning can make it chilly indoors. And those crumpled linens and so-light-as-to-be-almost see-through cottons that look great in Mykonos won’t do you the same favours in Marble Arch.
Yet what seems like a challenge at first can prove a great route into finessing a mode of dressing that combines the off-duty you with the on-duty you. Add those two together and what do you get? The real you. Result!
Mix it up
It’s good to be a little bit surprising, a little bit unpredictable, with what you wear. Take one piece that screams sundowners with friends, and pair with another piece that signals corner office power house, and the end result intimates that you mean business, but are anything but uptight. A good approach can be to buy a separates-based ensemble from the same brand so that you know they are conceived to work together.
3. COS Tank Top
4. COS Skirt
The one piece
Keeping things simple is key. Add a single item that does all the hard work for you, whether that is a dress or a jumpsuit, is a great way to go. You immediately look pulled together, but also as if you haven’t made any effort.
5. A.P.C. Dress
What would Katherine Hepburn do?
I think this is a good question to pose in life generally, but when it comes to summer dressing it’s particularly useful. The late Hollywood star knew the power of a crisp shirt and some simple slacks when the going gets hot. I love a frock as much as the next person, but on some days only the full Hepburn will cut the mustard.
9. Ba&sh Shirt
10. COS Trousers
12. MHL. Scarf
The ‘It has to be Summer’ Accessories
Playfulness comes across as summery, but it can be difficult to conjure with workplace-appropriate clothes. That’s why accessories are invaluable when it comes to effortlessly recalibrating your look. Some characterful jewellery. A bag that makes you almost smell the sea air. Sandals that help you to imagine you have sand between the toes whilst still presenting as upscale. Job done.
15. COS Sandals
16. Ba&sh Bucket Bag