Fashion is in flux right now, and so are most of our wardrobes. We’ve all been so desperate to get back to ‘normal’, but it still feels strange, doesn’t it? Being back out in the world wearing something that isn’t made of spandex! And now all of this talk about hybrid workwear! What does it mean? Is it the same as smart casual? Should it be more or less smart than casual? Does it involve denim? Is colour okay? These are the questions coming my way from my Instagram followers and Styled By: customers. So here are some straightforward, practical ideas on how to build a hybrid workwear wardrobe that will function for you whether you’re in a corporate or creative job.
Begin with a great skirt, a well-tailored pair of trousers and a chic blazer. This is the holy trinity of your new workwear wardrobe. They’re smart but not stuffy; they’re comfortable rather than restrictive; and they are hardworking staples that will serve you throughout the working week and right across the weekend. While the phrase hybrid workwear might send your mind into a muddle, the reality is refreshing – clothes that can be interchanged for work, rest and play.
The Florette midi skirt, for instance, is an absolute workhorse of a piece. It’s the ultimate day-to-night staple as it can be styled to look chic and understated or cocktail-party glamorous. For work, wear it with a simple black polo-neck or the Palace knit in Camel and black boots, for evening team it with a silk cami and the Enid Satin Blazer. Both looks are smart and professional but not uniform-like, which is the sweet spot you want to hit.
Shades of sand, gold and camel are great anchors for a hybrid workwear wardrobe because they’re classic and a little fresher than neutrals such as black and navy. Plus, they’re so versatile and work with almost every other colour.
This is why I chose to stock the Evie trousers. Again, they come in a gorgeous shade of light brown which will make navy or black separates feel a little more punchy but no less sophisticated. Wear with the Thorina blouse and Palace camel knit for a sophisticated look VB herself would be proud of! Or wear with the Navy knit roll neck, the hildie mock croc boots and finish the look off with the Evelyn coat for a sophisticated and modern aesthetic.
For those of you who want to embrace more colour now that the parameters of what we can wear have changed, camels work brilliantly with pink and baby blue, so try the Evie trousers with the Phalab or the Brook knit. It’s a comfortable, easy-to-wear outfit that has personality and looks impeccably put together. The cut of the Evie trousers makes them a winner for me. They’re ultra-flattering, balancing out hip and shoulder proportions, but they’re not too wide in the leg either.
A blazer is the other essential you won’t regret investing in. All you need is one flexible jacket that will elevate anything from dark denims to a simple black skirt. The Cesina or Dana blazer, for instance, is a great throw-over during the week when you need to up the ante a little, but it is also a great option for smartening up modern sweat pants at the weekend too. Once you have these three separates in place, build around them with neat-fitting cardigans, like the boxy Brook knit, tactile crew necks and V-necks (a mix of both will prevent your outfits from looking samey) and a couple of well-cut white shirts, the Phoebe shirt is such a cool option with the ruched sleeve detail, add the Brook knit vest for extra fashion cred.
The essence of a hybrid workwear wardrobe really is comfortable but well-cut separates. Formal co-ords feel outdated right now and restrictive silhouettes unnecessary. So no more compartmentalising your wardrobe. Buy what you love and embrace these few simple styling points for a great value, hardworking wardrobe!