This is the second in a series of 4 posts brought to you by Think Less Buttoned-Up—it’s a New 9 to 5.

Maintaining a neutral palette for a business casual wardrobe is a no brainer. Neutral colours are easy to remix into countless outfit combinations and they naturally communicate a non-nonsense and professional vibe. Wearing colour, on the other hand, needn’t make you look unprofessional. HOW you wear it makes the difference.

This professional outfit makes a statement with a rich colourful jacket:

In the next example, colour is added to a business casual outfit through a layering shell top and handbag.

If you’re bright colour shy, add low contrasting colours to neutrals instead of the high contrasting bold colours I’ve shown here. I’ve chosen bright colours because I gravitate towards them, but softer, muted, pastel or darker colours are also great options. Furthermore, you can swap out the coloured top in the first outfit for a neutral and layer over a cardigan in a colour. You could also leave both outfits entirely neutral and add colour through accessories like belts, rings, bracelets, beads or scarves.

If you want to play it safe, add only one or two colourful items (including accessories) to one outfit. But if you are not colour shy and it’s appropriate for your business environment, wear colour from head to toe. You’ll be perfectly on-trend this season sporting colour-blocked outfits.

Do you wear colour in your work environment, or do you prefer to stick to neutrals?