Matching a fit and flare dress with a cropped and tailored jacket is a timeless and ageless outfit combination. It’s a great look for a business casual work environment, a dressier evening out, lunch date with friends, or whenever else it tickles your fancy. 

The pairing of fitted jacket and flared dress is somewhat ladylike, retro and dressy. Some will even think of it as overly feminine and prissy. The thing is, you can change the vibe of the clothes by pairing them with different styles of footwear. Dress the look up or down. Throw in a bit of edge. Add in an extra modern shoe. Create a retro or arty mood. Or keep it girly and sweet.

I have chosen bold, striped fit and flare frocks because they are on-trend for Spring/Summer 2012. I’ve matched them up with a short white linen jacket for a Summery and relaxed effect. I’ve added in an assortment of shoes that work with either dress and jacket pairing. Ballet flats, flat oxfords, loafers and thong sandals if you like to wear flats. Stacked ankle strap sandals, platform espadrilles, wedges and stilettos for those who prefer heels. There is neutral animal print for the pattern mixers. There are brights for the colour lovers. Neutrals for the neutral lovers.  High vamps and low vamps. Mainstream choices and less expected pairings. I could have also added in slipper flats, booties, metallic sandals, mary janes or cage heels. Take your pick. 

As with all the formulas, I sow the seed of an idea. The next step is to substitute the items that are true to your style persona. Perhaps you’d fancy a solid dress and colour-blocked handbag. A pastel or earthy colour palette. A cotton blazer. The addition of tough shoes or dainty strappy sandals. The possibilities are endless. 

Personally, I’d wear either dress with a collared cropped linen jacket, paired with the animal print ballet flats, yellow loafers or flat white oxfords. Which combination do you like best?