We talked about upscale silk sweatshirts earlier this week, and how they can work as a blouse. Your enthusiasm for the style was my inspiration for this ensemble. I’ve divided it into three looks, each with a different mood and style of bottom. 

The outfits on the left and in the middle are business casual and sans denim. The outfit on the right is denim friendly. The (almost) all black outfit is neutral with a harder edge. The pretty outfit in the middle is feminine, dressy and incorporates a dash of colour. And the outfit on the right is casually crisp with a boho touch. All renditions are modern.

Here are the components. Choose any colour palette.

Top: You’ll need an upscale silk sweatshirt, or silk front sweater as some retailers call them. Remember that the silky part of the sweatshirt can be polyester or a silk blend. Choose solids or patterns, and scrunch the sleeves for structure. Wider necklines, like an open scoop or boat neck, look good on broader shoulders, shorter necks and larger bustlines. 

Bottoms: You have several options, but I stuck to three that are very wearable: 

  1. Cropped Ankle Pants: Great for the office. Choose a flattering length
  2. Pencil Skirt: Take a break from shirts and blouses and pair the pull-on-and-go upscale sweatshirt with a pencil skirt instead. On trend, comfortable and more forgiving than a stiff structured tucked top. 
  3. Flared Jeans: Try the look with bootcuts or a more dramatic flare, just for fun. 

Of course, skinnies and straight leg jeans will work too, as will pedal pushers and shorts. Boyfriend jeans are trickier if you need to wear a belt. The faux tuck is a little off when the sweatshirt is too long, creating a weird silky pouf on the midsection. It’s fine if you wear slim-fit boyfriends that do not require a belt, and leave the sweatshirt untucked. 

Flared skirts can work, although you have to be at peace with the amount of volume on both the top and the bottom. Bootcut trousers instead of jeans are another option. 

Footwear: Choose footwear to suit the style of bottom. I chose a high-vamped cage sandal in the same colour as the ankle pants to elongate the leg line. I chose a pointy toe d’Orsay pump in white for the pencil skirt, although ankle strap pumps would be just as fab. And casual heeled booties for the flared jeans. 

Accessories: Choose a bag to suit the mood of the outfit. I chose a work tote for the dressier business casual outfits and an angular clutch for the denim look because I like the juxtaposition of the strict straight lines of the clutch with the more whimsical flare of the jeans. Finish off the look with jewellery, watch and eyewear as desired. 

I left off the topper because it’s not necessary unless you need extra insulation. The point of this outfit is that you don’t need that third piece to make it look fabulous. The upscale silk sweatshirt is sufficiently covered and interesting to stand on its own. 

Silk Sweatshirt