Shopping with business casual clients has been extra fun recently because of the assortment of fresh and wearable Spring trends. Along the way I realized that you can refresh your business casual capsule by adding a few key silhouettes. So if your business casual style feels stale, this is a good place to start.
These items are easy to remix with existing pieces, which makes them all the more fab. I’ve stuck to neutrals but any colour palette that tickles your fancy is good. Also, I’ve given a few examples of each item, but there are many more versions available and you should find the one that’s best suited to you.
Non-Leather Moto Jacket
The point is to have fluid options beyond the classic tailored blazer. So think shorter moto styles in boxier styles. Spring and Summer tweed, cotton and linen blends are ideal. Mixed media and knits are fab too. Sleeves can be long or cropped. Wear this style of jacket open. Closed is an option if you prefer a more structured look. Of course, a lightweight leather jacket that you can wear comfortably in the office is also a good idea.
Spring knitwear is brilliant for many reasons. It keeps you warm and covered. It’s easy to throw on and comfortable to wear throughout the day. No gaping at the bust when layering over a jacket. Plus, knitwear can feel as lightweight as a blouse or tee these days if you choose the right yarn and gauge.
The point is to wear fluid knitwear over trousers and skirts. The silhouette isn’t tailored through the mid-section, but a little more roomy. A welted style adds the structure back in, but non-welted styles with high-low hemlines can work pretty well too. Wear this style of top under the roomier non-leather moto.
Cropped Pants or Ankle Pants
Give bootcut trousers and pencil skirts a break with tapered cropped pants. Wear the length just past the ankle bone, or three to four inches above the ankle bone like the two styles shown here. These are proportionally easy lengths to style on all body types. You’ll further elongate the outfit by adding heeled footwear and by fully or partially tucking the top. Think solids or patterns.
Ankle Strap Pumps
One of the most effective ways of refreshing a business casual wardrobe is by incorporating on trend footwear. The two examples below are spot on. The ankle strap pump was created to pair with cropped pants, and looks just as amazing with skirts and dresses. You can wear them under bootcut trousers, but that means covering up the detail of the ankle strap. Refresh your memory by following these guidelines on how to choose comfortable and flattering ankle strap footwear.
D’Orsay pumps or flats are another way to go, and you’ll be surprised at how they successfully update the most classic business casual outfits. Most of the vamps are high, but d’Orsays with lower vamps do exist, as do styles with only one cut-out side. You’ll probably need to size down half a size in order for them to stay on your feet. The Vince Aurelian Pump and the Cole Haan Amalia Skimmer Flat have been winners with my clients because they are quite comfortable.
A new set of belts is another way to refresh a business casual wardrobe if you like to fully or partially tuck fluid tops. Think solid colours like shades of white, light brown and metallic, or patterns like snakeskin and cheetah. Pastel belts are lovely too. And remember that a new hairstyle and updating your eyewear are two ways to refresh your style before you’ve addressed the wardrobe items. You might find that a new ‘do is all it takes to be set for Spring and Summer.