This ensemble was inspired by an outfit in the Banana Republic lookbook, which I thought was a very fashionable way to sport Summer business casual. You could also wear the outfit out to lunch or dinner. Or out and about with a more casual pair of shoes because there is life after jeans.
Of course, if wearing sleeveless tops and open sandals to work is not an option, substitute those items with a sleeved blouse and closed toe footwear like pumps or flats.
Culottes have become a trendy and very wearable mainstream item, but they might not be your cup of tea. So I’ve provided cropped pants (ankle length or shorter) and a pencil skirt as alternatives.
Here are the components of the ensemble:
Bottoms: Think black culottes, harem pants, cropped pants or a pencil skirt. I’ve deliberately kept jeans out of the formula, but feel free to substitute these dressy bottoms with black jeans.
Tops: Choose a light neutral top with or without sleeves in a silhouette that works with the bottoms. Keep the fabric dressy for business casual, or jersey for a more relaxed vibe. Wear the top untucked in a fluid of tailored fit. Choose a print or solid. I like cobalt matched with black if you’d prefer to wear a colour. Solid pastels look fab too.
Black Vest: You’ll need a black moto vest in leather or pleather, or a dressier style of black vest in a non-leather fabrication. Layer it over the top and wear it open.
Footwear: Choose black sandals, peep-toe booties, heeled mules, pumps, ankle strap pumps or flats, or slipper flats. I threw in a pair of sneakers for those who want to interpret the ensemble in a Sporty Luxe way.
Accessories: Finish off the outfit with a Spring or Summer bag, which means preferably not black. I vote metallic, pastel, dove grey, tan or white. I’ve also included a wristlet because sometimes that’s all you need. Add jewellery, eyewear and watch as desired.
I have yet to add a structured vest (sleeveless jacket) to my own wardrobe. Perhaps this will be the year I do that. Dressy vests provide practical outfit interest on a hot day when it’s too warm to wear a sleeved jacket.