I went shopping with a petite client who stands at 5 feet tall. She works in a corporate office and wears business casual attire four times a week, which means no denim. She prefers trousers over skirts and dresses for most days. She enjoys looking currently classic, professional and polished. 

Keeping in mind my must haves list for Spring and Summer 2016, the most important refresh of her look this season was adding cropped pants and ankle accentuating footwear. This combination set the foundation for a fast fall back outfit.

My clever client already had fabulous sandal booties to wear with cropped pants: Vince Camuto’s Lavette Perforated Peep Toe Bootie. They work very well for wide, high volume feet. The stable heel feels more like a two inch heel, it’s that comfortable. The ankle strap is in a great position to wear with shorter hemmed pants. My client got them in black and cognac and wears them all the time. 

With the sandal booties in hand, we headed straight to the petites department at Banana Republic and got the new Sloan-Fit ankle pants in black. They were still too long to wear with the sandal booties, so we had them hemmed to a shorter length right away using the Banana Republic alterations service. The pants look AMAZING with the sandal booties. 

At H&M we found a great non-crease, V-neck blouse with sleeves for $30 (it runs small so size up). We styled it untucked with the new cropped pants and sandal booties in the Banana Republic fitting room, and added a tomato red blazer that my client also liked. Right there and then, my client’s new Summer uniform was born. She completed the look with a brown tote that matches her brown hair and the tortoise shell button on the blazer. Here are the exact items. 

Later, I discovered that the $30 H&M V-neck blouse is available online in a cobalt blue. I suggested to my client that she get that one too, and wear it with the same cropped black pants, footwear and bag, but swap out the red blazer for the white one she has hanging in her closet. Here are the exact components of that outfit.

After also purchasing the Loft’s Riviera Cropped Pants in a petite white, and an abstract shirred blouse in light blue, we could use the same outfit formula by shopping for the rest of the items in my client’s closet. We added the Lavette sandal booties in cognac, the same cognac tote, and topped things off with a black blazer. Here are the exact components.

The outfit formula has become my client’s Summer workwear uniform because it’s easy to pull together, comfortable, great for domestic business travel, and looks fashionable too. The blazer is a must in air-conditioning, but feel free to leave it off in hot weather.