After last week’s hectically bright, patterned, and dressier outfit formula, it’s on to something neutral, relaxed and casual. These looks have a third piece — a jacket — because even when it’s hot outside, it’s handy to cover up in air conditioning, by the water, or when there’s a crisp chill in the air in the morning or evening. And in some casual office settings, you might want a jacket when you go into a meeting. Make sure you like the outfit without the topper too.

These toppers are for the most part utility-inspired, but feel free to make them gauzy cardigans or denim jackets instead. Choose any neutral colour palette.

1. Column of Black and Tan Topper

Combine a black skirt and top with a tan or olive utility jacket, and finish off the look with black sandals or slides. Easy! Here, the black buttons of the jacket effectively pick up the black of the separates. A casual black dress would work as well, and so would a pair of black cropped pants or shorts. A statement necklace will break up the black when you take off the jacket.

M&S Collection Tiered Midi Slip Skirt

2. Grey and White

Combine a white tee or shell top with Summery grey pants, and a white or cream topper. Add casual Summery footwear like slides, mules or sandals. The black slides here bookend the model’s hair beautifully, but you could go for shades of brown, white or metallic instead.

M&S Collection Evie Straight Leg Checked 7/8 Trousers

3. Denim Skirt and Espadrilles

Although I don’t wear heels or straight skirts, this one is my favourite of the four perhaps because of the addition of crisp blue denim. Combine a denim skirt with a black top like a tee, and top it off with a neutral utility jacket. Add wedged espadrilles that work with the palette and make a footwear statement. Scrunching jacket sleeves adds a relaxed vibe to the look.

MS& Collection Denim Midi Skirt

4. Blazered Athleisure

And last, combine a pair of earthy joggers with a black or white tee, and top things off with a Summery linen or cotton blazer. Semi-tuck the top for some structure, and to lengthen the leg line. Scrunch the sleeves of the blazer to relax the look. Add sandals like Birkies that work with the palette of the outfit. These white Birkies work well with the white top and striped blazer. White sneakers will work well too. Add jewellery, watch and eyewear as desired.

M&S Collection Tencel Utility Tapered Trouser