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The Fashion Memo

8 ultra-chic workwear updates

Meeting ‘office-appropriate’ dress codes is no excuse for letting your sartorial standards slip. This season, the runways were awash with jaw-dropping looks that will work perfectly for smashing the glass ceiling in style. These are the pieces that promise to transform your 9-5…

Carolina Herrera FW18

A red suit

Stand out in a sea of gray by opting for a scarlet suit. Championed for FW18 by everyone from established brand Carolina Herrera to emerging label Racil, red was the standout shade of the season. Whether you opt for rich jewel tones or a deep burgundy hue, layer over a cashmere sweater and pair with sleek monochrome accessories. When it’s time to clock off, just add some architectural earrings and leave your to-do list on your desk.


Wide-leg pants

Never underestimate the power of precision-tailored pants – the perfect accompaniment to everything from crisp shirting and romantic, ruffled blouses to classic tees; find the right pair and you’ll wonder what you ever wore before. This season, cast your net wide – leg, that is. Jacquemus’ yellow pants are sure to bring sunshine to rainy days, while The Row’s sophisticated gray slacks will give your look a cool, androgynous edge. Play with proportions and pair yours with second-skin knits and stilettos – all the better to maximize their leg-lengthening properties.

  • The Row
    Ina grain de poudre wool straight-leg pants
  • Alighieri
    The Remedy Chapter i gold-plated pearl necklace
    + Weejuns The Whitney glossed-leather loafers
Pernille Teisbaek

A ladylike bag

Forget your over-stuffed tote and pick up a prim top-handle bag instead. With their clean lines, elegant hardware and deceptively simple design, top-handles by the likes of Valextra, Hunting Season and breaking brand Gu_de will add serious style to your office attire. They’re also deceptively capacious, so even hoarders will be happy.

  • Fendi
    Kan I embossed leather shoulder bag
  • Bottega Veneta
    Piazza large color-block leather tote
  • Dolce & Gabbana
    Sicily medium textured-leather tote
Jil Sander FW18

A navy coat

This season’s most covetable coats have one thing in common: color. Leading labels Chloé, Agnona and Jil Sander are all championing dark blue hues for FW18. Not only is navy perennially chic, the clever cuts and incredible quality of these coats mean they will always be on heavy rotation. Shrug yours on over heritage suiting, cozy turtlenecks and wide-leg pants.

  • Joseph
    Wool-blend coat
  • Giuliva Heritage Collection
    Karen belted herringbone merino wool blazer
  • Giuliva Heritage Collection
    Husband herringbone merino wool tapered pants
  • Acne Studios
    Jemma leather ankle boots

The boyfriend shirt

This wardrobe workhorse has earned its stripes. A mainstay of men’s closets, in recent seasons the banker’s shirt has become a street-style favorite, too. Authenticity is the key to nailing this look: the fit must be oversized and only traditional blue pinstripes will do – see Balenciaga, Cédric Charlier and, of course, Equipment for elevated examples. Wear one to add personality to black cigarette pants, put a grown-up twist on a pinafore dress or smarten up blue jeans.

  • Cédric Charlier
    Oversized pintucked striped cotton-poplin shirt
  • Laura Lombardi
    Mini Porta gold-tone earrings
  • Goldsign
    The Benefit high-rise straight-leg jeans
  • The Row
    Chocolate leather mules
Julie Pelipas

Modern pumps

With heritage fabrics, deep jewel tones and chunky knits all making an appearance on the FW18 runways, the role of accessories this season is to put a modern twist on your look. Enter the bright white pump. Decidedly modern in design – see Tabitha Simmons’ slash shape, Rejina Pyo’s sculptural slingbacks and Saint Laurent’s scoop style – these playful pumps bring a new meaning to the phrase ‘fancy footwork’. Let them breathe new life into somber suiting and tired separates.

Fendi FW18

The new skirt suit

For FW18, the midi skirt suit is set to reign supreme. From Altuzarra’s pinstripe two-piece to Fendi’s heritage fabrics and Gabriela Hearst’s sherbet set, these form-fitting skirt suits are a guaranteed way to inject your workwear with some old-world glamour. Not only will these directional designs – note the nipped-in waists, deconstructed blazers and bias-cut skirts – allow you to flex your sartorial prowess, the styling decisions are already made, so morning wardrobe dilemmas are avoided entirely. Finish with modern mules to keep the look fresh.

  • Alexander McQueen
    Pinstriped wool-blend blazer
  • Equipment
    Coco washed-silk shirt
  • Alexander McQueen
    Pinstriped wool-blend pencil skirt
  • The Row
    Bourgeoise leather mules

A time turner

A fine watch is the true definition of an investment piece. Not only are these future heirlooms sure to stand the test of time, they’re also guaranteed to add an air of refinement to louche tailoring and crisp, white shirts. Costume jewelry can feel incongruous in an office environment, but a great watch is both practical and precious, making it the perfect addition to your corporate closet.

  • Cartier
    Ballon Bleu de Cartier 33mm stainless steel watch
  • Cartier
    Ballon Bleu de Cartier 36mm 18-karat rose gold, stainless steel and diamond watch
    Pilot's Automatic 36mm stainless steel and alligator watch
  • Cartier
    Tank Américaine 19mm small stainless steel and alligator watch

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