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Porter
Art of Style

6 easy workwear fashion updates

Is your working wardrobe up to the job this season? Make the office hallway your runway in FW18’s smart and stylish 9-to-5 looks, starring Korean stylist SHINI PARK

Photography Shini Park and Simon SchmidtStyling Marian Nachmia
Fashion

FORM & FUNCTION

“I’m not scared of color but I am more attracted to earthy tones, neutrals and khaki, and I wear a lot of utility pieces. A matching khaki shirt and pants is such a modern take on a suit and so easy and comfortable. My work involves a lot of movement, so I tend to go for pieces that let me move around. A trench coat is timeless and it covers all manner of sins as well. Underneath you can be wearing something oversized, boxy or tight; pop a trench coat on top and belt it and you’ve immediately got your look.”

When I want to feel powerful, I resort to comfortable workwear: high-waisted pants, a good top and a pair of boots or brogues. I don’t like being slowed down
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’70s CHIC

“My wardrobe is quite solidly based on a ‘borrowed from the boys’ aesthetic, and I’ll add little pops of color with quirky details or a feminine element. A blouse is a great place to add something with a bit of surprise, like a beautiful long sash necktie, plus it’s fun when your outfit moves in the wind ­– it gives your look a bit more joie de vivre. I love the idea of a suit but I tend to wear tailored separates rather than a whole ensemble. High-waisted pants and a pair of boots are my go-to uniform, whether I’m on a shoot or on appointments.”

I used to be a high-heels person, but now I can’t live without mid-heel boots that you can run for a bus or go to a client meeting in

WINTER WHITES

“It’s an unexpected choice, but white can look so beautiful in winter. There’s something about the cold weather that brings out the crispness of the color. It has so much presence when it’s in thick or structured fabrics, especially when it’s layered under a winter coat in a dark shade. I’m outside a lot dealing with the weather in London [where I now live], so I’m an outerwear person. There’s something so universal about a great coat – I always look for timeless pieces that aren’t seasonal. I go for a slightly oversized shape and wear something basic underneath if I want to make a statement, or I choose a slinky, minimalist coat and transform it with the help of accessories.”

A perfect workwear outfit involves functional basics with anything that says, ‘I’m also fun’ on the side
  • Cartier
    Ballon Bleu de Cartier Automatic 36.6mm 18-karat gold and stainless steel watch

CHECKS AND BALANCE

“I love heritage checks and tweed – anything that’s inspired by gentlemen’s tailoring. The prints are more impressive than a simple solid color and they make a statement, but they also feel safe because they’re so traditional. In order to make them feel more modern, I like to add something tougher with a touch of tomboy to them: retro-shaped glasses have a masculinity that lends an edge to a more feminine look.”

I often resort to makeup to give my look a lift because a red lip can make a big difference, whereas a pair of stilettos might not work all day

DRESS FOR SUCCESS

“When it comes to dresses, I never go for anything that’s tight-fitting – I prefer a looser, mid-length shape. A really brilliant dress like this one by Joseph can stand alone, but it’s also easy to add interest by wearing it over a pair of pants or by layering an amazing knit over the top. It’s so comfortable and gives a great, unexpected shape to the dress. I’d add knee-high winter boots that slouch satisfyingly when you wear them; they’re so functional because they’re tall and warm.”

Start with a classic silhouette and then add flare via fashion pieces, whether it’s the latest shoe trend with a classic suit or tailored pants with a dress over the top

LAYERS TO LOVE

“Layering is one of my go-to techniques when it comes to defeating unpredictable weather. It’s also a fun way of including different textures and moving parts into your outfit. Right now, I love adding a silk blouse on top of a rigid turtleneck because it creates a beautiful shape when you move. It can be difficult to find the right pair of leather pants but it’s worth the hard work because you’ll end up wearing them for years. They’re functional as well as fashionable and they fit with every trend; I love wearing a pair underneath a dress so that I can crouch, kneel and do anything I want.”

For work, I like classic bag shapes that are minimal with great structure rather than slouchy; they feel more professional

A HARD-WORKING CLOSET

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