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5 Unexpected Ways To Level Up The Work Blazer You Already Have

As seen on fashion personalities and editors alike, soft suiting has slowly but surely replaced the meticulously fitted tailoring borrowed from the boys. Basically, it’s a laid-back alternative to the traditional suit — one that has a more fluid and comfy silhouette. Pair the blazer with a feminine dress or skirt and you’ll get an ensemble that is just the right mix of business formal and business casual.

Take your cue from Pierpaolo Piccioli, whose take dabbles in the bohemian: a flowy, printed maxi dress paired with a ’70s cut blazer and a silk turban on the Valentino runway. Or, do it like stylish Korean singer Sunmi, and go with a pleated tartan skirt and a pair of low-heeled booties for a mix of preppy and chic. Style inspiration above whichever way you swing.

A curious blend of summer and winter
Give your casual summer dress a more formal boost by dressing it with a soft but smart double-breasted blazer. We recommend pairing a bright dress with a dark coloured blazer for contrast. For an extra dose of gravitas, pair the ensemble with a pair of black patent pumps and a leather tote. Midi dress by Faithfull the Brand, £155 (S$278), via Net-a-Porter; Double-breasted blazer by Zara, S$139; Buckled pumps by Charles & Keith, S$56.90; Croc effect tote by Staud, £320 (S$574), via Net-a-Porter; Clip-on earrings by Charles & Keith, S$39.90 Keep the colours neutral
A black and navy blazer will make you look spunky, but if you’re looking to take the edge off your boyish blazer, go with neutral colours like sand, nude and white. Pair your blazer with pieces that are of a similar colour palette, like this peachy embroidered skirt and nude shirt. It’ll be an interesting blend of both the masculine and feminine. Satin blend shirt by Mango, S$59.90; Embroidered tulle skirt by Burberry, £1,290 (S$2,310), via Net-a-Porter; Double-breasted blazer by Mango, S$129; City bag by Zara, S$59.90; Leather slingback mid heels by Mansur Gavriel, S$735 The matching dress suit
When we say matching, we don’t mean pairing a check dress with a check blazer, but syncing up in hues. So if you have a blue dress like this one apropos to summer, pair it with a navy blazer. Our choice accessory? A silk scarf as a neck accessory. Checkered bustier dress by Anna Quan, AUD$ (S$582); Double-breasted blazer by Zara, S$119; Strappy heels by H&M Conscious Exclusive A/W 2018, S$119; Patent leather bag by Trademark, S$508, via Brownsfasion; Printed silk scarf by Bimba & Lola, S$125 Go utilitarian
Just like what Maria Grazia Chiuri showed for Dior Resort 2019, dabbling in utility doesn’t always mean it’ll be tomboyish. Inspired by that, this look featuring a commanding DB jacket and boots have been tempered by the maxi tulle skirt. For the final touch, jazz it up with some bling. Crop top by Topshop, S$19.90; Tulle midi skirt by Brunello Cucinelli, £1,570 (S$2,812), via Net-a-Porter; Double-breasted blazer by Gabriela Hearst, £1,495 (S$2,677), via Net-a-Porter; Combat boots by Zara, S$159; Quilted crossbody bag by Charles & Keith, S$85.90; Felt hat by Topshop, S$49.90; Crystal drop earrings by Lovisa, AUD$39.99 (S$39) A ruffled skirt with dressy sneakers
When casual Friday comes to play, slip on a pair of chunky sneakers — it’ll add a cheeky vibe to your suit and skirt combo. Even better if your blazer is in a bright shade, like this yellow corduroy piece. Wear a black camisole underneath to keep yourself cool and coordinate your top with a black midi skirt that’s suitable for boardroom meetings, but don one with interesting details (like ruffles) to keep it interesting enough for after-work drinks. Camisole by Uniqlo, S$29.90; Ruffled midi skirt by Alice + Olivia, £345 (S$619), via Net-a-Porter; Corduroy blazer by Topshop, S$149; Platform sneakers by Zara, S$99.90; Sequinned crossbody bag by Miu Miu, S$2,730, via Farfetch; Resin bracelets by Mango, S$45.90