Solving the summer workwear conundrum
1 THE TRENCH DRESS
Featuring the styling details of a trench – buttons, pockets, belts, lapels – this is a stylish, versatile summer piece that’s perfect for layering over t-shirts and even thin jumpers, but also looks slick and very Veep, on its own. For trouser-wearers, the trench-waist-coat is a terrific jacket option.
Dress £585 Burberry London; Dress £265 APC; 0207 729 7727. Dress £141; gerarddarel.com
2 THE JUMPSUIT
Prima facie evidence that trends work their way through the fashion system at the speed of a plodisaurus, these have been the coming thing since 2006. And now they’re finally here – and not going anywhere. They have all the plusses of a trench-dress, plus the extra bonus of not actually being a dress and denying the paps their upskirt shot. Genius.
Bear with me. On its own, neoprene has all the downsides of a sauna while looking overbearingly Jacques Cousteau-ish and way too fashion for most offices. But mixed with something else, it becomes your best friend: a fabric that holds its structure, which means your lovely full skirt will remain full and lovely, even when everything else, including the orchids in reception, have wilted and passed out.
Skirt £30; Skirt £630 David Szeto; avenue32.com
Yes, these were also on the catwalks last year and the year before. This merely proves the point about summer trends sticking around. Avoid any that stop above the knee – you’re not in the Brownies any more – and relish the sensory delight, because these will make you feel as feminine as Carrie Bradshaw in a prom dress – without actually having to endure the humiliation of wearing a prom dress. Especially good when played off with a waist-cinching tailored jacket.
Skirt £225; Blouse £190, jumper £380 and skirt £375 all Rebecca Taylor; 0207 580 8644
6 DRAMATICALLY CROPPED TROUSERS
Aka Culottes, possibly in fabrications that contain neoprene. Wear with a cotton shirt, block heels and prepare to wow your colleagues who will be awed by your ability to mix high fashion with an outfit that assertively points to its own work ethic.
Culottes £237.67 Culottes £79;