Up-spec your working wardrobe with this season's hero styles

As you dip your toe in the pool of new beginnings, it’s time to re-evaluate what you think you know about the rules of dressing for the office and up-spec your professional wardrobe accordingly. Switching crisp cotton shirting for something more fluid, for example, will refresh timeless tailoring and colour experimentation will bring a touch of the unexpected to every day.


Red takes centre stage in just about every colour edit for AW17 so think of deeper, more wearable tones like claret and burgundy as the new take on neutrals. When applied to classic tailoring silhouettes, they’ll breathe fresh life into your Monday-to-Friday rotation and they fare just as well as navy or grey when teamed with monochromatic separates and structured accessories.


Make a subtle departure from the white cotton button-up and look to re-worked shirting silhouettes for a slightly more directional take on the look. When teamed with a mid-length pleated skirt, the wrap-front design feels especially feminine and lends itself well to days that start in the office, span lunch meetings and continue to more sociable evening plans.


The black tailored dress is likely to be the most hardworking piece in your wardrobe and it’s not about to relinquish its hotspot just yet. Undeniably polished and the perfect canvas for accessory experimentation, it continues to secure its place in every workwear rotation. Be sure to choose one that has a subtle yet unique design detail such as a slim V-shaped neckline.


To put a modern spin on suited looks, try taking a mix-and-match approach to styling as opposed to coordinating items from head to toe. This season’s houndstooth checks give workwear fashion flair and offset minimalistic block-colour separates, transforming go-to silhouettes into something altogether more impactful.


A silk blouse always looks elegant and when imagined in ivory (a tonal and somewhat softer derivative to white), it feels altogether more effortless. Team relaxed cuts with the trouser silhouette to know now; wide-leg and oversized, and you’ll strike the balance between feminine polish and a modern masculinity.


No workwear wardrobe is complete without the ultimate winter coat but a lighter cover-up wins favour as we make the transition from long summer days into unpredictable climes. Double-breasted silhouettes champion a certain timelessness that you won’t find elsewhere and when adorned with statement metal buttons, they lend looks a design-focused look.


Crisp, minimal, smart and tailored, the cap-sleeved dress is the ultimate in empowering capsule wardrobe staples. This season’s checked iteration masters an updated take on power dressing that strikes the balance between retro influence and modern minimalism. Wear it with sculptural leather shoes and add a sharp-edged clutch to nod to the 1980s whilst remaining altogether relevant for now.


Dresses that multitask are the key to a successful work-to-evening look and the key to finding the perfect AW17 option is in the colour. Eschew red here – save it for tailored separates – and instead opt for something more muted like forest-green or grey, adding in a dash of camel to make a subtle departure from the typically darker palette found in more classic office-ready rotations.