When it comes to dressing for work, a more relaxed dress code can make it more difficult to combine outfits appropriately, as there are fewer guidelines. You still need to bear in mind that you are dressing for work and you need to reflect the right impression. For example, no jeans are normally a good rule to follow and this also includes casual fabrics such as brushed cottons and some linens. No short skirts, low cut tops and offensive slogans are usually a given as well.

From a stylists point of view it’s still better to dress too smart than too casual and of course it all depends what type of impression you want to make. Grazia referenced this in the past by featuring an article on how to dress for what kind of impression you want to make in the workplace. As expected, dressing more smartly creates a better impression as it shows you take your job seriously. Then again, dressing to fit in with your colleagues can be equally important.

I think following a simple pattern makes dressing for work much easier. Stick to more tailored styles trousers or skirts – the fabrics make a big difference and choose styles that suit your body shape.

There are lots of straight, skinny or tapered leg trousers out there that will instantly update your work look. A patterned or print top will also ensure you can incorporate some of the new season trends and a simple cardigan or flattering blazer. Some key examples of stylish basics to build your work wardrobe around are shown below.

In terms of paying attention to trends, a more casual dress code usually make this slightly easier. For example, prints are easier to wear; cardigans and stylish jackets can be worn rather than suit jackets and smart jersey tops rather than shirts. It gives you a lot more freedom when selecting fashionable pieces to wear, and of course means you can have fun with colour too! Some key examples are shown below, featuring SS12 trends such as patterns, pastels and block colour.