Style

A stand-out shirt is all your work wardrobe really needs this season

8 unconventional finds to pair with your go-to workwear.

8 unconventional finds to pair with your go-to workwear

Have a tailored suit that you love but want to add a bit of colour? Don't want to give up your go-to work slacks but want to make them feel a bit edgier? Looking for ways to refresh a several-years old blazer by using a buzzy pattern or interesting texture? As you probably already know, adding a fashionable, new button-up shirt to your existing wardrobe is one quick and relatively affordable way to revamp standard workwear favourites. 

Whether you're wearing it solo or with just the collar peeking out under a cozy knit, there are many ways to sport a statement shirt. Unless you're working with a very formal office dress code, their bold designs are easily tempered with the addition of smart suiting or thoughtful layers. And, the interesting textures and splashes of colour that they offer will do wonders for all that neutral, plain suiting in many of our professional closets. 

A few factors to keep in mind when you're shopping for a work-friendly button-up: most blazers can't be worn over tops with puff sleeves; for semi-sheer fabrics, look for fully-lined styles that will be more lingerie-friendly; and shirts with allover, front or collar interest are more interesting to layer than those with design details on the sleeve or back areas. 

Eye test 

A vibrant pattern is always a good idea when you're looking to make a bold fashion statement. And when an over-the-top print is layered under a cardigan or jacket, the effect becomes eye-catching but not distracting. Even in a neon green. 

Patterned Shirt, $19.99, H&M

Militar Print Shirt, $69.99, Mango

Full serve

As the prairie dressing trend continues, details such as high necklines and voluminous sleeves are continuing to resonate. There's something fun (if slightly impractical) about these full, balloon and pleated sleeves on an otherwise classic dress shirt. 

Low Classic Grey Over Sleeve Shirt, $240, Ssense

Shirt With Pleated Sleeves, $49.90, Zara

Leather weather

Real or faux, leather apparel remains highly relevant this fall. It's often styled head-to-toe on the runway and at fashion week, but for real life these leather button-ups would look great tucked into wool pants or under a boxy blazer. And you could even wear one open over a fitted camisole or slip dress, as an edgier cardigan alternative.  

Leather Shirt, $249, H&M

Khaki Faux Leather Shirt, about $73, Topshop

Sleep country

The pyjama dressing trend has been making a comeback for a few seasons now, and there's no easier way to get the look than with a soft, pyjama-cut shirt. Look for a print in colours that you love, and luxe details such as a silky fabric and piping along the edges. 

Contemporaine Fluid Printed Satin Pyjama Blouse, $69 (on sale for $49.95), Simons

De La Vali Kid Printed Satin Shirt, about $454, Net-A-Porter


Truc Nguyen is a Toronto-based writer, editor and stylist. Follow her at @trucnguyen.

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