We’ve all been there: you find a cute, flirty, fitted or entirely on-trend top while scrolling online or shopping IRL, and you see yourself in it immediately. But as you justify your purchase, you picture yourself wearing your new top in the office. And the vision just doesn’t work. Maybe your office is freezing, even in July. Or maybe your office culture subtly frowns on bare shoulders and you feel like the disapproving looks might tone down your style-high. Never fear! For we have the perfect solution. As always, the right mixing and pairing can carry you over any fashion-related hurdle, including this one.
Here are a few simple moves that can sidestep the minor hassles that go hand-in-hand (or arm-in-arm) with sleeveless attire at work.
Cardigans to the rescue
A sleeveless top in natural fabrics, like the Crochet Darling, calls to mind the sweet simplicity of a cotton summer sundress. It’s easy, it’s breezy, it’s effortless, and as long as the sun’s out, it’s always in style. But when the sun isn’t out and you’re sitting in a windowless room with frosty air-conditioning, a lightweight cardigan can take the chill off. Choose a long flowing cover to match the top’s low hemline, or crop it short for a professional contrasting look. In either case, keep it sleek and simple. Choose quiet styling and neutral colors to showcase the top’s flirty pattern.
An all-season scarf
In the fall and winter, chunky textured scarves take over the street—and the office—but even in the summer, the scarf never makes a full retreat. Find an airy summer scarf, an olive-toned wrap, or a silk-blend pashmina and drape it over the In-The-Air Top. Suggest the subtle devil-may-care confidence of an aviatrix from an earlier era—an era of arctic adventure, not arctic board meetings.
Too much fun is too much
Bare shoulders and eye-catching carefree patterns might send a subtle message that you’re having too much fun at the office, heaven forbid. So bring your sharp professional edge up a notch and add a blazer to the otherwise relaxed Vivid Floral top. With one adjustment, you’ll go from flowery wild child to steady third-quarter-earnings-report child. You’ll know who you are on the inside.