Fashion: Comfy but cool workwear ideas for the return to the office

Update your workwear wardrobe with some easy-to-wear essentials, says Katie Wright

Omnes Knitted Button Front Cardigan Buttermilk, £45; Knitted Pointelle Cami Top Buttermilk, £38; Wide Leg Trousers in Blue Daisy, £55, available from Omnes

‘DO YOU think I can get away with wearing trackie bottoms to the office?’ – a question many of us have asked ourselves recently.

While only you (or your boss) can really answer that query, we can offer some outfit ideas that will help you transition from your working-from-home bubble – where no one has to know what you’re wearing on your bottom half – to a shared workspace again, where you’re visible to colleagues and/or clients.

These workwear staples are stylish and smart enough for the office, but don’t compromise on comfort…

Breezy blouses

Swap stuffy cotton shirts for loose, summery blouses that can be easily teamed with skirts or trousers. Pretty lace detailing or colourful prints elevate a simple silhouette.

Crew Clothing Tania Blouse, £59, available from Crew Clothing

Sonder Studio Blurred Floral Blouse, £45, available from Sonder Studio

Comfy trousers

The closest thing you can get to joggers, while still adhering to the smart-casual dress code, wide-leg trousers are a cool (in every sense of the word) alternative to slim-cut styles or skinny jeans, particularly if they’re made with breathable cotton.

Wear with flat sandals, so the swishy hems reach all the way to the floor.

Omnes Knitted Button Front Cardigan Buttermilk, £45; Knitted Pointelle Cami Top Buttermilk, £38; Wide Leg Trousers in Blue Daisy, £55, available from Omnes

Monsoon Wide-leg Trousers Blue, £45, available from Monsoon

River Island Studio Straight Pleat Trousers, £50, available from River Island

Easy everyday dresses

Sometimes it can be tricky to find summer dresses that aren’t too, well, summery for the office. You want to look boardroom-ready, not beach-ready.

Cap or three-quarter-length sleeves are best, if you’re dealing with a more conservative dress code, while floaty midi dresses look chic with heeled sandals.

Hush Joan Midi Shirt Dress, £95, available from Hush (shoes, stylist's own)

Oliver Bonas Sunshine Floral Print Black Midi Dress, £75, available from Oliver Bonas

Monsoon Ruched Midi Dress Yellow, £70; Leather Cross-over Sliders Tan, £30, available from Monsoon

Smart trainers

In the era of ‘lifestyle trainers’, it’s way easier to get away with wearing sneakers to work than it used to be – so long as they’re understated and, crucially, clean (the more box-fresh the better).

For summer, low-tops in white or pastel hues are perfect for pairing with trousers, skirts or dresses.

Cocorose London Hoxton White with White Stars Leather Trainers, £115, available from Cocorose

Next Signature Leather Back Detail Trainers, £50, available from Next

Air and Grace Cru Signature White Silver & Gold Trainers, £159, available from Air and Grace

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