Women’s tailoring looks for 2012 with Next

The UK retailer has some excellent collections showcasing the neatest workwear and formal trends of the year

Shopping for work has not always been an exciting adventure, but with fashion embracing its formal side in recent years, and with workwear becoming more accepting and open to changing trends and inspirations, dressing for work events or formal meetings can be a real source of fun.

We find that the advent of online shopping only exacerbates the sense of enjoyment and excitement, as you can browse for workwear at the same time as picking up items for parties or casual days off.

Indeed, as the twentieth century has welcomed more women into the workplace, putting women in high positions of power and control, good tailoring – once the proviso of men’s suits and little else – has become key for the modern female.

Starting with Yves Saint Laurent’ Le Smoking tailored suit for women in 1966, the last 50 years have proved that blazers, cigarette pants and neat, sharp details are just as welcome (and complementary) to a woman’s body and lifestyle.

This summer, Next has some wonderful examples of both the long tradition of YSL-inspired sharp tailoring, as well as contemporary trend-inspired women’s suits which reflect the more open, creative side of workwear today.

The New Ethnic Geo collection is a case in point; orange and blue tones in geometric prints, adding interest and a sense of travel to your workwear. Mainly in lighter fabrics, the tunics and floaty blouses and dresses are ideal for warmer months in stuffy offices, and great with either a pair of comfortable ballet pumps or a chunkier heel or sandal.

For a more traditional, tailored look, the Effortless City Chic  collection’s peplum lace blouses and tailored A-line skirts are ideal for women who want to channel a glamorous, urban workwear style which can be easily worn throughout the year.

For any workwear look, a key item which adds a sense of formality and attentiveness can do all the hard work for you. For us, this item is the boyfriend blazer, whose slightly louche shape means it can easily be worn with tight trousers and a simple, close-fitting t-shirt; or can easily be worn long with a slight tunic dress.

This white boyfriend blazer (pictured) from Next’s brands selection is a great example of spring/summer blazer that can add some smartness to a summer dress and make it ready for work.


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