Lesson 1: A good skirt suit is half the battle won
The power of a well-fitted skirt suit should not be underestimated. As evidenced by the duchess here, a nipped-in waist and well-proportioned fits can make all the difference in your appearance.
Roland Mouret skirt suit, $1,700 (blazer) and $1,050 (skirt), both from NET-A-PORTER
Ladylike and business-ready, a grey tweed boucle suit helps you appear polished and smart.
Lesson 2: Stripes are always a good idea
For a casual, off-duty look, throw on a striped sweater with some skinny dark blue jeans.
Striped sweater, $54.95, from H&M
Long-sleeved sweaters might not suit our humid weather, so opt for a short-sleeved version instead.
3. Keep a day clutch with you at your desk
Are you someone who uses a hideous tote bag to hold your purse and tissue packet when you head out to lunch? Stop that habit and switch to a black clutch instead. It still holds all your need-to-haves in a discreetly stylish clutch.
Crossbody bag, $45.90, from Zara
This clutch pulls double-duty as a sling bag as well, in case you want to keep your hands free.
Lesson 4: Have a black gown you can wear over and over again
Wedding dinner? Company D&D? Formal function? Instead of looking underdressed in a basic sheath dress, go a little further and chose a floor-length number instead. To get the most out of your gown, opt for a classic silhouette in black, so you can get plenty of wear out of it.
Bright-coloured florals help keep your gown from looking too much like a mourning look too.
Needle & Thread gown, $731, from NET-A-PORTER
The sweetheart neckline and the fit-and-flare shape do wonders for your figure, and the florals add a layer of girlish whimsy to the look. Pair with dainty gold jewellery and strappy sandals to finish.
Lesson 5: Polka dots can be made classy
Polka dots are a timeless print, but they always get flack for looking either too ’50s, or too clownish. Fortunately, there are stylish ways to wear the pattern. Firstly, stick to black and white combinations, or any other pairing that mixes two neutral colours together. Secondly, the scale counts. If it’s a small-sized dot, they can be arranged closer together. The larger the dot gets, the further apart they should be placed, so they don’t look so overwhelming. Lastly, opting for a midi length dress does help give polka dots a grown up feel.
Dress, $59.90, from Mango
With its longer sleeve length and the sash around the waist, you could wear this dress to the office with some nude pumps and a black bag.
Lesson 6: Nude sandals keep your legs looking long
It’s no secret that a nude pair of heels do wonders for your look. Not only do they help give you longer-looking legs, they are also incredibly versatile and can be worn for work or for a party.
Sandals, $53.90, from Charles & Keith
Pair these nude sandals with a pair of wide-legged pants or a simple lace dress, and jazz up your look with statement jewellery.