How to go back to work but dress like you’re still on holiday – Sydney Morning Herald

Suit yourself: “While suiting has been an ongoing trend for the past few seasons, we are now moving onto a more accentuated and razor-sharp version of this cult classic. Breathable linen is perfect. Think the 1980s cult film Working Girl – minus the horrific hairdos. Wearing a chic suit to the office immediately instils a sense of power and confidence.” Julia Hemingway, Torannce

Take a short cut: “Try lightweight pants or suiting. Isabel Marant does the best summer suiting. During January you can team with a T-shirt so you can have a casual edge but the suit structure still feels worky enough. Or a floaty blouse can also work well with a cotton suit pant. Another alternative is long shorts. A fitted, over-the-knee style looks fabulous with a heel.” Eva Galambos, Parlour X

Swap in a coloured bag: “Vibrant colours and eclectic shapes are the perfect solution to all January blues and will add a touch of understated fun to your workwear. When you’re desperately wishing you were still on holiday, these relaxed shapes evoke sunnier times whilst still maintaining structure and timelessness that show you mean business”. Sarah Bedingfield Shutt, Strathberry

Have a back-up plan: “Be prepared for any unexpected visits or client drop-ins. If you do want to play it casual, keep some emergency garments you can quickly change into. I remember when I was a paralegal and got caught offguard. I was not expecting to walk some documents to the courthouse in skinny jeans. And definitely leave the flip-flops at home.” Anna Quan, Anna Quan

Shop smart at the sales: “Go for great staples that will take you through the whole year. Blazers and shirts are two perfect examples of this. You will wear them endlessly throughout the work year and although it’s not the most exciting purchase you’ll definitely be getting great value as you score some bargains.” Lana Coppel, Order of Style

Layer up: “A flowing cotton midi dress and longline linen blazer is the perfect way to achieve this balance while still taking full advantage of the warmer weather. This can effortlessly take you from work during the day to dinner that evening. Keep your palette soft and neutral for added effortlessness.” Edwina Forest, Aje

Go monochromatic: “Simple layering, like shirt jackets with skirts and shirt dresses. Our Workroom collection is made up of items like these in colours white, sand, steel and black. I like to wear all of one colour. If you wear a white skirt, shirt and drill jacket, it has a ‘considered’ look’; one that is slightly less casual.” Lee Mathews, Lee Mathews

Get the look

Ginger & Smart, $449

Ginger & Smart, $

Vero Moda at Myer, $120

Vero Moda at Myer, $