Bring a playful style to the workplace. (Pic supplied)

Office wear has come a long way from the black pencil skirt, starched white shirt and grey suit. Who would have thought that sneakers would become acceptable work wear?

Jason Basson, fashion director at, said although millennials have brought an individualistic, playful style to the workplace and some rules have relaxed, there still needs to be a culture of respect.

“There’s a lot more freedom and fashion has become increasingly expressive, but there’s still something beautiful and empowering about dressing up for work.”

Of course, it depends on the profession you’re in - a marketing manager may be able to dress less formally than a lawyer or chartered accountant, for example. South Africa’s climate also plays a role - in summer when it sizzles, it’s easy to see why many say no to suits.

Basson said: “I suggest you play. Mix, match and try new styles, but never lose sight of the fact that you’re in a more formal environment. Knowing you look good can make you feel strong whatever comes your way.”

Basson’s checklist for 2018 on-trend workwear includes:

Everyone needs a blazer: There’s nothing like a smart blazer to elevate a look. This season, pair it with a statement tee for an ironic take on smart-casual.

Tailored trousers: For instant professionalism, pop on a pair of beautifully fitted, well-made trousers. For men, this may mean chinos, while for women it could be a wide or tapered leg. Add a blouse for a pretty, frill-ing touch.

Perfect prints: Prints are a fun way to give a nod to nostalgia whilst wearing the latest ready-to-wear fashion. Checks and pinstripes are a great play on a traditional corporate look.

Smart sneakers: I often pair herringbone trousers with sneakers and a crisp white or black shirt, with the sleeves rolled up. There are plenty of ways to customise a corporate look to make it more interesting.

That’s a wrap: A wrap dress, in fact. Easy to wear and elegant, it’s a favourite for 2018.