The working girl’s guide to a weekend wardrobe

Because we have to get out of our sweats at some point
Because we have to get out of our sweats at some point

I know, I know. This is supposed to be a work style column. But you deserve to look great on the weekends too. Even if you’re — sigh — in the office.

First, take stock of your weekend lifestyle – and be honest. Are you a club rat or do you frequent pubs? Are at home with a baby or taking your kids to activities? No doubt you’re running errands; maybe you’re meeting friends for brunch or heading out for a much-needed date night with your partner. Your weekend wardrobe needs to fit your lifestyle. I often make the mistake of buying something just because I like it, not because it actually fits my life. (And if I’m being honest, ever since I had a baby, those nights out are few and far between.)

With that in mind, now comes the fun part: building your capsule weekend wardrobe! You’ll need one bag, two to three bottoms, five to six shirts, a couple of toppers and a few key accessories.

The Bag. Choose something more casual than your structured work tote; I like a slouchy hobo, but backpacks are also in for spring. (I must admit that this trend scares me: every time I see one, I think of grade 8 and my awesome mini-backpack from Le Chateau.) Cross-body bags are great for running errands or heading out for drinks. Laid-back fabrics such as canvas, raffia or cotton are perfect for the weekend.

Bottoms. Obviously, jeans are your friend – dark skinnies or bootcuts are the most versatile as they’ll work for casual Fridays too, but lighter wash denim has its place, and looks great with bright colours and neutrals alike. Think outside the box, too: try slim-cut cords (J Brand is my fave), cargo pants or a simple black cotton pant that can be dressed up or down as your Saturday goes from day to night.

Shirts & Toppers. Choose tops of varying styles and fabrics, with a focus on pieces that can be layered for our ever-changing weather and your weekend venues. I like comfy, drapey cotton shirts for errands; just add a fancy cropped blazer and baubles for date night, or leather pants and your highest heels for dancing. A nice v-neck sweater is a great option, since it works for brunch, kids and the pub. Or put your collared shirts and blouses to work under a cardigan…paired with riding jeans and boots, you’ve got a chic but casual weekend look. To top it all off (ha!), use your casual Friday blazer as a jacket or pick up a bomber jacket, trench or moto jacket – whatever fits your style best.

Shoes. God bless those of you who grocery shop in heels, but weekends typically call for more casual footwear. You’ll need a pair of boots or booties, a casual loafer or skimmer, a sneaker (slip-on sneaks are super trendy for spring) and one pair of party shoes that make you feel like a million bucks — glittery stilettos, anyone?

Accessories. A standout print scarf is not only comfy and practical; it elevates even the simplest jeans-and-shirt combination. Try leopard or chevron and listen as the
compliments roll in! As for jewellery, layer the different pieces you wear at the office for atrendy look, or pair the unexpected – such as your pearls with a t-shirt and jeans. Finally, complete your look with an oversized pair of sunnies: Ray-Ban and H&M have tons of options at various price points.

Weekend dressing calls for comfort and versatility. Building a capsule weekend wardrobe that reflects your life and style will make your Saturdays and Sundays a fashion breeze, and you’ll carry that confidence with you to work on Monday!

Emma Williamson is a fashion-obsessed corporate commercial lawyer at Dentons. Her mission is to inspire Precedent’s female readers to break out of a style rut while obeying obvious and not-so-obvious workplace dress codes. Follow her on Twitter: @EmmaWorkStyle.