Wear to Work: Sleeveless Trench

Wear to Work Sleeveless Trench

Sleeveless Trench. $65; Outfit One: Tank, $34; Jogger, $79; Heel, $98; Bag, $150; Necklace, $68; Outfit Two: White Jeans, $89; Long Sleeve Tee, $20; Shoe, $89; Bag, $69; Necklace, $65

The sleeveless trench seems like a ridiculous piece of clothing. When I saw one for the first time, I likened it to a sleeveless turtleneck: totally unnecessary. But, as trends do, it started to grow on me. Now, I straight up love the look.

We talked earlier this week about how to add interest to an outfit without adding weight in the warmer months. When you go to an office every day, it’s even more of a challenge. So today’s look is a way to add a layer, without the bulk, if you go to a casual or creative office. Let’s break it down.

First, the fabric and cut of the trench is the most important element. I chose this version from The Gap because it will lay closer to the body. Avoid styles with a lot of fabric as they will overwhelm most body types. This trench is made of Tencel which is substantial but still light, so it moves as you move without dragging the look down.

The color is the most perfect neutral and will work with black, white, navy and gray. You can keep it open or close it and cinch the waist, depending on what looks best with your outfits.  Speaking of outfits, I came up with two that you could wear to any office that doesn’t have a strict business professional dress code.

Outfit One

I took a more tailored approach to this outfit incorporating pieces I personally wear and love.  With a sleeveless trench (or vest which is also a chic option) you can absolutely wear a tank. For this look I went with a simple tank by Lush that I own in just about every color. The ivory is sheer, and requires a cami, but because you are wearing it under the trench it’s not a big deal.  The fabric and length stand up to the style of the trench.  It has side slits that allows it to fall beautifully from your body and has just enough length.  If it’s long on you a simple hem will fix it.

For the pants, I went with a drapey jogger. I have (and love) these joggers by Trouve. Everything I have from Trouve has been fantastic, and their price points are very reasonable. I like the casualness of the pockets, how it fits in the leg, and my butt looks perky in it – always a plus, especially after two kids. The fabric of the pants is formal enough that you can wear them to work.

Rounding out the look is my new favorite dress shoe for the season.  Via Spiga makes sturdy, chic and versatile shoes.  I realized the other day just how many pairs I own and frequently wear.  This style is currently on sale.  I wore them last Sunday when I grabbed dinner with girlfriends, with my Trouve joggers (with a black lush tank and a denim jacket) and they were perfect.  It’s all about the block heel which is so comfortable, but the style of the toe allows the line of the body to be elongated.

I wanted a natural element in this look, so I was thrilled to find this necklace made of stones and leather.  It purposely pulls all the neutrals of the outfit into one piece, looks handmade and will go with countless items in your closet.  Finally, the bag gives you an opportunity to add some structure to your outfit. With the trench having movement and the pants being loose, grounding the outfit with a more formal element is important.  I’m a big fan of Matt & Nat (you can see my bags here and here), and we get a lot of requests for non-leather professional bags.  This top handle bag is roomy and elegant and should fit everything you need for work (except a laptop). 

Outfit 2

If you can wear jeans to your office, this outfit will look casual yet polished.  If jeans are a no-no, consider this for a weekend brunch or day of shopping with friends.  How long has it been since I featured a striped shirt?  Days?  Let me fix that with this tab sleeve, boatneck striped top with a beautifully rounded hem.  It’s only $20.  Easy-peasy.  White jeans make everything look bright and fresh.  We talked early last month about the best white jeans that aren’t see through.  KUT is another brand to try.  With a reasonable price point and consistent fit, they’re worth bringing into your dressing room.

The final touches are classic.  A white tote works because the look is on the casual side.   This one sits comfortably on your shoulder and has lots of room.  The shoes are also a block heel sandal.  Don’t discount Franco Sarto.  They are affordable and have great style.  Lastly, a long silver tone necklace cuts the horizontal stripe of the top, adds some movement and keeps the metal tone of the overall look cohesive.

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Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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