Forget all notions of stuffy work suits, the new wave of corresponding separates are worthy of a place in your wardrobe and we've got ten reasons to prove why...
Once upon a time, dark drab trouser suits were the reserve of city women only and matching your separates was to be avoided at all costs. The news for spring/summer 2014 is that those rules have finally been broken! Which is music to the ears of us all.
Fashion has taken a sensible turn and deemed it relevant and modern to work a trouser suit at the office – whether the business dictate requires it or not. The key? Steer away from charcoals, navy and black and navigate towards clean whites or pastels, colourful prints and colour block bold brights. The beauty of this trend is the bang for your buck; team the blazer alone with denim or contrasting trousers or choose a plain blouse to wear with the print trousers – it’s not simply a one-outfit investment. On those days when you do choose to match up, slip on a smart court heel and dress your look down with a simple tee, rather than a stuffy blouse or shirt.
But what if tailored trousers aren’t for you? Rejoice in the knowledge that co-ordinated separates as a whole will be everywhere this season. A pencil skirt with an overlaid matching top is a super-chic choice and once again, you can break away from the matchy-matchy style whenever the mood takes you, teaming your separates with contrasting pieces instead. Breathe new life in to a black pencil skirt with the print top or ramp up a simple navy trouser with a stand-out patterned upper.
For inspiration and tips on how to work the look for you, simply click through our favourite pieces from the high street…
Yes it might be a bright shade you may not have tried before but Zara's cobalt blue suit will look fantastic on brunettes, blondes and redheads alike. Remember the mantra and veer away from a buttoned up shirt and instead embrace a looser, silk top or t-shirt.
Break out the pastels for spring and drop those tired winter shades (black, grey and navy) for an instant wardrobe refresh. French Connection's collection is hitting stores and online weekly now with a mix of neat tailored pieces and pretty embellished buys. The pastel pink trouser and jacket combination has versatile written all over it. Follow FC's styling by giving the look a laidback air with a grey marl tee.
Relaxed and loose, H&M's Lyocell jacket and trouser combination has a touch of effortless French flair about it. The chambray-style fabric and shade make it a flattering choice against all skin tones and with a simple silk cami and a mid-heel, you'll find this a smart buy for the office or a weekend event.
River Island's online offering is monumental - we always recommend the e-commerce site over a store visit! Visit the website now and you'll discover this zebra print blazer and trouser set. The tribal zebra print ticks off a spring trend and we think the block black piping and contrasting stand-up collar make for a seriously stylish buy - at a very affordable price point!
River Island zebra print blazer and trousers, £50
Actress Meryl Streep worked a bamboo print on the red carpet only this week, which is all the proof we need that this stand-out pattern is utterly ageless. Bring a hint of monochrome to the look with Topshop's leaf print jacket and trousers and layer a black cami beneath. The cropped ankle allows you to choose a flat or heel and pair back those accessories - the design stands up all on its own.
Geometric prints will give your style a super-modern air this spring so look to Mint Velvet's corresponding Melissa trouser and top and don't be afraid to team them together! A simple court heel to lengthen your legs is all you need.
Fashion editors everywhere sighed in admiration at the spring/summer offering from Marks and Spencer this season and one of the brand's key looks was the Autograph floral top and trouser. Hitting stores and available online this week, expect a stampede from savvy shoppers who are sold on the versatile nature of matching separates - and start clicking before the inevitable sell-out!
If tailored styles are already a foundation of your wardobe then ramping up the budget for a designer investment will make sense. Joseph's Earl blazer and Lennox trousers is a timeless classic that can be worn everywhere and anywhere. Slip the blazer on with your favourite denim and a print blouse or take a sleek silk navy shirt and tuck it in to the cropped bottoms.
Joseph Earl blazer, £455
Joseph Lennox slim fit ankle trousers, £215
Mannish tailoring has cascaded into womenswear for a couple of years now and if you're ready to grab the trend and run, then go one step further and choose an oversized jacket. Asos isn't just the reserve of twentysomethings - browse the A-Z of brands and you'll discover labels that cater for everyone.
Asos monochrome abstract suit: Trousers, £40, blazer, £55
LK Bennett has had something of a transformation for spring/summer 2014 by toughening up its classic style with the new Black Ribbon collection. At a higher price point but with a more fashion-forward edge, you'll find the Tropez flared skirt and Chloe top have just arrived online and the clashing prints will look fabulous together with a wedge heel or separately with your existing wardrobe pieces.
LK Bennett Tropez print flared skirt, £295
LK Bennett Chloe printed blouse, £265