updated 3 May 2012, 09:50
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Fri, Apr 27, 2012
Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network
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How working women can inject resort style into office wear
by Amina Aranaz-Alunan

Thoughts of the blazing sun, crystalline waters, fresh breezy air, and the smell of sun-tan oil are enough invigorating come-ons to put anyone in a vacation mood.

Summer has always been one of my favorite seasons. A certified beach bum, I am not one to stay in the comforts of an air-conditioned space, no matter how amazing a room may be.

When on vacation, from sun-up to sun-down, I prefer to bask on the sun-drenched sand or soak in the water. I've always dreamt of spending an entire summer of pure carefree island living a la "Mamma Mia."

Waking up each day to a vast seascape. Dressed day in and day out in a myriad of swimwear.

Indulging myself in seafood feasts. Living the slow-paced life with a sun-kissed tan.

Yet with one's growing list of responsibilities, that longed-for seaside retreat will have to wait.

In reality, most can take only a brief weekend escape into the island life.

The call of the office and deadlines hound the working woman, making vacation planning a little challenging.

This does not mean, however, that we need to miss out on the sense of vibrancy and relaxation that summer brings.

When we have no choice but to be stuck in the city, fashion can be a form of escape!

The fashion world has long recognized the allure of resort wear. It is easy, breathable, youthful and fresh.

In fact, aside from the standard Fall and Spring collections, a "Resort" fashion season emerged.

It was conceptualized to cater to affluent customers who escape harsh cold winters for warmer holiday destinations.

Today, Resort, also known as Cruise or Pre-Spring, collections have become a staple in many designer labels. They are no longer as exclusive and upper-crust.

Perhaps because of the rise of fast fashion brands (like Zara and H&M), the Resort collections have evolved into a means for designer labels to keep up.

Designers now found another opportunity to offer fresh merchandise between the two major seasons, promoting the idea of season-less sportswear dressing, where pieces can extend from season to season.

It pushes the belief that it is no longer necessary to switch wardrobes between winter and summer. Indeed, it is a more practical approach to fashion.

This concept is typical and very much applicable to Philippine lifestyle since our climate generally remains constant.

Filipinos can wear the same wardrobe all year round.

We may not enjoy fall, winter and spring, but local retailers and designers continually spurn out collections with seasonal directional hints to keep things new, exciting and relevant for the consumer.

So this summer, just because you may be stuck in an office building with thoughts of an island getaway on your mind, it does not mean that you don't get to have some fun.

Why not bring in the feeling of destination and leisure into the boardroom?

Treat yourself to some fashion fun! Let your pieces with a light summer impulse cross over to the workroom.

Here are some of my resort favorites that find its way into my work-wear wardrobe.

1 A beach basket-Store your leather briefcase for now. Why not wear a leisurely straw tote to brighten up a day at work? I once saw a woman in London wearing a basket right in the thick of winter.

2 Fun sunglasses-Shield your eyes from the glaring sun as you walk through the concrete jungle! Go for coloured or whimsical styles to liven up the mood.

3 Coloured nail polish-Some of my favorite shades this season are soft pastels such as blush, sea-foam green, and butter yellow.

4 Eyelet, lace, crochet-A trademark material for resort with its airy and breathable open work. The look is always youthful and fresh!

5 White blazer-For a quick summer shift, trade in your trusty black blazer for a crisp white one. It is cool yet still professional.

6 Printed button-down blouses-For a less somber take on office wear. Instead of your usual solid white or black button-down blouses, collect a multitude of printed ones, from florals, scarf to Hawaiian motifs. It easily transforms black slacks and pencil skirts to summer worthy looks!

7 Tunic dress or blouse-This loose and relaxed silhouette is a staple of resort wear. Also worn as a cover-up at seaside. For work, pair it with polished shoes and jewelry.

8 Natural accessories-Pile on necklaces and bangles made of wood, shells or raw semiprecious stones. It instantly lends a resort vibe!

9 Pastels-Soft candy-coloured hues are the rage. Try pairing pastel-on-pastel for a soothing and clean take on work wear.

10 Printed pantsuit-Not for the faint of heart. Instead of a black work suit, dare to wear head-to-toe prints. A matching tailored jacket and trousers are super , ,

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