For an era so often maligned for its gaudy, bad taste, the 1980s still manage to assert heavy influence over present-day fashion. Recently the spotlight is on the decade's moments of polish, from Princess Diana-inspired separates (a new exhibition celebrating her fashion influence just opened at Kensington Palace) and power-dressing yuppies in razor-sharp suiting, the kind of armour required for getting business done during times of uncertainty.

And while the pantsuit for women has become as much of a political statement as a fashion one, the matchy-matchy memo is not for everyone. Take a cue from the always surprising Victoria Beckham, her most recent autumn 2017 collection zeroing in on workwear staples - crisp shirts and blazers teamed with loose, floaty skirts layered over knee-high boots. It's a simple silhouette (with a nod to the 70s working woman), providing the perfect blueprint for easy workwear that doesn't feel dated.

Whether you choose to match tonal colours of your blazer and skirt or pair contrasting colours in one look, the main aim is to team the rigorous lines of a blazer with a skirt for a soft silhouette. Look to comedian and political commentator Samantha Bee's colourful assortment of blazers. The Full Frontal presenter's approach to blazer-wearing shows the perfect example of the garment's versatility, whether thrown over a dress or a white T-shirt and jeans.

Top row from left:


Georgia Alice blazer $945.

Isabel Marant Etoile blazer, $520, from Adorno.

2ND Day blazer $599.

Moochi blazer $450.

Bottom row from left:
Joseph blazer, about $1117, from Net-a-Porter.
H&M blazer, $70.
Camilla & Marc blazer $900.
H&M blazer $50.

The skirts

From left:

Twenty-seven Names skirt $270.
Witchery pleat skirt $169.90.
Taylor skirt $465.
Staple & Cloth pleat skirt $249.
Caroline Sills skirt $389.