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The Globe and Mail

From the runway to real life: How to pull off organza

Organza may be okay for wedding dresses, but as office attire? Short answer: yes, with some caveats. This season, the sheer, traditionally formal fabric has been enlisted to jazz up otherwise sensible skirts, jackets and similarly tailored workplace separates. Most commonly, see-through panels – be they silk or a wallet-friendlier synthetic – provide the extra oomph. Ultimate goal: Just make sure that the effect is more professional than peek-a-boo

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While organza panels can do much to enliven a basic pencil skirt, their placement is key: To avoid being too risque, opt for a single strip of the material at the hem or centre of a skirt.

If you want to push those traditional boundaries, accessorize with an oversized folio clutch instead of a handbag. It’s a great, cheeky nod to organza’s more formal uses.

The Look: AllSaints skirt, $158 through www.ca.allsaints.com. Halston Heritage sweater, $320, Guess shoes, $135, Vince Camuto bangle, $38, Vince Camuto leather bracelet, $42 at Hudson’s Bay (www.thebay.com). Clutch, $438 at BCBGMAXAZRIA (www.bcbg.com).

Styling by Matthew Chow/Page One Management (www.p1m.ca); hair and makeup by Vanessa Jarman for Rimmel/Page One Management.

Matthew Sherwood/The Globe and Mail

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Take a cue from Stella McCartney’s spring 2013 collection (as seen on model Joan Smalls) and pair an organza dress or skirt with a casual jacket to tone down any formality. If a bomber jacket is too forward for your office, go for a form-fitting sweater instead. Just make sure it’s lightweight.

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