How To Wear Your Cashmere Bralette to Work

Surely you knew this day would come? Some of you have probably been waiting since Katie Holmes set the Internet on fire with her Khaite cashmere bralette and cardigan in 2019.

Khaite may have created the look, but two years later many mid-range and affordable choices are out there.
JCrew and Anthrolopogie had a version of this garment this fall. If they’re sold out now, look for post-Christmas returns to replenish the stock.
Surely you knew this day would come

I liked Katie Holmes’s look — but in 2019, it seemed unworkable to me.
But seeing a range of bralettes in 2021, with the perspective of 20 months of relative isolation, the path became clear to me.
The answer to this puzzle, and so many other questions, was simply layering.
How could I make this work? I asked myself as the world burned

I made it work
You know I love a cropped top over a blouse. You know I love a sweater vest.
This is their love child.

I thought this top was so cute that I ordered it in black for my best friend’s daughter, who just turned 15. She loves it.
I hope I didn’t taint that love by telling her that I have one and am wearing it to work.
I always make it work

I love the shape of the neckline, but thought it might benefit from a brooch on the shirt. I took a chance and added a bolt of intense color: this wonderful silk embroidered brooch from Louise Perrone.
This beautiful piece is peacock blue silk embroidered with lines of running stitches in dark blue. The back is lined with dark blue velvet and, best of all, it attaches with magnets. While the weight of the brooch is negligible, the magnets are still terrific.
Fantastic fabric brooch

For those who feel the brooch is too futuristic for the staid office, that’s easy enough to address.
For the traditionalist
Yes, I am seriously suggesting that an enormous fake diamond brooch is the way to make this look conservative for work

I think we can all agree that this was the best $20 I’ve ever spent. I found this brooch at an antiques/junk shop in San Antonio, during a conference break in 2000.
The Dowager is in

Shirt: Talbots Perfect Shirt (stock up now while they are 40% off, it really is a perfect shirt); Cashmere Vest: Anthropologie Maeve Cropped Knit Tank; Brooch: Louise Perrone Flagged Brooch from Ombre Gallery

10 thoughts on “How To Wear Your Cashmere Bralette to Work”

  1. Welcome back, Directrice! I have truly missed your posts! And your headline didn’t disappoint, it made me smile immediately. It looks like a good way to wear cashmere in weather where a full cashmere sweater might be too much. I couldn’t pull off this look myself, but it looks lovely on you. But what about your friend’s daughter, how is she styling hers?
    I love the brooches, especially the junk shop piece. And I’m intrigued by the magnetic clasp of the Louise Perron brooch as I coincidentally just ordered some magnetic buttons to use on a blouse that opens a bit low for my liking. Fashion magnetism, who knew?

  2. Am I the only one who needed to google “katie holmes cashmere bralette”? No? That was interesting. I definitely like The Directrice’s styling better (although Katie’s version might be better for hailing a cab in LA). Also practical: the sturdy ribcage support on this one!

  3. Oh thank heavens you’re back—don’t ever leave us for so long again! And hell yeah, you always make it work. Just nabbed the black version of the Anthropologie bralette and a darn sweet tweed bustier top too. Hope your holiday season has been cozy and healthy so far!

  4. The bralette is lovely with the white shirt and the fake brooch. The other brooch is fascinating. I would like to see it with a black top.

  5. On of the many things I’ve leaned from the Directrice is how to layer. I layered a blouse under a dress for a work trip to DC earlier this fall and felt very smart (in both senses of smart). But I don’t see myself layering a bralette — still haven’t tried even a bustier. The DC trip was in and out the next day. But there will me more next year!


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