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The Globe and Mail

Wear mesh at the office without showing too much skin

The mesh top, the real way

Kevin Van Paassen / The Globe and Mail/Kevin Van Paassen / The Globe and Mail

Climbing the corporate ladder can be a workout, so it's only appropriate that this season's abundance of sport-influenced gear transitions so well to the boardroom. Among the offerings, designers showcased a variety of mesh pieces, working the athletic material into dresses, jackets and even tops. When worn correctly (i.e., without sneakers), the result can signal that you're ready to vault through the ranks.

1. Opt for items made of open-weave knits. They impart the feeling of mesh without actually looking like gym clothes. Go for something that covers the shoulders in an office environment. A tank will feel too casual – save that for spin class.

2. Don't be afraid to inject a little colour underneath a sportier top. Take a cue from Alexander Wang, who showed an array of tanks in shades that contrasted with the mesh shirts and jackets worn overtop.

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3. Balance out the athletic feel with prim and proper pieces that are suitable for the workplace. A dressier trouser or skirt in a light wool or crisp cotton will infuse your look with polish. Anchor with heels or platform sandals instead of flats.

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