The slightly warmer weather in early spring often inspires us to go shopping for things we don’t quite need yet. Shorts purchased in March, summer dresses bought in February, and bathing suits coveted since January hang in the closet like a promise that sunnier days are soon to come.
Sometimes we justify these purchases by saying we can use them for work (you have to spend money to make money, right?). However, most of these flimsy, short, see-through pieces are meant for summer “ not a professional environment.
Here are some ideas about how to safely play with Spring 2011 trends at work so that you can indulge your fashionable side while still pleasing your boss.
Pattern on Pattern
Playing with more than 1 print in your outfit is a must for Spring 2011. However if you don’t work in a fashion forward office, some people may just think you don’t know how to match your clothes. To add depth and interest to an outfit pick one bold print in a blouse or skirt (bright flowers, paisley, or bold stripes, etc.) and match it with a textured fabric in a jacket our trouser (small, vertical stripes, subtle tweeds, or herringbone). Keep other patterned or fabric accessories out of the mix.
Too much colour blocking and bright colours at the office may not necessarily come off as professional, especially if you work in a conservative setting. To work bold colour subtly into your outfits, consider buying bright accessories like purses, shoes and statement jewellery and matching them with classic blouses and suits. Leave the bold lipstick and eye shadow for happy hour.
While flares and wide legs are marking a comeback this spring sometimes an entirely loose fitting ensemble can make it look like you’re a small kid drowning in your adult work clothes. Update your suits by looking for one or two button fitted blazers with slim fitted pants. We’re not talking jeggings or skinny jeans but tailored matchstick pants (J. Crew). However, these must be paired with heels so the hem doesn’t look too short.
Adding lace to your outfit can definitely make a masculine looking suit seem more feminine. However anything sheer or cut out should be avoided in every work environment. If you really want to try a lace make sure you have a matching slip or tank top for underneath and matching undergarments. Don’t think that you can just put a cardigan over it either.
Looking like you just stepped off the set of Mad Men may be glamorous but it can also come off as costumey or campy in the workplace. If you want to rock vintage pieces at work, make sure that you pick modern accessories, make up and hairstyles to go with it. A 60’s inspired wrap dress with pumps, a beehive, red lips and cat eyes is a bit too much. A vintage bow blouse with an updated suit, booties and clean, simple accessories is just right.