Spring is in the air at long last! So, why does your work wardrobe still look like you’re in deepest layered hibernation?
If you’re thinking of making a work style upgrade, these are some of your best bets for the months ahead.
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Go for a slight color shift:
If color is your thing, but your work environment is still very traditional, you’ll have to be careful with just how much zing you add to your spring.
“To stand out and not be too odd in the workplace, the classic blue and grey suits are still the way to go but subtly change the shade of blue to a marine blue or the grey to a pearl or soft medium grey shade,” advises Ralph Auriemma, Creative Director at Paul Stuart.
Change a single detail:
Like the humble caterpillar, you don’t have to transform into a thing of beauty instantly. Choose one or two details to update as it warms up. “Men can change their suit style to a peak lapel or a one-button jacket,” said Auriemma. “Another option is to change your shirt style to a spread collar instead of a button-down collar, add color in your neckties, change from a solid white or blue shirt to a shirt with stripes (they don’t have to be bold stripes) and add a fancy pocket square. These changes will give you style and flair; you will look like you own the office.”
On days when the temperatures rise considerably, Auriemma recommends a “super soft navy blazer with an unconstructed lining. It will keep you looking professional but cool as a cucumber at the same time.”
Auriemma took inspiration from the vintage seaside of the Riviera in the 1920s when designing the new Phineas Cole collection. What this means for someone looking for suiting inspiration is that instead of boring grey stripes, you can add vintage batik prints in blue color tones, ‘washed’ leather jackets and details that look like you’ve been paying attention without making fashion your god.
Since women can be somewhat more creative in their work attire, you can be more playful this season.
Playful is in:
The big trends this spring are “unconventional polka dots, bold florals, scarf prints, leopard, reptile and tiger prints in refreshing colors. Textured linen, cottons, and flowy fabrics will be on trend” offers Adriana Martinez, Creative Director at LUVMEMORE. She predicts a season that is “flirty, fun and plentiful in bold colors.”
One detail at a time:
Martinez says “The best way to express your individuality in the workplace is to layer with a pop of print, or color peeking through. Statement jewelry is also a key trend, accessorize and don’t be afraid to add bold color to your everyday workwear.”
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Not ready to shell out the big bucks for a whole new look? Consider one or two investment pieces or accessories.
Think Pink: If I have to choose one favorite piece this season, it’s a pink herringbone hooded spring coat from Social Eras. Every coat in the collection is under $200 and they are so beautifully made and flattering to nearly every shape.
Make it Sock-sy: “Colorful, patterned, or novelty socks provide instant style to any outfit,” offers Issac E. Ash, President & CEO of United Legwear & Apparel Co., the parent company of FUN SOCKS. Adding cute detail in the form of a pop of color or detail from the ankle down shows you’re feeling spring, in even a subtle way. “Fun Socks are a timeless winner; because they’re a small hit of interest, there’s no risk of ‘over-doing’ it.”
Not so straight-laced: Whiskers Laces are bespoke dress shoelaces that come in a variety of cute colors and designs. Even the most basic grey suede oxford is suddenly transformed with on-trend detailing.
Specs appeal: Hollywood stylist Kate Young (clients include Dakota Johnson and Selena Gomez) recently partnered with iconic eyeglasses brand Tura on a few new collections. She advises updating your eyewear game at least every 18 months or so. Details to look for right now are unexpected metallic touches, or sheer tinted acetate frames with just a hint of blush. Young calls these colors “cosmetic” since they act the same way that a hint of bronzer or blush might.
The “it” color: Pantone’s color of the year for 2019 is Living Coral, which looks exactly the way you’d expect it to. If you’re stuck on neutrals but want to update your look slightly, a simple cotton t-shirt (try this one from Eddie Bauer) updates even your most basic jeans and ballet flat combo. Or check out Peruvian Connection’s Coral Clusters necklace which is a subtle way to add a bit of color to even the most understated button-down shirt.
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