Dressing for the office · Spring

Office Style: Spring Edition

Dressing for work is always a challenge for me in the warmer months. On Monday, the temperature reached 92 degrees. While that is obviously abnormal for spring here, it posed quite a dilemma about what to wear to work. Our office temperature is always set at a crisp, cool temperature, usually in the 60-70 range. And for me, that’s much too chilly. But, outside it is sweltering. Add having to look professional and put together, while still trying to look stylish and you see my problem. But I have solutions.

First of all, I have strict ideas about spring/summer wear that is professional and appropriate for the office. Do not wear flip flops, I don’t care how tempting it is. If you need to wear them on the walk to your office from your garage or from the metro to your office, fine. But put on some real shoes when you get there. I love flip flops, but no one at your office wants to see [or smell] your feet. Trust me. I think sandals are okay as long as they look nice and are leather or fake leather. Heeled sandals are the best. But flat/wedge are okay as long as they don’t resemble flip flops.

Secondly, I think wearing sleeveless can be tricky. My upper arm isn’t exactly my favorite body part so I tend towards tops that don’t show them or I throw on a blazer or cardigan over a top that does show them. If you want to go sleeveless, be sure to properly deodorize and have a jacket or sweater as a backup in case your top doesn’t fly. Since they keep my office so chilly, I have no problem with wearing something over a shell or tank. And it’s easy to just take it off if you need to go outside into the warm air.

Another tricky issue is mixing spring trends into your work wear. I think as a general rule of thumb, it’s good to have classic staples as work wear, but that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t add a pop of coral in here or opt for a peplum skirt instead of a classic pencil skirt.

A great alternative to a more classic sheath dress is a shirt dress. Choose a neutral color and accessorize as you would with a sheath. Belt it if you’d like. What I love about this combination is that every piece is a classic or neutral but when it’s all pulled together it’s anything but boring.

In this example, a peplum pencil skirt is a way to update a classic pencil skirt. Paired with a tie neck blouse, it still looks professional. I would add a cardigan or blazer to this because of my weird arm rule, but it doesn’t really need it.

To add in a pop of one of spring’s hot colors, pair a blouse with ankle pants and a blazer. The color will show under the blazer and will make a statement.

Don’t be afraid to wear colored pants – this mint pair is in a classic shape. Just make sure they fit well. Add a neutral blazer to make the look even more polished.

Spring is all about bold floral prints. So if you want to try out a print at work, choose one that isn’t overly loud and pair it with a classic bottom – in this case, a black pencil skirt. When choosing jewelry, pick out a color from the pattern or just opt for silver or gold, depending on the pattern.

I know it’s super important for some of you to maintain a very professional and sometimes conservative look at work. But if you choose 1 trend or 1 statement item, mix it with classic pieces, shoes and accessories, your look with look fresh and stylish!


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