We’ve shared the cutting-edge trends for spring-summer 2019: the shoes, handbags and other accessories that the cool kids will be wearing this season. But what about those of us who have to think about the office? What should we wear to work this spring? No worries. Our correspondent Julie Chang Murphy has the answers. Here’s how to update your work wardrobe this spring like a boss.
shopping for your work wardrobe can be, well . . . hard work
I’m someone who gets a jolt of endorphins and feels energized by shopping for clothes and makeup and home decorations —pretty much anything other than something I actually need.
On the flip side, buying a razor, laundry detergent or vitamins are decidedly in the chore category. And for most of us, shopping for work clothes is somewhere in between.
It seems like it should be fun. But factor in all the considerations of professionalism, modesty, comfort and office temperature woes and it can become a a paralyzing endeavor. But the alternative of wearing the same staid outfits from last year also feels stifling. Another day, another pair of black pants. Yawn.
Inspiration and confidence can come from anywhere and we are not suggesting that a new blazer will get you that promotion you’ve been working towards all year. But if it gets you just a twinge more excited to get ready in the morning – or even better, cuts down on 20-minutes of agony-filled outfit deliberation, then YES! We are saying that a few new spring work wardrobe additions are an easy way to boost your spirits.
And who knows? If you’re feeling jauntier, that boss confidence you exude may speed your ascent to the top, too. It definitely won’t hurt.
seven ways to update your work wardrobe this spring
Here are the 7 on-trend pieces we are coveting this spring for our work wardrobe. In creating this list, we wanted the items to: a) pair with garments you already own; b) seamlessly transition into after-work drinks; and c) become a wardrobe staple for longer than one season. Because you’ve got contracts to broker and meetings to lead! So let’s get on with it.
Starting with the easiest trend to add — color. For spring 2019, beige was all over the runways (Christian Dior, Jil Sander, Balmain, Tom Ford, Salvatore Ferragamo). But since this neutral is nothing new for your work wardrobe, we love the way millennial pink has transitioned to lavender.
This soft purple hue, featured in collections by J.W Anderson, Michael Kors, Victoria Beckham and Erdem, is one of the IT colors for spring. Lavender immediately lends freshness and whimsy to the navy slacks and charcoal grey staples already in your closet.
The other standout color for the season gets its inspiration from another flower- Marigold. A rich, buttery yellow that lends just the right cheeriness to any outift. Designers Pyer Moss, Kate Spade New York, Oscar de la Renta, Max Mara and Escada all embraced this attention-grabbing hue.
3. Pleated, High-Waist Trouser
Though it seemed like biker shorts with blazers got the most attention on the Spring runways and on street style Instagram photos, let’s face it- the C-suite crew is probably going to raise a brow or two. And unless you want to have a blanket over your lap in the freezing office all day, shop instead for the more practical but instantly elegant, high waisted trouser. 3.1 Phillip Lim, Ralph Lauren and Marc Jacobs all had luxurious versions of this silhouette. If you’re working hours that are more like 9 to 9, it doesn’t get better than these professional pajama pant.
4. Long and Loose Blazer
You probably have several basic tailored blazers in your work rotation already. This Spring, if you want to add a more casual one to your closet, designers like Marc Jacobs, Maison Margiela, Alexander Wang and Balenciaga showed oversized and androgynous style blazers. Lucky for us, this boxier silhouette is perfect for layering in the unpredictable seasonal weather. They also look smart, belted at the waist, for a utilitarian vibe that’s also on trend this Spring.
5. Boiler Suit
Perhaps there is not another singular silhouette so closely associated with hands-on work than the utilitarian boiler suit. This season, Dries Van Noten, Fendi, Givenchy, Isabel Marant and Sies Marjan all showed their interpretations of this practical style. Still, it can border on costume IRL but we found these styles that feel modern and effortless for the office.
6. Polka Dots
Polka dots can seem a bit twee for the office but it’s all about proportions. Pull it off and it can lighten the gravitas and express a youthful energy even when you haven’t had your coffee yet. The Italian design houses Marni, Prada and Moschino were loving it this season, as well as Chloe, Celine and Rejina Pyo.
7. Animal Prints
Sometimes animal prints are the new neutral. Sometimes they’re meant to be a sexy statement piece. For work, in the right spots, we think they can lend an edginess that express a risk-taking and daring sensibility when you need it. And they pair well with all the black pieces you own already. Designers from Gucci, Off-White, Adeam to Tom Ford were loving patterns from all over the animal kingdom- zebra, snake, leopard, cheetah and tigers, oh my.
There you have it, dear readers — our top spring work wardrobe picks. Now go out there and show them who’s boss!
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Crediting her training as a cultural anthropologist at Wellesley College, Julie has immersed herself in various industries in the last 15 years including fashion design, event planning, fitness and even investigating police misconduct. Julie lives in NYC where she loves trying every ramen and dumpling restaurant with her husband and three children. She finds joy in bold prints, biographies of fierce women, kickboxing and spending way too long finding the perfect polish color to express her mood.
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