by Annette Y. Harris
You’ve moved your clocks forward. The cherry blossoms in D.C. are at their peak. March Madness is down to the Elite Eight. Political “reality TV” is at its best. ‘Tis the season to shake things up a bit. Why not stir up your work wardrobe with this spring’s newest looks?
There are a lot of fab fashion trends this spring season – vibrant colors, patterns that pop, sleek new garment designs and shapes and accessories that add just the right flair to round out your look.
Whatever you do though, don’t be a “trend offender,” wearing any and all trends you can get your hands on. This isn’t a good look, especially at work. As the great fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld once said:
“TRENDY is the last stage before TACKY.”
Instead of overdoing a good thing, find a couple of trends that you like and that:
- are flattering to your body type and personal coloring,
- fit your style,
- are appropriate for work, and
- easily mix into your existing work wardrobe.
Read on to find out five of my favorite trends for Spring 2016. And, don’t forget to like me @showupllc on Facebook and follow me on Twitter!
- Color: Orange. Orange really is the new black this spring season. If you feel bold, grab a great orange dress and pair it with your power pearls and nude pumps for a look that’s corner-office chic – but only if orange is flattering to your skin tone, eyes, and hair color. For the less adventurous or if orange isn’t flattering on you: Go for a “pop” of orange – maybe a handbag or pair of pumps – or, mix it with a neutral like navy, gray, beige or off-white to tone the color down (for example, an orange blazer, a navy or beige skirt, and a dressy blouse with a pattern that links the two colors).
- Pattern: Stripes. So, here is the thing about stripes – they are always in style. This spring season, though, stripes will take on new life. There will be stripes of every width, going in every direction from diagonal to vertical to horizontal to asymmetrical – and even stripes on top of stripes. The key with stripes is that you want to wear them strategically. Go for a vertical stripe if you want to look taller and leaner. If you are fuller on the top half of your body (larger bust and/or wide shoulders) opt for vertical instead of horizontal stripes or wear a solid top and limit wearing stripes to your bottom half and vice versa, if you are fuller on the bottom half (i.e. hips, derriere) of your body. For a more formal, conservative look at work, keep the stripes narrower, slightly wider than a pin stripe for greater visual impact. If you work in a less formal, artsy or creative environment, you’ve got more fashion freedom to make a statement by wearing stripes on the top and bottom.
- Design:Knife-pleats. Sharpen your work wardrobe and add a level of swagger to your step this spring with knife pleats (also called micro pleats) that add precision to your every move. You’ll find this apparel design element on blouses, dresses and skirts alike this spring. For work, balance a feminine pleated skirt or dress with a strong, fitted blazer that says you are in command. Go from day to evening by swapping out the blazer for a cutout shoulder top or an off-the-shoulder top – also two of this spring’s trends- along with a pair of statement earrings and strappy heels.
- Handbag: Saddlebag. Saddle up for work with this super-stylish’70s fashion trend. In general, this shape of handbag is more casual and therefore a great option for the less formal workplace. For more formal dress, choose a simple, conservative, high-quality version of the bag (like the white See by Chloe one pictured in the fashion set above). Wear it over the shoulder or go for cross-body if you want a more modern look. Insert your personality into your look by playing with the color, print, pattern and texture of the bag.
- Pumps: Block Heels. Block heels made their way onto the scene last summer and are making a comeback this season. You pick your heel height (no more than 3″-4″ for work), design (from lace-up to ankle straps) and finish (from leather to suede, python print to metallic, and in every color you can contemplate). And then, rock them at work with trousers, skirts or dresses. What I love the most about block heels is that you can elevate your height, which has a slimming effect (say what?….yes, you look slimmer!), and at the same time feel steady on your feet when you strut your stuff at work.
Annette Y. Harris is President & Founder of ShowUp, LLC a one-stop shop for all aspects of personal brand development from identifying and defining talents, strengths and unique attributes; and then activating a personal brand visibility campaign – to elevating executive presence in terms of professional dress, communication, and business etiquette skills.
Prior to ShowUp! Annette spent nearly 20 years managing global marketing programs and leading teams for multi-million dollar Federal government contract proposals for major corporations like Deloitte & Touché, MCI WorldCom and Verizon.
Annette earned her undergraduate degree from James Madison University, her MBA from George Mason University, and was later certified by the leading accreditation organizations in her field, the Association of Image Consultants International and the Protocol School of Washington. Annette is a 360Reach Personal Brand and Social Brand Analyst. She also studied under famed stylist Stacy London (of the hit show What Not to Wear). To learn more, about Annette visit: http://showupllc.com/annette/