with Susan Wagner
The Working Closet is your source for the best of what's hip and fresh in fashion and beauty. Susan Wagner keeps you up-to-date on trends and offers tips and tricks for making everything in your closet truly work for you.
You can also catch Susan over at Working Closet.
Well hello there! It’s so nice to be back at The Working Closet! And so fun to be working with Sarah (although it’s a good thing we don’t actually see each other during the work day because my hair is out of control right now).
Spring is in the air (which explains the state of my hair, honestly) and it’s time to put up the winter gear and freshen up your closet for warmer days. Or at least to dream about it while you shovel snow. Either way, it’s fun to think about how you can update your office classics with a few trendy pieces. This spring, there are the usual unwearable trends (MC Hammer called and he WANTS HIS PANTS BACK) and then there are the cute-but-how-do-I-make-it-work trends.
Women everywhere are thrilled by the return of the slouchy pant — as opposed to the skinny pant, of course. Slouchy trousers are loose and comfortable, and can move easily from work to weekend. Bear in mind that there is a fine line between slouchy and sloppy; even slouchy pants need to fit properly through the waist and hips, and slouchy does NOT mean a crotch that hits at your knees. Pair your properly fitted slouchy pants with a tailored jacket or slim sweater for the office and a simple tee for the weekend. Keep everything in proportion — I know designers showed slouchy pants with boyfriend cardigans, but that’s too much slouch for the office. Or anywhere.
Pink is huge for spring — bright fuschia, in fact. Pink is universally flattering, and the right shade of pink, worn close to your face, can make you look like you’ve spent the weekend at a spa. But be sparing with your pinks; head to toe is too much for the office (or for anyone over the age of six). Go with a blouse or scarf, or a bright pink bag. I have a pink skirt that I pair with a black sweater and black tights, for a cool French girl look. For the office, I’m loving the Banana Republic blouse pictured above; the muted shade is pretty but professional, and the pleats give it a cool, origami edge. Mandarin collar pleated blouse, $59.00 at Banana Republic.
The statement necklace.
This is the most accessible of spring’s trends — invest in one oversized statement necklace and you’re set. Wood pieces are hip this year, as are botanical motifs (a gigantic floral necklace is the perfect foil for a basic white tee and those slouchy pants). No matter what length or material you choose, you’ll be working the trend, so do something that really works for you — gumball pearls or crafty glass beads or heavy silver links. And then wear that one big necklace everywhere.
Black and white prints.
Remember Mrs. Obama’s black and white sundress? Black and white is cool and hip and perfect for the office; even a very feminine print is less girly in black and white. Look for great dresses and skirts, and wear with bright colors or other neutrals. The White House|Black Market dress the First Lady wore on The View (pictured here) is perfect for work — add a cardigan, either black or in a bright color; for after hours, swap your pumps for some strappy sandals). Sundress, $148.00 at White House|Black Market.
Color block prints.
Not much for black and white? Go with big, bold retro prints in bright colors — these aren’t florals, they’re large scale geometrics, so they’re not fussy at all. The sharp corners and defined lines of these patterns balance a loose-fitting shape; look for shift dresses with mod patterns. Pair with a pencil skirt and pumps for a clean, classic look that is 60s inspired but firmly rooted in today.
While I would never count the trench as a trend, it is having a resurgence this spring, which means more opportunities to take one home. For 2009, the trench is back in it’s most tailored form, which is the easiest to wear. Toss your trench over your suit or dress for work, or your jeans and tee on the weekend. Wear with dresses and skirts and pants of all types. Belt and button, or let it hang open. You cannot go wrong with a great trench.
Your turn — what spring trends are you rocking this year? Or which trends are completely baffling you? Because I’m still trying to wrap my head around the return of the MC Hammer pants.
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