What to Wear to Work-Spring 2016

Now that the season is officially here on the calendar, I bring you the much-awaited annual 2016 Spring Trend Report!

Since I always aim to take the stress out of getting dressed, I’m only highlighting a fraction of the many, many trends available to you this spring. And to simplify even further, we’ll narrow our discussion to only trends I recommend for professional dress along with a few tips to on how to wear the styles.

So yes, I’ve mentioned the word “trend” several times already, but I urge you to interpret the word as “stylish.” Sure, it can be fun to add a super trendy style to your wardrobe from time to time, but for the best value and most consistent look, try the longer lasting, types of fashionable items I recommend instead.

Lastly, be sure to take the formality or informality of your office into account when making your choices this spring.


In addition to rose quartz, the Pantone color of the year, other stylish colors include white and other pastels. A tailored white suit (or even just a blazer) can look crisp and sharp when you need a powerful look. Dressed down or paired with trendier shoes, the outfit is great for a dressy evening.

Yellow!  Although the media is showing bright, lemon yellow, I see mostly buttery yellow in the stores. Luckily much of it is showing up in pretty prints making it much more wearable for most women.

Navy is everywhere! I prefer it for trendier styles or ones with interesting details rather than classic stand-byes for the most modern look.

Bright colors.  The truth is that there is a lot of color this season. Sure there will always be black and other neutrals, but fun, happy colors to add into your wardrobe is what the season seems to be about!

Color blocking, wearing two swaths of bright or light colors right next to each other, is a fantastic way to extend your wardrobe. Always be sure to pull your color combinations together with accessories. (Bonus! You may not need to go shopping for this update.)


Stripes are always a favorite for spring and summer. This year, what’s new are rainbow (multi-colored) stripes and bold, awning stripes especially popular for skirts and wide leg pants.

knit striped skirt

Prints are more prevalent than ever! Here are a few of the more popular prints and patterns to seek out:

  • Abstract, realistic, and romantic floral prints
  • Stars and geography/map prints
  • Plaid and checks-from bold to tiny


Vests are a great way to layer without overheating. The current style is more of a hip or midi length than a standard waist-coat. Think of it as a sleeveless jacket. (It’s definitely not time to bring out that patchwork vest from the ‘70’s!) Although traditional professional dress rules dictate long sleeves underneath, there’s quite a bit of leeway in business casual, especially in creative fields. I also love the idea of these vests over dresses.

Spring tweed jackets have come in and out of style, but this year they’re back with a vengeance. I’m seeing a lot of black and white and navy and white, but solid colors (especially ivory) are quite popular and a great choice for versatility.

tweed pink jacket

Wide leg pants have been in fashion for a few years, but now they’re finally widely available. Whether you choose a solid, a stripe or a pattern, these pants fit and flatter a lot of bodies. Unless you have very long legs, these pants work best with a heel for the most professional look.

Wide leg pants

Midi skirts, like wide leg pants, aren’t necessarily new. What is new is that the retail buyers have finally gained enough faith in the trend to provide us with a wide variety of styles such as pencil skirts, wrap/envelope skirts and full skirts.

Matched sets came on the scene last summer, mostly as shorts sets, but this year have expanded greatly into two piece dresses. Not only are these sets versatile, many of the ones I’m seeing are heavy knits that offer comfort and structure. What more could you want?

Day dresses are back with a vengeance. Let’s face it, there are plenty of days we just want one piece to put on…a dress! There are lots of fantastic day dresses for spring/summer 2016, and drum roll please, many of them have sleeves! (Like I said, we just want one item.) For dresses without sleeves, most display racks include a perfect length jacket for serious meetings and overly aggressive air conditioning.

Etc. dress

As I mentioned earlier, these styles are just a fraction of what’s available to you in the marketplace. I urge you to explore your personal style, and decide which ones are your favorites. And for the most professional, sophisticated look, be sure to coordinate these new fashions with classic items.

What are your favorite trends for 2016? Be sure to leave a comment below!

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