What To Wear To Your Uptight Office

One of the perks of working in fashion is being able to wear culottes and glittery loafers to the office without giving it a second thought. We realize the same isn't true for those who work in corporate settings that adhere to a more traditional set of sartorial guidelines. That's why we enlisted a few well-versed workwear designers — from Reiss, Judith & Charles, and Atea Oceanie — to walk us through spring's biggest trends and how to translate them into your 9-to-5 wardrobe. 

Professional attire doesn’t have to be stuffy or boring. Reiss' head of womenswear design, Louise Palmer, challenges us to keep an open mind to pastels, pussy bows, and cutouts at the office. "A pale suit is a must for spring workwear. Choose a boxy, double-breasted jacket and pair it with slim-leg trousers for an updated, but still office-appropriate look," she recommends. As for tie-front blouses? “A silk, pussy-bow blouse teamed with high-waisted trousers nods to the season’s '70s trend. The loose fit will help you stay cool without showing a lot of skin," she says. 

If you're worried about where the cutouts come in, look no further than your feet (and breath a sigh of relief). Palmer suggests wearing cutout-detail flats as a creative alternative to open-toe shoes at more conservative offices. On the subject of shoes, Atea Oceanie's designer Laura Myers isn’t above wearing sneakers with suits, when it's acceptable. "Designed to be worn with heels or sneakers, Atea’s suiting is easily dressed up or down — making your commute or change for after-work drinks super easy." Myers pretty much read our mind: We're all for comfy in-transit shoes — and we know you are, too. 

Footwear and clothing silhouettes aside, one of the most important factors in assembling our spring and summer wardrobes is fabric. Materials, like tweed and linen, are "very well adapted to a professional environment in the spring and summer months," the team at Judith & Charles notes. "The qualities of linen, its lightness and adaptability, allow the pieces to have a smart and conservative allure."

To take full advantage of the tips we gleaned from our experts, we pulled together 30 wardrobe updates to pair with your existing, HR-approved duds. Your closet will be in business in no time at all. 

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