Colourful shoes and accessories from Town Shoes.

Colourful shoes and accessories from Town Shoes.

WOMEN IN BUSINESS – Be fashion forward this spring

Tips to look your best at work and play

Whether you’re in the market for a few key pieces to keep your wardrobe up to date or see this spring as the ideal time for a closet overhaul, shopping for the right pieces can seem overwhelming.

What are the season’s top colours and fabrics? What should you scrimp on and what’s worth the splurge? Which accessories will help you move from a work day to a day at the beach?

For all this an more, we checked in with Bonnie Pollard, Fashion Stylist with the Mayfair Shopping Centre.

When it comes to fabrics, lace is most popular trend this spring – look for a key piece like a lace top or blouse, Pollard suggests.

Accent details include sheer panels in blouses or dresses, and beading, with influences from India, the Middle East and Russia.

“And in leather, look for minimalistic shapes in rich colours. A moto jacket would be a  great piece for spring,” Pollard says.

Relaxed skinny pants and sporty A-line shapes will be making waves along with accents such as oversized ruffles, cut-out detailing, and a real 1960s silhouette in dresses and skirts.

Add a little fun to your professional attire with a “short suit” – a classic blazer with co-ordinating tailored, Bermuda-length shorts, worn with low heels or ballet flats.

Spring is all about colour and this season the big colour is emerald green, which looks bright and fresh paired with crisp white. Tone down the green a little by pairing it with a neutral navy blue, Pollard suggests.

For those who prefer a more subdued palette, look for pastels such as lilac, nectarine, turquoise and lemon, and “water colours – pattern blends of greens, blues, and white.” Navy blue and white are the key neutrals to mix with all this season’s colours.

Like it bright? Colour it sunny with pops of neon.

At the same time, those who appreciate the tried-and-true black-and-white will find a lot to like as well. “We’re seeing a high-contrast look – worn head to toe – in pattens and/or solid combos, complete with all the accessories,” Pollard says.

Patterns and prints are everywhere this spring, including bold stripes, florals, polka dots, paisley and patchwork animal prints.

In fact, these patterns are an essential component of the season’s key looks.

“Big, bold stripes, horizontal, vertical or both are being worn head to toe or paired with solids,” Pollard says.

Mixing prints is also big, wearing pattern on pattern. “The key thing to remember is to keep those prints in similar colour combo, such as shades of blue.”

Key pieces include floral denim pants and striped blazers. “The really brave will be wearing multiple patterns all at same time, while the rest of us will add one pattern at a time, to boost our neutrals,” Pollard says.

“I’m excited to see very bold pattern combinations this season. We’re all going to need some pep talks to be brave but it will be fun!”

While spring brings to mind all that’s fresh and new, creating a whole new wardrobe each season is simply not possible. Building on a strong foundation with a few key pieces, however, can keep you looking in season and in fashion.

“Seasonal change gives us renewed energy and element of fun – without breaking the bank,” Pollard explains.

“Base wardrobes should always be good quality pieces, fit well and in neutral colours,” she suggests.

“Trendy seasonal items can then be less expensive adds – the goal is to boost the look one season at a time, wear it tons and wear it out by end of season!”

This season Pollard suggests finding one new piece in two colours, stripes, paisley, polka dots or floral, plus two or three top, a scarf, necklaces and ballet flats. Add an inexpensive blazer (in a colour or stripes) and a thin, coloured belt to easily combine with neutral wardrobe basics, for a trendy boost.

“If one of the seasonal colours or patterns really says ‘WOW this is me,’ then it’s worth investing in medium to better quality since you’ll be wearing it a lot and want it to hold up well,” Pollard says.

“And I always try to add one standout pair of shoes each season, especially in a trend colour.”

For those who are stumped on just how to incorporate this season’s looks, Mayfair’s Spring Style Preview appointments can help. “We all get stuck in a rut and sometimes just need a gentle push with some new ideas. We can help guide you on what trends will best suit you (and what to pass on), where to find them and in what sizes, etc., making shopping easy & fun!”

This complimentary service is available from April through June and appointments can be booked directly with Bonnie at mayfairstyle@shaw.ca

Spring forward from work to play

When it comes to incorporating spring fashions into your work attire, “the most common error is summer attire looking too casual and therefore not professional or office-appropriate,” says Mayfair Fashion Stylist Bonnie Pollard.

As a rule of thumb, combine one dressier piece with one piece or more of casual wear, and always work with layers, such as camisole tank tops, cardigans and blazers.

As the weather turns warmer, don’t forget to pay extra attention to grooming.

Pieces in particular that can transition from work to play  include Bermuda shorts that can be worn with blazers to create “short suits,” or with T-shirts and cardigans for a more causal look after work. And try coloured denims in a relaxed skinny style where a rolled cuff teams well with ballet flats.

Must-have pieces

 

1. Lace Peplum Top

2. Striped Blazer

3. Coloured Denim

4. A stand-out pair of shoes (colour or patchwork animal print)

 

Accessorize!

 

• Statement sunglasses in colours  and bold shapes

• Contrasting colour jewellery, purse, belt and shoes

• Flats and low heels, such as sexy ‘90s pointy heels, cylindrical heels and ankle straps

• Scarves with a patchwork mixture of patterns