Dressing for the office is always a styling challenge when temps warm up, since many trendy Spring wardrobe elements aren't exactly boss-approved. So, as we approach the season synonymous with higher hemlines and gauzy tops, we decided to poll some of our favorite fashionistas to hear their take on making Spring styles appropriate for the work place.
"Dresses are clearly the best office option during hot months ... I always layer cardigans and blazers over sleeveless silhouettes, so I can take them off immediately when I get outside. And skirts! Especially the airy, circle silhouettes that hit right above the knee, and I always wear a fitted top, since it looks best with a fuller silhouette on bottom. Also, I'm loving my flare leg linen trousers. Linen is the best summer fabric around and a wider silhouette will be extra cool. Add a skinny belt, a fitted top, and some platform tailored shoes for an office appropriate, yet cool summer ensemble." Alexandra Dillard; Tampa, Florida.
"Layer it! When it comes to springtime, it’s all about putting it together and taking it off as the weather gets a little warmer! Just because its warmer, we still must set boundaries when heading in to a day at the office! This means no halter tops, short shorts, tube tops, you get the picture. I have some go-to's, like shift dresses. Throw one on under a blazer during the work day then take off the hose and shed the jacket with a pair of hot heels for a happy hour,an event, or a fun dinner with co-workers!" Allison Edwards; lifestyle writer and co-founder of WhereWearInTheCity.com; Los Angeles, California.
"No matter how hot, never wear sleeveless when working in television! Or anything sheer either." Our own Annie Potasznik; correspondent for The Scene and video journalist; Dallas, Texas.
"For summer, invest in a couple of light, breezy shirt dresses that are an appropriate length, and add heels, belts, and jewelry to your heart's content. For a more 'on trend' look, this season's printed wide-leg pants in airy materials (like silk) are perfect with a tailored tank. Of course, my office isn't too conservative, so I'm wearing suede shorts right now!" Nadia Dabbakeh; editor for PinkMemo; Dallas, Texas.
"I’m outside a lot because we have practice outdoors in the mornings. The easiest thing for me is to wear summer dresses with a lightweight jacket or a lightweight ¾ sleeve cardigan. If the dress is conservative enough on its own, I can wear it by itself, but if I feel like it’s borderline, I add the jacket or cardigan. I can roll or push the sleeves up and the added layer helps with the air-conditioned air inside the office as well. I also like dressier short-sleeve tops with capris and low heels. And I slather on the sunscreen every morning!!" Leigh Anne Gullett; director of communications and public relations for FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas.
"I wear lightweight cotton cardigans over my dresses and sleeveless tops to work so I can still wear my cute Spring/Summer outfits but also appear work appropriate. Sometimes I belt the look other times I will wear loose with skinny pants. I found a great version from Forever and bought it in four color ways. Also found a short sleeve option from Splendid and bought in two colors." Mollie Spicer; buyer for Neiman Marcus; Dallas, Texas.
"I've got five major rules I stick to for Spring and Summer office style: layering, shoes that let your feet breath, light open-weave fabrics like lace, loose fitting pieces, and light accessories. Since it's always freezing thanks to air conditioning this time of year, I pair a lightweight jacket or wrap over sleeveless dresses. On my shoes, I'm thankful perforation and weaving are two of the hottest trends in footwear right now, since I stick to breathable shoes. I'll definitely be wearing lots of laces, crochets, and mesh, and my favorite tops and garments for this season are flowy silhouettes in fabrics like chiffon. Lastly, nothing makes me more uncomfortable than gobs of heavy jewelry, so I keep my outfit comfortable with a lighter weight layered necklace." Annemarie Dillard; Los Angeles, California.
"I was speaking to a group of fashion students at Wade College the other day and the subject of office and/or interview attire came up. We all agreed that "Plain Jane" just doesn't make the best impression. My advice? Take the traditional 'interview suit' and add two elements that speak to current trends or your individual style. This could mean a chunky layered necklace and a pair of animal print pumps, or even switching the suit's matching blazer for an oversized lightweight cape and choosing shoes to match. By limiting the added elements, you're sure to remain professional while expressing your personality." Lisa Petty; shopping editor for TheFeast.com; Dallas, Texas.
Want to see specific pieces that the girls picked out as some of their favorites for Spring? View today's gallery for their choices and check out the Dallas style-stars we snapped on the street recently, each of whom shows off their own unique take on dressing for the office.