With each new season comes a slew of hot new trends you’re dying to bust out, but how to make those newly acquired duds feel on-the-job appropriate is a question that isn’t always as clear-cut as your impeccable fashion sense. Off-the-shoulder styles, denim skirts and wearing pajamas outside the house don’t typically register as dress-code compliant, but with a bit of clever styling, your favorite spring 2016 fashion trends will take on a totally HR-approved persona. And that means big things for your nine-to-five routine — having an arsenal of alternatives to standard blazers and suits on hand might just make getting out of bed in the morning a little easier. Seriously. Besides, every #girlboss needs a wardrobe that will keep ’em on their toes. Here we’ve put six trendy and seemingly risqué spring pieces to the test, pulling together office-appropriate outfits that will totally change the way you approach your workweek wardrobe.
How to Style Mules for the Office
Slide-on mules are essentially the more sophisticated cousin to the laid-back house slipper, but don’t let their cozy vibes keep you from rockin’ them on the daily. Gilded uppers read glam rather than grandma and offer an unexpected (and totally comfortable) alternative to classic pumps or ballet flats. Channel their fashion-forward edge by swapping out your standard suit for punchy printed trousers, a structured sleeveless blazer and a streamlined roll-neck top that exudes modern-boss-lady elegance. Shimmery drops up the outfit’s wow-factor (and who doesn’t feel good in a bit of bling?), while a circle sac will step up your tote game like whoa.
Zara Flat Laminated Sandals ($50), Banana Republic Chambray Lightweight Wool Vest ($118), French Connection Polly Plains Roll Neck Top ($48), H&M Patterned Pants Loose Fit ($50), Shopbop Baggu Circle Pastel Purse ($140) + J.Crew Floral Chandelier Earrings ($68)
How to Style a Denim Skirt for the Office
Okay, so your distressed mini skirt is definitely out, but this longline number is begging to be a part of your boardroom-ready getup. The clean, dark-wash and pleated A-line silhouette looks like a suiting staple, but serves up a serious dose of personality. Style it with a traditional collared shirt for an easy, HR-approved look, or dare to go there (you know you wanna) with a bright, tie-waist blouse, a statement collar and suede clogs. An embroidered, open jacket brings an extra layer of polish without compromising the ensemble’s big personality.
Weekend Max Mara Nazione Skirt ($295), Whistles Tie Front Rib Knit ($180), H&M Beaded Jacket ($129), Mango Perforated Design Bag ($80), Kelsi Dagger Brea Sandals ($145) + BaubleBar Serengeti Bib Necklace ($52)
How to Style a Cold-Shoulder Top for the Office
An all-out off-the-shoulder top is a little too casual for the workplace, so look to cold-shoulder stunners to give your on-the-clock style a major boost. Skip your go-to black trousers and dress it up with flowy floral wide legs for a look that reads boho-meets-boardroom. Sunny yellow glove shoes put an extra-trendy twist on the ensemble, but feel perfectly practical thanks to their low-lying silhouette. Pull it all together with a color block cuff that offers up just the right amount of femme-fatale edge and a mint messenger bag with preppy appeal.
Zara Frilled Cut-Out Shoulder Shirt ($36), Topshop Retro Floral Wide Leg Pant ($70), COS Slip-On Leather Shoes ($125), The Cambridge Satchel Company Large Traveller Bag ($350), Free People Sibilia Victoria Patina Cuff ($128) + Dolce & Gabbana Nail Lacquer ($27)
How to Style a Pajama Shirt for the Office
Banish the Monday morning blues for good with a silky pajama shirt that will incite envy in all of your co-workers — because, yeah, you’re comfy and look that good. Counter its headed-for-bed flair with a leather midi skirt that’s ready for business and gilded cutout booties with major panache. Double studded earrings and a minimalist pendant necklace produce a refined finish guaranteed to impress the second you walk through the door.
Zara Printed Pajama Style Blouse ($70), Wilfred Free Lis Skirt ($85), Kat Maconie Anna Black & Gold Detail Mid Heeled Sandals ($314), Eddie Borgo Mini Gold-Plated Cubic Zirconia Cone Earrings ($65), Ilia Lipstick in In My Room($26) + Tiro Tiro Iridis Necklace ($195)
How to Style a Pleated Dress for the Office
Who needs shift dresses and sheaths when you can nail your nine-to-five attire in a swishy, strappy frock? Lady-like pleats and a color-block effect combine forces to create a standout piece that will put your swankiest office attire to shame. Layer it over a printed button-down shirt to make it Monday-through-Friday proper, then streamline your look with a structured corset belt. Go minimalist and masculine with the extras, slipping a pendant choker over your collar and stepping into a pair of slingback loafers with attitude to complete the envelope-pushing outfit.
Mango Pleated Bicolor Dress ($80), Madewell Courier Shirt ($70), Dr. Martens Valentine Slingback Loafer ($120), Anthropologie Straight Away Belt ($48), Forever 21 Circle Pendant Choker ($6) + Matt & Nat Lawrence Backpack ($125)
How to Style a Crochet Top for the Office
Worn solo, revealing tops won’t get you anywhere with HR, but a little well-thought-out layering will do wonders for your style cred. Pop a crocheted cami or halter over a frilly neck blouse for the ultimate fusion of flirty, feminine and free-wheelin’ styles. Opt for extra finesse on the bottom with cropped black trousers and quicksilver kicks (on-trend block heels are the obvious and essential choice). Keep the add-ons classic, adorning ears with stylish studs and slipping a simple silvery timepiece around the wrist.
Mango Cotton-Blend Knit Top ($50), Warehouse Victoriana Top ($80), Boohoo Lara Stretch Crop Flare ($37), Mango Metal Pendant Earrings ($20), Topshop Juliette Mid Heel Shoes ($80) + Cluse La Bohème Mesh Watch ($103)
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