7 Ways to Freshen Up Your Work Wardrobe for Spring

7 Ways to Freshen Up Your Work Wardrobe for SpringLast Monday was the first official day of spring — yay! Temperatures are still all over the place in many places for the country, but I thought we’d talk about some easy ways to freshen up your work wardrobe for spring. And, while I’ll get to the seasonal wardrobe switch at the end of the post, note that a lot of these suggestions are a great way to “finish” wearing your cold weather clothes before you launder them and put them away for the season.

  1. Bring on the pastels.  Light blue blouses, pinks, mints, lavenders, pale yellows — they’re all a welcome addition to everyone’s wardrobes. If you’re a fan of “Tumblr pink,” the dusty, dusky pale pink that’s everywhere lately, pull it out — I know I have a dusky pink necklace that I just pulled out (and am wearing today with a dark green sweater that’s probably going away for the season in another wear or two.)
  2. Pale gray for the win. I’ve written before of my love of light gray pants instead of white — it’s also worth noting that you can wear very pale gray with darker, wintry grays and have a great outfit.  Add a bright lip or a colorful accessory (hot pink feels kind of huge this season), and you’re set for the day.

  1. Brighten up. Canary yellow, cobalt blue, kelly green, hot pink — these are fun, happy colors to see now, and as I’m shopping around for our daily workwear reports, I’m seeing more and more blazers, shoes, bags, and more in these colors.  If you’ve got dark grays or browns in your rotation for pants or skirts, try adding some crisp, bright colors for contrast.
  2. Make white work for you. If you don’t like white dress shirts, that’s fine — there are a zillion other options for white shirts that work for every woman. Look for an opaque white t-shirt and wear it with a colorful necklace, or find a fancier white top and work it into your rotation. One easy trick: if you often wear a camisole for work, either for opacity under any gauzy/slightly sheer sweaters or to raise the neckline of your outfits, switch to a white camisole instead of a black one.
  3. Pull out lighter fabrics. Linen itself should be reserved for summer, but if you’ve got some linen tees or linen/cotton sweaters (or cashmere/cotton sweaters), start to pull those out. Lightweight, machine washable pants and lightweight blazers are ideal transitional pieces for this time.
  4. Weather permitting, bare your ankles more. Booties and boots are great for winter, but for spring you may want to bare your ankles more — find comfortable heels and comfortable ballet flats, and build from there. If your office is casual enough for a light brown bootie/sandal hybrids (like this one from Isolá or this one from Paul Green), now is a great time to pull those out as well.
  5. Start assessing what needs to go away for your seasonal clothing review. If you’re like me and like to wear clothes multiple times before laundering it (I especially do this with pants and sweaters), now is the time to start prepping your closet to do the seasonal switch. If you’ve got corduroys, tweeds, or thicker wool pants or skirts that are freshly laundered — put those away for the season. (If they’ve just come back from the dry cleaner, remove the plastic dry cleaning bag, air them out for a bit, switch them to your preferred hanger, and then put them away.) If you’ve still got wintry pants, sweaters, blazers, whatever that have a few more wears left in them, try to reach for them first on colder days. If you’ve still got sweaters out in fall colors (for example, there’s a red one and a bright purple one kicking around my drawer), think of how you can wear them — in a conservative office I’d try pairing the red sweater with a light blue skirt or light blue blazer — for the bright purple one I’d wear it with a light gray bottom, possibly with a white or lavender blouse beneath it.

Finally — it’s not for your work wardrobe, but consider freshening up your office, also. On the first nice day you can, open the windows to let some fresh air in, consider what clothes you keep at the office may need to be laundered or put away for the season, and splurge on some springy fresh flowers like yellow tulips for you to enjoy while at work.

Ladies, how do you freshen up your work wardrobe for spring? What are you happy to pull out of your closet — what are you sad to say goodbye to from your fall and winter wardrobe? 

freshen up your work wardrobe for spring7 Ways to Freshen Up Your Work Wardrobe for Spring -- What to Pull Out, What to Put Away, and How to Get Those Last Few Wears Out of Your Winter Clothes | Corporette


  1. New city troubles :

    Mid-career professional (early 30s) moved from a big city to a smaller city to be with SO and working from home. Travel a lot for work so don’t have time for regular hobbies. How do I make friends and have a life outside of work travel and SO??

    • Wildkitten :

      Church? Gym? Meet-up? Alumni group? Volunteer? Find hobbies you can do without having to do them regularly.

    • Wild kitten has all the right answers, but Alumni group is NOT likely to be in a smaller city, unless you are in the same state you went to college in. I recomend you work from the local STARBUCKS b/c they have WIFI and you can meet alot of peeople w/o geting stuck in your house all day. I go to the Starbucks with my MACBOOK air, even tho I have WIFI at home b/c I like to meet new peeople. You can do that too b/c all you have to do is buy a cup of coffee and a muffin and stay all day. You should try that, b/c you meet a higher class of peeople there then you would at McDonalds (which also has Wifi). YAY!!!

    • I”ve found volunteering to be one of the better ways to meet people and get to know them, as opposed to just seeing them for an hour on Sunday morning when everyone is trying to gather family and get home to lunch.

  2. Cobalt blue :

    I have the cobalt blue tippi sweater from j crew, but am at a loss as to how to style it. I am in a casual workplace where almost anything goes, including jeans. Anyone have any styling advice? Thanks!

    • I wear my cobalt Tippi with a black super 120’s pencil skirt and black heels.

    • black and white Striped ponte skirt, black or purple almond toe flats?

      gray/black skinny pant with shiny/leopard oxford or flats

      chambray shirt layered under w dark colored pant

      stripy tee under sweater, jeans, colorful shoe

  3. Anonymous :

    I would love to have recs on where to buy light grey pants these days for spring. I find it very difficult to find this color, yet I agree that they are very versatile.

    Would love an ankle pant. I’m pear shape. My best fitting pants are the curvy fit skinny ankle pant at Loft.

    • Banana Republic has a lighter gray pant in lightweight wool (part of their suiting collection) that has been doing a lot of work for me the last few seasons. They have it in a few cuts, I’m a pear too and my favorite is the Ryan fit.

      • Anonymous :

        Thank you very much for this rec. I just ordered the pant you recommended in two sizes. This is my first time trying BR pants, but I have seen people rec them on this site for pears.

        Honestly, I would have never picked that pant style (Ryan) without your recommendation, because it isn’t their curvy fit, so thanks for being specific.

        Fingers crossed….

  4. It’s already too warm here in Arizona, but I want to be looking for light cardigans for next fall. I would love to find thin linen/silk blend, or very thin cotton/silk.

    It’s so hard to search by fiber content online, and of course you can’t tell the weight. I look in stores, but Nordstrom rack is the best we have in town. Any advice?

    • The Lands’ End DRESS Cardigan is a lightweight cotton, much lighter than its usual heavier supination cotton sweaters.

  5. Spring is near :) time to organize cabinets now

  6. stylegirl :

    Agreed on the cobalt blue and pastel pinks, good call! My favorite all year round brand of shirts for my wardrobe is Pink Tartan. The designers summer collection features both these colors and more to brighten your wardrobe.

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