Today’s post is written by Christina Wallace. Christina is the co-founder and CEO of Quincy, a new approach to work apparel for ambitious young women. Trained first as a classical pianist and cellist at Interlochen Arts Academy, then as a mathematician and theater director at Emory University, Christina is not your typical fashion entrepreneur. In 2008 she attended Harvard Business School. Follow her on Twitter at @cmwalla.
Here is how to update your wardrobe for spring — without breaking the bank.
1. First, shop your closet to pull off these trends:
Color: You already have it, now pair it in new ways to achieve spring’s bold looks. Color blocking is everywhere this season, followed closely by tone-on-tone (pairing neighboring shades from the color wheel rather than contrasting ones). To keep this trend from looking too costume-y, pick two pieces to stand out (think cobalt skinnies with a fuchsia cashmere sweater or a coral blouse with a burnt orange pencil skirt) and accessorize with neutrals.
Midi-length skirts: These skirts make a repeat appearance thanks to the Great Gatsby/1920s resurgence. Didn’t try the midi trend last year? Grab a maxi skirt or dress that’s lingering in the back of your closet and take it to a tailor for a quick alteration. The midi is more flattering on taller girls, yes, but petite women can pull it off with a wedge or espadrille. We love that the lady-like silhouette is simultaneously modest and sexy, and it’s perfect for any type of office.
Leather is no longer relegated only to Fall and Winter, which makes it an even better investment on a per-wear basis. This year it carries over into Spring/Summer. Leather jackets are a great counterpoint to pleated skirts, and leather accessories (whether bags, belts, or shoes) toughen up even the softest florals. Just make sure you take care of your leather pieces — a little bit of polish can go a long way on shoes and belts, and don’t forget to waterproof your bag if you’re going to brave the spring showers!
2. Then consider making a few investments that can go a long way:
Blazers made a strong showing on the runways this year, with everything from trousers to shorts to dresses. Add polish and a hint of structure with a fitted piece or size up and style as a boyfriend blazer with a belt and sleeves pushed up. They are the perfect outerwear during spring’s temperamental weather patterns and keep you comfortable indoors when summer hits and everyone blasts the air conditioners. Plus they transition perfectly through Fall and Winter. But our favorite reason to flock to blazers? They somehow make nearly any look “work-appropriate.”
Skinny belts are your best friend for reviving last year’s dresses. Defined waists were big on the runways with the peplum making a repeat appearance from last fall. Get the same look by belting dresses over a blazer or cardigan. Keep them in the same color family to highlight the silhouette, or go with a bright, contrasting belt for a pop of color.
Accessories are the best way to tap into the season’s trends without fully committing to what might be passing fads (think orange, leopard print, and tortoise shell). Check out the high-street shops like H&M or Zara for inexpensive leopard print scarves, enamel bracelets in shades of tangerine and coral, and skinny belts in all hues.