7 Ways to Freshen Up Your Work Wardrobe for Spring

button-front shirts in a variety of pastel colors

We’re a few weeks into spring at this point, but with temperatures still all over the place in many parts of the country, it hasn’t always felt like spring! Still, 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. (They can also be great ways to “try out” older clothes from 2019 and earlier — because some of these colors and spring-y outfits transcend the trends.)

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Ways to Freshen Up Your Work Wardrobe for Spring

Bring on the Pastels for Spring Work Outfits

Light blue blouses, pinks, mints, lavenders, pale yellows — they’re all a welcome addition to everyone’s wardrobes right now. The Pantone color of the year is “Very Peri,” a light lavender that we’ve actually been seeing in a ton of suiting options right now, as well as separates.

These are some of our latest favorite workwear options in the color of the year:

Start to Switch to Flats Over Boots or Booties

Booties and boots are great for winter, but for spring you may want to bare your ankles more — find comfortable heels and comfortable flats for work, and build from there. If your office is casual enough for light brown/tan/beige booties, now is a great time to pull those out as well.

Start to Put Away Winter Things

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 about 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 underneath it.

If you want to try dry cleaning at home, these are some of the reader favorites that have been mentioned over the years…

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.

Add White To Your Spring Work Outfits Instead of Other Darker Neutrals

There are so many ways to wear white! From very casual looks (opaque white T-shirts, the untucked/oversized crisp blouse that’s everywhere right now) to very formal looks (silk blouses, the ironed/tucked button-front look), there’s something for everyone. You can layer these with some of your more wintry sweaters if it’s still cold, and freshen up the whole look.

If you don’t like white dress shirts, that’s fine — there are a zillion other options for white shirts that work for everyone. 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.

Great White Tops for Work

You can go really basic with a white blouse or white tee, but there are always really trendy options for white tops. These are some of our latest favorites:

As for opaque white T-shirts, we’d suggest checking the double layer lines from Boden and Express, as well as great sources for basic Pima cotton such as L.L.Bean, Uniqlo, Everlane, Universal Standard and Talbots. (This $268 tee also gets great reviews for opacity!)

White tees are also great paired with a nude-for-you camisole — check out Banana Republic, J.Crew Factory, Naja, or Nubian Skin for tons of options.

Also, don’t forget this easy trick to make your work wardrobe feel more spring-y: 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 darker one.

White Blazers or Toppers Can Add a Lot of Authority and Polish — Even to Business Casual Looks

These are some of our latest favorite white blazers or toppers — lots of them are reader favorites, including this one from Halogen, or these sweater blazers from J.Crew and M.M. LaFleur.

White Pants for the Office

These are our favorite white pants for work this year — note that a lot of them are going quickly!

Other Spring Considerations

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

{related: tips and tricks to spring clean your office}

Readers, 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? 

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