A Guide to Spring Office Dress Code

It always seems that overnight that the weather gets warmer and your usual go to outfits for work are now too winterey to wear to work. On Easter Sunday, we were hit with 87 degree weather and I didn’t have any of my spring dresses out of storage yet. While I went with my already planned white jumpsuit outfit, the jean jacket remained in the car that day. On Monday I woke up staring at my closet and had nothing to wear. Okay, I am being dramatic, but you know what I mean!

At my office job there is a more casual work attire dress code. The casual part may sound like fun, but it often leads to many morning wondering if I am too casual. Shoulder pads and long pencil skirts may be out of date, however the proper office attire etiquette has not changed.

Here are some tips you can use while you switch out your winter work uniform out for your spring wardrobe. These dress code tips will come in handy when getting outfits ready for the week for work. Or if you are looking for new ways to switch up your work outfits this spring, these tips can help you out!

  1. Go Through What You Already Have
    Before you start buying the current trends, hello espadrilles, go through your closet to see what you already own. And I mean take everything out and put it on your bed. Before you put it back try to remember the last time you wore it, will you wear it in the future and can you wear it to work. Before I pack up clothes for the season, I try to purge a few items and then when I take clothes out of storage, if I am not excited about wearing it for the season, I toss it. No reason to keep clothes that will just take up room.
  2. Separate Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter Clothes
    In storage, I have my clothes sorted by season and then my casual attire is separated from my work clothes.  Okay, so this may seem like a little too Type A, but when seasons change I don’t want to waste time digging for work clothes through my summer going out to a bar tank tops.
  3. Separate Your Casual and Work Clothes In Your Closet
    Since we spend the majority of our time at work, let your closet reflect that. After I put a closet organizer in my closet as a divider, it made getting ready for work a thousand times easier. I have all of my casual t shirts folded in the closet organizer so I can easily see what I have, but they no longer take up space. Everything that is hanging in my closet is work appropriate.Okay, now that you are organized…onto making work outfits!
  4. Be Aware of Lengths
    One of my biggest pet peeves for the office is the lengths of my skirts or dresses. No matter what type of job you have, this rule applies. Even when I work retail I am still aware of how short my skirt is. In Catholic High School, we used the fingertip rule, no skirt could be above your fingertips with your hands at your side. However, not that I am an adult (kinda) I find that is still too short for the office. I like hems to be closet to my knee than my butt, and I also bend over to make sure everything is covered when I do. You will drop things at work and will have to bend over, just make sure your clothes allow you to spring into work in the morning when you are late and you can pick up your pen without giving the office a free show!
  5. Leave the Cold Shoulder Trend out of the Office
    My first job out of college was working for a religious organization. I was never given a dress code for work, however I felt more comfortable dressing conservative at work not to offend anyone. Be sure to avoid any v-neck, shoulder baring or crop top looks at work. It may be the most popular style at the moment, but it probably isn’t work appropriate if you are showing too much skin! I would always wear dresses to work with a thin cardigan to keep my look professional. Find a go to cardigan like this one to wear in the office. It also helps dress up an outfit!
  6. Leave the Stilettos at Home
    This isn’t Sex and the City where wearing a killer heal at the office is expected. Leave them at home and choose a shoe you can actually walk in. Invest in some espadrilles or wedges for work if you want a little height, or go with the trusted flats. Be sure to check with work what their opened toe at work policy is. In the summer, I like to wear cute flats and for fun I wear wedges.  Flats don’t have to be boring either, invest in a cute Tory Burch flat or get flats in fun colors or patterns to dress up an outfit.
  7. Stick to Shopping at Workwear Stores
    I love H&M like every other savvy shopper out there, but when it comes to work clothes I tend to shop at Banana Republic and J. Crew more often. I know right away that if I buy a dress from Banana Republic, I can wear it to work. The skirts are designed to be office appropriate and while the dresses may show a little bit more skin at times, I know that I can wear a cardigan and it will be okay. Lately my work go to is a button down shirt with work pants. It is the closest thing to throwing on a tee shirt and pants! A collared shirt really dresses up an outfit, and there are some shirts like THIS ONE that has a mock collar. My go to pants for work are usually Banana Republic. They even make fun patterns that you can get away with at work. Win!
  8. Don’t Jingle Around The Office
    Since working retail and the dress code suggests a statement necklace, I have found how easy it is to throw on a simple top with a statement necklace and make it dressy. However, that being said, be aware of how much jewelry you are putting on for the office. I stick to a necklace, my watch and a bracelet or two. My earrings are usually pearls or small studs. If you make noises with your jewelry while you walk, it is time to take something off!
  9. Dress for the Job You Want
    There are some mornings that I wake up with dirty hair and zero effort to make an outfit. But after two years being in this working world, I have built a closet that is filled with amazing work attire. Now I can just grab some pants with a top and it can be an outfit without much thought. Even on those sluggish mornings, I try to at least match and put on mascara and some blush. You may want to crawl back into bed, but by noon you will be happy you put some effort in your outfit.
  10. Chop Chop
    In the fall of my job post grad, I made a hair appointment and chopped 14 inches of hair off. I later found out that the lob is considered to be the post grad haircut because everyone chops their hair for their first adult job. Being a beach kid, I love having long salty hair. But my hair was starting to take over my face and it was the first thing anyone saw. I also spent too many hours at night straightening it or doing it before work. Once I chopped off those inches, I fell in love with short hair. Not only does it take 10 minutes to do, but I also look older and fit better in an office. If you haven’t done it already, go for the haircut. Or if you prefer long hair, make sure you get your hair trimmed every six months to keep it looking healthy.

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