So I’m sure you watched every fashion week show video from New York’s recent big event right?
Before blogging, I’m not sure I even knew when Fashion Week was (there are several) or what it really was. Inside the style blogger world, however, we start to hear a lot more about it.
Despite being a style blogger though, much of the runway garb doesn’t really resonate with me. It leaves me confused just as much as you.
Many runway styles aren’t designed for everyday wear. Beyond that, I primarily style work wear, a much more classic and conservative subset of style. Thus, applying the latest fashion trends to everyday hallways, especially for professional attire, isn’t always that easy.
On that note, I thought I’d share some ideas about how to apply some of the latest trends on the fashion runways to the styles we sport in our everyday hallways. As you’ll notice from some of the photos below, I’ve been secretly leading up to this grand finale all week.
Fashion Week Basics
As background, it helps to know that the fashion shows taking place now are the Spring/Summer 2016 shows. Fashion designers always run “ahead of season” to prepare for what we will find in stores in down the road. In other words, we are seeing now in stores interpretations of many of the trends that starred in the Fall/Winter 2015 shows back in February 2015.
For the Spring / Summer 2016 shows going on now in Europe (New York Fashion Week took place a couple of weeks ago), bohemian vibes and seventies trends continue to be huge.
Bohemian can be hard at work. Free spirited and flowing aren’t exactly corporate and professional. Many of the seventies styles are loud and not likely something we want to directly emulate at work. That doesn’t, however, make it impossible to be inspired by the latest styles.
Shift Dress + Boots
Try out a shift dress and boots. Stiletto go-go boots and a mini won’t likely do the trick. But I love my blue dress with these cognac boots. It feels a tad bit seventies yet still office appropriate.
On casual Friday, opt for flared jeans. Yep. Flared jeans. Practically before they really left town, they’re back in style.
Side note: Their recent departure and sudden return means the thrift stores are loaded with pairs that just got donated after ladies finally decided to cut the cord with their favorite designer flares. I’ve found several on thrift store shelves, including today’s Adriano Goldschmied pair I picked up not long ago. So before everyone else catches wind and grabs all the good pairs, thrift these bad boys up!
Pair them with a blazer (because a blazer and jeans is always perfect for casual Friday). You could also pair them with a pullover blouse.
Fringe / Frayed
It’s been cropping up in many places the last couple of seasons and will continue to be popular. The trend is shifting slightly from a full fringe to a softer frayed looked (which actually could help make it more work appropriate).
In large doses, this probably doesn’t really work for work. It’s too casual. But like any trends, it can be executed in smaller doses.
Consider opting for a bit of fringe on a tote bag or maybe a suede pencil skirt with fringe detailing. I recently shared this outfit including a blazer with slightly frayed edges. While not a full throttle execution of style genius, it’s a work-appropriate taste of the style to stay on trend.
Further, ensuring a classic and conservative silhouette, like a pencil skirt or this simple black sheath dress, helps keep the piece appropriate while still tying in some on-trend details.
Many of you probably remember color blocking, very popular a couple of years ago. Designers continue to step up their game, as expected, and add more interest. Instead of pairing solid colored blocks, we will start to see more blocks of patterns combined in outfits.
Everyday style apprentice, beware. This is not an easy trend to nail and very easy to botch badly!
Fashion experts will nail this and mix and match all sorts of crazy prints and patterns. But we can quickly turn into looking like five year old girls dressing themselves (cute maybe, but not so cute when we’re over the age of twelve).
Keep it simple and stick to just two patterns. Consider having at least one of the patterns be smaller. Also, choosing one pattern comprised of entirely neutral colors like black, brown, gray or white will help prevent the combination from becoming too bold for work.
Let’s work our way up starting from the easiest and moving into more advanced options.
Two small prints in neutral colors
This JV option proves perfect the beginner pattern mixer. It’s not a full execution of pattern blocking with the solid blazer and pants. But pattern mixing takes some practice. Be not embarrassed if you’re new to pattern mixing. I really love pairing two simpler, neutral patterns. This is a great place to start and a perfect place to stay!
Small print in bright color + Larger print in neutral color
If you’ve graduated from the JV team to the varsity team, add a little color to the mix. The navy and white stripes are fairly large but neutral. The purple packs a serious punch, but the polka dots are so small it’s almost a solid colored shirt. Small polka dots or skinny stripes can be a great baby step into mixing patterns. They almost always work.
Two smaller, colored prints in complementary color schemes
Now it’s time for those getting paid to play (i.e. the pros, and probably the college players too. What’s a free education otherwise costing $50,000 a year if not some sort of compensation?)
To make this work, I relied on two style components.
First, both pieces are comprised of similar color schemes and include complementary colors in the same color saturation. (Into Mind wrote a phenomenal intro to color theory, so stop on over for more details on saturation, hues, brightness, and the whole color wheel. It’s very insightful and not the first time I’ve shared about it.)
Next, both pieces have fairly small or subtle patterns. The geometric print on the shirt isn’t overwhelming. While the print on the pants is slightly larger, it’s quite faint so it’s not overly bold.
Certainly, this outfit finds a home in our cubicle only on casual Fridays (unless you have a casual dress code everyday). If you work in a more conservative office environment, pattern blocking probably isn’t going to be in your wheelhouse any day of the week. But you could certainly give this a shot when you’re off the clock.
P.S. I’ve got a whole post next week on this blouse ~ three ways to wear it from work to the weekend. Get excited!
Crochet & Cable
I saved the best for last. Feminine and fancy, crochet and cable knits can definitely work at work.
Obviously, don’t wear crochet like a see-through swim cover. (I know, so obvious it’s not even worth the keystrokes to type it).
Starting simply, consider a crochet cardigan. Throw it on over a dress, especially a monochromatic combination which is on trend this season, and your golden.
A crochet skirt with a silk or cotton layer under it paired with a blouse, heels and a cardigan would look nice too!
Cable-knit sweaters prove cozy for fall and keep us warm all through winter. While it’s still a little warm for heavy sweaters in most places, I thrifted this cream short sleeve sweater recently which will transition through fall nicely.
I suspect many of you have cable knit sweaters in your closets. Embrace that they’re rockin’ in the fashion world and rock them at work!
None of these styles would ever make it to the runway (or probably even be worn by those in the audience, for that matter). But they do provide some real-life translations from the hotbeds of the fashion runways to the everyday halls where we strut our stuff morning, noon and night.
Choose one of these fashion trends and give it a shot when you’re getting dressed for work soon. I’d love to hear in the comments how it goes. Best of luck being the most stylish lady in the room at your next super fun team meeting!