Your Complete Guide to Spring Fashion

What to wear now, whether you’re starting a new job, getting promoted, heading off on a vacation, or just looking to blow your bonus.
Photographer: Elizabeth Renstrom for Bloomberg Businessweek; Photo Assistant: Alex Thebez; Market Editor and Stylist: Shibon Kennedy; Prop Stylist: Priscilla Jeong; Hair and Makeup: Rebecca Garcia; Styling Assistant: Julie Simon; Prop Styling Assistant: Peter B. Samuels

New Job

On her (left): Trademark henley dress, $598; Jimmy Choo Ari pumps, $675

On him: Billy Reid camel trench, $795; Brunello Cucinelli virgin wool suit, $4,160; Theory white button-up, $195; John Lobb dark brown leather loafers, $1,555

On her (right): Bally silk Cady top, $695; Samuji Asalt skirt, $650; & Other Stories high-heel “snakeskin” pumps, $150; Aesa necklace, $285

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Soft Goods Styling: Elizabeth Osborne

On the Platform

Stylish people have fully embraced ugly-chic shoes such as Birkenstocks and New Balance ­sneakers. The next evolution of the trend is platform shoes, which are more stable than heels and more interesting than flats. If your taste is sort of bohemian, wear the wooden-sole ones; if kind of sleek, go for a black pair that adds height. Unlike most other shoes hiding under your desk, you’ll want to bring these home for the weekend.

Clockwise from top left: Calvin Klein Collection black patent Kiera heels, $1,295; Donna Karan sculpted high-heel mules, $1,295; Bally Wystan cognac wedges, $975; Joseph platform sandals, $655; Aldo red sandals, $60; Sportmax Fiducia wedges, $795; Pierre Hardy burgundy sandals with ankle strap, $775

 

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Soft Goods Styling: Elizabeth Osborne

Fabric of the Season: Suede

Once worn mostly in the fall, sump­tuous suede is popping up in lightweight spring clothes. For women, classic A-line dresses, shell tops, and trench coats are luxe in neutrals such as tan and taupe. (Colorful suede can look a bit disco.) For men, suede is best in outer­wear, such as the navy bomber here, or for a new work bag. Stay away from pants, everybody. And protect your ­investment with a product like Scotchgard’s suede spray. $10.96; amazon.com

On her (left): Vince suede sleeveless dress, $895. On him: Todd Snyder navy suede bomber, $1,695; Berluti white knit, $1,070; Kent & Curwen camel pants, $2,250; Oliver Spencer navy suede tote, $557. On her (middle): Theory suede top, $445; Oscar de la Renta buffalo-­check skirt, $1,090. On her (right): Hanley Mellon suede jacket, $1,950; Bella Dahl white button-down, $125; Wes Gordon skirt, $1,050; Hermès watch, $6,950

 

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After-Work Plans

On her: Jason Wu jacket, $2,295; Donna Karan cotton canvas dress, $2,595; Donna Karan plastic belt with leather closure, $250; Jason Wu black leather handbag, $2,895; Schutz pumps, $155; Odette NY gold earrings, $98; Ippolita lollipop two-stone pendant necklace, $895; Ippolita gold rock-candy mini single ring, $550

On him: Burberry Prorsum selvedge-denim jacket, $995; Burberry Prorsum olive-green wool-blend trousers, $795; Louis Vuitton V polo shirt, $805; Florsheim flagstone cap shoes, $160 

 

Better Pants

14 excuses to stop wearing boring bottoms to work every day

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Women's
From left: Hache chambray trousers, $460; Comptoir des Cotonniers orange trousers, $110; Paul Smith navy silk shorts, $1,005; Jason Wu crepe trousers, $1,195; Wes Gordon pink pants, $890; Chinti & Parker navy ­patterned pants, $220; Stella McCartney Air Force blue Donna culottes, $730

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Men’s
From left: Louis Vuitton classic trousers, $890; Richard James white trousers, $279; Giorgio Armani gingham trousers, $1,275; Orley cropped camel pants, $395; Brioni trousers, $1,710; Perry Ellis red trousers, $79.50; Todd Snyder olive pants with cuff, $245

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Pack Your Bags

On him: Berluti green origami coat, $4,100; Fendi gray T-shirt with leather contrast pocket, $700; Bally vintage round sunglasses, $395; Jack Spade off-white denim, $228; Common Projects white leather sneakers, $400

On her: Vince striped sleeveless tunic, $195; Tomas Maier dusk painted-palm skirt, $1,290; Charline de Luca strappy sandals, $490; Oliver Peoples Jacey sunglasses, $325; Mansur Gavriel backpack in ­cammello/rosa, $745

 

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Pattern of the Season: Loud Stripes

Stripes are always in to some degree, but this spring’s version punches them up to 10. Pair one striated item with a dark or light solid—­anything in between looks muddy. And, yes, verticals are truly more flattering. If you’re feeling sheepish, the best way to dip your toe in is with a banker’s stripe collared shirt (far left and right).

On him (left): Bonobos light-blue-and-white-striped woven shirt, $85; Paul Smith London trousers, $410. On her (middle left): Ayr shirt in heather silver, $125; Ace & Jig Bay pants, $230. On him (center): Gucci navy-and-white-striped trousers, $970; Orley yellow knit sweater, $495; Oliver Sweeney brown suede oxfords, $379. On her (top right): Jimmy Choo Tarida striped slingbacks, $895; Acne Saville chinos, $360. On her (right): Paul Smith Black Label shirt, $225; Calvin Klein Collection marine technical jacquard pants, $1,750

 

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Soft Goods Styling: Elizabeth Osborne

Loafing Around

Loafers were once lambasted for being too preppy or reminiscent of the bad fashions of 1990s Wall Street. Good thing attitudes change: Few shoe styles are more appealing in terms of comfort or ­versa­tility. The most restrained ones look awesome worn with dressier suit ­trousers or casual chinos. Whether you opt for a pair in ­burnished leather, nubby suede, or some new­fangled woven texture, seek out a more ­elongated, slightly round toe shape, which will keep your foot from looking stubby. Tassels are a bit jaunty—so that’s your call.

Clockwise from top: Jimmy Choo tan loafers with tassels, $725; Florsheim jet penny loafers, $125; John Lobb beige suede loafers, $790; Santoni woven loafers, $650; Michael Kors brown penny loafers, $328

 

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Soft Goods Styling: John Olson

Sporty Details

Technical fabrics such as neoprene, Spandex, and nylon have crept back into stores this season to help your wardrobe on casual days. The ­strongest pieces feature bold colors and graphic elements—thick stripes,  reflective taping, and maybe a little neon­—and function best as statements in an otherwise subdued outfit of jeans, solid skirts, and plain tees. You want to look leisurely, not athletic. And unless you’re a fitness instructor, don’t wear them to a job interview.

Clockwise from top left: Preen by Thornton Bregazzi zip-front shirt, $603; Jil Sander Navy zip-front green jacket with stripe, $490; Carven tee with large stripe, price upon request; A.P.C. Louis W. zip-front jacket, $600; Roland Mouret mesh zip skirt, $1,375; Perry Ellis grid-knit bomber, $135; Timo Weiland black track pants with stripe, $285

Enlist Some Army Green

Fashion’s favorite new (old) hue.

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Promotion!

On him: Boss T-Harvers/Glover suit, $1,395; Gitman Brothers woven check shirt, $165; Brooklyn Tailors burnt-orange tie, $95; John Lobb Warwick leather lace-ups, $1,795; Michael Bastian leather briefcase, $1,200

On her: Chanel cotton tweed jacket, $6,500; Chanel cotton tweed skirt, $2,800; Paul Smith black glasses, $270; Paul Andrew color block slingbacks, $875; Aesa pearl earrings, $245 

 

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Soft Goods Styling: Elizabeth Osborne

Bolder Accessories

Many women own enough black purses to last a week of funerals. Ditto the boring neckties, guys. When it comes to handbags, choose one of the bright hues landing in boutiques now. Most have simple hardware and comfortable handles or ­shoulder straps. Worn with a subdued wardrobe, these bags will pop in a pleasing way. Or use them to amp up an already colorful outfit—just don’t match shades exactly. For men, those floral neckties from the 1980s are back but in less garish patterns that feel just fun enough to wear to work. Pair big magnolias or pin-dot daisies with a navy blazer for a subtle seasonal touch.

Bags, clockwise from top left: Milly blue bag, $365; Calvin Klein yellow saddle bag, $198; Bally mint and evergreen sommet-fold tote, $2,195; Jimmy Choo Alfie handbag, $1,895; Pierre Hardy black bag with light-yellow and lavender panels, $1,395; Longchamp tan bag with red details, $495
Ties, clockwise from top left: Brooklyn Tailors floral tie, $125; Brunello Cucinelli silk tie, $295; Perry Ellis floral tie, $55; Oliver Spencer tan floral tie, $125; Gitman Brothers floral reversible tie, $95