Spring wardrobe inspiration – how to balance style and practicality

Your work wardrobe doesn’t have to be all black and white. Find out how you can balance style and practicality with colour this spring.

We can easily fall into the trap of wearing the same boring suit and blouse every day. But why not include a pop of colour in your wardrobe as we start to transition into warmer weather? Contrary to popular belief, bright colours and patterns are not solely for sunny holidays. 

Work wardrobes can sometimes be restricting and uncomfortable with lots of black or white pieces, stilettos, pencil skirts and fitted dresses. Why not wear something that is breathable, stylish and most importantly practical for work?

To achieve the perfect balance between style, comfort and practicality, read our top tips below.

Embrace bold colours 

When you’re at work, you want to be feeling your best and a great outfit can give you a much needed confidence boost so you can be on top form in the office. A pop of colour not only brightens your look, but your overall mood. 

Black, white, grey and navy are seen as easy, safe colour choices for the office and for work. There is the opinion that a neutrally toned outfit is the more appropriate and professional option for the workplace, however they rarely have the “wow-factor” and can appear (and feel) more like a uniform. 

Why not try incorporating vibrant shades of red and blue into your work wardrobe this spring? Try a red dress or a blue jumpsuit for a colourful spin on a wardrobe staple. If you’re a bit scared of how to incorporate these bolder colours, why not pair a red top or a blue skirt with a more neutral piece. 

Add jungle prints to give you extra edge

Just because you are at the office, doesn’t mean that you have to forget your inner fashionista. Jungle prints are not just for the safari. The trend has made a comeback in recent years, notably with Jennifer Lopez re-wearing her iconic jungle inspired Versace dress from 20 years ago to the Grammys this year.

Although we can’t dress like J Lo to work, we can take inspiration. A leopard print dress or blouse paired with a suit jacket can be a really smart office look, without risking looking too casual. 

Opt for a fashion forward dress style

Let’s face it; the pencil dress is a popular style due to its flattering style. However, if you want to look fashionable yet still covered up for the office, there are alternative options. 

Why not try wearing a midi or a maxi dress to challenge the idea of what constitutes as office smart. Both styles are less restrictive and more bohemian; perfect for comfort in the office. For instant style, pair a maxi dresswith a waist-cinching belt to create an hourglass figure effect and a chunky boot or trainer for added height. 

Embrace the tailoring revival 

Tailoring is having a real revival. The suit is no longer just for the office; it’s a fashion statement opportunity. The suit has now become a playful option that can be adapted by shape, style, colour, print, buttons or worn with t-shirts, blouses and crop tops – the list is endless.

As a starting point, try a tailored trouser suit with a cropped trouser. The shorter ¾ length trouser trumps full length and is an easy way to spice up a smart outfit. If you want to appear taller, or just show off a particular pair of socks, this style of trouser is the one for you. 

Smart trainers are the new heel

Smart casual is a term we are all confused by and often dread, but it shouldn’t be that difficult when it comes to smart casual shoe styles. If stiletto heels in the workplace is just not for you, fear not. The smart sneaker provides a much needed middle ground for footwear. 

A minimalist trainer can go with just about anything. Try a white or black leather trainer with a smart trouser or tailoring for a classy, simplistic look. 

If you fancy putting some of these tips into practice, you can shop Emma Willis’ new collection with Next – available online now and in stores from 10 March.