Sunday, January 27, 2008


By Elaine Armstrong, Visual Strategist

Now that the dust has settled from the holidays and those New Year’s resolutions are just a pale memory (hitting the gym by 6 am, anyone?), it is time to talk about spring. OK, so maybe it’s not quite there on the calendar or the thermometer yet, but there are ways to start to bring some freshness and newness into your looks for the upcoming season…

1. Show your stripes: A great way to get a jump on the season is to incorporate some bright striped shirts into your wardrobe. These can be easily mixed in to winter suits that you are already wearing. Colors that pop and a solid tie can brighten up the dark grey doldrums of a tailored suit. Etro, Ted Baker and Ralph Lauren all have great stripe options that can be worn right now before the frost is off the ground!

2. Let’s talk casual: As the weather turns warmer, there will be more corporate outings that call for the dreaded “business casual”. It’s time to rethink the pleated front khaki, solid polo shirt boring uniform! For pants, try a flat front in a microfiber blend or lightweight wool/linen in a texture, perhaps a windowpane check, houndstooth or small vertical stripe. The key here is texture. Try mixing up the shirt option with a linen shirt topped off by a fine gauge sweater vest in a beautiful sherbet color. To top it all off, designers such as Zegna and John Varvatos both have their takes on a loose fitting parka style jacket, with a drawstring waist in either microfiber or cotton. If a more structured jacket is required, you can’t go wrong with a classic khaki poplin or navy blazer from Ralph Lauren.

3. Upgrade what you carry; ditch that black TUMI-style bag!
Time to move up to a more elegant, traditional briefcase. I know what you’re saying. I can’t fit my laptop into those bags! Not true! Designers this season have so many options in leather, canvas with leather and exotic skins that it really would be a shame not to capitalize on a new look. Cole Haan, Paul Smith, Zegna even Banana Republic have taken briefcase options to new levels.

Hurry Spring!

Peace to All,


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