Fashion trends for spring and summer 2014 seem to fall into two categories. Either they are overly girly — floral headbands, heart-shaped purses, and other things your toddler niece might favor — or overtly sexy, such as the cutouts on Naomi Campbell’s Met Ball gown.
Both looks can be hard for the adult professional woman to pull off and still be taken seriously. Here’s how to incorporate these two summer looks into your day-to-day wardrobe without looking like you belong on the playground or in Playboy.
Blame it on the music festivals: The floral headband is a spring trend that shows no sign of wilting. We see blooms worn as a garland that crowns a long, flowing hairstyle, or attached to a headband used to brush back your bangs.
Depending on your office environment, a floral headband may or may not be a trend you can wear to work. If you’re in a creative field, you can almost certainly wear an otherwise plain headband with a floral appliqué to keep the hair out of your face while you go over a new design logo.
But if your workplace is the boardroom or courtroom, you should probably save this look for the weekend.
From heart-shaped purses to animal iPhone cases, we see touches of cute everywhere we look. The trick to rocking this trend without looking silly? Moderation.
You want just a hint of the girly in an otherwise simple ensemble. Think a clutch with an animal graphic against a camel-colored shift, or an embellished shoe in a traditional shape.
If you work in a traditionally masculine office environment but can’t stand not to let loose a little of your flirty side, embrace the hidden touches: cute accessories hidden inside traditional briefcases, floral linings to otherwise solid clothing … and, of course, lacy underpinnings can give you that “little something special” Elle Woods spoke of in Legally Blonde.
Great news! You can wear cutouts to the office — on your shoes, that is! Flats that show a sliver of skin on the side are appropriate for almost any workplace. D’Orsay Flats that show a flash of tanned foot look fresh with a skinny, cropped trouser.
A sheer blouse is a beautiful mix of feminine and sexy, and it has the added bonus of allowing a bit of extra airflow on balmy summer days. Just make sure you wear a full-coverage camisole in a color similar to your blouse for a polished look that does not expose too much.
Oh, and remember to keep the sheer look relegated to the top half of your body. No matter how many squats you have been doing, you do not want your boss to see your thinly veiled bottom.
As for the cropped tops and deep V-necks we seem to be seeing absolutely everywhere (yes, we’re looking at you, Rihanna), you’ll have to save those looks for the club or the beach. But that’s what the weekends are for, right?