A spring fashion guide for lady lawyers // Style Counsel

Easy and inexpensive ways to to incorporate prints and colours into your wardrobe

By Emma Williamson

On Thursday April 12th, 2012


 Spring is in the air. I don’t know about you, readers, but spring puts a “spring” in my step. True, the winter wasn’t that cold, but I’m still tired of overcast skies, sweaters and dry hand syndrome.

Spring means that fresh smell in the air, birds chirping and turning on the old BBQ. And no more black! OK, maybe minimal levels of black. After all, we can’t go cold turkey on black. Black is so dependable. So reliable. Did I mention I have a black obsession that I’m trying to beat?

What does spring mean for the young female lawyer’s wardrobe? It means layers that work for the changing weather (days that start cold and sunny but end rainy and warm), freshening up your basics, and, of course, incorporating a few select spring trends into your work wear. But let’s be honest: a lot of trends don’t really work in a professional setting (um, sporting wear and neon? And platform wedges? I don’t think so).

Never fear — I’ve found a few key trends and plenty of ways for you to wear them. Let me guide you into spring!

Prints and colour

  • What: Prints and colour are huge for spring, and it’s super easy and inexpensive to incorporate them into your wardrobe. The possibilities are endless for all price points and tastes.
  • How: Use a brightly coloured print blouse to accent a suit in various colours. Pair with textured tights and heels or flats. Keep accessories simple. Or pair a print cardigan with a pencil skirt and heels. Use a print scarf to jazz up your black coat. Even a print jacket will work, provided you pair it with minimalist separates in neutral colours. Finally, pair a print dress with black tights and a blazer or structured cardigan. When it comes to colour, there’s everything from bright jewel tones to calmer pastel shades.
  • Where: Head to Mendocino and Forever 21 for print cardigans. Forever 21 has also jumped on the colour bandwagon, and has bright blazers available for amazingly low prices. Zara has incredible jackets in various prints and textures, as well as an array of embellished and bright blouses, both short and long-sleeved. H&M is always good for scarves in a variety of patterns, and is also selling interesting dresses in houndstooth and floral prints. If you’re more of a muted colour person, try Aritzia for silk pastel blouses and skirts.


  • What: Yes, I know – seems obvious. Who doesn’t wear pants? Bear with me — I’m not talking about your standard black or tan boot cuts. I’m talking pants in colour, tapered and cropped to show off your shoes.
  • How: The key with rocking the “new” pants at work is to remember your profession — and be careful with colour (notwithstanding that neon pants are fashionable right now). I would avoid red, pink and yellow; focus on colours that are closer to neutral, that don’t draw the eye quite as quickly. Cobalt and hunter green are excellent examples. Pair with a tissue-thin black turtleneck and the ol’ standby blazer, preferably in clean neutrals. The best thing about the “new” pants is that you can show off your shoes. Go with heels — round toe pumps or booties go best.
  • Where: Zara, Zara, Zara. There are so many pant options there right now, no matter what your preference or body type. They even have silk printed trousers, for those of you who work in more relaxed, creative offices (art lawyers, here’s looking at you!). J. Crew has a fantastic collection of pants; try their Barton trouser in navy, or the Ludlow trouser in herringbone linen (pictured above).

Thinking about colour and patterns makes me feel warmer already. Here’s to longer days, patio drinks and packing away those coats and boots. Happy spring shopping!

Emma Williamson is a fashion-obsessed corporate commercial lawyer at FMC. Her mission is to inspire Precedent’s female readers to break out of a style rut while obeying obvious and not-so-obvious workplace dress codes. Have questions or a column idea for Emma? Send them to tips@lawandstyle.ca

Photo: JCrew.com