When it comes to building a polished office wardrobe, a gray suit can be an ideal centerpiece. Since gray is a neutral shade, the suit can work with virtually any color in your closet and it’s a softer alternative to harsh black. If you’re worried that gray is a little too drab or severe to wear in spring, though, don’t be — with the right style options and accessories, your suit can easily work in warm spring weather.
Shades of Gray
Gray is a neutral color, so a gray suit can work year-round, particularly if you change the pieces and accessories that you pair it with based on the seasons. However, there are several shades of gray to choose from, so some suits may be a better option for the spring than others. A suit in a dark gray like charcoal can feel harsh or inappropriate for warm weather, while one in a light gray like dove can work well with a light spring palette. A suit in a gray shade with some blue or purple undertones is also an attractive option for spring.
Short and Sweet
Choosing a gray suit in the right style can help make it a better option for the spring. Instead of the usual long sleeve jacket, opt for a short sleeve style that can keep your cool in warm spring weather. A short sleeve suit with striking details like puffed or button-tab sleeves is particularly attractive option. Another option is a vest and blouse combination with your skirts and and pants instead of a full-on blazer.
With any suit, accessories and accompanying pieces can really give it personality. When you’re wearing a gray suit in the spring, stay away from neutrals or dark shades. Instead, wear a blouse, shell or tank under your gray suit jacket in a light, seasonally appropriate shade. Pastels work especially well with gray, so a sky blue, lilac, mint or butter yellow top is an ideal option. You can also go bright with your shirt – a magenta or turquoise tank can instantly make your gray suit spring-ready. If you’re more comfortable pairing your suit with a neutral top and shoes, though, use a spring color palette for accessories. Carry a lavender bag with your suit or wear a tangerine belt with your trousers or skirt.
In fall and winter, clothing can sometimes have a bulky or bundled up feel since staying warm is a top priority. To make sure your gray suit is appropriate for spring, look for a style that has a fun, flirty feel to fit the season. Instead of a traditional slim-fitting pencil skirt, opt for an A-line skirt with a hemline that ends just at or above the knee to give it a sassy look. A gray trumpet skirt, which has a slim fit through the hip and thighs and flares out at the hem, can also work well for spring. If your prefer pants, opt for a gray suit with cropped pants. For a really daring look, you can even choose a gray suit that features long shorts instead of pants.
References and ResourcesCorporette: Colors and Suits -- The Rules?
Harper's Bazaar: Shop a Spring Must-Have -- The Shorts Suit
The Wardrobe Wakeup: Your Guide to Looking Fabulous at Any Age; Lois Joy Johnson