Image & Professionalism: Wardrobe Builders

What's hot and happening for spring

March 1, 1996

Who but teenagers can keep up with the latest fashion trends? And, frankly, who wants to? It's expensive.

But Linda Jarnig, manager of Personal Touch, Nordstrom's personal shopping service at its Oak Brook, Ill., store, says you can update your wardrobe with fashion-forward items and colors that won't bust your commission checks.

  • For women, pastels and icy tones are de rigueur for spring. "Pastels work great with blackpants and skirtswhich a lot of women have closets full of," Jarnig says. Small, cropped sweater sets in pastel colors are fashionable, inexpensive additions.
  • Shine is just as important as pastel. You can update your pants or skirts with shiny blouses and sweaters and even shiny coats.
  • Sleeveless dresses or sheaths are staples this year and can be worn with jackets or sweaters for work. Take the jacket off for evening. By the way, spring jackets are fitted, not loose.


  • Structured, hard-sided bags a là Grace Kelly
  • Belts with pattern and texture, such as mock croc
  • Sling-back shoes

But what about men's wardrobes? Traditionally, men have worn only navy and gray suits, Jarnig says. But olives, khakis, tans, and browns also are appropriate for business.

"And men can mix patterns," she says. "Just because your jacket has a bit of pattern, it doesn't mean you can't wear a striped shirt and print tie---as long as the colors and textures go together."

But the easiest wardrobe builder is socks. Trade in traditional black and navy for patterned socks with a subtle background color and designs that pick up a color in your suit.

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