Spotted:  Co-worker wearing white pants and white polo shirt to office.

The old rule about white after Labor Day and it being a summer color, has been out of vogue for a few years now.  However, there are still times when white is inappropriate.  Funerals spring to mind as being the number one most inappropriate place, along with weddings (unless you are the bride, or it’s white-tie).  But what about the office?  What makes white on a pant such an offensive color in the office?  Offensive to me, at least.

First, it’s the fabric choice.  Linen, lightweight cotton or tropical-weight wool?  Definitely a no-no in the office.  Those are far more casual than necessary and they end up looking like you came straight from Bermuda to your cubicle.  Also, there’s a sheerness factor here that is usually ignored.  My personal opinion is that no one, and I mean NO ONE, should be able to look at your pants and see what color/style your underwear are.  So make sure those pants aren’t see-through and if they are – don’t wear your leopard-print string bikini-briefs.   So what fabric can be white and still classy and sophisticated?  Twill (be careful – you don’t want to look like a painter) or winter-weight wool.

Second, it’s the color.  Some khaki pants are so close to white, you could say they were off-white.  I have no problem with this – it’s a twill.  But a bright white?  Save that for a Tide commercial or the Palm Springs White Party.  A creamy white color is probably the best thing here.

As for white shirts?  Those are pretty much appropriate anytime, but please remember that sometimes, the material is so thin that you can see your nipples.  And that’s never appropriate at an office.

So, since Spring officially began the other day, heralding a new season full of promise.  And ragweed.  And new fashion trends.  I think trendiness is a bit overrated (despite my name).  Classics don’t go out of style and if you follow trends exclusively, you’re setting yourself to always be outdated.

Now, for the spring trends:

COLOR:  There are tons of bright colors this season to choose from and I don’t even feel like there’s only 1 IT COLOR this year like there usually are.  All of the colors are in (just not in the same outfit; the only person that works for is Rainbow Brite).  I say keep whatever bright colors you have and don’t worry about following this trend.

TRIBAL: Ok, this one kind of threw me for a loop.  I have nothing against being inspired by a specific culture, if in fact, it has inspired you.  Somehow, I think the use of kente cloth patterns actually makes it seem less like an homage to Africa than it does anything else.  Of course, we’re the same culture who basically went through all of Africa and “colonized” it, thus starting a metaphorical apocalypse over there that’s still going on.  That said, kente patterns are in.  I’d say get one shirt and work it out that way.  Maybe a skirt.  But definitely keep it to one item for the whole season.  Because I don’t think this look is coming back soon.

FLOWERS: Yeah, you heard that right.  Floral prints are back and in a big way.  This one I’m totally behind as more than a trend.  A great floral print can really turn around a dull black pant.  And also, it’s a classic.  IF it’s a good print.  Avoid small prints and loud ones, too.  For florals, check out the Milla Jovovich line at Target, which is AWESOME.  It’s part of their  GO International rotation and it’s a limited time.  The pieces are pretty well put together and totally cute.

To wrap up: go for the color (you shouldn’t have to buy any, really, unless you just love black); go for the African-inspired look (if you think you can pull it off); and for sure, go for the florals (in bright colors!).

And since my tax refund came in, I’ll be doing a bit of shopping (a very bit as I’m trying to save money, not spend it).