If a lot of new fashion looks like pieces you currently have in your closet it’s time to start using what you own already. Often we think that when something comes “back” in style it’s significantly different but I am here to tell you it doesn’t matter! Or at least it matters less when you know which details make pieces appear dated, and which are current and on-trend. Let’s take a look:

Rethink Jackets

Jackets are big for spring, and that makes dressing for business or business casual extremely easy. Take a look and see what jackets you currently have in your closet. Moto style or anything with a zipper is still very trendy. Wear with a short, or longer dress or skirt, or narrow leg pants or jeans. Your blouse can be tucked in or out. Longer jackets with buttons or other types of closures can be worn open or belted. Length is not what keeps the jacket looking dated, so long as it’s fitted in the shoulders and under the arms. Choose the length that’s most flattering for you.

Using What You Own: White Blouse

A fresh white blouse is your most versatile piece for wearing with any slacks or skirt. You can even try wearing it under a sheath dress or jumpsuit. If you already own one, wear it! It will allow you to refresh the pieces that have been languishing in your closet. A white blouse will match with both solid and patterned pieces. Two things to watch out for though: make sure your blouse still has its original color, and is not faded or worn out; (white blouses do tend to wear out sooner than other pieces) and choose what to wear it with by type of fabric, ie wear silk with a drapey silk skirt, cotton with wool or cotton pants, polyester with either.

Layer Accessories

A great way to update a simple top or dress is with added accessories. Most of the jewelry that was presented in the spring fashion shows you probably already have in your wardrobe! Pull out the pearls, gold necklaces and bracelets, along with the colorful beads and jewelry made with shells. Revisiting accessories is a great strategy for using what you own. Large hoop earrings and exaggerated chain link necklaces in lucite or ceramic look new even if they’re five or twenty-five years old. And don’t be shy about wearing various styles of jewelry together. Layer necklaces and bracelets until you feel satisfied they flatter you and express what you’re trying to reveal.

Vary Skirt Lengths

The length and style of skirts and dresses right now are based on personal preference. Very short looks are coming in for spring, but that doesn’t mean you need to adopt this style if you prefer something more modest. (which is certainly a better idea at work) Longer, draped styles, pencil skirts and pleated looks to the knee or longer are all current. Shirtwaist style and wrap-style dresses are meant to be belted. If you prefer more of an empire cut, go with something longer. Also, there are many short and three-quarter length sleeve styles, which may be preferable!

Don’t Forget the Coat

The last thing I want to mention are coats. So many interviewers and employers tell me that what coat you wear makes a huge impact on your first impression. Trench coats (like the updated Burberry style below) are one trend that’s in style now and seems “back from the future”. The current trench coats are more fitted and shorter (to the knee) than in the past, so try yours on first to check. Other currently on-trend coats are pea coats, another blast from the past, and belted styles. If you have a flattering wool coat and want to update it, try shortening it, or wearing a wide contrasting  belt. You will be surprised how good it looks!

It’s always a good idea to start in your closet when beginning to shop for a new season. This will let you use what you already own in order to save money, and be more practical and sustainable. For more information on a professional wardrobe edit Click Here.