Four new work outfit formulas to try now that it's spring

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A guest at Paris Fashion Week nails smart dressing for spring.  Credit: Getty 

Throughout the winter months, we felt like there was no more annoying dilemma than which boot height to pair with which trouser style, and (almost as tricky) which knit looks most flattering over which dress. Cue the weather warming up and a new dressing issue to tackle: what to wear for the inbetween, unpredictable spring weather. 

We've been wrapped up in chunky knits and leather boots so long we've forgotten how to embrace lighter, brighter layers. Granted, it's not quite wafty broderie anglaise dress weather yet, but it's definitely time to stash your winter coat away and look to some chic new outfit combinations to see you the through the season. 

To minimise your time spent in front of the mirror deciphering what will work in case the temperatures soar into double figures on your lunch hour, these are the outfit formulas to follow to ensure you look stylish through spring... 

Formula 1: Light knit + midi skirt + loafers 

Roll neck, £250, Belstaff; Floral skirt, £149, ME+EM; Loafers, £69, Office; Trench, £95.99, Zara; Pendant earrings, £9.99, Mango

It's likely this combination was on high rotation over the colder months, albeit with cosier extras, but for the new season, all you need is a coloured jacket (ideally waterproof or resistant) a lightweight knit and smart shoe. 

ME+EM's floral midi also comes in a dress form which works nicely in this dressing formula, too, but for easy layering (the key to spring dressing is being able to peel layers off and throw them back on if the weather takes a turn) a skirt proves best. 

Formula 2: Trouser suit + trench + mules 

Blazer, £229, Baukjen; Trousers, £119, Baukjen; Tort hairclips, £4, Accessorize; Square toe mules, £26, Topshop; Rejina Pyo trench coat, £785, Net-a-Porter

Coloured trouser suits have been knocking around for a few seasons now, and while they should be a go-to for evenings and event season for those who aren't keen on dresses, they shouldn't be overlooked for the office. 

If you're wary of going too bright in a corporate setting, steer clear of primary colours, and look to pastels or jewel tones. They can always be worn as separates, too, so it's worth investing in a suit that flatters you- if you're not sure, ask an honest friend for their help. 

Formula 3: Shirt + chinos + smart trainers   

Side stripe trainer, £139, Whistles; Relaxed chinos, £55, Arket; Gold chunky hoops, £90, Otiumberg; Chylak snake effect bag, £350, Net-a-Porter; Yellow shirt, £45, & Other Stories 

If your office is slightly relaxed, chinos are a great alternative to a smarter skirt or trousers and will look just as good with loafers and trainers now, as they will with strappy mules come summer. A pretty blouse or colour block shirt adds a feminine touch, while a snake print bag is an on-trend addition. 

Formula 4: Blazer + silky skirt + ballet pumps 

Houndstooth jacket, £595, Joseph; Iris & Ink midi skirt, £135, The Outnet; Ballerinas, £29.99, Zara; Alexa earrings, £17.99, A Weathered Penny; Mansur Gavriel crossbody, £484, Matches Fashion 

The silky skirt was a hero item from last summer that we stuck by all winter and will continue wearing now it's spring, too. While we paired it with opaques, suede knee-highs and cashmere for months, we'll be looking to an oversized blazer and ballet pumps to make it spring-appropriate. 

For evening plans, this look is the easiest to transform from desk to drinks: throw on a pair of statement earrings and swap your tote for a satin pouch.