8 Celebrity-Inspired Work Ensembles for Spring 2014

As soon as the weather turns warmer in the spring, it can be tempting to throw office dress codes to the wind and wear casual sundresses every single day. Unfortunately, most offices don't take kindly to ensembles that look like they belong on the beach. However, work-appropriate dressing doesn't have to be boring and uninspired, especially now that it's sunny enough to wear a skirt or two. I looked to some of my favorite, chic celebrities for eight office-appropriate and elegant spring looks, and how to replicate them.

by Tyler Atwood

Pair Red and Navy

Yes, Zooey Deschanel’s Tommy Hilfiger ensemble is oh-so-modical, but the pairing of navy and red is spot on for spring.

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Navy and Red Dress

ASOS Midi Dress in Animal Print, $33.87,

White, Grey and Black

Kate Upton, Cameron Diaz, and Leslie Mann are all rocking gorgeous looks for the Other Woman red carpet, but Cameron Diaz’s ensemble is extra-chic for spring. A light grey blazer, white embroidered top, and black skinny trousers are this season’s answer to the black and white trend.

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Grey Blazer

Caslon Herringbone Pattern Knit Jacket, $68,

Add a Pop of Pattern to a Black Ensemble

If you cling to your favorite black pencil skirt and blazer like they’re going out of style (don’t worry, they aren’t), try adding a bright pop of pattern on a black blouse. For bonus points, try a distressed tweed pencil skirt and a 3/4 sleeve tuxedo blazer like Emma Stone’s.

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Pop of Pattern Top

Shakuhachi Petal Press Top, $240,

Work an Embellished Sweatshirt

If your office is consistently arctic no matter what the temperature outside, try wearing an embellished, cropped sweater like Solange Knowles. The look is most impactful when worn with a patterned blouse in a similar shade underneath.

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Embellished Sweatshirt

J. Crew Factory Beaded Sweatshirt, $39.50,

Try an Orange, Printed Dress

I know, it’s orange. And we’re instructed that orange is an impossible color to master, so we may as well just abandon it. But when you find that perfect, flattering shade, whether it be apricot or persimmon, the effect is arresting (and unexpected). For spring, try an orange dress with a vintage-inspired pattern like Miranda Kerr’s.

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Orange Printed Dress

Clover Canyon Dress, $264,

Wear a Monochrome Power Suit

Yes, a monochrome look is daunting, especially in the form of a suit. But the two keys to this look are cut and color. Make sure the suit is tailored to perfection, with an ever-so-slightly slouchy blazer and cropped pants. The right shade is also essential, so pick something beautiful and crisp for spring like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s crimson ensemble, or a pale robin’s egg blue, all broken up with a contrasting colored silk blouse.

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Spring Suit Jacket

Club Monaco Lisa Jacket, $269,

Rock a Pleated Skirt

Pleated skirts aren’t just for schoolgirls anymore. Cameron Diaz must be having a good fashion year, because the star demonstrates yet again how to wear an office-appropriate ensemble in the chicest of ways. For a look that doesn’t read too juvenile, choose a dress with knee-length pleats and a structured, short-sleeved top, paired with pointy toe pumps.

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Pleated Dress

Alice + Olivia Shawna Pleated Fit-and-Flare Dress, $220.80,

Wear a Kaleidoscope Pattern Midi Dress

Lupita Nyong’o rocks a bold pattern with confidence, and you can, too! Pair a fitted kaleidoscope pattern dress with bright pumps for a statement ensemble. For a more toned-down look, add a black blazer.

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Kaleidoscope Pattern Midi Dress

Lipsy Bodycon Dress in Floral Print, $90.31,