SPRING TRENDS Suited for action

You don't have to reserve new spring clothes for picnics and parties. Many of the season's freshest looks are office-appropriate. Many of the key trends work with suits -- a trend in itself. Here are the retailer's tips to make you "suited for action":
Separates with clean, uncluttered lines offer endless "wear-with" possibilities, especially when they're made of stretch sateen, stretch pique and compact cotton.
Trim-looking jackets translate into instant authority. They can be worn with either matching or complementary bottoms. Push up the sleeves and turn up the collar to create a more casual, but still professional, look.
Skirts with pleats or a flare at the bottom are more playful than a pencil skirt -- yet any can be paired with a blazer and look stylish.
Under that all-important jacket, consider wearing a V-neck top, maybe a twisted, pintucked or crossover variation. Also, tailored T-shirts, tanks and camisoles with interesting necklines work well.
Dots, graphic prints and touches of lace are reminders that the weather outside is getting warmer, but they're not too whimsical or wacky for work.
Use accessories to give your outfit a touch of the eclectic. Try glass-bead jewelry, ostrich-embossed bags or d'Orsay pumps, a more open style than a pump which can tide you over until sandal season.
Associated Press

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