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Spring Is Here, So Is a New Wardrobe: Fashion Tips for Associates

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on April 29, 2015 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Spring is here! It's time to shove the winter coats and formal goulashes to the back of the closet and start pulling out your new, sunnier attire.

The basic rules still apply. Dress formally and conservatively to court, keep yourself well groomed, and no wire hangers, ever. With those down, here's a few more tips to get you through the spring months and into summer:

Don't Fight Mother Nature

How drastically your ensemble will change from season to season depends largely on where you are. In New York, you may just be thawing out, not yet melting under that summer heat. Things might be different in the swamps of D.C., which is already getting temperatures in the mid 80's. If you're on the West Coast like we are, you might just have to handle the transition from mild to slightly milder.

Dress to your surroundings. Hotter climes will require looser, airier fabrics. You might not have to go full linen suit yet, but avoid synthetic fabrics and heavy wools. If you're not expecting a heat wave anytime soon, keep to versatile fabrics like tropical wools, cottons and silk.

Lighten Up

The sun is shining and the flowers are blooming, so be willing to step away from your traditional black suit. You don't have to go through the full Hillary Clinton pantsuit rainbow, but a brighter colored shirt, tie, shoe, or other accent will help bring a bit of spring joy into your daily wear.

Remember, It's Spring, Not Spring Break

In your excitement for the season, don't forget that you're still a lawyer, and lawyers' clothing is usually pretty conservative. So, think twice before you wear a loose tank top to a client meeting or god forbid, shorts. Depending on your firm, business casual should be the most casual you get. Save South Beach casual and bar-b-que casual for your actual vacations.

Even Out on the Town, You're On the Job

Now that it's nice out, your firm might want to let you out of the office -- for a minute. If you're going to a firm sponsored outing, such as a baseball game or cocktail hour at a partner's pool, remember that you're still "at work." Sure, you're not billing hours, but you are representing the firm, and yourself. You can be more casual than you would in the office, but you shouldn't be so casual that you'd be embarrassed if a client ran in to you on your way to the event.

Whatever you do, don't stress too much. Remember, you got hired for your mind, not your wardrobe.

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