Last week, I was shopping for a client and took notice of all the green, particularly brighter, saturated shades of the color. It got me curious and I popped over to the Pantone website and, sure enough, there it was, a color called Mint, which Pantone describes as a cooling mentholated green that is a breath of fresh air, for the Spring 2024 season.

COLORED NEUTRAL: WHY GREEN IS SO VERSATILE

Years ago, a client of mine, who is an architect, used the term “colored neutral” when I told her about the versatility of this shade and that when in doubt to go green. I had never heard the term colored neutral and started using it instantly. The reason is that green of various shades can be paired with other colors in a way that doesn’t overwhelm or clash. This versatility allows green to act as a neutral backdrop or accent that can be paired with a variety of colors. Consider flowers, all flowers have green stems. Botanists and gardeners, correct me on this, but, generally speaking, most flowers have green stems.

THE COLOR PSYCHOLOGY OF GREEN

There was a time when wedding dresses were green. In the Middle Ages, for example, brides would wear their best dresses for their wedding. Green was a symbol of fertility, youth, and renewal, making it an appropriate choice for brides. However, the popularity of white wedding dresses began to rise in the Western world during the 19th century. Queen Victoria of England is often credited with popularizing the white wedding dress trend when she married Prince Albert in 1840, wearing a white gown made of silk satin. This royal wedding garnered significant attention and influenced fashion trends of the time. Following Queen Victoria’s example, white became increasingly associated with purity, innocence, and wealth, and it became the preferred color for wedding dresses among Western brides.

Overall, green is a versatile color with a rich array of psychological associations, ranging from balance and growth to health and prosperity. Its inherent connection to nature and its ability to evoke a sense of harmony and well-being make green a powerful tool in design, communication, and emotional expression.

WEARING GREEN TO WORK: INCORPORATING THIS SHADE INTO YOUR WARDROBE FOR SPRING

With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, it felt like the perfect time to talk green and wearing it to work. While I like and wear green, I never wear it on the holiday because I try to avoid being a cliché. My name is Bridgette, I have red hair (by way of the bottle), and I do have some Irish, among many other things, swirling around in me, not to mention the fact that some of my Irish roots are protestant— go orange! That’s enough Irish for me on St. Patrick’s Day. Trust me, I ate enough corn beef and cabbage, by way of my 1/2 Irish 1/2 Italian grandmother, for one lifetime. I’m good.

That said, green isn’t just limited to the holiday, so if you’re like me and you’re not about wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day, save these outfit ideas for another day. Check out these outfits using green for work.

OUTFIT #1

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I used this green blazer from Argent to add a bright accent to this very understated outfit. While styling a blazer in a look like this is a no-brainer, the versatility of green means that this blazer could work well over a lot of different shades, from more neutrals, like navy or camel, to brighter colors if you prefer more colorful looks. Combinations can include pink and green, orange and green, various shades of purple and green, and more.

With the blazer, I added these client-popular pair of straight-leg pants from J.Crew and an ivory blouse from MM. LaFleur. The look is finished with a pair of taupe pumps from Sarah Flint, a beige belt, and a statement necklace from K8enneth Jay Lane.

OUTFIT #2

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Most women are one-bag women, particularly for work. Few want to do the whole work tote switch-up when they have more important things to deal with. On the other hand, nobody wants a boring bag but for the sake of versatility, that’s what gets chosen. A color to consider that offers both versatility and interest is green. Take a look at this very colorful outfit of a magenta dress, Veronica Beard plaid blazer, magenta pumps from Inez, and stud earrings from Chan Luu. I added this bright green bag from M.Gemi. It pops but doesn’t overpower.

OUTFIT #3

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In this look, I styled a green skirt, aptly named Shamrock, from MM. Lafleur, with a navy and white striped blouse from Boden, and a basic navy cardigan from J.Crew. I finished the look with a pair of cognac boots and a link necklace from Oradina.

OUTFIT #4

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In this outfit, navy is the backdrop for how well green and orange work together. The green pumps from LK Bennett add something unexpected to this outfit while still harmonizing so well. This is the power of what green can do. I styled the shoes with this ponte navy dress with orange panels from The Fold and finished the look with orange square hoop earrings from Machete.

OUTFIT #5

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For a casual work environment, I styled these green pants from Hobbs with a ribbed polo sweater from Kinkross. I finished the look simply with a pair of huggie hoops, a navy belt, and fun wingtip oxford sneakers from Cole Haan.

SHOP FOR GREEN

Shop for green for work, weekends, and beyond.