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How to Plan & Shop for Your Spring Wardrobe

Building a Wardrobe that Works
March 10, 2022

It’s still cold here in Ohio, but I know spring will come out to play soon! And I want you and me to be fashionably ready. Recently I’ve previewed lots of spring fashion trends for 2022. Monday I shared what I consider to be closet essentials for spring. Yesterday I shared a video about putting together great spring outfits from the simplest separates in your wardrobe. And today we’re going to develop a strategy for building a beautiful spring wardrobe that will work for you. I’m sharing how to plan and shop for your spring wardrobe.

This post contains affiliate links. When you shop through my links I potentially earn a commission on your purchases, but at no additional cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting my work here by shopping my links.

How to Plan and Shop for Your Spring Wardrobe
henley tee // bow neck shell // similar ivory shell // v-neck tee // ribbed sweatheart tee // v-neck ruffle blouse // similar ankle pants // similar ankle pants (ivory) // similar ankle jeans (more economical option) // green wrap dress (also in other colors & patterns) // floral print jersey dress // ivory blazer (other colors available) // blue shoulder bag // blue mules // ivory camera bag // nude pumps (use code KAYHEELS for $40 off your first order) // sneakers // faux leather tote // navy blazer (more economical option) // open toe heels

Let’s get started today with How to Plan & Shop for Your Spring Wardrobe. I have a step-by-step plan to help you:

  • prevent wasteful purchases
  • build a cohesive wardrobe that mixes and matches perfectly
  • minimize your purchases
  • maximize your selections in multiple outfits
  • look the way you want to look this spring
  • buy from multiple stores to create unique looks
  • utilize what’s already in your closet

Step #1 – Build a Pinterest board for Spring Style Inspiration.

I prefer a Pinterest board because, with the app on my phone, I can take the entire board with me when I shop. But you could also build a style inspiration board on a real bulletin board or poster board using magazine clippings. Of course, I’m finding it harder and harder to find as much inspiration in paper magazines as I can on the Internet these days.

follow me on Pinterest (1)
Visit me on Pinterest!

But the bottom line is we really need to start with concrete, visual inspiration. We tend to thumb through magazines or skim the Internet and notice things we love, but neglect to collect those images where we can refer back to them.

With a Pinterest app on your mobile device (here’s one for androids) or a Pinterest browser button on your computer, you can pin images from all over the Internet to your Spring Style Inspiration board. You can pin from blogs like mine, retail stores and fashion websites. You can even pin from YouTube!

Spring Inspiration 2022
Visit my Spring Style Inspiration 2020 Board.

And of course, Pinterest will feed you pins they think you may like, too. And you can put terms in the Pinterest search engine such as spring style inspiration or spring styles with black or spring styles in navy or spring styles for petites.

So first, if you don’t already have one, create a Pinterest account. It’s safe and easy. Then create a board for Spring Style Inspiration. When I first start a board like this, I usually make it private. Later, when I’m comfortable with what I’ve collected I may make it public.

Spring Inspiration 2022 a
a few of the pins on my Spring Style Inspiration Board

Here’s my Spring Style Inspiration 2022 Board on Pinterest. Feel free to check it out and pin from it if my styles resonate with you.

Let me know if you have any questions about Pinterest and I’ll try to answer them. Oh, and be sure to follow me on Pinterest!

Now, onto the next step!

Step #2 – Examine Your Pins

Examine your collected pins to identify the looks you desire to create. Here are some questions to answer as you look over your pins. I suggest you write out your answers so you can really nail down what you discover.

  • How would you describe the vibe or feel of the outfits you love the best? (Perhaps…chic, modern, edgy, happy, feminine, sophisticated, relaxed, bold, flirty, simple, retro, elegant, natural, outdoorsy, romantic, classic, etc. Be as specific as possible)
Many of the looks I like are very pared down and minimalist. I’d describe the looks on my board as chic, simple and minimalist.
  • What style hacks do you see repeatedly in these looks? (For example…shirt tucked in, partial tuck, blousy tuck, untucked, belted, scarf around neck, flipped collar, rolled sleeves, rolled pants cuffs, etc.) A style hack is simply a unique way of wearing a piece or combination of clothing that makes it look a little unique.
  • How would you describe the proportions in the outfits? (Maybe…balanced, full on top and fitted below, fitted on top and fuller below, column of color, reverse column of color, tonal, etc.)
I see that I have lots of blazer in my outfits and the shirts are almost always tucked. While the waist bands are low in these photos, I don’t really care for lowrise jeans. But I do love the striped and graphic tees under blazers. I also love belting my jeans.
  • What colors and color combinations do you see in your selected outfits?

Step #3 – Create Style Uniforms

Write a one to two sentence description of three different general outfits you’d like to create based on your research. These should be modeled on the pins you’ve collected.

These become your Spring Style Uniforms, so make sure they work for your lifestyle.

You can, of course, do more than three of these. But three is a good start. And I would try to keep it down to maybe half a dozen or so. You want to make this simple.

Remember, to make these general, too. You want to be able to switch in and out different tops especially, but also pants and shoes.

Step #4 – Test Your Current Wardrobe

Pull out your current wardrobe and attempt to put together outfits that fit the descriptions you’ve made of your desired Spring Style Uniforms. Aim for at least 3 renditions of each of your Spring Style Uniforms. Remember, you want to create a versatile wardrobe. So you want to be able to use every piece of your wardrobe at least three different ways.

Step #5 – Take Photos on Your Phone

Using your phone, take photos of the outfits you’ve put together. Preferably take mirror selfies of you wearing the uniforms. But you could also take flat-lays of the pieces. Just lay them out on your bed in groupings and snap the photos.

jeans + graphic tee + sneakers + tote

Put these photos in a folder in your phone if possible for easy referral.

By the way, don’t forget to go ahead and add shoes, handbags and accessories to each look as much as possible. Utilize the styling hacks you discovered, too.

Step #6 – Purge what doesn’t contribute.

Okay, it’s time to get ruthless. I suggest you purge anything from your current spring wardrobe that doesn’t contribute to the looks you’ve decided upon for your Spring Style Uniforms. You should also get rid of things that don’t fit properly, things you don’t love and things that are in ill repair.

Of course, you can hold onto a special occasion dress or maybe another piece or two that you just enjoy wearing on a lark. But really, I encourage you to think hard and honestly about why you’re keeping extra pieces.

If you have quality, current pieces that are still wearable, you might want to take them to a consignment store and try to sell them. Most of the shops I’ve worked with will assess your pile of clothing and tell you what they’ll take and what they won’t. Don’t be offended if they don’t want your stuff. Someone at Goodwill or another charitable organization will be so happy to have it. And they’ll wear it frequently.

One more option: If you’re not sure about whether to get rid of something but don’t see how it fits into the wardrobe you’re trying to build, you can just put it aside. I put items like this in a rubber tub with a lid in the bottom of my closet. That way if I realize I do need it after all, it’s close by and easy to get to. But if it’s still in that tub at the end of the season, out it goes!

Step #7 – Make two shopping lists.

I suggest you make two shopping lists on your phone. Use a “notes” app so you’ll know where to find it when you need it.

  1. Make one list of essentials you must have in order for your wardrobe to work. I’ve posted my Spring Wardrobe Essentials list already. But your list may vary from mine depending on your lifestyle, location and personal preferences. Ultimately these are the basics you must have in order to create interesting outfits – think t-shirts, jeans, denim skirt, shorts, etc.
  1. Make a wish list of items you’d like to have, but which are not necessary ultimately. Or these could be specific high end items that you’d love to have but may not be able to afford this year. For instance, I’ve got a navy blazer on my wish list. But I already have several other blazers, so if I can’t afford to fit a navy one into my budget this year, no big deal. Also if I don’t find the “perfect” navy blazer I’m not going to waste my money on a sub par one, so I’ll do without in that case, too.

Step #8 – Prepare a budget for your spring wardrobe.

I think setting a shopping budget for clothing is a very personal matter between you and your spouse, if you have one. But ultimately you want to create a budget that allows you to dress appropriately and beautifully within your means. And most of us can do that without any trouble if we’re honest.

Set a clothing budget for your spring wardrobe

I really think that if you follow these steps, you’ll find that you’re more apt to stay within your budget and buy things that help you create a wardrobe you thoroughly enjoy. When we don’t have a plan we tend to buy on impulse and we buy things that are pretty and stylish, but they don’t really fit our personal style aesthetic or our lifestyle. I honestly think you’re going to have no trouble staying within a reasonable budget if you work this plan. Let me know if it works for you!

Step #9 – Prepare to shop for the items on your list.

I prefer shopping online because I can scour style blogs and retail websites compiling a list of items that best fit into the wardrobe I’m trying to create. Remember to use your Pinterest button on your toolbar or in your app and pin items from stores as you find things that are on your list. That way you can compare the black cropped straight leg pants at Talbots with those at Target, for instance.

I’ll be posting several Fitting Room Try-On Session posts next week. I’m beginning with Talbots on Thursday, but they’re already having their Spring Style Event with 25% off storewide. So be sure to check in here for the opportunity to preview the spring lines from these and other stores. And I’ve already posted some spring try-ons HERE and HERE.

I’ll also be updating and adding to my Shop My Favorites Pages, found under the Shop tab in the top menu of this website. I love it when you begin your shopping with me! Thank so much for supporting the work I do here by shopping through my affiliate links. I earn a commission on your purchases, but at no additional cost to you.

Keep these tips in mind as you shop:

  • Stay within your selected neutrals and signature colors. Learn more about selecting your colors in this post.
  • Only select pieces that contribute to the Spring Style Uniforms you’ve decided on. Otherwise, learn to say, “That’s really pretty, but it’s not for me.”
  • Only select pieces that contribute to the vibe or style aesthetic you have decided you want to achieve. If you’ve decided on edgy, modern and fun, don’t choose something that is feminine and flirty, etc.
  • Plot out all of your purchases online before shopping for anything…whether you’re shopping in the stores or online. That way you’ll know you can stay within your budget.
  • Watch for sales and discounts. Most everything goes on sale eventually. And many stores discount their new lines when they introduce them. I’ll do my best to keep you up-to-date on sales at your favorite stores.

Step #10 – Keep the tags on until you…

Incorporate your new items into your wardrobe by making sure they work beautifully to create at least three different outfits. If you discover you’ve purchased something that doesn’t help you create multiple looks, return it. If it doesn’t help you create outfits you absolutely love, return it. If it doesn’t fit beautifully, return it. And if it doesn’t feel comfortable enough to wear frequently and long, return it.

Again, practice putting the new pieces to work by grouping them with items in your closet. Truly, if you’ll do the work up front by creating outfits and snapping those pictures, you’ll never lack for something to wear this spring.

Have fun!

Preparing to plan and shop for your spring wardrobe is truly a first world problem. We are so blessed to be able to pick and choose what we’ll wear, to be able to creatively put together outfits that flatter us and that we enjoy wearing.

Let’s be thankful, and let’s enjoy the process. And let’s be good stewards of what we already own – by either wearing it multiple ways or passing it on to someone else who will – and of whatever we buy this spring.

Let’s stay within our budgets, but let’s also make sure we have clothing in our wardrobe that will make us look and feel our very best. You are a beautiful, influential woman. Get dressed for your day and be a blessing to someone each and every day.

If You’re Visiting from Pinterest…

I hope you’ll take a few moments to look around Dressed for My Day. You might want to…

  • find out more about me here.
  • check out my other fashion posts here.
  • discover the answers to my frequently asked questions here.
  • start with my home page here.
  • take my What’s Your Style Essence quiz here.
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Blessed for My Day

Are you discouraged or downcast today? My heart feels for you. I’ve been there, deal gal. I know how it feels to weep almost non-stop. I’ve had seasons of life when I couldn’t shake my sadness. And I wondered if I’d ever feel truly happy again.

I’d like to share with you that I do indeed feel very happy and blessed today. The heaviness of heart did indeed lift. My weary soul again rejoices and I barely even remember the ache of those heavy days.

I want you to know that if you are hurting today, there is One who is near and who loves you dearly. Ask Him to help you feel His presence and hear His voice. He is the God of all compassion and comfort. And He can and will comfort you like no other.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3

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xoxo, Kay
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42 thoughts on “How to Plan & Shop for Your Spring Wardrobe

  1. Good morning Kay! Another awesome post that I am saving on a Pinterest board. I have no clue about how to pin something I see in a store on my Apple iPhone. If you can provide some guidance, I would really appreciate it. Due to budget constraints right now, I cannot buy anything for Spring that I don’t absolutely really need. Since my warm weather clothes are packed away in the attic, I will have to wait a bit to start going thru them. I really want to do a better job with putting together at least 3 outfits with 90% of the items in my closet. You are so right about how blessed we are to live in a country that does not dictate what we can wear. At times it is hard to not get wrapped up in the excitement of a new season and the fashion industry, but I’ve got to be a good steward of what God has blessed me with. Have a beautiful day!

    1. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t know how to do this. I’ve been on Pinterest and can’t figure how to save a board.

    2. I’m glad you enjoyed the post Ginger. To pin on your iPhone you simply need to download the Pinterest app which is in your App Store. I’ll try to explain the step by step soon.

  2. Wow Kay!!! You knocked it out of the park!! This is a wonderful post to bookmark. Thank you for sharing your research and methodology.

  3. Your Blessed for my day post hit home w/a bang. I’ve been in a terrible place. I talk to God everyday n always feel better. Thx for your post

    1. It was just what I needed to read at the perfect moment! I’m grateful for Kay’s wise and helpful post and the timing of this soul-soothing message.

  4. A great post and wonderfully put into words. Even if we might have been doing some of those things you put it all together!

  5. Great post Kay! Thank you. This is so very helpful.
    I will create a new Pinterest board. I have not really used it for this purpose previously.
    I have a question for you… Do you use or have you ever used Stylebook? I have used it for packing and putting outfits together for larger trips we have taken. Not only do I know what pieces I have packed but I put outfits together including accessories ahead of time and chose an outfit the night before which saved a lot of time in the morning when I am on the go. Check it out. It has some issues that to me could be more user friendly but has proven very helpful.
    Just wondering if you have used that or if there is anything else out there to organize different looks in our closet ?

    1. Hi Laurie. I tried Stylebook years ago and struggled to get it to do what I wanted it to do. Ha! So maybe I should try it again. Thanks for sharing.

  6. A wardrobe that works is such a blessing. I just hate trying on clothing and taking pictures but it is a necessary thing to do if you really are serious about understanding what works and what doesn’t, This is a very useful post. A great reference.

  7. Great post! So many fantastic ideas! Makes me want to head to my closet and start getting ready for Spring!! Our spring weather is on it’s way here in Texas, soon we will have 70 degree days regularly! I’m trying to be purposeful about what clothing I purchase this year. No more ‘carefree’ buying without having a plan! Thanks for giving us such great advice and tips on how to make a plan and build a wardrobe that works!! I really appreciate all you do for us, Kay. Have a blessed day!

  8. Hi Kay. I love the idea of a Spring Style Pinterest board. I am heading to my Pinterest account to set it up now. Unfortunately, with the latest version of the Mac OS I have (Catalina), the Pinterest button for the tool bar is not supported by Apple – aarrggh. Thanks for the great post. Looking forward to the remaining posts in this series. Have a great day.

  9. I am so confused as I saw my body shape as hourglass as I am 39-33-39 and I don’t think a 39″ bust is small busted. I checked several body shape calculators online and each one comes up as me being rectangle so now I am completely rethinking what I should wear.

    Rectangles supposedly don’t have curves but my bust and hip would disagree with that.

    Perhaps other ladies on this website would be surprised to find their shape different than they thought.

    Kay, I know you are 5’8″ and weigh 155 and wear a size 8; all of these fit me too. Are you a rectangle?

    1. Hmm. No I’m an hourglass. But really the measurements to use are not your bust measurements but your diameters in the areas of your shoulders, waist and hips or thighs (whichever are broadest). Your body shape is not based on your circumference measurements but your measurements across the fronts of theses areas. Your shape is the way your body appears head on if you were to just draw your outline on a mirror. Does that help any? Or just confuse? Hahaha?!? Check out this post for more explanation:

  10. Hello Kay! This is my first time to stop in to view your blog. I struggle to put outfits together and looking forward to the rest of the week. This will help me more then you know. Just wanted to say hello and thank you for helping women like me everyday. ?

    1. Hi Karen. Thanks so much for saying hi. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and I hope you continue to do so. Make sure you subscribe to get all the benefits and freebies!

  11. Very helpful post! And I love the green wrap dress in the opening graphic. Is that something currently available and if so, do you have a link for it?

  12. Well done post as usual. Will you be providing links to the items in the opening image? One of the dresses and one top are two things I need for my spring/summer wardrobe!

    1. Hi Brenda, Sorry about that. I just didn’t have time to update those links last night when I wrapped this up. But I’ve added them now. I didn’t look for economical options to everything since the post isn’t really about those items. But I’ve provided links to everything there (that is new – a couple of items are from last year) and a few economical options, too. I’m glad the post was helpful. ~ Kay

  13. I’m not at all tech savvy but because of my budget I won’t be buying much except the following: navy or chambray 9 or 10 inch shorts, two elbow length tees, and a chino skirt either blue or white. I need a miracle suit bathing suit and theirs in 8/10 fit me best.
    Really don’t need an app. I’m heading to Talbots! (Bathing suit online).

  14. Happy travels Kay……

    Have a great time at the Showers and enjoying Abby!

    Looking forward to seeing you on Instagram where it will be fun to watch you this weekend!


  15. For the last year or so, I’ve been working on being very intentional on what I bring into my wardrobe. This post is so helpful and full of practical tips! I’m going to start working my way through the steps. Thanks Kay! Safe travels and enjoy this special time with your daughter and mom.

  16. Thank you, Kay, for this most helpful post! I’ve been wanting to know, for awhile now, how to better plan my wardrobe so I don’t always end up with a hodgepodge of everything. I know you’ve been trying to help all of us with that. But, I have to say, this post was my “AHHA” moment; it just clicked! And, I can’t begin to tell you how thankful I am that you explained about all the ways I can use the Pinterest App on my iPhone. Yes, I’m rather technologically challenged!! Again, thank you so much for taking the time to write this in-depth post.

  17. Great post! Can you share info on the print dress pictured above, please? is it currently available? Thanks!

  18. Awesome post Kay. I needed to read this. Sometimes I buy because it is pretty and don’t really need or will wear. I need to make those lists. Thanks for the pointers.
    Loved the BFMD! Yes, sometimes we get so sad because of what is going on around us and we get discouraged. We need to understand God has us in the palm of His hands and we need to turn to Him in these times of troubles. Thank you Kay. Be blessed and safe and happy trip.

  19. Thanks, Kay, for another post chock-full of great ideas. I’ve been on Pinterest for years, but have never made a seasonal style inspiration board — what a simple idea with huge benefits! When I’m shopping, I usually have a shopping list on my phone, which is really lacking as compared to a Pinterest board. NOW I’m seeing all kinds of uses – seasonal shopping, packing for a trip, casual vs. dressy, etc., etc., etc. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!