Welcome to day two of Spring Wardrobe Planning Week 2020. Today I’m sharing my Spring Wardrobe Essentials list. If you’re a subscriber, you also have access to my complete printable Spring/Summer Wardrobe Essentials checklist in the Freebies for Subscribers page. (Check your daily or weekly email for the subscriber access code!) But here I’ll simply be sharing some of the highlights from that list.
What are Wardrobe Essentials?
When we talk of wardrobe essentials we’re generally speaking of the most basic pieces that glue your outfits together. These are the items you have to have in your closet or dresser in order to wear the trendier or more individualistic pieces you love.
But while these pieces can be basic, they don’t have to be boring. In this recent post I talked about how to select the most stylish wardrobe essentials in order to create truly interesting and unique outfits from your closet.
Because we all have different lifestyles, personal styles and climate restrictions, you’ll have to determine which essentials are actually, well, essential to you! I’ve divided the spring essentials into 6 categories. And I do believe we all need clothing and accessories in these 6 categories in order to have the necessary building blocks for a functional wardrobe. But you get to decide which specific items in those categories best fit your lifestyle, body type, personality and season of life.
Spring 2020 Wardrobe Essentials
BASIC BUT “LIGHTER” PANTS
Spring calls for us to lighten up. It’s a great time to try jeans and pants in trending colors, lighter denims, lightweight fabrics, white and fresh prints. Depending on your style preference you might need to refresh your wardrobe with one or more of the following.
I love wearing white jeans all year, but I especially enjoy pairing them with lighter weight fabrics and more cheerful colors during the spring. And white jeans look lovely worn with a denim jacket, blazer, utility jacket, trench coat or lightweight cardigan. They’re so versatile.
Recently I purchased these white skinny jeans (not the same as the ones pictured above) to replace the pair I’d worn out over the past three years. I suggest always sizing up one size from the normal size you wear in blue or black denim. You want your white jeans to fit well, but you don’t want them skintight.
But if you’d like a more modern silhouette, I’d suggest the modern ankle jeans (shown above) or even full leg jeans. I’ve collected several to consider in the shopping widget below.
Lightweight Cotton (or blend) Pants
Depending on your lifestyle and fashion aesthetic, you may also want to have a pair or two of lightweight cotton pants in your closet. I find myself wearing these more and more into the summer months, too, as I get older. They’re slowly but surely replacing my shorts as my go-to choice for hot weather. That why I want very lightweight, breathable fabrics in several versatile shades, but usually my preferred neutrals.
I think you’ll definitely want cotton pants in your selected neutral colors (one or more of black, navy, brown, grey, olive, or tan), but you may want a pair or two in your signature colors as well (red, pink, green, yellow, blue, etc.)
This year, lightweight cotton pants are trending in a straighter or full leg and a cropped length. You could also purchase your pants in a relaxed leg and full length and then roll the cuffs up a couple of times if you’d like.
Cool but Dressier Slacks
I also think it’s a good idea to have at least one pair of dressier pants for spring. They could be white, black, off-white, grey or navy, if you want a pair in a pretty neutral that will have versatility. But you could also select a pair of dressier but lightweight slacks in one of your signature colors, such as red or blue.
Again, you can still wear the slimmer cut pants, but wider legs are trending. And ankle length is fashionable and appropriate in these slightly dressier pants as well.
JACKETS FOR SPRING
You’re bound to need a jacket now and again in the spring. But it’s time to put away the winter coats and cardigans and grab a jacket or cardi of a lighter weight fabric. Depending on your personal style you may choose one or more of the following to keep in your closet, ready to pair with so many things.
I love my classic Levi’s Ex-Boyfriend Trucker Jacket, but longer jackets and tie jackets are definitely trending right now. And while I think blue denim is always a good choice, you can certainly think outside the box. If you don’t go with one of your chosen neutrals, then go with one of your signature colors.
A tailored blazer is a good idea anytime, especially if you prefer a classic or elegant style aesthetic. But spring is a good time to shift to either a pretty navy blazer or one in a new, springy shade.
But plaids are definitely still trending as we move into spring and summer, too. So a plaid blazer that would work well with you white jeans, lightweight dress pants and blue jeans would work beautifully. I have a full selection for you to consider below. (Last year I found my favorite spring blazer at Target!)
Trench Coat or Jacket
Having lived in the south where we generally went straight from cold to blazing hot in the spring, I had never owned a trench coat until last year. But even in Arizona, I wore it more than I had expected. I’m hoping to wear it even more often in Ohio.
I love and will still wear my soft pink trench coat I bought last year. But I’ve also recently purchased a more classic rattan trench coat and a shorter black trench jacket. Alrighty Spring, serve me well!!!
LIGHTWEIGHT TOPS & BLOUSES
Yay! It’s finally time to lighten up. Even if you layer up, you can lighten up the fabric, the prints and the colors of your tops. Depending on your style aesthetic you may need one or more of the following to round out the essentials in your wardrobe.
Crisp White Shirt
It may not look like much in the photo above, but this Crisp White Poplin Shirt looks great with a little bit of a front tuck. You can also roll the sleeves, like they’ve done in the photo above, and pop the collar for additional modern touches. The shirt is lightweight and easy to work with. It’s a little sheer, but not so much that it feels immodest. They didn’t have a small for me to try on, but I went ahead and purchased the medium for a very over-sized look. I’m going to be showing you so many great ways to wear this closet staple!
Honestly, I love this shirt so much I just think everyone needs this one. Ha! But in all fairness I’ll give you other options in the shopping widget below. Pssst. My daughter has great things to say about the ones from Madewell, too.
Talbots Spring Style Event begins today!!! So you can get 25% off this shirt and the rest of your purchase.
I really enjoy having a chambray shirt in my closet year-round, but especially during the spring. It looks so classic and fresh with white jeans, khaki pants and other wardrobe essentials.
Short Sleeve T-Shirts
Woohoo! It’s time for short sleeve tees. I suggest you have at least a couple of solid tees in colors and necklines that flatter you. Then if you want to add a print or two, that’s up to you. Oh, and I don’t see how anyone gets by without a white and/or black tee.
It’s no secret around here that my very favorite white, grey and black t-shirts are these at SUPIMA® Cotton V-Neck T-Shirts at Banana Republic. And since they’re often marked down as much as 40%, they’re really a good buy for the quality. They keep their shape, feel nice on the skin and look polished.
I also recently picked up this black tee with white polka dots, and I’m so very happy with it. It’s 95% cotton with 5% Spandex for a very polished feel. It’s going to work beautifully in the Spring Wardrobe I’m planning for myself.
3/4 Length Sleeve Tees
Because spring is often a little chilly, I do suggest having some long or 3/4 length sleeve tees in your arsenal, too.
Three-quarter length sleeves are especially flattering because they expose the wrist bones, which creates a slenderizing look. Again, I think it’s a good idea to have at least a couple of these in your wardrobe, maybe one in a neutral and the other in a fun stripe or polka dot.
You’ll want to have a few bags…in the bag!
Spring especially calls for a handbag in a lighter neutral shade. Think blush, beige, off white, taupe or soft grey. But you could also carry navy or black if you prefer. Of course, you can have other handbags. But I think one in a neutral you wear often is essential.
Depending on your style, you may want to add one or more of the following types of shoes to your spring wardrobe.
I really like having a pair of white sneakers at the ready. But if you favor a color and feel like it will work well with your wardrobe, why not?
I think we’re all probably going to need at least one pair of flats that we can wear in various situations and with different outfits. Ballet flats and pointy toe flats certainly work and look darling. But this year the loafer is supposed to be the hottest option.
Well I need my nude pumps year round. But during the spring I especially enjoy wearing these versatile heels. Remember, nothing elongates the leg like a nude pump.
I prefer at least a two inch heel, but I know many of my readers can’t wear high heels. Don’t worry. Even a kitten heel, which is trending high this year, is enough to make your legs look more feminine and longer. Can’t even wear a kitten heel? Then look for a sling back flat with a low vamp in front.
Finally, most all of us need a pretty dress in our wardrobe for spring. What will make it a wardrobe essential? We need a dress that is functional, versatile and easy to wear. One that looks good with a jacket or trench coat over it, too, since the weather fluctuates. That’s why I say this needs to be a simple dress, one that is not fussy or restricted to certain types of events.
Here are a few to consider if you need a new spring dress.
Which of these pieces do you already own? Which will you need to refresh (maybe your white t-shirt)? And which can you pass on because it just doesn’t really fit into your personal wardrobe? I’d love to hear from you today.
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Blessed for My Day
Indeed God does comfort us when we are downcast or broken. But then we are to turn around and use that same comfort to help others through similar situations. There are hurts you have endured that I have never experienced. And I have undoubtedly gone through trials you have not yet endured. We have unique opportunities to minister to those around us because of our experiences.
Early in our marriage, my husband incurred some surprising health problems that landed him in the hospital multiple times. I had never sat beside someone I love in the hospital before. But because God walked us through that difficult season I am more equipped to empathize with other wives when their husbands are ill or hurting.
In what unique way could you offer comfort to someone today?
…who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:4