As we move into spring and get ready to shed our winter looks (are you as ready as I am?!), it’s a perfect time to think about spring wardrobe essentials and get your closet ready with spring basics.
Do a Google search for spring basics and you’ll find a variety of results – each person’s lifestyle informs what basics are important. I have a casual and generally simple style, so my spring wardrobe essentials differ from someone who has a city life or has a very active evening social life. Even so, these essentials are a foundation for just about any kind of lifestyle.
What Are Spring Essentials?
Wardrobe essentials are just the start of a seasonal closet. The essentials are the foundation on which to build. Then you can add flair, color, and the full expression of your personality.
Here’s my suggestions for a refresh of your casual spring wardrobe essentials:
- white and colored t-shirts
- white blouse
- denim jeans
- white jeans
- cardigan sweater
- denim jacket
- spring purse and/or tote
Of course, that’s just the start to a spring wardrobe. After the essentials, add some fun colors (lots of color out there in retail land!), a hat – anything that makes you feel amazing for spring!
White T-Shirt & White Blouse – Must Haves for Spring
The very first basic most of us think of is a white tee. A t-shirt can be worn alone or as a layering piece under a cardigan or jacket. It can go casual or dressy, depending on how it’s accessorized.
When I look for a basic t-shirt these days, I focus on a longer sleeve length than I used to. I prefer the sleeves to cover the top part of my arms. I’ve found this style at Nordstrom and Gap in the past (the Gap tee is linked below). When searching for a longer sleeve t-shirt, search for “elbow sleeve t-shirt.”
One thing to keep in mind, white t-shirts don’t last forever. If you want your tee to look crisp and fresh, white tees should be replaced each year.
T-shirts are a timeless staple for almost any season, so add at least one or two other seasonal colors. For spring and summer a pastel, a bright, or a classic navy/white stripe are choices that will make their way into your spring and summer outfits time and time again.
A white (or light color) blouse is another useful spring essential to have. It’s a super versatile piece that can be dressed up or down and even worn as a topper over a tank or camisole.
Jeans for Spring
Spring is a great time to try one of the trending jeans styles – wide leg, crops, flares, or boot cut. (Check out the styles in this jeans style post series: One, Two, Three, Four.) I gravitate to lighter color jeans in spring. They’re casual and a light colored denim feels a little more springy!
White jeans, of course, are a traditional spring look. They are fresh and can take you from a backyard BBQ to a spring evening concert.
A quick note about jeans styles. We’re seeing a lot of jeans in the new (are they? new?) looser fitting styles, with wider leg openings. I’ve been trying to figure out if skinnies are suddenly passe. As is typically the way of fashion, many of the quick adopters of the new styles are young people. When I browse the retail stores and speak with retailers, I still see skinny jeans and hear that they are absolutely still in style. This comforts me as I have a closet full of skinny jeans. Still . . . I am reluctant to add new skinnies to my collection and instead have been looking at the in-between styles – straight or slim leg jeans that aren’t quite so fitted to the leg and have a wider leg opening at the hemline.
Joggers have become a staple in many wardrobes since the pandemic sent us home to work. When considering joggers that I could wear while working from home and not feel like I was schlepping around the house in sweats, I discovered Athleta Trekkie North Joggers (see my joggers post for more styles).
The Trekkie North joggers (below) are my absolute favorite go-tos. I have them in four colors and wear them for hanging around the house, hiking, walking, air travel (they are GREAT for wearing on a flight), running errands, visiting friends – seriously, they are the BEST. They are casual but can step up and look polished. They have a flattering fit and are super comfy. Several people who bought them on my recommendation have shared that they wholeheartedly agree with me. One thing to note if you decide to add a pair to your closet, they do stretch out as you wear them, so I recommend sizing down for a comfortable but close fit (they go back to pre-wear form when washed).
A cardigan sweater is a useful spring wardrobe essential. As the days warm up a bit it’s nice to have a light layer to add. I love long, duster-style cardigans like the one pictured below. If it has buttons, a long cardigan could be worn as a dress as well. A traditional cardigan sweater with a hemline that hits at the hip can double as a top when buttoned up or a lightweight topper when worn open.
I don’t think denim jackets will ever go out of style. If you don’t already have one, now’s the time. It’s a timeless piece and a great spring topper. A denim jacket can finish a super casual outfit as well as tone down a very dressy one. Every closet should have one. And since it’s such a timeless staple, you can find one at a price that fits any budget. And, yes, you can wear a denim jacket with jeans. I’ve linked several below.
Of course, we all have sandals and are likely anxious to be able to start wearing them. (I’m getting my spring pedicure this weekend!) My favorites are linked below. I love these styles for both comfort and style.
It’s important to have at least one pair of nude or tan sandals that will go with just about anything. I like to have a black pair as well that can look a little “dressier.”
In recent years I’ve navigated to sandals that have a strap across the foot, like those featured below. As we age and, for some of us, our foot’s bone structure changes, a horizontal strap hides a myriad of foot issues!
A pair of sneakers is a great addition to a spring wardrobe. I love the slip-on style, but there are cute lace-up styles out there too.
If you are a follower of this blog, you’ve heard about Rothy’s slip-on sneakers. They are my favorites (I now have them in six colors!). I’ve linked the Rothy’s Sneakers below in a variety of colors.
Rothy’s has a great refer-a-friend program. After you’ve purchased your first pair of Rothy’s, you’ll get a referral code to share with friends; they’ll get a $20 discount with your code and you’ll get $20 toward your next pair. Use my referral code to purchase your first pair: https://share.rothys.com/x/C7y4l6
Also, Rothy’s has a discount program for teachers, first responders, and medical professionals: 20% discount on any pair of shoes. Learn more here.
Another fun “essential” for spring is a purse. It’s time to put away the black bag and carry something that says spring. My go-tos are usually a light tan shade or white with tan features incorporated. I’ve linked some budget-friendly styles below.
Browse T-Shirts, Blouses, and Jeans / Trekkie North Joggers Too
Linked below are t-shirt styles I’ve worn and feel comfortable wearing, as well as blouses I have already or would wear.
Also linked are some of the newer jeans looks. And my favorite Athleta Trekkie North Joggers.
Browse Cardigans and Denim Jackets
Cardigans and denim jackets – both must haves for spring, and, really, all seasons.
Browse Sandals and Sneakers
Linked below are my go-to spring and summer footwear choices.
If you haven’t discovered TKees flip flops and sandals yet, get to know the brand. I love the Nudes collection (the flip flop pictured below). There are shades in the collection to match most skin tones, so the sandals almost disappear on your foot. This is a favorite brand of celebrities. It’s not a budget price (for flip flops), but it doesn’t break the bank and the leather flip flops last a long time (also offered in a vegan option).
My other favorite sandal brand is Sam Edelman – lots of styles, reasonable prices, and comfortable.
You’ll also find an assortment of Rothy’s Sneakers below. You might be a little tired of hearing about Rothy’s Sneakers from me. Sorry, but that’s how much I like them. They are versatile, comfortable, machine washable, and classic.
Browse Spring Totes and Purses
I’m not one who changes purses often, but I do like to carry a bag in the spring and summer that has a lighter look than my winter bag. The bags below are styles that are versatile and look more springy than a black bag.
I’m a huge fan of the Longchamp Le Pliage totes, which are the first three images below (three different sizes). It’s a classic and casual yet elegant because of it’s French classic-ness. I love the large tote. It folds up super small and flat so you can easily slip it into your purse and then pull it out when running errands or shopping for extra carrying space. It’s also a perfect travel tote. And they are seasonless no matter what color you choose.