The Sweet Sixteen

Hi there!

Apologies for the hiatus, but I’ve had a crazy month so far.  I luckily got to take a break from the stress over the weekend and spent Easter in Minnesota with my family.  It was relaxing and the weather was absolutely beautiful.  It’s starting to hang around in the upper 60°s, so I’m fully transitioning into my spring wardrobe.  To be honest, I don’t have a plethora of clothing for spring and summer.  Fall is my style jam, so I have a lot less to work with in the warmer months– which means I have to get pretty creative.  My condensed spring wardrobe inspired me to create a list, or collection, if you will.  After a lot of thought, mock-styling, and internet-searching, I put together an assortment of timeless spring items that can carry over from season to season, regardless of the over-arching trends. Sixteen items that can mix and match, layer, and combine to create different spring looks to carry you through into the summer months.

The Sweet Sixteen

1. 

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For those of you doubting chambray, believe me– chambray is here to stay.  This rising trend-turned-basic is an absolute must have for every season.  To me, having a good chambray shirt is just as important as having a good pair of jeans.  It’s easy, it goes with everything, and it’s super comfortable.  Personally, I think having chambray in your wardrobe is important enough to have all three iterations: long sleeve, short sleeve, and sleeveless.  But, if you’re new to the chambray game, I’d start with a short sleeve style.  It’s super versatile.  And let’s call a spade a spade, it’s just about the cutest thing to happen to spring style.

My pick: J.Crew Factory Short Sleeve Chambray$34

2. 

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For the days that it’s just too chilly for short sleeves, the oxford popover is your best friend.  This super classic piece is a must-have in every guy and girl’s closet.  It can be dressed up and down with ease and is effortlessly cool.  Pair it with a flowing skirt for ultra femininity or with your favorite denim for that classic prep.

My pick: Lands’ End Canvas Sun-Faded Oxford$30

3.

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This one seems like a no-brainer, but I think it has to be included.  Having a go-to tank is key to transition you from season to season.  Wear it under a cardigan in the fall, with a scarf in the spring, or standalone in the summer.  If you don’t like your basics to be too basic, try a novelty tank.  Go for graphics, prints, or a great stripe.  Anyway you slice it, this is arguably going to be your most worn top in your closet– so make sure you love it.

My pick: J. Crew Factory Layering Tank$15

4.

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Perhaps my favorite bottom in the market, the ankle pant, is a must-have in all seasons, especially spring.  Let me tell you, it has always been a tall gal’s dream for the ankle pant to go mainstream, since we’ve been showing our ankles in every pant since the 3rd grade.  That day has finally come, and I can guarantee that women of height have the best assortment in their closet.  Regardless of your height, these adorable skimmers are a staple.  Simply adorable with sandals, flats, wedges, or some cute tennies, these pants will pump up the femininity with a perfect amount of edge.

My pick: J. Crew Toothpick Railroad Stripe Jean, $100

With current promo code GOSHOP they’re only $69.99!!

5.

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As great as variety can be, all I’m asking of you is to invest in one amazing pair of denim shorts that are truly you.  It’s that simple.  If you like bermudas, go for it.  Boyfriends?  Adorable.  Short shorts? By all means, just do you.  All I ask is that you don’t skimp on quality.  These will be your most worn bottom in the warm months, so invest in them.  Go for quality and great fit.  Buy a wash that goes with most of your wardrobe.  A dark wash is always safe, but personally, I’m absolutely digging the medium indigo wash this year.  Just pick that perfect pair and you’re set for the season.

My pick: J. Crew Factory Jeweled Denim Short$38

6.

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For the days that you need a little extra wow with very little effort, meet the patterned short.  Now for the skeptics, patterned bottoms do not have to be scary.  They actually can be quite wearable if you get the scaling just right. If you want a pair that can go seamlessly from season to season, I’d recommend a floral– because what spring in recent history has floral not been trend-right?  Am I right?

My pick: J. Crew Factory 5″ Chino Short$27

Okay, I promise J. Crew Factory isn’t sponsoring this post.  This J. Crew explosion of spring was not intentional…

7.

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Ah, the chino.  There are few things I love more.  I recently counted the number of non-denim pants I have (most of which fall in the chino realm) and it was over 20.  That, my friends, is true love.  But I digress…the chino is such an underrated pant.  I have so many friends who don’t own a pair, let alone don’t really know what it is.  Few things have upset me more.  The chino is the go-to outside of the denim world.  You want to wear a pant that’s casual, yet refined.  You want to wear a pant that’s comfortable, but not blue and tight.  I seriously can’t stress enough the necessity of owning at least one great pair of chinos.  I’d recommend a broken-in style (Gap is great for these).  But if relaxed isn’t your jam, there are a variety of “skinny khakis” offered by Gap, J.Crew, Old Navy, etc.  Just trust me on this one.

My pick: Gap Broken-in Straight Khakis$50

Gap shopping tip: If you’re not set on a color, always raid their clearance, especially in store. Gap is notorious for having pants under $10 that are marked down from past seasons!

8.

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Well, you know, for the days you feel like going pant-less…  Yupp.  I think that about covers it.

My pick: Lauren Conrad Fit and Flare Floral Dress$48

9.

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We all know spring tends to fall on the chilly side of the spectrum, so a cardigan in a neutral hue is a must.  I personally like long cardigans that can cover my butt.  They’re cute with jeans and shorts alike.  They also can be belted well with a dress or skirt.  Since the weather can fluctuate quite a bit, go for a lightweight style that’s just warm enough to keep you from shivering, but cool enough so you don’t have a heat stroke.

My pick: Target Open Cardigan with Pockets$23

10.

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This one might be the secret prep in me coming out, but there is nothing more classic and Hamptons-esque than a tailored seersucker blazer.  It’s lightweight and sophisticated to a T.  It can amp up your refined style, great for both work and play.  Wear her over your favorite dress or with some skinnies and some heels.  So versatile, so chic.

My pick: Gap Classic Mini-Stripe Seersucker Blazer$88

11.

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It’s not Labor Day quite yet, kids, so bust out the white jackets.  Even on warm days in the spring, it’s still a safe bet to have a jacket on hand.  With how varied one’s style can be through a season, it’s tough to pick just one jacket to cover it all– and to be honest, I have a few that I fluctuate between myself.  But if I were tasked to finding a perfect jacket for spring that could be worn across a wide variety of outfits, it would be a white structured jacket.  White is an easy color in the spring and will complement your closet full of pastels with ease.  I personally love this tonal number from Banana Republic.  The ivory and white combination makes it so simple to go with any outfit.

My pick: Banana Republic Textured Colorblock Jacket$130

12.

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Back to the no-pants argument.  If pants aren’t your jam, then I’d be damned if you didn’t own an a-line midi skirt or twelve.  The perfect shape and length to flatter your figure, regardless of what that is.  Try her with an easy tank and scarf, a tied up chambray, blazer, or a cute crop top (for the gutsy folk) and remember: the higher the hem, the lower the heel.

My pick: River Island Midi Skirt$47

13.

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The way I see it, is that you need at least two everyday shoes, and a dressy shoe to cover all your bases.  The first everyday shoe would be none other than the basic flat.  Whether you like ballets, venetians, loafers, or sling-backs, the flat is a girl’s best friend (regardless of what Marilyn Monroe is telling you).  Since your dressy shoe will be more neutral, your flat is where you can have all the fun.  Pick a colorful shade or a patterned pop that will work across your wardrobe.

My pick: Lands’ End Lucy Pointed Toe Slingback Flats$49

14.

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The second everyday shoe would be the ever-so-comfortable tennis shoe.  Now I’m not talking your run of the mill New Balance walking shoes.  I’m speaking more to the less functional, cute tennis shoes that fall more into the world of Converse, Vans, and fashion Nikes– something slim that can still have a sense of sporty chic.  I personally am dying over white tennis shoes right now, particularly Converse low-tops.  Definitely on my wish list!  A neutral tone would also be a nice alternative to your other colorful everyday flat.

My pick: Converse Classic Low-Top in Optical White$50

15.

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Everyone needs a dressy shoe;  it goes without saying.  I think a lot of women get stuck within a set of made-up rules when it comes to dressy shoes. (i.e. it must be black, the heel must be a certain height, it must be close-toed, etc.).  Please, throw the rules away and listen up.  A shoe is only as dressy as you make it.  Take the above open-toed sandal wedge:  worn with denim shorts and a tee, it sways casual with a hint of sophistication;  now try it with a maxi skirt and lace top– it swings more into the refined and dressy realm, wouldn’t you agree?  By picking a neutral sandal with a heel height you’re comfortable with (which could really be no heel at all), you’re allowing yourself for maximum styling options.  You can be the one who decides whether to dress it up or down.  Pretty perfect how that works out, isn’t it?

My pick: J. Crew Factory Demi-Wedge Sandals$49

16.

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Now for the outfit completer, we need a pop scarf.  As long as you pick a color that goes with most of your wardrobe, you’re golden.  A coral or teal works well with most spring pieces, while still adding a vibrant life to your ensemble.

My pick: J. Crew Printed Silk Snood$60

I know what you’re thinking– who would pay that much for a scarf?  Not me, of course.  It’s mostly just an inspiration piece.  Forever 21 and Buckle have similar options.


I created five looks using the sixteen items as a little styling inspiration!

Sweet Sixteen: Spring Must Haves

So how’d you make out? Do you already have the sweet sixteen? Need to pick up a few more items? Anything you think should have made the list?

Sound off below!

Until next time–

xo,

kaylee

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