Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spotlight: Spring Essentials

The other day I got the following text from my sister: "If I were to buy one or two new clothes for work, what should they be?"

Some background: Kelly just started her dream job on Monday after spending the last year doing an unpaid internship for grad school and only working part time. She had not bought new clothes in over a year. A year! I can't imagine! Anyway, I asked two questions before I answered her: 1) What's the dress code; and 2) What shoes will you be wearing most often? Business casual and probably black or leopard print ballet flats, she said. Simple!

Since she still has some financial restrictions, I thought of two pieces that go with everything and are always affordable. First, a Breton striped top.

Jaeger striped top

Breton stripes get their name from the Brittany region of France and were actually worn as a uniform by French sailors. We have Coco Chanel to thank for introducing them into mainstream fashion in 1917. Breton stripes never, ever go out of style, which is why a garment featuring them is one of my must buys. Traditionally they're navy blue, but a striped top in black, green, or red is just as chic. Breton striped tops should be treated as a neutral. This top will pair perfectly with skinny pants, cropped pants, neutral colored skirts, and even floral print skirts or pants. I also LOVE them with a leopard flat or scarf.

Now, where to buy? I'm pretty sure H&M puts out a Breton top every single season. In fact, I see at least four of them on their site! Gap has a bunch of great variations and if you have a little more cash to splash, I love this one from Marc by Marc Jacobs.

The second thing I told Kelly to buy was a pair of colored cropped pants.

J.Crew Cafe capri
Sure a nice pair of black trousers would have been an obvious choice, but I know she already has those. Colored pants are very in for spring and can add a punch to any look. Emerald is Pantone's color of the year and I can't think of a better way to incorporate it. I love Gap's slim cropped pants and they just so happen to have a green option. I wouldn't be surprised if J.Crew's best selling item was their Cafe capris (above) because they're extremely popular and come in many colors and fabrics. 

What to wear with these? Anything! Your Breton top, any blouse or button down, lightweight cardigan, or blazer would make a great outfit with colored cropped pants. I love heels with these, but I think ballet flats with cropped pants is an adorable look and one I wear often.

I hope this helps Kelly and anyone else who might need or want just a few new things for spring and are on a strict budget!

For those of you who have been socking away money for your spring wardrobe like I have, here are some of my other essentials.

Spring Essentials

Python Prints - Actual snakes are quite possibly my biggest fear, but I sure do love wearing them. No, I'm not talking about things made of python or any other type of those horrific creatures, but snake skin prints. Erdem, Preen, and Gucci all showed python prints for spring. If wearing a snake print on a top or skirt scares you, start with a pair of flats or clutch. Just like leopard print, a gray snake print is most definitely a neutral!

Emerald Green - As I said above, emerald green is Pantone's color of the year for 2013. Green is the color of my every year since it's my favorite so it feels good to get some validation! Rich jewel tones like emerald go with just about any skin tone and hair color so this is a trend anyone can get on board with. Try a blouse or skirt in emerald or even a nail polish or eye liner. Sephora smartly put out an entire line of emerald cosmetics.

Black and White - This is probably the easiest of the trends to get on board with. I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn't worn black and white in combination. Whether it's stripes, checkerboard, houndstooth, or a print, it's in style. And just think - everything will match! Add some color with a colored shoe or statement necklace.

Graphic Prints - I LOVE big, bold graphic prints, but I know they're not for everyone. Meaning everyone CAN wear them, but not everyone thinks they can or wants to. If you can't handle a graphic dress or pair of pants and still want to try the trend, go with a scarf and just wear it with jeans and a plain t-shirt.

If you're in the US then you know we've all been complaining about our extended winter ad nauseum, but I think it's finally over! We've had a good run of days with temps in the 50s and no snow so real spring is very close! I can't wait to wear spring clothes and I'm sure you can't either.

Tell me what your spring essentials are. And what would be the two items you'd tell Kelly to buy. Am I right?

1 comment:

  1. Great choices! I recently bought a Breton striped top, and wore it so much I went out and bought another one with a slightly different neckline! It's amazing how much those stripes can simultaneously add punch and class to an outfit.