2019 Spring Wardrobe Essentials

Greetings, friends! Today I’m sharing my annual Spring Wardrobe Essentials post.

This coming Friday, Cyndi Spivey and I are launching our annual 26 Days of Spring Fashion style challenge, where we each style a new spring outfit every day of the month except Sundays, and I always like to update this post on spring wardrobe essentials for those who like to have a plan when putting together their wardrobe for the season.

These are the classic wardrobe pieces that provide a basic foundation for a well-rounded spring wardrobe. This list is certainly not exhaustive, but it should be a good starting point for most of us.

As always, you should take into account your personal style aesthetic as well as your lifestyle and wardrobe needs. If you work outside the home, your essentials may look different than mine as a work-at-home mom, but these are some of the basic clothing, shoes, and accessories that you may want to consider having in your spring wardrobe.

2019 Spring Wardrobe Essentials

#1. White Tee

This probably goes without saying, but I don’t want to leave it out because it is absolutely an essential. Investing in a few quality t-shirts that you can wear alone with a great accessory or layer under your jackets and cardigans is crucial. I prefer a v-neck or scoop neck, but you may like a crew neck or boat neck style. Choose a neckline and a fit that is flattering on you. If yours is worn out, it may be time to invest in a new one.

I’m always looking for good basic tees that are thin enough to have a nice drape without being see-through, and I prefer a straight hemline and no “boob pocket.” I’ve actually found a few good ones this spring, so I rounded up my current favorites for you below. Hover over the images to see the brands and price, and click through to shop!


#2. White Jeans

Spring Essentials: White Jeans

White jeans make a crisp statement and pair well with everything from neutrals to pastels to brights. It’s important to find a pair that fits well and with material that isn’t see-through. I like an ankle length skinny jean best, especially for summertime.

I have a cropped pair with distressing and a plain ankle-length pair, and I wear them both a ton during the spring and summertime. Of course, you can do white jeans in a straight or bootcut style if that’s more your jam, and the cropped straight and flare styles are trending this spring.

I prefer premium brands like Paige, Citizens, and AG; but you can certainly find decent white jeans for less. Check Loft and Old Navy for more budget-friendly options, but no matter where you shop, be sure to try them on and get a good look at your rear view to ensure a great fit. For outfit inspiration, see how I’ve styled white jeans for all seasons.


#3. Cropped Pants or Jeans

Cropped jeans and pants are a great transition piece for spring. The straight crop style is the silhouette of the moment, but as always, you should wear what flatters you and not necessarily what’s trending.

I won’t lie, I haven’t had a lot of luck finding a pair of cropped straight pants that I like or that I feel is flattering on my hourglass figure, but I haven’t given up yet! That said, cropped skinnies are perfectly appropriate and certainly still on trend.


#4. Lighter Tops & Blouses

When March rolls around, even if it’s still cold, I start putting away my wool and cashmere sweaters and start wearing lighter materials. Loft has a ton of pretty blouses and tops at the moment, and you can layer them under a cardigan or denim jacket until it warms up. I also like to swap out my thick, cozy sweaters for lightweight styles, as the weather permits.


#5. Fashion Sneakers

Fashion sneakers have made my list of Spring Wardrobe Essentials every year, but this year they’re not just a wardrobe staple, they’re also a hot trend. Don’t miss my fashion sneaker reviews if you’re in the market for a new pair.

White leather sneakers are trending, but canvas sneakers are certainly not out of style, and you don’t have to wear white either.


#6. Transition Sandals

Depending on the weather where you live, you may or may not be pulling out your sandals for a while, but I definitely start wearing mine before summer is in full swing. This year, slides are trending, as are wedge sandals, platforms, and block heel styles.

I love a good perforated open-toe bootie/sandal combo for early spring, and then as the weather warms up, I break out my wedge sandals with the jute platforms and more strappy styles. Most of us probably need more than one pair of sandals in our spring wardrobes. I have a mix of flats and heels, and casual and dressy styles.


#7. Flats

When it’s not warm enough for open sandals but you’re tired of wearing boots, mules are a great footwear option for spring. I’m also seeing loafers and pointy toe ballet flats trending right now.

Animal prints are a big trend — leopard is great, but also consider snakeskin or cheetah print for something different. Also, neon is a big trend this year, as is yellow. If you’re a little more adventurous, you could try incorporating one of those colors into your shoe wardrobe.


#8. Spring Dresses

A lot of women say they live in dresses in the spring in summer but I tend to stick to my separates. That said, I like to have a few options on hand for events that may crop up, and it’s also nice to have one or two casual t-shirt dresses as an alternative to jeans and shorts.

This spring, florals are having a moment, and I’m seeing lots of flowy styles with ruffles and embellishments. Let’s just say, that isn’t really my thing. I prefer a structured sheath, but sometimes it’s fun to change it up so I’ve been trying some different styles. Here are a few I’ve found that I like, or that I think you may like!

#9. Lightweight Jacket

In the past I divided this category into several different types of jackets, but I’ve learned that depending on your area of the country and your personal style aesthetic, certain styles are more appealing to some than others. Not every woman needs a trench coat and a utility jacket and a denim jacket and a rain coat… but you will probably want to have a couple of these options that work for your lifestyle.

A denim jacket is great to have in your closet all year round, but it’s the perfect layering piece for spring. I love how a denim jacket looks over a dress or with a skirt to make the look less dressy and a little more edgy. It also looks great over a basic tee with white jeans. Also consider a white denim jacket for a fun twist on this classic wardrobe essential, and don’t rule out a fun color. For outfit inspiration, here are some different ways I’ve styled denim jackets.

A utility jacket is a great alternative to a jean jacket, or if you live a super casual lifestyle, you may want one of each. For outfit inspiration, see how I’ve styled my utility jackets.

A trench coat seems to make every wardrobe essentials list, and I personally think every woman should have one, and yet I realize that they aren’t as popular in some areas of the country. Even though I live on the east coast where you definitely see women wearing them, I admit I don’t wear mine a ton because it feels dressy, but I’m always glad I have one when I need it.

If a classic trench feels fussy to you, consider an anorak or raincoat. I actually have both. I wear my trench when I want to look more polished, and I wear my rain coat for more casual wear.


#10. Neutral Handbag

As you know, handbags are my jam. This spring, structured top handle bags are trending, but you should always choose the style that works best for your needs. I’m not such a fan of this style; it feels fussy to me. Personally, I love a roomy tote or a slouchy hobo. I also like to have a few smaller crossbody styles for when I don’t need to carry everything but the kitchen sink.

Color-wise, white and pastel bags are definitely big again this spring. If you want to add one on-trend bag to your collection right now, I would definitely go with white or blush. If you don’t care so much about trends but want a good neutral bag you can carry for years, go with light grey or taupe or cognac, depending on your preference. They’re still light enough to be on trend, but classic enough to last you many years.


Option to Consider:

#11. Rain Boots

If you live in a climate that tends to get a bit of rain as I do, rain boots are really great to have for springtime. I can’t believe I went so many years without them! I love my Hunters, but Kamik makes a nice rain boot at a lower price point, and you can also find good styles at some of the smaller retailers like J.Crew Factory.


In Conclusion…

Obviously you’ll still need to fill in with a few sweaters and blouses, jeans and pants, a dress or two, and maybe a few skirts. It all depends on your lifestyle and what you already have in your closet, but I think this is a good place to start.

I focused this post on essentials that are the foundation of your spring wardrobe, but it’s also fun to add a few trendy pieces to your closet each season. Check out my 2019 Spring Fashion Forecast for some of the hot trends this spring!

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