2020 Spring Wardrobe Essentials

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

This post is always one of my most popular each season, and while it doesn’t change a lot year to year, I like to update it with current links and fresh thoughts.

2020 Spring Wardrobe Essentials

These are the classic wardrobe pieces that I feel 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 when reading a list like this.

If you work outside the home, your essentials may look different than mine, but hopefully this provides you with a good starting point anyway.

2020 Spring Wardrobe Essentials

#1. White Tee

The Perfect White Tee c/o Thirty Something Tees

This probably goes without saying, but I don’t want to leave it out because a few quality t-shirts to wear alone with a great accessory or layer under your jackets and cardigans is as essential as it gets.

If you work in an office, you may also need a white dress shirt. I’ve never really needed that, but it’s a wardrobe staple for many women.

I’m working on a huge white t-shirt review and comparison post, so stay tuned for that! Meanwhile, I rounded up some of my favorites below, in case you’re in need of a new white t-shirt right away.

Shop White T-Shirts:

#2. 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 ankle-length skinny jeans best, especially for spring and summer.

Of course, you can do white jeans in a straight or bootcut style if that’s more your jam, and the cropped straight style is trending this spring. I’m still on the lookout for a good pair of those.

You can find good white jeans at all price points, 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.

Shop White Jeans:

#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. Cropped skinnies are perfectly appropriate and certainly still on trend.

Shop Cropped Pants:

#4. Pretty Blouses and Lightweight Sweaters

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 always has a lot of pretty blouses and tops that you can layer under a cardigan or denim jacket until it warms up, and I try to swap out my thick, cozy sweaters for lighter weight styles as the weather permits.

Shop Lightweight Tops:

#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.

Shop Fashion Sneakers:

#6. 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 still a big trend — leopard, snake print, cheetah, zebra… it’s all out there!

Also, neon is a big trend this year. If you’re a little more adventurous, you could try incorporating some brighter colors into your shoe wardrobe.

Shop Spring Flats:

#7. 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.

Shop Spring Sandals:

#8. Spring Dresses

A lot of women say they live in dresses in the spring in summer. I don’t wear a lot of dresses, but I like to have a few options on hand for events that may crop up.

This spring, florals are having a moment, and I’m seeing lots of flowy styles with ruffles and embellishments. I prefer a structured sheath, but sometimes it’s fun to change it up so I’ve been trying some different styles.

Shop Spring Dresses:

#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 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.

Shop Spring Jackets:

#10. Neutral Handbag

I like to go lighter with my handbags during spring and summer. White and pastel bags are definitely big again this spring, and they go with most everything.

If you want more longevity, go with light grey or taupe or cognac, depending on what works best with your wardrobe. They’re still light enough to be on trend, but classic enough to last you many years.

Shop Spring Handbags:

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!

Shop Rain Boots:

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 2020 Spring Fashion Forecast for some of the hot trends this spring!

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