Everything You'll Want To Wear In April

Now that spring is in bloom (well, almost), it’s time to prep your closet with everything you’ll need for the change of season. And, we’re here to take the guesswork out of your ensemble — whether you're facing those infamous April showers, warm days, or an unexpected cold front. Trust, your spring-outfit outlook has never looked so sunny.
Marjon_collagePhoto: Courtesy of Marjon Carlos.
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1. Spring's Fresh Take On Classic Plaid? We're Mad For It
The classics are classic for good reason. Season after season, our tried-and-true prints and silhouettes never leave us hanging. So, while we might mourn the trends that come and go faster than yesterday's news, we take comfort in knowing that there are certain sartorial staples we can always call upon. And, plaid is definitely one of them. Our latest inspiration, from Saint Heron's arts and culture editor (and Refinery29 contributing writer) Marjon Carlos, is quite possibly one of our favorite laid-back looks for spring. Pair a silk, button-up blouse with cropped cigarette pants and printed booties for a mismatched style that's subtle enough for the office but also totally chic for the gallery opening you're attending after work. Just accent with a bold, red lip — Marjon is wearing MAC's Russian Red — and prepare for an onslaught of compliments.
Equipment Brett Blouse, $198, available at Equipment; River Island Light Blue Plaid Cigarette Pants, $70, available at River Island; MAC Lipstick in Russian Red, $16, available at Nordstrom; Kenzo Printed Leather Ankle Boots $690, available at Net-A-Porter; Mackage Novaki Small Cross Body Bag, $250, available at SSENSE; Luv Aj Tusk Earrings, $60, available at Nasty Gal.
2. Does Olivia Palermo Ever Get It Wrong?
Whether you love her, hate her, or meh her, you can't deny that Olivia Palermo's sartorially adventurous taste is golden. The street-style darling is known for mixing her designer merchandise with more affordable pieces, seamlessly fusing price points, patterns, prints, and then some into her eclectic wardrobe. We're only a little bit jealous of her styling savvy. (Okay, that's a lie. We're a lot jealous.) And, we're crushing hard over this edgy, tomboy-ish outfit. A basic plaid button-up layered over a sparkly striped cami and two-tone wrap skirt never looked so glamorous. Finish the laid-back cocktail getup with mismatched studs, a graphic clutch, and a pair of killer stilettos. Now, you, too, can walk in Palermo's shoes — well, sort of.
OliviaPalermo_collagePhoto: VPL/Rex USA.
Tibi Distressed Striped Cami, $198, available at Tibi; Madewell Boyshirt in Suntour Plaid, $79.50, available at Madewell; Gianvito Rossi Contrasting Suede and Mesh High Heels, $832, available at Browns; Dorothy Perkins Luxe Colourblock Wrap Skirt, $39, available at Dorothy Perkins; Cedric Charlier Multicolored Clutch $595, available at Shopbop; Bing Bang Monroe Duet $68, available at Bing Bang.
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3. Fruity Fashion: Carven's Kiwi-Print Dress
Now that spring has officially sprung, the new season's zippy colors and artful prints will fill our wardrobes once again. Carven's resort '14 collection, inspired by '60s photography of Malick Sidibé, is a good place to start. It's chock-full of modish, retro silhouettes, fantastical colors, and equally whimsical prints. This neon-green, kiwi-patterned dress is a clear favorite. Paired with a lightweight, linen topper and black accessories, it's a punchy way to welcome the warmth. For now, keep your toes clad in neutral booties, but immediately swap for sandals come 70 degrees and above!
Carven_collagePhoto: Courtesy of Carven.
Carven Printed Cotton Dress, $890, available at Net-A-Porter; River Island Black Patent Chunky Sole Sandals, $100, available at River Island; Zara Linen Blazer with Flap Pockets, $99.90, available at Zara; giantLION Pearl & Jasper Dangles, $84, available at giantLION; Kenneth Cole New York Strapsody Cross-Body Bag, $248, available at Kenneth Cole.
4. Take Notes: Suno Schools Us In Mismatched Prints
By now, you know we're huge advocates of mismatched prints. So, it's only fitting that we'd source our latest inspiration from Erin Beatty and Max Osterweis, Suno's mix masters and creative directors. For spring, the duo brought a distinctly safari feel to the catwalk, sending out models in artfully printed midi-skirts, khakis, and wide-brim raffia visors. But, if you're worried such a look (like the one below) will read too ostentatious, you needn't be! Just choose patterned clothes that offer a subtler color palette. By doing so, you'll create an outfit that's completely on-trend and wearable beyond the runway. Here, our bottom halves play with pastels and cobalt blue, while the graphic top keeps calm in basic black and white. To finish, accent with another fave trend: fringe! Giles & Brother's gold statement earrings are just the ticket.
Suno_collagePhoto: Courtesy of Suno.
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Zara Printed Top, $69.90, available at Zara; Suno Printed Pleated Cotton Skirt, $395, available at Moda Operandi; Splendid Congo Flat Sandals, $68, available at Shopbop; Giles & Brother Fan Fringe Earrings, $70, available at Giles & Brother; Forever 21 Glam Faux Croc Crossbody, $24.80, available at Forever 21.
5. Alex Wang Does Sporty Spice Just Right For Spring
We're not the only ones suffering from a case of '90s nostalgia. Far from it. And, Alexander Wang's spring '14 runway is a sartorial reminder of just how good the decade was — from designer-logo mania to menswear shirting to every last sporty silhouette — and apparently still is. We're definitely not complaining, especially when we have this totally chic Sporty Spice outfit to serve as inspiration.
A flirty, spaghetti-strap, peplum crop top juxtaposed with sporty, cropped, wide-legged pants is the definition of "cool girl." It's a daring getup made for style-adventurous women, further amplified with statement accessories like chunky wedge heels and an oversized pouch. Wang's playful and downright witty approach to spring brings out not only the best of the past but also the best of fashion right now. And, we have the five pieces you need to make the athletic look your own — at a fraction of the price.
AlexWang_collagePhoto: Courtesy of Alexander Wang.
Topshop Neoprene Peplum Bralet, $36, available at Topshop; Alexander Wang Cropped High-Waisted Mélange Wool Pants, $750, available at Net-A-Porter; Zara Leather Wedge Court Shoe, $129, available at Zara; ASOS Leather Soft Clutch Bag With Metal Bar, $49.87, available at ASOS; Modern Citizen Double-Bar X Cuff, $39, available at Modern Citizen.
6. Why We Love Tanya Taylor & Her Rainbow Stripes
Stripes on stripes on rainbow stripes. How can we not be positively enamored with this Crayola-bright outfit? For spring, up-and-coming designer Tanya Taylor is infusing endless charm; quirky, girlish personality; and a much-needed breath of fresh air into the sartorial mix of traditional pastels and athletic-inspired clothes. And, it's easy to see why her reimagined take on this nautical classic is popping up just about everywhere this season — including in a number of big-name glossies. We're guessing it's only a matter of time 'til Taylor is dressing our favorite celebrities, too. So, we're saving every last penny to splurge on this playful, graphic skirt-and-tee combo. Pile on bold, eclectic jewelry, and strap your gams into a pair of cobalt sandals to take this look straight off the runway. Wear it and wow at a casual spring wedding, or even take it up a notch for a dressy brunch. Everyone will be raising a mimosa to your chic look.
TanyaTaylor_collagePhoto: Rex USA.
Tanya Taylor Peggy Skirt, $525, available at Les Nouvelles and Moda Operandi; T by Alexander Wang Cotton Rib Cropped Tee, $175, available at Alexander Wang; Shourouk Crystal Necklace, $629, available at Farfetch; Carvela Carly Barely There Heeled Sandal, $94.10, available at ASOS; River Island Metal Snake Embossed Box Clutch, $30, available at River Island; Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in Blue Orchid, $18, available at Sephora.
7. A Sporty Outfit To Elevate Your Weekend Style In A Snap
The weekend will be here before you know it! Which means we'll have two whole days to catch up with friends, brunch to our stomach's content, take care of our many errands, and perhaps enjoy a long, leisurely stroll, too. And, a sporty outfit (that's also maxed out in the comfort department) sounds like just what we need to tackle it all in style. Instantly elevate your wardrobe's color profile with a mustard-yellow sweater paired with a burgundy leather pant, a look we spotted out and about during London Fashion Week. Then, take it a step further with neon-green, mesh Nikes and a pastel knapsack. Remember to prepare for unpredictable weather with an oversized sweater-coat, because you simply never know. Finish by eyeing up your badass outfit in the mirror — and off you go!
slide2Photographed by Victoria Adamson.
Mango Wool-Blend Oversize Coat, $119.99, available at Mango; Zara Cropped Sweater, $16.90, available at Zara; ASOS Duffle Bag with Contrast Insert Panels $56.46, available at ASOS; The Row Notterly Leather Leggings, $2,290, available at MatchesFashion.com; Nike Air Max Fusion Running Shoe, $56.99, available at 6pm.com; kate spade new york 'know the ropes' stud earrings $48, available at kate spade new york.
8. How To Master Minimalism (The Proenza Way)
Minimalism is making a surprisingly big statement this season. We're seeing a decidedly pared-down approach to dressing for spring — from designers like Proenza Schouler to retailers like Zara and Aritzia. Sure, there are still plenty of Crayola-colored clothes to wear and love, but muted palettes, especially classic black-and-white, are having a major moment. This two-tone outfit from Proenza's resort '14 collection is the embodiment of the trend. Its asymmetric, accordion-pleated midi-skirt catches the eye with a striking colorblock. Notice the contrast is continued throughout the look with a monochrome jacket, top, and sandals. For a hint of color, accessorize with turquoise studs and a neutral envelope clutch. But, remember: The beauty of this style lies in its simplicity.
Proenza_collagePhoto: Courtesy of Proenza Schouler.
New Look White Cropped Blazer, $41.58, available at New Look; Topshop Rib Neck Tank, $68, available at Topshop; Proenza Schouler Pleated Skirt, $1,051.13, available at Farfetch; Shoe Cult Laurena Heel, $68, available at Nasty Gal; Diane von Furstenberg 440 Envelope Clutch, $185.50, available at Shopbop; Poupette Diamond Stone Earrings $228, available at OTTE.
9. The Girly Way To Wear Camo — Because It Totally Exists
Camouflage isn't exactly known for striking a feminine note. In fact, for some of us, it's the polar opposite of what we generally consider "girly." But, it's time to toss those notions out the window and turn our attention to Kate Foley, freelance consultant and stylist extraordinaire. Her daring London Fashion Week ensemble maybe shouldn't work, but it does — on so many levels. The contrast of an oversized camo jacket with a full skirt and metallic heels makes for a quirky getup that highlights her fun personal style. And, there's absolutely nothing stopping you from doing the same. So, go ahead. Slip into your ladylike staples — don't forget your chic top-handle purse and signature, red lip! — then mix and match them with the printed, army-inspired topper. We dare you.
slide1Photographed by Victoria Adamson.
Talula Trooper Jacket, $130, available at Aritzia; Topshop Black Midi Tulle Skirt, $35, available at Topshop; Hope Won Sweater, $253, similar style available at La Garçonne; Forever 21 Signature Envelope Satchel $24.80, available at Forever 21; Prada T-Strap Sandal, $680, available at Barneys New York; Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Icon, $28, available at Sephora; Wanderluster Freia Moon Studs, $45, available at Wanderluster.
10. How To Steal Emma Watson's Badass Airport Style
Vacation happens to be one of our preferred de-stressors. But, traveling to our destination can be anything but. It's not surprising that airport style doesn't rank super high on our list of priorities. Between packing anxieties — "Ahh, please tell me I remembered my toothbrush!" — and the mad dash to the airport, our in-transit outfit definitely takes a backseat to the chaos. And, that ultimately leads to another jeans-and-sweatshirt combo. Yawn.
So, to help get you from point A to point B in style (and with ease), we enlisted Emma Watson to show us how it's done. After all, it's not just the celebrities who are allowed to bring their fashion A-game to the terminal. No stranger to jet-setting, Watson keeps cool in her Sandro dress and Burberry trench — take note of the comfy shoes. It's an ensemble that's uncomplicated enough to compete with our go-to denim, but it's also about 10 times less obvious. Paired with loafers, badass sunnies, and a large tote, this is one look you can simply throw on — and go!
EmmaWatson_collage
Sandro Roche Combo Dress, $415, available at Sandro; Zara Double Breasted Raincoat, $139, available at Zara; Urban Outfitters Sunny Day Square Sunglasses, $12, available at Urban Outfitters; Marc by Marc Jacobs Katherine Watch $175, available at Shopbop; Truffle Black Patent Loafers, $33.87, available at ASOS; Ann Taylor Belted Tote Bag, $158, available at Ann Taylor.
11. Graphic Sweatshirts For Spring? Still Totally Cool
If you were concerned the graphic sweatshirt had seen its end, don't worry — the trend hasn't had its fill of the spotlight just yet. In fact, it's gaining speed as we make our way into spring. (Let's not forget its presence on the fall '14 runways.) The printed pieces cater to our more playful side, making now the perfect time to keep wearing 'em. And, Band of Outsiders' lighthearted approach to transitional dressing — care of its oversized, palm-printed sweatshirt — is definitely the bright spot of this surprisingly temperate morning.
Choose your favorite boyfriend jeans, or go adventurous with a colored pant, like the style below, to pair with this tropical top. (It'll work just as well with a similarly cheeky print, too.) Accent with patent leather loafers, a statement piece of arm candy, and a fiery-red lip that'll pull your getup together. The finished look is a dressed-up version of casual that is totally us this weekend.
BandOfOutsiders_collagePhoto: Courtesy of Band of Outsiders.
Band of Outsiders Palm Printed Sweatshirt, $286, available at Les Nouvelles; 3.1 Phillip Lim Quinn Crystal-Embellished Loafers, $695, available at La Garçonne; Wilfred Allant Pant, $110, available at Aritzia; Tarte LipSurgence Matte Lip Tint in Fiery, $24, available at Sephora; Kelly Wearstler Delphina Cuff, $325, available at Kelly Wearstler.
12. DKNY's Sporty Take On Sequins Is A Home Run
Teaming athletic pieces, like perforated baseball caps, with sequins may not seem all too intuitive for most people. In fact, you're probably scratching your head over how to pull off a sparkly outfit that doesn't read party. But, luckily, DKNY is serving up the answer to this style dilemma, translating the shimmery material into everyday looks this season. By incorporating sporty silhouettes (the spring trend that keeps on giving) into the collection, the label has essentially reinvented our favorite New Year's Eve staple for year-round use. And, we're especially into the elevated sportswear getup below. How to make it your own: Pair a silver-sequined skirt with a two-tone, black blazer and semi-sheer blouse. Then, accent with a white baseball cap and a healthy amount of silver eyeliner for a finished look that's a total home run.
DKNY_collagePhoto: Courtesy of DKNY.
Mossimo Women's Colorblock Blazer, $34.99, available at Target; Mango Pocket Textured Chiffon Blouse, $58.57, available at John Lewis; DKNY Sequined silk-chiffon skirt, $335, available at Net-A-Porter; Exclusive for Intermix Perforated Leather Baseball Cap, $98, available at Intermix; Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil, $20, available at Sephora; Miss Guided Cole Block Heel Ankle Boots, $69.97, available at Miss Guided.
13. What To Pack: Kenzo's Cool-Girl Vacation Outfit
We're sorely missing those days when we could walk outside in nothing but a pair of shorts and flip-flops. Bare legs and exposed toes — can you imagine? At this point, we're kind of forgetting what warm weather feels like. But, just because winter is dragging its feet doesn't mean we can't daydream about our vacation wardrobe. In fact, we highly recommend getting a jump on packing before it's too late. Plus, it's the perfect excuse to shop your favorite summery styles even though it's not quite warm enough to wear them yet.
And, Kenzo's playful, pattern-mix resort wear feels completely right for the occasion. With tons of color and quirk, this getup is totally putting us in the cowabunga spirit. A lightweight, cropped jacket in pastel pink; a gingham skort; and a floral, midriff-baring top are the makings of this tropical ensemble. Accented with statement sunnies and a chunky loafer — feel free to swap with sandals — this look has us making all kinds of mental notes for our travel style so we're not frantically filling our suitcase at the last minute.
Kenzo_collagePhoto: Courtesy of Kenzo.
Kenzo Kalifornia Bag, $1,185, available at Opening Ceremony; River Island Light Pink Cropped Jacket, $50, similar style available at River Island; Topshop Charcoal Gingham Mini Kilt Skort, $68, available at Topshop; Forever 21 Electric Floral Crop Top, $19.46, available at Forever 21; Acne Studios Lark contrast-trim leather brogues $570, available at Net-A-Porter; Quay Australia Charlie Sunglasses, $39.95, available at Quay Australia.
14. How To Accessorize Your Black-&-White Look, Courtesy of Anna Kendrick
There's a lot to be said for keeping things simple. Sometimes, sticking to the basics, like a classic black-and-white ensemble, is all it takes to pull off a stunning look. Take the understated blazer-and-dress combo Anna Kendrick donned for New York Fashion Week. In a sea of eccentrically styled bloggers, editors, celebrities, and so on, the actress' outfit feels like a breath of fresh air — not to mention a pretty chic look for work and the weekend.
Plus, with this style, day-to-night dressing is a snap: All you have to do is swap your accessories before catching up with friends after work. Trade in your oversized tote and business-casual pumps for accents that will add a bit of flair to your structured look. A colorful clutch, like the Rebecca Minkoff style Kendrick is holding, and sexy lace-up heels do just that. Swipe on some red lipstick for the finishing touch, and then you're ready for cocktails. Let the weekend begin!
AnnaKendrick_collagePhoto: BEImages/Rex USA.
Zara Fabric Blazer, $99.90, available at Zara; French Connection Poolside Stretch Pinafore Dress, $268, available at French Connection; Rebecca Minkoff Marlowe Clutch, $265, available at Rebecca Minkoff; Shoe Cult Jasper Sandal, $78, available at Nasty Gal; Stila Color Balm Lipstick in Ali, $22, available at Sephora; Collette Ishiyama Diamond Studs, $100, available at Collette Ishiyama.
15. Class Up Your Denim With This Bow-Embellished Outfit
No matter the temperature, our denim remains the one wardrobe essential we can always count on. It's a blank canvas for us to artfully style an outfit around — and when we say the options are endless, we mean it. Case in point: this cheeky, menswear-inspired look we spotted out and about during New York Fashion Week. The bow-embellished blouse and over-the-shoulder blazer instantly elevate WeWoreWhat founder Danielle Bernstein's slouchy-jean getup to street-style-snap status. And, far from being too avant-garde, this ensemble is totally wearable beyond the front row. It's a nuanced take on the tomboy trend that's just right for this month's tricky transitional weather. Shop the look with a similar top, or, if you're feeling particularly crafty, DIY your own iteration. You'll be the coolest kid at brunch this weekend — promise.
StreetStyle_collagePhotographed by Mark Iantosca.
Mango Double Breasted Blazer, $59.99, available at Mango; Dolce & Gabbana Silk Crepe de Chine Pussy-Bow Blouse, $1,095, available at Net-A-Porter; Frame Denim Le Garcon Slouch Jean, $209, available at Steven Alan; Aldo Alerrassi Ankle Boot, $99.98, available at Aldo; Urban Outfitters Follow The Lines Round Sunglasses $14, available at Urban Outfitters; House of Harlow 1960 Meteora Tennis Bracelet, $55, available at Shopbop.
16. Bermuda Shorts At The Office? How To Nail This Spring Outfit
Even though we're only a few days into spring, we've already compiled a mile-long list of spring buys we're anxiously waiting to scoop up. And, right now, a roster of new work outfits is dominating our shopping carts. Sure, we've got plenty of trusty, throw-on-and-go dresses and lightweight pantsuits in the mix, but we're also craving those trendy resort styles that'll seriously impress our coworkers. Take 3.1 Phillip Lim's bermuda-shorts outfit: It's sleek, polished, and basically the encapsulation of how we want to dress, like, all the time.
For naysayers who don't think shorts fit in at the office, allow these powder-blue, silk-organza bermudas to change your perspective. Falling slightly above our knee, they're comparable in length to our HR-approved skirts, but the right fabrics keep them from veering into too-casual territory. Plus, styled with a tailored, double-breasted blazer and espadrille loafers, this getup looks and feels so put-together. And, well, that's basically all the justification our wallet needs. Ring 'em up!
PhillipLim_collagePhoto: Courtesy of 3.1 Phillip Lim.
3.1 Phillip Lim Sheer Overlay Short, $350, available at SSENSE; Madewell Cutoff Tee, $35, available at Madewell; Elyse Walker Dee Gacela Animal-Print Espadrille Loafer, Black/White, $380, available at Neiman Marcus; Babaton Dante Blazer, $165, available at Aritzia; Le Specs Ziggy Sunglasses, $69.95, available at Le Specs; Aldo Seligman Clutch, $25, similar style available at Aldo.
17. Stella McCartney's Pastel-Infused Cure For The Winter Blahs
April is at our doorstep, but it certainly doesn't feel like it outside. Winter is dragging its feet like a child throwing a temper tantrum at the mall, and we're so over it. In fact, we refuse to force our wardrobes to cater to the season's every whim now that spring's right around the corner. So, we're moving on from the cold-weather outfits we've been wearing since November. And, Stella McCartney's pastel-infused resort '14 collection — you're probably already familiar with this embellished dress from the same line — happens to be a well of transitional-dressing inspiration.
Start incorporating the delicate hues into your outfits now. You'll be hard-pressed to find something springier than this soft, dandelion-yellow coat. (You can also try mints, blushes, or baby blues for the same effect.) And, since this season is all about wearing pastels from head to toe, team your boyfriend-fit topper with powder-pink pants and tonal accessories for a look that's totally chic without feeling overly try-too-hard. The temperatures will follow suit — eventually.
StellaMcCartney_collagePhoto: Courtesy of Stella McCartney.
Stella McCartney Flore Coat $2,100, available at Net-A-Porter; Babaton Conrad Pant, $145, available at Aritzia; Glamorous White Baroque Bomber Jacket, $21, available at Dorothy Perkins; Topshop Cut Out Detail Bralet, $72, similar style available at Topshop; rag & bone Enid Leather Slide-On Mule, $450, available at Neiman Marcus; Nails Inc. Nail Polish in Basil Street, $5, available at Sephora; Henri Bendel Crystal Cluster Stud Earrings, $68, available at Henri Bendel.