30 Wardrobe Essentials You Need For Spring

Even if this winter was tame at best (we're not complaining), there's nothing like the glimpse of a sparkling, 60+-degree day to get us in the mood to play a little dress-up. And that so does not involve your winter coat. Yes, it's time to pack 'em up, along with those heavy boots, nubby mittens, and gargantuan scarves, and poise yourself for nothing short of a spring revival.
This year, our sights are set on a bounty of fresh seasonal picks — from a delicate floral blouse and wedge sandals to the perfect midi dress and printed clutch — we've got 30 must-haves that are sure to shake up your sartorial routine. Feeling inspired? Just read on to get your new spring shopping essentials secured…we're right there with you. 
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1. The Spring Loafer — As soon as the bad weather breaks, all we want to do is deviate from our winter routines and get out and about. There's no better way to move through it all with grace than in a pair of versatile, tailored loafers. It's time to swap the dark suedes and heavy soles for something lighter and more feminine, and this spring offers a plethora of options to make you rethink your heels altogether. 

Lanvin Python Flats, $904.36, available at Browns; Bed:Stu Aunt Ruth Loafer, $75, available at Madewell.
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2. The Printed Wide-Leg Pant — The truth is, a good printed flowing pant is always a mainstay in our books, but for spring '12, it's an absolute essential. Those who think they can't pull it off (petites?), think again. A higher waist lengthens the torso, and when worn with the season's best platforms or flatforms, practically anyone can pull these off with ease. Tip: If you're a little daring, try them with spring's fitted crop top and a long cardigan. Just don't wear them with your pointy pumps…that's just bad.  

Rag & Bone Racine Pant, $475, available at Rag & Bone; Zara Wide Printed Trousers, $89.90, available at Zara.
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3. The Oversized Blazer — You might have one of these from last summer, but this spring's oversized blazer offers just a bit more structure and attitude than the slouchier versions from seasons past. In a bold color or print, the oversized blazer is the perfect springtime layer under a top-coat or poncho, or, when it's warmer, all on its own. 

Stella McCartney Lucette Striped Blazer, $1,589, available at My Theresa; Nasty Gal Boardwalk Blazer, $58, available at Nasty Gal.
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4. The Long Pendant Necklace — We're not exactly retiring our massive bib necklaces quite yet, but the idea of a free-flowing long pendant necklace just feels slightly more relaxed…and sexy, in that '70s Jerry Hall kind of way. 

Belle Noel Pendant Necklace, $45, available at Endless; Dannijo Karmen Necklace, $245, available at Dannijo.
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5. The Midi Dress — We still love a good maxi dress, but this season, the midi dress is moving into prime position. Less boho and more '40s-inspired, the midi offers a nod to designers like Marc Jacobs and Prada who have long appreciated its quirkier quality. And, depending on the length, this dress can look equally good with super-high heels and flats — so start experimenting.    

ASOS Pencil Dress, $64.46, available at ASOS; DVF Zokaya Dress, $475, available at DVF.
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6. The Pleated Maxi Skirt — From the runways to the sidewalks of Fashion Week, maxi skirts are officially a wardrobe essential. And while all that volume could seem challenging, you'll be surprised at how many things in your closet will work with it, from a skinny tank top and your denim jacket to a more dramatic cropped sweater and long calf-sweeping coat (trust us, it works!). 

Yigal Azrouel Pleated Silk Crepe Skirt, $1,250, available at Nordstrom; Hive & Honey Pleated Maxi Skirt, $59, available at Piperlime.
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7. The Pointy Pump — After the last invasion of pointy boots and pumps (um, was that really a decade ago?), we thought we'd never endure pinching our pinky toes again. But lo and behold, the trim and shapely silhouette just seems so right, right now, paired up with skinny cropped pants and pencil skirts alike. And thanks to J.Crew's upcoming fall collab with Manolo Blahnik, it looks like we'll be sporting a pointy pump well into next winter…so why not invest now? 

Manolo Blahnik Pump, $595, available at Footcandy; Aldo Fravel Pump, $90, available at Aldo.
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8. The Washed-Out Cropped Jean — Like an old friend, these may sometimes drift to the periphery, but never underestimate how very loyal these jeans will be. Ultra flattering on a variety of body types, the washed-out cropped jean is the perfect pant to take you through every day of the week, with heels or flats, polished for work, or laid back for brunch. Right now, they are truly indispensable. 

Faith Connexion Cropped Jeans, $300, available at Net-a-Porter; AE Skinny Crop Jean, $39.50, available eat American Eagle Outfitters.
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9. The Denim Jacket — Our favorite street-style heroines know how incredibly versatile a good denim jacket can be all year round, and this spring, it's the ultimate casual layering essential. Broken in and a tiny bit shrunken (this is the key!), the denim jacket works overtime, going from an after-hours party paired with some sequins to a long weekend walk through Central Park. The rule of thumb, right through to fall: Don't leave home without it.  

Burberry Leather Epaulette Denim Jacket, $450, available at Burberry; H&M Denim Jacket, $39.95, available at H&M.
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10. The Strings of Beads — We can't remember a season so rife with rich textures, and that's why we're making sure our batch of accessories has some beads at the ready. Worn with a plain white tee, button-down top, or skin-baring dress, this is just the piece to summon springtime in an instant. 

Jensen-Conroy Multi-Strand Necklace, $362.60, available at La Garconne; MNG by Mango Multi Bead Necklace, $30, available at JCP.
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11. The Trench Coat — What? You don't have one of these already? C'mon! If somehow the trench has eluded you (or you have one, and it's just all wrong), then it's time to make a critical investment. If you have the extra money to spend, take the time to find a trench that fits like a glove and offers the kind of quality and detail that will last a lifetime. If not, there are plenty of wonderful new trench options out there well under $200 that'll make you feel like the style star that you are…and that's what a great trench is for, period.  

Yves Saint Laurent Cotton Coat, $2,990, available at Net-a-Porter; Costa Blanca Double Breasted Trench, $77.99, available at Shop Ruche.
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12. The Printed Clutch — There are a million reasons to make room in your bag pile for this baby, least of all that it's great for traveling and will go with everything you already have. But the reason why we really love it is because it can make a more ordinary outfit seem that much more eye-catching. It's that simple. 

Carvela Guarded Clutch, $78.36, available at House of Fraser; Dries Van Noten Jungle Print Clutch $705, available at My Theresa.
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13. The White Sneaker — Maybe it's because Audrey Hepburn has been on our minds (did Rooney Mara really not think about her when she was getting ready for the Oscars?), but the little white sneaker is most definitely on our must-have list for spring. We like 'em with long dresses, cropped pants, tailored shorts, even a casual suit — you name it, we'll try it. 

Tretorn Skymra Sneaker, $70, available at Tretorn; Topshop White Canvas Lace-Up, $36, available at Topshop.
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14. The Springtime Scarf — In a pretty print or an unexpected bright, keep the springtime scarf within reach at all times…in fact, just stash it in your bag, so it's there whenever you feel a chill or need a little shot of color.

Witchery Feather Scarf, $49.95, available at Witchery; Heart Heart Printed Scarf, $565, available at Opening Ceremony.
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15. The Lightweight Topcoat — Here is a list of all the reasons why you need one of these in your closet NOW: It's practical, it looks good on everyone, it's insanely chic, it goes from day to night, it's grown-up, it will make you look two inches taller, it works with jeans and dresses alike, and it's CHIC. Did we say that already? 

Roland Mouret Quilip Patterned Coat, $2,830, available at Net-a-Porter; Zara Crewneck Coat, $99.90, available at Zara.
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16. The Chambray Shirt — We suspect that if you paired a lean-cut chambray shirt with absolutely everything in your closet, it would probably match up just fine. Dressed up with a party skirt Check. Dressed down with white chinos and ballet flats? Check. Worn over a bikini at sunset come summertime? Oh, check, check, check

Aubin & Wills Ainsworth Shirt, $102.05, available at Aubin & Wills; Old Navy Wester Chambray Shirt, $24, available at Old Navy.
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17. The Eyelet Tea Dress — A bit preppier and sturdier than lace, eyelet offers a youthful spin on vintage tea dresses, and with the quick switch of a shoe, this piece can go from work to weekend in a snap.

Chloe Sevigny for Opening Ceremony Dress, $816.45, available at Browns; Topshop Petite Crochet Sundress, $100, available at Topshop.
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18. The Printed One-Piece Bathing Suit — What can we say? Along with summer vacation, we've already got bathing suits on the brain. And thanks to all the fun and fanciful one-piece prints out there right now, we can start road-testing ours immediately, bustier-style, under a long maxi skirt or paired with some relaxed palazzo pants.

Opening Ceremony Balconette One-PIece Swimsuit, $170, available at La Garconne; Billabong Alessa Swimsuit, $64, available at Urban Outfitters.
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19. The Boxy Shoulder Bag — Thanks to Céline, the boxy shoulder bag just feels so totally perfect right now. But thankfully, you don't have to drop $3K if you don't want to. In fact, we've found a few that speak volumes and offer that refined, ladylike essence in spades.  

H&M Bag, $15.69, available at H&M; Kate Spade New Bond Street Florence Bag, $448, available at Kate Spade.
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20. The Open-Toed Bootie — The shift from wearing booties every day to not wearing them at all when the weather breaks can be hard to handle. But, given there are so many sophisticated open-toed booties out there to choose from, your transition can be virtually seamless. We've already started wearing ours with long dresses, slouchy trousers, jeans, you name it. Now, all you have to do is choose a stiletto or a chunkier heel…we like 'em both.  

3.1 Phillip Lim Akita Lace-Up Booties, $850, available at Ssense; True Religion Shoes, $69, available at DJPremium.
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21. The Sweater Jacket — As you ease into the warmer months, the sweater jacket is not only a very chic alternative to a more structured jacket, but also it just feels really good to wear. Just make sure you find one with a bit of tailoring so it complements your figure without completely hiding it. 

ASOS White Ribbed Knit Jacket, $42.97, available at ASOS; Rag & Bone Hart Biker Jacket, $595, available at Rag & Bone.
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22. The Floral Blouse — Spring's craze of florals on top of florals might be a bit much, so why not start with just the ultimate essential: a pretty floral blouse. Elegant and utterly timeless, our favorite versions have a soft drape and deliver that insatiable craving for color and pattern we just can't live without right now. 

Zara Floral Crepe Blouse, $59.90, available at Zara; Beltrami Vintage Floral Blouse, $113, available at Farfetch.
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23. The Cocktail Ring — For those among us who are perpetually short on closet space, the cocktail ring can offer myriad inspirational options. That's why we encourage you to collect them like you would printed socks or lipsticks…because no matter where you're going or what you're wearing, you can just never have enough. 

Banana Republic Illusion Band Ring, $35, available at Banana Republic; Mawi Stacked Tube Ring, $405, available at Mawi.
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24. The Daytime Bustier — Oh, hell yes! The next time you have a date or a party on the agenda, why not try swapping your go-to party dress for a bustier, blazer, and some skinny jeans? The look is a bit more modern and, dare we say, sexy. Plus, spring's bustier looks just as beguiling with a maxi skirt or with slouchier trousers.

Bottega Veneta Bustier Top, $1,200, available at Barneys; AE Sweetheart Crop Corset, $24.50, available at American Eagle.
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25. The Schoolgirl Dress — Bored silly with all your old work dresses? We hear that. We say, be bold, pack up every single one you simply cannot bear to wear again, and invest in just one new one: the schoolgirl dress. Infinitely wearable and good-looking on practically every woman, the shape is a combo of '60s mod and '80s prep. 

Mulberry Nightshade Anglaise Dress, $935, available at Mulberry; Modekungen Collar Dress, $105.16, available at Modekungen.
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26. The Wedge Sandal — Like the denim jacket or the white tank, your new wedges are sure to become your springtime mainstay. All we can say is that when choosing a pair, push a bit beyond your comfort zone and try some color or texture in lieu of a really classic shade or style. The point this spring — okay, every spring! — is to take some risks and be a bit more daring. And that usually starts with your shoes.

De Blossom Olivia Shoes, $29.99, available at Tilly's; Loeffler Randall Valentine Peep-Toe Wedge, $375, available at Loeffler Randall.
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27. The Striped T-Shirt — Like the Swiss Army knife of your wardrobe, your striped T-shirt is nothing short of a daily savior. Rainy day, sweltering hot day, party after-work day…it's up for anything. And somehow, the right striped T-shirt just makes you feel like you have your act together (even when you don't).

Burberry Striped Tunic, $450, available at Burberry; Uniqlo Boat Neck Striped Tee, $19.90, available at Uniqlo.
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28. The Nude-Colored Leather Jacket — Leather continues to be a huge trend throughout the fashion universe, but, seriously, who wants to wear a sticky leather coat when it's 70 degrees out? Our advice: Set your sights on a light-as-air jacket in a dusty shade of nude or sand. The look is easy and glamorous, and it's just the essential to get you through the in-between season when Mother Nature likes to play tricks on us.

  Mango Motor Style Suede Jacket, $155, available at Mango; Acne Rita Biker Jacket, $1,782.06, available at Browns.
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29. The Heavy Chain Necklace — We can thank Mr. Michael Kors for igniting our obsessions with heavy chain chokers. And for spring, the style seems to work with every trend and outfit under the sun. So be sure to add one to your collection, stat. 

Kate Spade Highline Gold Necklace, $99, available at Kate Spade; Vionnet Chain Necklace, $579, available at My Theresa.
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30. The Perfect White Tank — Like, do we even need to give you a reason? Further advice: When you find the one you love in white that fits perfectly and washes well, pick it up in every other color they have, too. You won't regret it, seriously. 

Forever21 Rolled Tunic, $5.80, available at Forever21; T Alexander Wang Classic Tank, $74, available at Otte.
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