While I love looking nice and put together, I hate shopping and I hate owning too many clothes! It bothers me when my closet is full, and I still feel like I have nothing to wear. That’s when I know need to do some closet editing (selling, throwing away, or gifting things I never wear). I know so many of you can relate!
So, to help me (and hopefully help you!), I’m working on a series of of blog posts with my wardrobe essentials, including this spring outfit must-haves post. I also have these other posts to help you with your wardrobe:
My hope is that these posts help you be intentional with your clothing purchases so you don’t end up with trendy pieces you wear just a few times (been there!) and also gives you the freedom to get rid of things you don’t love (my rule is “if it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no.”)
Okay, back to the spring wardrobe essentials! I find that in the spring and summer months, there are a few staples I wear almost daily. For example, I want the BEST pair of denim shorts possible each year, since it seems I wear them 5 out of 7 days a week, so it’s worth taking the time to find a pair or two I love, and investing if necessary.
Here’s hoping this post helps your spring wardrobe as well as mine. Let’s dive in.
Build A Better Wardrobe: 5 Spring Must-Haves
First, let’s talk denim shorts.
If I’m not in running clothes or a sundress, I’m wearing denim shorts. They’re one of the most worn items in my closet during the spring months because they go.with.everything. Here’s the thing, as a mom who’s now in her late 30’s, modest AND flattering denim shorts are hard to come by. But lucky for you, I’ve done most of the work already ;).
When styling denim shorts, there are no rules. I pair them with t-shirts, blouses, tank tops, sandals, sneakers, sweatshirts, you name it. You can wear them with ANYTHING, just like regular jeans in the colder months.
I have two favorite pair of denim shorts:
I got this pair of jean shorts last summer after ordering, oh I don’t know, 5 pair of other options to try. I’m picky, so I needed something that checked my boxes:
- Not too short
- Not too tight
- High waisted
- No button-fly
And the Madewell Momjean shorts delivered! They’re the PERFECT length, even on a petite frame (I’m 5’1). They’re loose enough that they don’t hug my thighs (I HATE that feeling), and the light wash is one of the easiest washes to style for everyday looks. These also give slightly, so they don’t feel stiff right when you put them on, but they’re not so stretchy that you lose the structure of a true denim pair. A unicorn combo if you ask me.
I’m wearing a 25. I’m 5’1″ and about 120 pounds and my usual size 25 is a little big so you could size down one. (For reference, in Madewell’s Relaxed Jean Shorts, I wear TWO sizes down, so it’s worth ordering two sizes to see what fits best.)
The best part about this pair is the price: $75. Snag them here on Madewell’s website.
Now on to my other pick:
The AGOLDE denim shorts are my other favorite (I can’t really pick just one since I wear both so often!). They’re stiffer, more traditional feeling shorts that stretch over time, like your favorite pair of old jeans. I got these only recently, so to be fair, I haven’t had them for a full spring and summer season, so I may have another opinion later. So far, I really like them.
They have a cult following, so I know many others rave over them as well. I’ve had Agolde shorts in the past but they were FAR too short for my comfort so I ended up selling them on Poshmark. But I was THRILLED to find this longer version last month!
These shorts meet all of the same requirements as the first pair except for one:
- Not too short
- Not too tight
- High waisted
- They DO have button-fly, but I don’t hate it on this pair since it doesn’t buckle or stick out like other button-fly shorts.
The main difference between this and the Madewell shorts is the lack of stretch, and a little more of a structured style. If you don’t dry them each time that you wash, they stretch significantly like real denim does, but they don’t have any spandex-y stretch feeling. They’re a pricer pair at $128, but like I said, I don’t mind spending on something I wear so often.
For sizing reference, I wear my normal size 25 in these.
I first ordered a size 26, and they did fit, but since I’ve worn AGOLDE before, I know how much they loosen with a few wears in between washes. Stick with your true size if you don’t plan to wash them each wear, or go up one size if you like to wash frequently.
I have an entire post dedicated to spring/summer sandals. These are a staple for spring and summer since they’ll likely be the shoe you wear most often.
I like to have a few different options for different outfits. Grab a flat slide sandal that’s easy to throw on and a pair of heeled sandals for dates, dinners, church, or any other dressy occasion. From there, different colors and styles are fun to add to your wardrobe, but not essential.
See my favorite picks here.
The key for a day dress is that it’s easy to wear during a NORMAL day. This means you should be able to wear it with casual sandals or even sneakers, and you need to feel comfortable. Ask yourself, “will I be comfortable in the grocery store, carpool line, doctors office, or playing in the yard?” if so, you’ve got a great dress. Of course nicer dresses have their place (and your day dress can EASILY be dressed up for a night, extra points if so) but make sure your day dresses are something you can wear without much thought.
I got two great dresses this spring that I can wear all day (I tried) and also dress up for evenings.
The first is this gingham maxi by En Saison.
It’s about $100, a great length, even for my petite frame, and it doesn’t require a complicated bra. I just throw it over my normal, everyday bra, wear a pair of slide sandals, and I’m comfortable all day. I feel so feminine in this dress, but there’s no fuss. A win-win. I can also easily dress this up with heeled sandals and a clutch for dinner and feel just as cute. My only complaint is a lack of pockets!
Another dress I’m loving is this Royal Shirt Dress from Tuckernuck.
It comes in SO many cute colors and patterns too! I love how practical this dress is with a button front (great for nursing mamas), and a modest length. I might even get this hemmed an inch or so. But if you’re over 5’2 or 5’3, it’s probably just fine. I paired with heels for the photo below (easy to dress up) but after this picture was taken, I swapped for my Veja sneakers and a baseball cap. I love how easy it is to wear both ways.
I’d say this dress is also very appropriate for the office, if you’re shopping for work wear.
Another item I wear non-stop all spring is a pair of cute sneakers. I’m not talking about your running shoes. I mean a dedicated pair of sneakers that are cute enough to wear with the dresses above and that feel good on your feet at all times. If you get blisters from your sneakers, THROW THEM OUT! It doesn’t matter how cute they are!
My favorite are by Veja. I have a pair of leather sneakers for the colder months, but I prefer canvas Vejas for the spring since they’re more breathable. The photo below shows the leather pair, but you can see how cute white sneakers are with spring outfits.
My last spring staple is a pair of white jeans. I have both a skinny and non-skinny pair, and I find I wear the non-skinny jeans more often. I reviewed both pair in this post. (If you want more not-skinny jeans ideas, read this post for my top picks.)
I love that white jeans can be worn with dressy tops, but also with casual tees, sneakers, and even sweatshirts. A comfortable pair of white jeans will make a HUGE difference in your spring wardrobe, I promise!
Of course there are more than the 5 staples above for a great spring closet, but I do think those 5 are a great place to start. My only other note for spring swaps is your purse or bag! If you carry a dark leather purse (I have a great black leather purse), I like to switch to a lighter color for spring. This is my favorite, but it’s currently sold out.
Let me know if there are other staples I should include in the comments!