The official arrival of spring has inspired us to assess our closets in earnest, and carefully consider what we need to add to our wardrobes for the warmer months ahead. To ensure we look stylish throughout the upcoming season (and beyond), we asked experts behind three chic boutiques to weigh in on spring classics worth splurging on, as well as the key pieces that will help us look current. From a gorgeous silk dress to a crisp yet versatile blazer, here are their stylish picks.
Luxe Florals, The Perfect White shirt, and Dramatic accessories
THE EXPERT: Amy Gardner, owner of Scarpa in Charlottesville, Virginia
Personal style: “My personal style is rooted in growing up in rural Virginia: the perfect jeans and a great shirt. To prevent verging on boring, I like to add simple but dramatic accessories, such as gorgeous earrings, cool shoes, and the shock of blond hair. I’m finding as I age I’m rethinking what works for me, so this answer might be completely different in a few years.”
Keep it current: Gardner has good news for those who appreciate comfortable footwear: “The Birkenstock trend isn’t going anywhere yet, and we especially love the twist on the classic Arizona for spring with the wider, oval buckles,” she says. A wide-leg cropped jean is also a must. “We’re all crushing on the brand new denim line from the founder of AG, CQY, and adore their Sunday Jean in Dream,”Gardner says, noting that the fit makes it easy to dress up a little, while the wash makes it perfect to dress down. And while a great white shirt is a closet staple, Gardner suggests adding a statement-making version to your wardrobe this spring. “The Palmer//Harding Super Shirt is new to our shelves this season, and we appreciate this brand’s innovative approach to shirting,” Gardner shares of this chic take on a classic that is a great alternative option for event dressing.
Invest in a classic: When it comes to dressing up this spring, Gardner and her team are gravitating toward luxe floral dresses, like the Zimmermann Ninety-Six Chevron Frill Dress in Black Blossom, which are perfect for any occasion that calls for wearing more formal attire. Stylish yet substantial heels are worth investing in, too. “What I love about the Casadei Sade Heel is that it exudes elegance, but with the sturdiness of a boot,” Gardner says of the footwear that’s ready for spring, but can withstand one final bout of wintry weather. Last but not least, invest in some show-stopping earrings. Gardner recommends a pair like Ten Thousand Things’s Labradorite Earrings, which have a wow factor plus a versatility that allows them to pair just as well with jeans and a classic t-shirt as they do a more dressy ensemble.
Pretty Prints, Sparkly Separates, and a Classic Carryall
THE EXPERT: Susanna Meadows, owner of Meadow in San Antonio, Texas
Personal style: “My day-to-day style is casual chic. I often pair jeans and booties with a classic blazer or printed blouse, or leather leggings with sneakers. As a busy mom of four, my style revolves around practicality!”
Keep it current: This season, Meadows recommends embracing pattern—think leopard, stripes, and florals. “Make a statement and don a head-to-toe print,” Meadows recommends. “But don’t be afraid to go bold and mix and match your prints. You can tone the look down with a pretty blouse and jeans for a casual look that can take you from day to night.” Sparkle is big this season, too, she says. “One of my favorite pieces this season is the Tibi two-piece sequin top and skirt, because it’s surprisingly versatile,” Meadows shares. “Wear the ensemble as a set to an evening event or split it up and sport the top with a pair of jeans or the skirt with a t-shirt and a pair of sneakers.” As for footwear? Add some fancy flats to your wardrobe, says Meadows, who loves the tropic vibe of K Jacques flat sandals, which can go from daytime to evening, poolside to happy hour.
Invest in a classic: It’s probably safe to say that diamonds will never go out of style. This season, Meadows suggests treating yourself to some circular sparklers. “Lee Ann Jones diamond hoops are a statement piece you always want in your wardrobe,” Meadows says of the accessories that can take any outfit to the next level. A white blazer is another must. “It is a timeless, quintessential item,” Meadows shares. She opts for the Veronica Beard style, with or without the Veronica Beard dickie, worn either over jeans and t-shirts or as suiting. Finally, top off your look with a classic Annabel Ingall tote. This carryall works whether you’re running around town, going to the office, or traveling, Meadows says of the understated leather bag that comes in an array of sizes and colors.
Beige, Bold Color, and Boho Elements
THE EXPERT: Tamara Lynas, creative director at THEO in Red Bank, New Jersey
Personal style: “I grew up in NYC, where black is the standard uniform. While New York fashion continues to influence me, my overall aesthetic is ‘casual chic,’ starting with a base that is classic and neutral, and adding accessories—including jewelry, handbags, hats, and shoes—to add my unique spin. This is where flair and color can really come in. I also believe in 24/7 dressing, which I think is where much of fashion is heading.”
Keep it current: Homespun has gone high-end this season, says Lynas, as crochet, fisherman’s weave, macramé, appliqué, and fringe have come back onto the scene. Lynas suggests adding a modern spin to this 70s-inspired trend by making what was a classic, new again. Missoni and M.Missoni, always known for knitwear, has a fresh, updated refinement that’s as sexy and vibrant as ever, with body-hugging shapes and classic prints, she says. Lynas recommends buying a single statement piece or separates to mix into your wardrobe. Neoprene is also coming on strong this spring—Lynas reports that surf-inspired wetsuits were all over the SS19 runways. If you want to try the neoprene trend but aren’t likely to hang-ten anytime soon, she suggests incorporating a piece by innovative French Canadian designer Marie Saint Pierre, whose line includes sophisticated neoprene blazers, shift dresses, and dress-coats that are functional yet elegant. Bringing some bold color into the mix is a good way to look current, too. “Marigold yellow, living coral, and neon-saturated color were everywhere this season,” Lynas shares. If you are a little color-shy, choose a single item, like a printed blouse by French designer Tara Jarmon, in a single saturated color that can really pop.
Invest in a classic: Beige is back, according to Lynas. “But it’s anything but a bore,” she says. “Call it something fancy—caramel, Bermuda brown, Tahitian Tan, straw if you desire—but the catwalks were clear on the color of the season: more beige. Those that are in-the-know will wear it head-to-toe come spring.” Known for exquisite fabric, fit, and a flair for unique draping, THEO’s SS19 selection from Peserico includes flowing bi-layered skirts and deceptively simple day dresses in beige hues that will highlight your sun-kissed skin. Lynas recommends layering the color for an atonal look, or pairing it with bright white for contrast. As for accessories, “Head scarves are sitting pretty as the must-have accessory for SS19,” Lynas says. “Buying a great quality scarf will prove a worthwhile investment, since a scarf can be worn a dozen ways depending on the season, the reason, or the trend.” Lynas suggests picking an inspired pattern in an of-the-moment palette, like a silk scarf from Echo NYC.