Spring is almost here, which means warmer temperatures, later nights and weekends full of outdoor activities. While spring brings a break from the dark colors and heavy fabrics of the winter, it can also be incredibly tricky to dress with constantly changing weather. Blue skies in the morning can quickly give way to rainy, chilly afternoons. And with more outdoor activities, like festivals, day drinking and your kid’s sports, Mamanistas need to look for easy, versatile pieces that can be layered together to keep you ready for anything the weather – or your kids – may bring.
We’ve been poring over runway reports and fashion news and scouring the stores to bring you The Modern Mamanista’s Spring Must-Haves List. To make the cut, each pick needed to be versatile enough to wear at work or on the weekend, as well as budget-friendly. Almost every single pick is under $100, because there’s nothing worse than reading a mommy fashion blog and clicking on something only to find out it’s $459 and made of silk. Have you ever tried to scrub baby spit-up out of silk?!! We are also committed to finding items that are on-trend for real women, which can be drastically different from runway trends a la the #FreetheNipple trend on the Paris runway or the “Bra Tops” trend in New York, London and Paris. (Yes, those were really things spotted on the runway.)
And with that, following are our top picks for on-trend, versatile and affordable pieces to get your wardrobe ready for spring. If you’re like us and need everything written down, we’ve also created a printable shopping list that you can take with you.
Our Must-Have Wardrobe Updates for Spring
DRESSES AND JACKETS
There are few things Liz loves more in an outfit than feminine details, and her preppy, girly heart is about ready to burst seeing that pink and floral are big trends this season. A dress is a versatile way to wear either of these trends, making it a must-have. You can dress up your girly dress with a pair of nude heels and pearls for Easter; add a blazer and statement earrings for work; or layer with a jean jacket and lace-up flats for Sunday brunch with friends.
Be ready for anything this spring with a functional and fashionable military vest. Look for one with a hood and multiple pockets in a neutral shade of olive, blush or khaki. This surprisingly versatile piece can be worn over a dress, with jeans and a striped shirt, or with your favorite leggings and tunic.
A denim jacket is the perfect layering piece for busy moms after work. It’s easy to throw on over a tank or sundress to add functional warmth is a bit more casual than a traditional cardigan. Getting the right fit is key for denim jackets, though. Here are a few of our favorites that gather in to fit your curves without being heavy, boxy or stiff as a layering piece.
A classic trench is a staple that should be in every girl’s closet, because it’s one of those pieces that you will wear year after year after year. If a classic trench doesn’t quite fit your style wheel, don’t give up. Try a draped trench, like this olive open front one, for an edgier look. Or, you can go for super-trendy with a sleeveless trench. And if you just want to add a little flair to your classic look, try a colored trench.
White jeans are admittedly hard to find and can be somewhat of a fashion holy grail. But if you can take the time to find a good pair, we guarantee you will get mileage out of them. Some retailers have caught on to the mom life and even offer stain-resistant fabrics. The right pair will have a thicker denim fabric to prevent the dreaded VPL (visible panty lines) combined with just the right amount of stretch. Keep the overall fit slim (and cuffed, of course) or with a slight flare for a silhouette that will last season after season.
Slim Fit Jogger Pants
The athleisure trend is still super hot and shows no signs of slowing down, which is just fine with us. The slimmer fit of this season’s jogger keeps you from looking like an extra in an MC Hammer video (look it up, millennials) as well as adds a bit of chicness to the sporty silhouette. The banded cuff at the bottom of the jogger lets you crop them up and pair with chunky sandals for a dressier look, or wear ankle-length and combine with slip-on sneakers and a tee for a comfortable weekend vibe. Not quite ready for a full jogger yet? Start with a slim fit cropped chino and cuff them on the bottom so they are tapered like a jogger!
Bare Shoulders & Dramatic Details
Warmer weather means it’s time to show off all the hard work you put into the gym this winter. Kidding! But really. In case you haven’t noticed, the shoulder is HOT right now, and ladies everywhere will be flaunting theirs in one-shoulder, off-the-shoulder and cold-shoulder tops and dresses this spring.
Another big trend are dramatic details. Cross-front tops, lace-up stitching and puff sleeves add interest to your work or date night looks. And a knotted tee will most definitely have the other soccer moms thinking you are more fashionable and pulled together when you are all cheering from the sidelines. #winnin
Stripes are going to be big this spring, and we see why! Stripes are great for pattern-mixing with blazers, cardigans or scarves for work. For weekends, pair a striped tee with distressed jeans, denim cut-offs or an olive cargo vest or jacket. Pick navy-and-white or black-and-white stripes for easy pattern mixing.
Floral Tees & Blouses
Just as April showers bring May flowers, drab winter colors make way for pretty floral patterns. And we especially love a floral tee, because you have the comfort of a t-shirt with the sophistication of the pattern. Wear it under a blazer at work, and keep it simple on the weekend with boyfriend jeans or layered under a utility vest.
Lightweight Patterned Scarf
When it comes to adding the finishing touch to an outfit, the Rule of Three is the only rule you need! This rule becomes especially important during season transitions when the unpredictable weather makes planning an outfit nearly impossible. Thus, the extra 15 minutes standing in front of your closet each morning trying to decide what to wear. For spring and summer, lightweight patterned scarves are an easy way to complete your look, add a pop of color or pattern, and are a layer that is easy to remove when the temperature suddenly spikes.
For those unfamiliar with The Rule of Three, click here to learn more… it will change your life… no seriously, it will!
Instantly make some of your favorite winter pieces spring-ready by adding a bright-colored bag! The magic in these pieces is that they make a statement and stand out from the crowd – whether it’s a bright color, a bold pattern or a bit of shine or glitter to the bag. Naturally, these are not your more practical, everyday bags, and that’s the point. A bright bag takes you out of your usual realm and will help make you feel more glamorous, fashion forward and ready to take on anything. Our recommendations this spring include pink (of course!), bright yellow, coral or blue!
Fringe & Tassel Accessories
We firmly believe in the power of jewelry to completely transform an outfit. And if you’re not feeling the whole pastels and florals for clothing thing this season, sweet-colored accessories are a great way to participate in the trend without overwhelming. Clothing, bags and jewelry are definitely trending toward boho-chic and globally inspired patterns and textures, including fringe and tassels, and our prediction is that these trends will carry on right into summer.
We are on board with any trend that is cute and comfortable. Fashion sneakers are everywhere – from the runway to the rec center – and for good reason. Not only are they super comfortable, but they can make as big or as little of a statement as you want. You can pick from bright red high-top kicks to add a bit of punch to an otherwise neutral outfit, or you can stay subtly on trend with a beautiful rose gold, quilted pair. There are literally hundreds of options for every budget and style, and the right pair can take you beyond the gym (ha, the what?!) and be paired with jeans, joggers and even dresses.
As moms who wear heels nearly everyday, we can assure you that nothing sucks more than carrying a toddler, purse and diaper bag across a parking lot while wearing 4” heels. But beauty is pain, right? Thankfully, chunky, block-heel booties are still very much on-trend this season. They can dress up a simple sundress or shorts on the weekend, be paired with a skirt and blazer for work, or worn with skinny jeans for a night out. Select a neutral color, like blush, for ultimate versatility, or let your shoes do the talking with a pattern or bold color.
Now that you’ve added some fresh new spring essentials to your wardrobe, it’s time to mix and match your way to easy and effortless style. Here are a few easy formulas to follow to get the most out of these picks this spring!
At the Office
Dress + Scarf + Booties
Floral Tee + Booties + Bright Bag
Dress + Vest + Booties
Joggers + Striped tee + Trench Coat + Booties
Dress + Trench Coat + Tassel Earrings
On the Weekend
White Jeans + Floral Tee + Trench Coat
Joggers + Striped Tee + Sneaks
Jeans + Vest + Floral Fee
Jeans + Vest + Striped Tee
White Jeans + Striped Shirt + Bright Bag
Striped or Floral Tee + Jean Jacket + Joggers + Sneaks
Joggers + Floral Tee + Sneaks
Out on the Town
Dress + Booties + Tassel Earrings
Joggers + Cold Shoulder Top + Booties/Heels
Dress + Jean Jacket + Sneaks
White Jeans + Striped Tee + Scarf + Earrings
Click here to print and take the Spring Wardrobe Updates Checklist with you!
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you even more ways to style these different pieces with our One Piece, Three Ways Series so you can get the most mileage out of each piece at the office, on the weekend and out on the town. Happy shopping, Mamanistas!