Tip #1: Style your relaxed pieces with a slouchy, bright blazer.
While following trends and assembling to-die-for outfits is always key, we also recognize that when it comes to deciding what to wear in the morning, sometimes comfort reigns supreme. That said, just as Jenny, 22, from Los Angeles, so aptly shows us with her ensemble, you can actually have the best of both worlds: an outfit that is simultaneously polished and relaxed. Words like "loose" and "easygoing "don't have to conjure up images of gray sweatpants and t-shirts; instead, follow Jenny's lead and pair fluid pieces with a slouchy, colorful blazer for a chic and comfortable look. To try out a similar ensemble, we suggest starting with a boyfriend blazer in a bright color, like Diane von Furstenberg's Blazer ($490), Holistia's Boyfriend Jacket ($88), or See by Chloe's Blazer ($335). Next, pick up a pair of black harem pants, such as Vanilla Star's Cargo Harem Women's Skinny Pants ($25) or Miss Sixty's Jamie Trousers ($109); either option is a great alternative to standard trousers. Then simply finish off your comfortable and stylish look with a basic gray tee, like J. Crew's Vintage Cotton V-Neck ($30) or T by Alexander Wang's Classic Pocket Tee ($76), and you'll have a Jenny-inspired ensemble in no time!
Tip #2: Try mixed prints in neutral tones this season.
Mixing different prints might seem intimidating at first, but the trend isn't as hard to pull off as you might think! For guidance, simply look to Shikha, 20, from Australia, who proves that wearing clashing prints can look totally chic. One way to make sure that your ensemble isn't overwhelming is to pick pieces in neutral colors. (This will ensure that your outfit doesn't look too haphazard; go for mixed prints in bright colors if you're feeling daring.) If you're ready to mix polka dots with stripes, we know you'll love all the pieces we've rounded up to help you compile an outfit similar to Shika's. We suggest starting with a printed skirt, like Forever 21's Tribal Maxi Skirt ($20), which is a great addition to your spring wardrobe. Pair the maxi skirt with a printed top, such as Wood Wood's Hannah Blouse ($165), Porridge's Brickwork Tee ($58), or American Apparel's Unisex Afrika Fine Printed Jersey Short Sleeve T-Shirt ($32), all of which are excellent options for creating a winning ensemble!
Tip #3: Enliven your wardrobe staples with bold accents.
If we had to write down all of the reasons why we love accessories so much, we'd certainly have a lengthy list. For starters, they can transform an outfit in an instant, taking an ensemble from chic to funky, girly to tough, or classic to eccentric with just a few key pieces. Your choice of accent pieces invariably dictates your outfit's overall vibe, so experimenting with different combinations can take your style to a whole new level! For guidance on inspirational accessorizing, look no further than the outfit Llanka, 19, from Netherlands, put together. She livened up her otherwise simple ensemble with bright accessories in primary colors, specifically a pair of red pumps and a cobalt blue bag. To execute her creative outfit, start with a standard button-up blouse, like Cheap Monday's Daria Button-Up Blouse ($70) or Topshop's Basic White Granda Shirt ($45), and pair it with a printed mini skirt, such as Forever 21's Abstract Print Knit Skirt ($14). Most importantly, don't be shy to finish off your look with bold, bright pieces! We suggest donning a pair of fire-engine red heels; Aldo's Moos Pumps ($75) or Steve Madden's Envyy Red Suede Pumps ($90) are both great options that are sure to get you noticed. For a bright blue handbag, we recommend either Lucky Penny's Daily Brights Satchel ($188) or Topshop's Blue Plaited Handle Holdall ($76).
Tip #4: Transition a summery white dress with chunky knits.
Just because it's technically spring doesn't mean the weather is always in accordance. We know that you're eager to break out your summery dresses, but it's nice to have a warmer alternative while temperatures are still transitioning. To solve this conundrum, consider Chloe, 20, from Seattle, as your guide. She donned a white dress and a slouchy cowl-neck sweater, finishing off the look with a pair of sheer polka-dot tights and oxfords. The result is a laidback ensemble that's perfect for a slew of occasions. To re-create Chloe's outfit, we suggest picking up Ella Moss' Greenwich Cowl Sweater ($171) or Forever 21's Ribbed Cowl Neck Poncho ($13), and pairing it with either ADAM's Cotton-Blend Pencil Skirt ($78) or Urban Renewal's Vintage Khaki Pleat Front Skirt ($39). We also love Chloe's polka-dot tights, and accordingly, we recommend The Limited's Sheer Dot Tights ($20) to finish off your casual yet polished look!
Tip #5: Update your spring basics with a preppy varsity jacket.
Khaki pants combined with a striped top and oxfords make for a perfect weekend option for spring, but we're always on the lookout for new ways to energize these wardrobe basics. Accordingly, we were immediately intrigued when we spotted how Jana, 22, from Germany, added a varsity jacket to her ensemble. This preppy piece is a great alternative to the tried-and-true blazer or field jacket and should not be relegated to high-school jocks only! If you're craving a varsity jacket like Jana's, you're in luck because we've tracked down several worthy options: BDG's Varsity Jacket ($50), Shipley & Halmos' Varsity Jacket ($835), and ASOS' Jersey Varsity Jacket ($81) all fit the bill perfectly. To further achieve her smartly styled look, we recommend a striped top in navy, such as Tommy Bahamas' Breton Stripe Crew Neck Top ($58) or Splendid's Venice Slub-Knit Striped Tee ($63). You'll also need a pair of khaki pants, like BDG'S Twill Grazer Cigarette Pants ($49) or J. Crew's Café Trousers ($90). Finally, if you don't already own a pair of flat oxfords, now is the time to pick up a pair! We recommend either Bloch's Nora Oxfords ($100) or Aldo's Chasten Oxfords ($28) to complete your preppy-inspired ensemble.
Tip #6: Soften your edgy pieces with a ladylike skirt.
The flowy maxi skirt has been around for some time now, but we always love a new interpretation of this classic piece! While many people opt to pair the feminine staple with sandals or heels, Madeline, 24, from Virginia, chose edgy accessories, including a pair of creepers, chunky jewelry and a wide-brimmed hat. The result is a decidedly tough-girl ensemble that's perfect if you want to wear a feminine piece in an edgier way. For a Madeline-inspired outfit, embrace the contrast between delicate and rugged by anchoring a printed maxi skirt with heavy accessories. Start with a long, flowy skirt, such as Staring at Stars' Printed Chiffon Maxi Skirt ($59) or American Retro's Long Printed Maxi Skirt ($168). If you're daring enough, pick up a pair of creepers: Demonia by Pleaser's 502 Veggie Creepers ($75) are a spot-on alternative to Madeline's pair. If these bod flatforms aren't for you, consider a pair of classic black sneakers, such as Converse's Chuck Taylor All Star Core OX Sneakers ($45) or Vans' Era Core Classics Lace-Ups ($42), to pair with the skirt. Add a statement ring (or two!), like Amrita Singh's Maxtla Ring in Silver ($75) or Forever 21's Circular Shield Ring ($7), to finish off your edgy-yet-ladylike look.--Erin Fitzpatrick