Tip #1: Punctuate a polished look with a string bow-tie top.
Once in a blue moon, we discover an accessory that gives us the same sort of rush we used to get from playing dress up, without making us feel like a kitschy 10-year-old (assuming such a thing exists). This time, that accent piece is the string bow tie. We've recently spotted this trend on stylesetters like Chloe Sevigny and Fearne Cotton, so naturally we were pleased to see this accessory has also hit the streets. We like how Nicole, 24, from Italy, focused the attention on her bow-tie blouse by pairing it with a minimalist outfit. The black skinny jeans styled with a tailored blazer and black accessories pull the outfit together, making it interesting--not overwhelming. Not sure where to find a shirt with a skinny tie? We've got you covered! ASOS' Panel Tie Jersey Shirt ($45) would look très chic paired with a crisp blazer and black skinnies. For a more detailed blouse, we suggest picking up Pepe Jeans' Tie-Front Shirt ($45) and styling it with a black pair of tailored shorts.
Tip #2: A neon dress adds a fun pop of color to an all-black outfit.
Neons are the new neutrals this spring, and we think the perfect way to prep for the season is to start mixing these fluorescent hues with your darker winter separates like Veronica, 23, from Milan, does. She chose a charming pink mini dress to accent her all-black outfit--a bold look that is easily emulated. Start with a great pop of neon, like BB Dakota's Terry Dress ($80), and then throw on some black Hue Opaque Tights ($13) and Aldo's Capecoral Pumps ($80). To finish it off, elevate the outfit with MICHAEL Michael Kors' Kingston Large Tote ($348) in black.
Tip #3: Liven up your quirky neutrals with an ultra-bright blazer.
We would like to hypothesize that the greater the pop of color in any given outfit, the greater your chances are that you will have created a spring-worthy ensemble. Speculation aside, nothing makes a color stand out better than mixing it with quirky neutrals, like Kamila, 19, from Poland, shows us. Her electric blue statement blazer is the epitome of understated cool, especially when paired with platform boots, stonewashed jeans, and strong accessories, including a furry purse, chunky necklace, and bold cuff. (We also think the bright red lipstick is a nice touch.) Gear up for the coming months with Rachel Roy's Pocket Jacket ($395) or, if you'd like to experiment with an orange blazer à la Jil Sander, we think Steven Alan's Spring Renada Blazer ($395) is a great option too.
Tip #4: Simple pieces look great styled with boho accents.
We understand the sartorial ingredients that make an outfit 'cool' are not always black and white, so when we discovered Emma, 20, from Sydney, we knew we had to share. Her wardrobe basics--a simple ankle-length skirt, tucked-in tank, and a cropped vest--look darling when combined with boho accents like wood sandals and a wide-brimmed hat, and the result is an effortlessly darling ensemble. The key to recreating this look, you ask? Less is more. Try mixing Equipment's Signature Sleeveless Blouse ($187) with Pins and Needles' Chiffon Maxi Skirt ($54) to create a minimal foundation. Then, accessorize with boho accents like Topshop's Black Oversize Round Sunglasses ($32) and Madewell's Leather Sahara Sandals ($168). We also suggest grabbing Pins and Needles' Basic Straw Floppy Hat ($29) for good measure!
Tip #5: A fun, printed midi skirt feels fresh for spring.
From the full, pleated skirts at Chloe to the sultry skirt-suits at Versace, the mid-calf hemline is back in a big way this spring. While we're no strangers to this shin-centric look (we were ogling full skirts back in November), we think there are plenty of ways to freshen up this trend, which is why we are obsessed with the slim, printed midi we spotted on Sybil, 23, from Hong Kong. We love how she picked a skirt with lots of spring elements--specifically, a dainty floral print and a leg-baring slit--and paired it with a long-sleeved top and wood sandals for a pitch-perfect transitional ensemble. Fortunately, it isn't hard to stumble upon an amazing midi skirt these days, but if you'd like a little guidance, we suggest Topshop's Navy Long Clover Bud Print Wrap Skirt ($78). It's an excellent option if you're looking for the perfect floral to incorporate into your wardrobe. If you prefer a brighter pop of color, we also adore Truly Madly Deeply's Printed Below-The-Knee Pencil Skirt ($39).
Tip #6: Tailored shorts are a smart alternative to mini skirts.
In addition to stocking up on neon accessories and '70s-inspired jeans for spring, we're totally into the idea of replacing our staple mini skirts with chic, tailored shorts. So we were delighted when we spotted this flattering piece on Marcella, 22, from New Zealand. She opted for sweet separates--including a tiered tank and a lightweight blazer--topped off with edgy accents, like a leopard belt and stilettos. If you're interested in snagging a similar pair of shorts, we recommend Alice + Olivia's Cady Cuff Shorts ($154) or Forever 21's Belted Trouser Shorts ($20) for a more budget-friendly option.--Nicole Kliest