Right now the chilly winter winds are giving way to pleasant spring breezes, and that means it's time to start transitioning your wardrobe from one season to the next. But while stashing away your heavy coats will leave you feeling liberated, sometimes that move can also stir up some uncertainty about what to wear next. Of course, we'd never leave you to face this quandary alone, dear readers, which is why we've compiled a new installment of Styling Tips, featuring six to-die-for looks from which to glean inspiration. The best part of today's story, you might ask? We'll show you how to liven up the pieces you already own with just a few key elements, so there's no need to go out and buy a whole new budget-busting wardrobe!
Tip # 1: Modernize a full skirt with bold sandals.
A calf-grazing, full skirt is not the easiest look to pull off--the retro style can potentially look matronly--but with the addition of a few key pieces, you can easily achieve a fresh and modern look. Take, for example, the one-of-a-kind Tommy Hilfiger jersey dress and needlepoint sandals model Dree Hemingway wore to the after-party for Happythankyoumoreplease in New York earlier this month. She brought the full-skirted frock up-to-date simply by adding a pair of bold, fringed sandals. To try out Hemingway's chic look, we suggest starting with a midi skirt, like ASOS' Pleated Midi Skirt ($63), Topshop's Premium Blue Pleated Midi Skirt ($100), or Urban Renewal's Vintage Midi Skirt ($38). A pair of statement sandals will also help you further achieve this cleverly styled look, and accordingly, we recommend either Anthropologie's Charleston Heels ($278) or Pelle Moda's Franky Platform Sandals ($180). Last but not least, finish off your outfit with Madewell'sFinely Metallic Striped Sweater ($60), which will temper the fullness of the skirt.
Tip # 2: Mix tailored shorts with a fur jacket.
Model Hilary Rhoda never fails to impress us with her chic and stylish ensembles, and her look at the Chloe cocktail party benefitting New Yorkers for Children earlier this month was no exception. Forgoing more traditional evening attire, such as a glittery party frock, Rhoda opted for Chloe's Tailored White Shorts ($520, 323.602.0000), which she paired with a pink Blouse ($995, 323.602.0000) and fur jacket, both also by said French fashion house. The resulting look is a lovely alternative to the typical feminine dress and an easy-to-imitate outfit for a night out on the town. Also worth noting, Rhoda rounded out her look with a pair of nude pumps--a trick that never fails to elongate the legs! If you're ready to ditch the cocktail dress--for one night, at least!--and try Rhoda's polished look, you'll be thrilled with the pieces we've compiled to help you achieve a similar style. Start with Ralph Lauren Blue Label's Mackenzie Stretch Cotton Twill Shorts ($165), which are truly the perfect pair of tailored shorts. Alice + Olivia Cady Cuff Shorts ($165) and Max Studio Bi-Stretch Twill Shorts ($78) are also worthy options for evening-ready shorts. For a fur topper, we suggest Halston Heritage's Faux Fur Short Coat ($223), which will surely guard you against cool nighttime breezes. To complete your ensemble, just pick up a pair of nude pumps; ASOS' Shimmy Patent Pointed Court Shoes ($63) fits the bill perfectly!
Tip # 3: Pair a bright bag with cute spring basics.
We're crazy about wide-leg pants for spring, which is why we're always on the lookout for new ways to style them. We particularly like how model Agyness Deyn paired hers with a sailor-inspired striped top earlier this month at the launch party for Lexington Social House in Hollywood. But what really piqued our interest was her well-calculated decision to accessorize her neutral picks with a bright, kelly green Proenza Schouler PS11 Bag ($1850). The burst of color instantly adds a youthful vivacity to her wardrobe basics and perfectly complements her spunky style. While we adore Deyn's bag, you don't need to invest in a designer piece to emulate her look, for example, Marc by Marc Jacob's Preppy Leather Hillier Hobo ($398) comes in a very similar color, but is available for a much more affordable price. If you're simply interested in a bright bag--meaning that exact green isn't a necessity--try Topshop's Terracotta Holdall Bag ($80), Forever 21's Date Night Leatherette Bag ($21), or Kate Spade's Harrison Street Adelle ($395). All of these options will give you a brilliant pop of color so you can execute Deyn's look.
Tip # 4: Experiment with all-white separates.
Where would our spring wardrobes be without a few white pieces? There's just something about the crisp, clean color that makes it a perfect option for any occasion this season. For guidance on how to style this hue, look no further than the outfit Gaia Repossi put together for the amFAR New York Gala early last month. Repossi aptly combined white separates by styling straight-leg pants and an unstructured blazer--both from Celine's Resort 11 collection--with a waist-cinching black and white belt and a pair of black Manolo Blahnik pumps. She completed the look with a long silver necklace and a silver ring from her Metamorphosis collection designed for Zadig & Voltaire. The key to pulling off this elegant look is the accessories, which add interest and break up the all-white outfit. Eager to re-create this outfit for yourself? Start with Topshop's White Linen Waterfall Jacket ($84), which is very similar to Repossi's, but at a fraction of the cost. Next, you'll need crisp white pants, like Vince's Boyfriend Trousers ($195) or Paige's Lou Lou Jeans ($179 in White). Finally, the accessories: Aldo's Moos High Heels ($75) are perfect black pumps and Bedstu's Avenger Belt ($51) will ensure that your waist isn't lost in a sea of white.
Tip # 5: Style a bold blazer with a mini skirt.
If you're dying to experiment with an adventurous ensemble this season, consider Julia Restoin-Roitfeld as your guide. Roitfeld was spotted at the Louis Vuitton F/W 11 show earlier this month in a statement-making multi-color blazer--from said luxury brand's pre-fall 11 collection--paired with a black mini skirt, opaque tights, and ankle booties. Instead of the typical blazer-and-pants combo, take a cue from the beautiful brunette and style the wardrobe staple with a short skirt for a more youthful look. Just remember: if you go for a standout jacket, it's always a good idea to keep the rest of your outfit black or neutral to allow that bold piece to truly stand out. If you're in the market for a standout blazer like JRR's, look no further than 3.1 Phillip Lim's Single-Breasted Blazer with Eyelash Trim ($249) or Sass & Bide's Our Suggestion Printed Silk Jacket ($395); both are creative takes on the traditional piece. If you don't already have a black mini skirt hanging in your closet, now is the time to pick one up! We suggest buying either Indah's Peonie Miniskirt ($93) or Pins and Needles' Crochet Miniskirt ($44); the former is a swingy, full skirt while the latter is a bit more form-fitting. Whatever skirt style you choose, either option will help you achieve a Roitfeld-inspired look.
Tip # 6: Bring a pop of pink into nude hues.
When we spotted Melanie Thierry wearing head-to-toe Miu Miu at the fashion house's F/W 11 show in Paris earlier this month, we were instantly drawn to the subtle pops of neon pink. The French actress opted for a nude color palette, specifically the Silk-Satin Trimmed Knitted Cotton Cardigan ($640), a silky blouse from the Resort 11 collection, and nude pants and heels from S/S 11. We love how the stark contrast of pink against a neutral ensemble energizes the look and adds a bit of youthful spirit. If you adore Theirry's outfit, we suggest working bright pink into your neutral outfit via a skinny belt. Start with a simple nude dress, such as Rag & Bone's Holloway Dress ($325) in Nude, and add either ASOS' Lowie Skinny Belt ($57) or Miu Miu's Skinny Patent Leather Belt ($275). Alternatively, you can opt for nude separates, in which case we suggest Topshop's Oyster Frill Hareem Pants ($100) paired with Gap's Shrunken Cardigan ($50). To bring in a burst of pink, consider 525 America's Ruffle Camisole ($84), which creates a high-impact contrast that's sure to turn heads!--Erin Fitzpatrick
Photos of Agnyess Deyn, Gaia Repossi, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, and Melanie Thierry, courtesy of Getty