Spring Forward

Five trends to follow for your warm-weather wardrobe update.

Spring cleaning is the perfect excuse to ramp up your wardrobe. We’re not talking a total overhaul; who has the time (or the patience)? A few key pieces—a neon pump, a silk blouse in a bold print—can change your gait, alter how you move through the world. Here’s some inspiration to get you going.

Cushnie dress.

Bright Idea

Bold, bright colors — the kind more commonly found in a pack of highlighters than the closet—are front and center, perfect for brightening rainy spring days or adding a powerful punch to an otherwise staid ensemble. 

Forget the little black dress—paired with sleek hoops, glass skin, and a red lip, this look from Cushnie is a more colorful approach to the streamlined, modernist aesthetic. Cushnie.com 

Veronica Beard sandals, Wandler shoulder bag, and Marni earrings.

Need a cheat sheet for mixing your brights? Stick to analogous colors, or hues next to one another on the color wheel, such as shades of violet and red. Veronica Beard Olympia metallic leather ankle-wrap sandals, $450. NeimanMarcus.com

A little bit goes a long way, with even the smallest bright accessory. Our advice? Treat a bright solid, like this purse from Wandler, like a neutral—don’t be afraid to mix it with a fun print, like a leopard coat, or to pair it with a neon pink or purple. Hortensia mini neon leather shoulder bag, $800. Net-a-Porter.com

Fun shape? Check. Bright colors? Check. Mixed materials, including gemstones and leather? Double check. These Marni earrings tick every box. Gold-tone, crystal, and leather clip earrings, $550. Net-a-Porter.com

Ruffle Some Feathers 

In fashion, what’s (very, very) old is often new. As popular with the Elizabethans as they were with the devotees of Christian Dior’s post-war New Look, in modern sartorial parlance ruffles are perhaps more closely associated with baby dolls and the children who carry them. Adults can reclaim them with sensual silhouettes and edgy materials like PVC.

The high neckline, shade of seafoam, and delicate ruffles may say lady, but the sheer fabric of this Valentino dress is all woman. (To keep it a little more PG, add a slip dress in a neutral or complementary tone.) Valentino.com

Before April showers bring May flowers, they bring plenty of shoe-killing puddles. Step out in waterproof style with these Midnight 00 statement-making pumps. Ruffled metallic PVC pumps, $891. MatchesFashion.com

Norma Kamali swimsuit.

Neutral Territory 

Forget going with everything: Shades of camel, gray, soft pink, and cream are everything. Go for minimalist with streamlined pumps, or give athleisure a ballerina-inspired touch with comfy knits.

The dusty-pink tone of this maillot might blend in with the sand, but with the deep neckline, body-hugging nylon, and high-cut legs, you sure you won’t. Norma Kamali Mio halter neck swimsuit, $160. MatchesFashion.com

Petar Petrov blazer.

Bold Shoulder

While some things are best left in the ’80s (hair crimpers, anyone?), we happily welcome back the bold, broad shoulders of power suiting. As chic with a pencil skirt or pair of jeans as with slacks, and perfect for his or hers dressing, try a bold print or asymmetrical detail to bring the look into the 21st century.

At once Mick Jagger, Harry Styles and Kate Moss, this broad shouldered, boldly printed blazer is as at home on the dance floor as it is in the office; just switch out the matching trousers (not shown) for a tailored pencil skirt or a pair of cigarette trousers. Petar Petrov Justin leopard-print jacquard blazer, $1,541. MatchesFashion.com

Gucci blouse, Miu Miu sunglasses, and  Hermes scarf.

Scarf It Up

Equal parts boho and old Hollywood glamour, a silk scarf is one of fashion’s most versatile accessories, so it’s hardly surprising that designers saw its promise as a garment, too, from work-ready blouses to vacation-ready dresses. Whichever you choose, channel your inner silver screen starlet by adding a pair of cat’s eye sunglasses. 

We’re getting vintage vibes from this Gucci blouse; pair it with high-waist, wide-leg pants (and freshly blown-out hair) to create a major ’70s mood. Scarf-print silk shirt, $1,890. MatchesFashion.com

We can see it now: You, silk scarf draped over your hair, in the passenger side as a devilishly handsome man speeds down the highway in a Ferrari Portofino with the top down. All that’s missing?A pair of cat-eye sunglasses, of course. Miu Miu semi-rimless cat-eye sunglasses in dark violet, $350. BergdorfGoodman.com

Whether worn around your head, your neck, or the handle of your Kelly bag, the Hermes scarf never goes out of style. This one marries the abstract with the elegant in bold hues. Zouaves et Dragons scarf, $395. Hermes.com

This article originally appeared in our April 2019 issue.

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