The New Spring Basics 101


A few weeks ago I was driving Raines to pre-school (he's 5).  He was sitting in his carseat, a grumpy look on his face.  "What's wrong, buddy?" I asked.  He sighed.  It was one of those dramatic, drawn-out sighs of the long-suffering.  "I jus' don't understand what is happening in this world, Mom" he said.  

Whoa.  I'm not…how to even…begin with that?   I waited, concerned, for him to continue.

"I mean…what the heck is going on with the Sun?  Where is it?  Will I always have to wear this jacket?"  [pause]   I'M NOT COMFORTABLE IN THIS JACKET MOM!!"

Exactly, kid. Sing it.


Ready to talk Spring, Mamas?  Us too.  Most of these picks (if not all) can be worn while chasing kiddos around a park, and some can be dressed up for date-night (or the office).  All can be paired with pieces you already own for a fresh, easy update.  These are the new Spring Basics…101.




1. The Glam Sweatshirt

Featured: James Perse Vintage French Terry Sweatshirt, $110

You can find sweatshirts glammed up with embellishments, gorgeous patterns, dip-dye detailing, shark bite hems and more…but my personal fav?  A soft, thin knit with gorgeous drape and a banded waistband to hide the pooch.  BAM!  Done.  


2.  A Printed Tee

Featured:  Madewell Slideshow Tee in Floral Stripe, $50

Printed tees are huge this spring: florals with a slight 80's vibe like the Madewell one above, stripes, geometric patterns, scarf prints – just to name a few.  A no-brainer, right?  


3.  Statement Sunnies

Featured: Ann Taylor Sea Isle Sunglasses in coral (available in May)

These are crazy fun and not just for teens.  Even Ann Taylor is rocking this trend.  Go with a funky cateye, embellished rims…or just find a fun, colorful pair already.  


4. A Soft Moto Jacket

Featured: Target Xhilaration Ruched Faux-Leather Jacket, $40

I'm told that leather jackets are (shockingly) mom-friendly:  everything just wipes clean.  Also?  Faux-leather works just as well.  And holy WOW – that gorgeous taupe jacket from Target is under $50.  Run! (ps.  Someone please alert me if they find a taupe moto jacket in fleece.)


5. Printed Pants

Featured: Mango Printed Jersey Trousers, $45

I'm not talking about printed denim (which is fab, of course).  The pants I'm talking about are flowy.  They can be wide-legged (pajama inspired), or they can be slim, tapered, or even gathered at the ankle – almost like jogging pants.  They should be crazy-comfortable, lightweight and chic.  Wear 'em now with your moto jacket, and All. Summer. Long. with a tank top and flat sandals.  


6. Light Wash Denim

Featured: Joe's Jeans Rolled Vintage Jean, $174

Extra points for distressing, but not required.  A modern silhouette for Spring/Summer is cross between boyfriend denim and skinny.  (So…ummm…straight-leg? More or less?)  These Joe's Jeans are spot-on…but I've also heard really good things about J.Crew's Vintage Straight.


7. A Baseball Tee

Featured:  Stylemint Ruth Tee, $15

There's a sporty vibe afoot, and baseball tees fit the bill perfectly.  In addition to the obvious jean pairing, try these with maxi skirts, nautical shorts, or floral anything.


8. Something Matchy

Featured:  Oasis Digital Daisy Top, $65 and Shorts, $62. Available April.

While mixed prints are still a thing…there's another thing coming on strong for Spring/Summer: Matching your prints.  Matching, like…wearing exactly the same print.  It doesn't really matter what the silhouette is – short and tee, pants and blazer, etc. – all are yes.  But here's why I love it:  No. Thought. Required.  Just…put it on.  Like play-clothes for moms.  


9. Neon

Featured: Old Navy Color-Blocked Canvas Tote, $25

Neon helps to keep a wardrobe of neutrals looking fresh – I especially like it paired with boring old khaki.  These colors are shockingly easy to wear as accessories.  Hunh.  Who knew?


10. A Long, Slim Short

Featured: J.Crew Lightweight Bermuda, $50

Long, slim shorts were all over the runways, so…Yay for That?  Anyway, I like these slightly trouser-inspired…a bit low-slung across the hips.  Pair with comfy wedges and a drapey tee.  Of course, you could always just hack off an old pair of jeans at the knee….


11. Bright Sneaks

Featured: Onitsuka Tiger Rio Runner, $75

I'm calling this trend 'Bright Sneaks'…but really, any sort of sneaker would work.  It just so happens that the sneaker trend is so huge right now that the line between cool sneaks and actual running shoes is getting slightly blurry.  It's hard for me to argue against wearing the most comfortable shoes on earth.  Keep from crossing that line by sticking to bright colors, a thin bottom, and/or something that makes your heart beat fast.  If your first thought isn't 'cuuuuuuute' then keep on walkin'.  Be PICKY.  Wear with sundresses, cropped trousers, and pretty much everything else. 


That's it!! Thoughts?  Let me know if there's a big, favorite trend I've missed, or if you want more info (styling tips, picks, etc.) on any of these.




  1. Wow, now that’s timing…catching this new post so quickly! First, Yes, Spring, Bring it on!SO ready!
    Second, I am really surprised at some of the clothing. In a good way. (Ok, disappointed that the sweatshirt is more than I would pay for, but it’s quality I know) BUT, 40$ for that moto jacket? That was one of my top picks, as was the neon bag..old navy? Great price! And I LOVE that baseball Tees are back. I have always love the cut and feel of them..but…with a maxi skirt? How? Tucked in? But it loses its “baseball” feel..untucked? But won’t it be too baggy?
    For Instance, I have this Maxi skirt:
    How would a baseball T work with it?
    I don’t know if I can get on the matchy-matchy yet…it just brings to mind my jr. high years (shutter) or Golden Girls,I don’t know why. I would have to see it done in the Now.
    Thank you for these! Closet here I come, to shop. (And maybe Target…)

  2. Abby – with that maxi, I’d probably try tucking the baseball shirt in. And maybe adding a belt, depending on what the waistline looks like.
    And I’ve found some pretty fab sweatshirts for less than the James Perse. It’s still my fav, but there are some affordable options as well.

  3. I have five of these… that’s not bad right?? No matchy matchy or neon or sneakers for me yet. Gotta think about those.
    But I have hot pink Betsey Johnson cateye sunglasses and a couple printed tees and funky distressed denim and a cream-colored oversized thin sweatshirt with sequins on the shoulders. And I live in the desert so I don’t need a moto jacket. It’s already 85 degrees out. Bleeeeech.

  4. Oh Raines!! I feel your pain!! another 12 inches of snow here today!!blahhh
    well Shana yes keep the outfits coming..would love a post on sweatshirts…or more cute ones…I love your navy one..can’t find a navy!!So light wash straight leg? huh..well like the ag ones also?
    as always LOVE your thoughts and recommendations:)

  5. Holy moly, I needed this. With an inch of slush on the sidewalks, I’m ready to set my down coat on fire and run to the mall. Thanks!

  6. I would love to see styling tips for the long shorts. I love the look, but when I actually wear them I feel like a complete frump.

  7. I am having a really hard time picturing bright sneakers with a sundress (and not looking like a three year old). If you come across a good look for that, please show n’ tell!

  8. I’m definitely going to need styling help with the flowy printed pants (takes me back to my high school days in the 90s when I thought it was cool to wear my “silk” pjs out of the house ) and the matchy stuff!
    Love the idea of the moto jacket. What should the fit be on something like this? I’m trying to figure out the proportions. Like this would be with skinny boyfriend jeans and a drapey shirt under?
    Love the ideas, they definitely feel fresh. Which just happens to mean confusing for me 🙂

  9. Scored a SUPER soft glam sweatshirt at Macy’s yesterday for $24. Feel justified in the purchase today, thank you! 🙂

  10. Thank you for putting this together. I was so excited about the idea of the weather getting warmer that I pulled out all my spring/summer stuff yesterday. It needs a little updating. My question: I still really like a lot of the things from your spring/summer basics lists from 2011 and 2012. Are they still an okay place to start? Is there anything on those lists that aren’t in style or on their way out? I’d hate to splurge on something, only to have it be out of date . Thank you for all you do!

  11. Oh yeah! Bring on spring and sunshine, pleaaase!!
    Did you post this on purpose today of all days, as we are once again covered by several inches of snow??? What a breath of fresh air! (the clothes, not the snow!!!)

  12. These season summaries are so helpful! Thank you!
    Can we get an example of matchy-matchy? I’m having a hard time seeing that work.

  13. I copy what sweejen said about the long shorts. My non-teen thighs are thankful, but the rest of me keeps feeling wrong. Also, I was waiting for this post! I’m trying to redo my old wardrobe with newer, better pieces but it’s hard to spend $50 on a sweatshirt.

  14. Oooh, I’ve been looking for a jacket just like that, and for $40?? I just might find myself at Target in the near future.

  15. Add me to the “needs help” list for styling long shorts. Likewise, lighter denim for the shorter-legged among us- can it be done well? Thinking of the negative feedback (mine included) on Drew B in distressed skinnies last Friday… Thoughts?

  16. Thank you! Hmmm I’ll have to try the baseball T with the maxi and see how it goes..first I need to get a baseball T ha!
    (And my disappointment was more coming from an “I wish I could get that James Perse one…” 😉

  17. I think I can get on bits who everything except for the matching prints. I just can’t do it. I remember wearing pajamas like that when I was on elementary school and that is NOT a place I want to revisit 😉

  18. I love these season-ready (are-you-ready-for?) posts! Yes please, though, show us some examples of outfits that include these pieces. Each one of their own don’t excite me but I know you can show us the way! Thanks!

  19. I saw some knit moto jackets on Urban Outfitters recently, but I think it was just black, camo, army green and gray. I’m interested in printed pant styling… some if the flowy options I’ve seen remind me of the M.C. Hammer pants from my middle school days…

  20. So excited, I just got a motor jacket from Obey, kind of a really dark charcoal grey. Any thoughts on a purse to wear with it? I’m almost thinking something floral or straw for the contrast.
    I just found your blog, and am already so inspired!

  21. I found my glam sweatshirt — a few sequins! — at JC Penney yesterday for $4. I also found an amazing cream-colored moto jacket at Marshall’s for $24, but it was too small for me. Sniffle.

  22. I second all the girls who are wondering how to style the sneaks. I have some black/white/mint pumas but every time I wear them with skinnys I just feel like I have huge feet, not chic.

  23. Love the styling tips! And I conveniently have everything in my wardrobe already…just need to pull it out once the weather here in Houston figures out what it wants to do (hotcoldhotcold!). But I would like some pics about the long shorts…I can’t seem to pull this off without looking tranny!

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