Spring into a serious wardrobe

Until recently, I shopped like a raven drawn to shiny things, picking up random pieces of clothing that caught my eye. But this left me with a disproportionate wardrobe. I had countless shirts made out of cheap fabric, which I used and abused for a few months, then donated to Goodwill or threw out.

I spent my high school years in fashion flings, but now I’m ready for something serious. This spring, I’m preplanning my wardrobe by choosing my favorite versatile trends, taking inventory of my existing wardrobe and budgeting for pieces that are actually worth it.

If I only had a brain

If my boyfriend doesn’t make fun of me for it, I’m buying a big, floppy straw hat. Floppy hats are great, paired with sunglasses for a very retro look, and you just can’t beat the UV protection. Since a $150 straw hat probably isn’t going to hold up any better than a $15 alternative, quality is barely a factor in choosing an interpretation for this trend. Target carries multiple beach-savvy hats — my favorite is the Merona Tie band Floppy Hat in camel for $12.99, but there are smaller options as well. 

Play full

Although I’m very skeptical of this trend, I’m trying out a full-length skirt.  I am not a fan of the new shapeless floor-sweeping skirts that, in my opinion, have managed to steal the joy from the flower-child staple.

Instead, try tailored, pleated, flare skirts that hit just above or below the knee. This look paired with a cotton button-down is a perfect conservative outfit for a summer internship, as long as the environment isn’t too formal.  Modcloth.com offers a very classic just-off-the-runway version of both of the skirts I’ve described, as well as other styles to play with. Look for the Recut Classic Skirt for $64.99 and Casting Shadows for $86.99.

If you’re convinced that floor-length is the skirt for you, go for one with a sheer panel, so you at least add an ounce of sex appeal.

In the nude

One of my favorite emerging trends is nudes and neutrals. These are both flattering and extremely versatile. While you can be nude just about anywhere (clothing-wise that is), my top priority is finding the perfect pair of nude heels. Nude shoes fit almost any occasion, and the color lengthens your legs. After searching tirelessly for the perfect pair of affordable, non-leather heels, I was rewarded with the discovery of Material Girl Trix Pumps from Macy’s for only $28.98.

April showers'

Getting trapped in the rain without an umbrella or raincoat is the best way to ruin your day. Instead of drenching a hoodie or buying the always-flattering black and gold poncho, invest in a bright colored raincoat. Hurley’s Winchester Girls Slicker Jacket comes in seven neutral and bright colors for $69. My favorite is the melon color, which I plan to pair with the Lieutenant Wilson Girls Long Sleeve Woven shirt in seaweed.

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