Who decided that a spring wardrobe essential had to be so literal? That in order for it to be an essential, the kind of reliable thing you can wear often, it also had to be boring? Like toast or a GG cracker. Fashion publications are always extolling the virtues of these essentials — trench coats and striped shirts and ballet flats and umbrellas — as if every single time spring comes around, you owe it to yourself to refresh them. When, pray tell, does it end? Do you really need more than one trench? More than a couple of striped shirts? More than your own umbrella? I am skeptical. And because I have also outed myself as maximal, I reject the idea that your wardrobe needs boring, practical things. The truth is that it probably needs nothing, but if you can feel the hole beginning to burn through your pocket as if flaming candle wax to a tablecloth, I have a couple of recommendations that don’t include jeans or a blazer or any of that.
Item #1: Satin Slides.
Because I am decidedly good at torturing myself, I am going to recommend that the first thing you buy this spring is a pair of satin slides. Wedge mules are on the up-and-up, but a sensible heel you can walk in works fine, too.
If you’re wondering how to wear them, might I recommend a pair of white kneecap leggings with an oversize white button-down and hey! This makes for a perfect parlay into…
Item #2: A Waist Belt. Is this the ’80s reincarnate? If you want to think that, go ahead. But to be honest, the theme is really more in line with the sum of my life’s passion and inspiration — season four of Sex and the City. Wear it with your leggings, button-down and satin mules and when you’re sick of dressing like a parody of yourself, put on one of the floral dresses you bought last year or the year before that or the year before that and belt that shit with one of these:
Item #3: A Floral Brooch (or Two).
Do you see how these items are all connecting to each other? Floral broochery is a mainstay of Sex and the City style, which really makes me wonder if I’m imposing another genre of cues from early aughts on you, but I feel how I feel. What I want you to do is go to Amazon, pick up a brooch, thank Gucci for inspiring you on your way out and then pin it to the trench coat you got last year. The blazer you bought the year before. The raincoat you may have bought last month. When it gets hot, please also pin it to your bathing suit.
Item #4: Seafood for Your Ears!
Hoops, shmoops. Fruit, shmuit. Classic, shmassic. I could go on if you want me to? I am particularly keen on crustacean bottom feeders as the !!!ultimate!!! piece to buy to usher in spring, but maybe you are more of a kosher fish-with-scales kind of woman (or man!). Either way, I would go so far as to recommend that, if you can muster together a spring shopping budget, you might blow the entire load on a single piece of jewelry that can genuinely take a blasé outfit (see: the navy-blue, linen button-down shirt I am wearing right now with white, high-waist jeans and beige lace-up sandals), and turn it into something fun-as-fuq.
Item #5: Sunglasses.
Not a unique spring “essential” per se — think of them as an evergreen face mask.
!Bonus! I want a pair of light-pink, high-waist pants. No professional would recommend acquiring these under the guise of a spring investment, but I think that is the precise reason that, should you feel intrigued by the notion of these pants:
You go for it.
Photos by Edith Young.