5 Spring Essentials That Perhaps Never Occurred to You

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.

Tradmark, Aeyde and Chanel 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).

Amazon yellow, Amazon peach and Gucci brooch

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!

Dolce & Gabbana fish and lobster earrings

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.

KALEOS, Pawaka and Rosie Assoulin x Morgenthal Fredrics 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.

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  • Laura

    OMG I love the pink aeyde mules!

  • Oh god, satin for spring feels like daring the universe to rain every-single-damn-day! I hope you’ve prayed to the proper shoe deities/concocted appropriate shrines/burnt a bundle of dried something/etc!!

    • Meg S

      I’m afraid to get satin slides. I spend the spring in boots and flats that are fine to get wet because of rain. It rains from April to June, sometimes for days at a time. But maybe if I have interesting shoes I won’t be yawning at my desk on rainy days.

  • estefi.sa

    love your wardrobe essentials Leandra!! maybe you could give some affordable options??

    • Lil

      I loovee MR, but sometimes I get confused as to whether they’re trying to lean towards a Goop market or a Refinery29 one.

      Either way MR is like flipping through Vogue and I’ll gladly take Vogue over dinner…

      • Nicole

        Omg this comment — Goop vs. Refinery29. Like, I’m here, I have a budget, maybe include some h&m slides, please, love you guys, i’m broke, thank you

  • Maria

    Great Inspiration! Especially those pink satin mules, love love love!

  • Pink trousers and fun waist belts?! Yes please!

    – Natalie

  • Kay Nguyen

    Great inspirations but I’m not sure about wearing seafood on my ears! I guess it’s just personal preference but I love everything else <3


  • All of these are SPEAKING TO ME! I didn’t even realize that I need lobster earrings, but I absolutely do.

  • chouette

    Give me suede over satin for the slides and the Loewe fish earrings over the D&G’s and we’re in business, baby! I copped a pair of Miu Miu pink wool cropped flares from le eBay last season and get tons of compliments / millennial pink comments when I wear them. Surprised basket bags are not on the list!

  • Andreia De Caires

    Love this, so bored of the essential lists… why would spend money on the same item again? And I am more of a minimalist than a maximalist, so I am a little bit surprise as to how this article spoke to me. Last week looking at my wardrob I yawned, realized that after years of finding those perfect reliable pieces, they was just plain boring and I completely missed on why I love fashion, these surprising elements that make an outfit unique and make me feel like myself instead of another one of the herd, do you know what I mean?



    discover my new weekly obsession!!!! really cool looks: THEDAILYDEB.fr


  • lateshift

    I never thought I would say this, but: you guys are wearing me down on the pink. I think I’m starting to see it, I think. wow.
    that said: the fact that I’m saying this probably means pink is pretty much over, so…fair warning. sorry, guys

    ok, now for a stupid question: isn’t the usual name for “waist belts” just… “belts”? like, I know there are hip belts or something out there, but I feel like when 99% of people hear “belt,” they think “waist.” Like, I wouldn’t say “feet shoes” or “head hats.” But I am…most definitely not an expert on this. And Leandra really does know all! So I sincerely bow to her expertise on this, while remaining legitimately and honestly curious if “waist belt” is an actual thing people tend to say?

    (please be kind. I really am that clueless.)

    • Emma J.

      head hats is the name of my future band

  • Greer Clarke

    I need those KALEOS Sunglasses!!! Does anybody know where they’re stocked online? Matches has them but only in one colour

  • Senka

    An idea of light pink and high waist pants has been haunting me for a while, and now, via Men Repeller I got a bona fide reason/excuse to go and get some. I’ve been loving pale pink recently which is strange since I shy away from colors in my everyday dressing. Also satin mules are very, very tempting right now.

  • Kattigans

    I think your inspo is actually **season 3** of SATC. That was Carrie’s big moment of 80’s throwback. She wore the floral broach on a date with Aiden when they first got together. Surprised there isn’t a baguette Fendi or Dior on this list