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Building Your Spring & Summer Wardrobe

The change of seasons from winter to spring is often the perfect time to assess your wardrobe. And with so many trying to be more conscious of over-consumerism and fast fashion, the shift towards more timeless and multi-functional pieces has gained popularity. Cue the capsule wardrobe.

There are many benefits to a capsule wardrobe but a main one is added wearability. All the items in your capsule should work across several or more outfits. Using core pieces that easily mix and match, you can build repeatable outfit formulas and lower your cost-per-wear of each item. Being able to wear your items more and for a longer period of time creates a more sustainable and environmentally friendly wardrobe. A strong foundational base will also make dressing every day more streamlined and simplified.

When building a capsule wardrobe, I don’t believe there is a “one size fits all” option. A typical capsule consists of roughly thirty to forty items to cover you over the course of a season, but will vary. You want to consider your individual lifestyle, aesthetic preferences and body type when making decisions, especially around investment pieces. Also, taking the time to find a cohesive color palette that compliments your own complexion will go a long way when putting together outfits.

Here is some expert advice from a personal stylist on what categories to consider and tips on how to style capsule items across multiple occasions.

The Art of Layering

Layers not only add warmth during those morning and evening commutes but create visual interest in your outfit. The trench coat remains a staple layer in any spring transitional wardrobe. Traditional beige and camel are classic options, while new styles in denim and brighter hues bring in a fun twist this season. Wide leg trousers are a great complement to this jacket style for both work and play. For weekends try pairing relaxed trousers with a crewneck sweatshirt and sneakers, then throw a trench on over the look to finish it off with some polish. Style your trench and trousers with more sophisticated pieces for work such as a lightweight turtleneck or knit, leather belt and ankle boots.

If the trench isn’t your style, opt for an oversized leather jacket but try a softer color, like a rich dark chocolate brown version. On those warmer spring and summer days, reach for a blazer in a lightweight fabric you can wear in the office or to drinks after work.

Invest and Update Staples

Now is the time to update or replace your basic white tanks, tees and button downs that are essentials for outfits. Look for structured fabrics, high-quality stitching and avoid synthetic materials if possible. When pairing a basic tee, try it with a slip skirt for an effortlessly cool look and the perfect formula to be comfortable but remain chic. Bring a pullover sweater with you for daytime or add a bomber jacket for a little edge to rock at night.

For another versatile spring ensemble, think about layering your staple blazer over a mini dress. In a professional setting, opt for a dress with a conservative neckline and pair it with loafers. If you’re hitting the town, swap in a pointed toe heel and layer on the accessories. Invest in a well-tailored blazer in gray or brown shades this season as opposed to black for a lighter look. For bottoms, incorporating a neutral trouser and a relaxed fit jean will go with any fitted tee or classic button down.

Finish with Accessories & Footwear

Don’t forget to accessorize according to your vibe, whether it’s with white sneakers and black sunnies or chic ballet flats paired with a chunky earring. A statement belt or hat is also a great way to finish off your look and with many styles to choose from. For footwear, a ballet flat is a great option for everyday but try swapping a black pair for a silver metallic version and treat it as a neutral. A low heeled slingback is also very versatile across your capsule and can be worn with jeans or a dress. As always, no look is complete without a handbag, providing the perfect opportunity to infuse some fun glam or color into an otherwise understated look.

Colors of the season

This spring we will be trading brights like hot magenta, cherry red and neon for more muted hues. Think about burgundy, blush or olive for example. And pastels will be everywhere, starting with the Pantone color of the year Peach Fuzz. Mint and pistachio green are prominent in many of the spring collections as well. Because of this, we will want to pair our softer neutrals with them and use black more sparingly. Reach for light greys, beiges, tans and browns to compliment this color palette.

Everyone’s wardrobe should be unique to the individual, so I don’t offer an itemized checklist to blindly shop from. Rather I hope this inspires you to create your own capsule and lean into timeless fashion with a modern twist. Always consider the functionality, aesthetic and whether something is really your style before you purchase. And remember, even things that are considered “classics” should be updated every three to five years to avoid appearing outdated. So here’s your sign to finally ditch the old Tory Burch flats or ragged utility jacket in favor of more elevated styles this season. Investing in new pieces you love and will wear again and again will give you that newfound excitement and motivation in getting dressed and feeling fresh this spring.

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AMANDA VARGUS is the CEO and founder of Wave + Woven, a Boston-based personal styling service. Before forming her business, she managed hundreds of clients at The RealReal, the largest luxury resale e-commerce company in the US. While there she developed a deep knowledge of fashion, brands, and retailers and set out to take her passion to the next level in her venture. Having both a background in fashion and business, Amanda understands the importance of developing a strong personal brand through style and how this can impact success both personally and professionally. Specializing in private styling and wardrobe curation for executives and entrepreneurs, her fashion-forward vision has made Amanda a recognizable talent and tastemaker for her clients in Boston and beyond.

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