8 Essential Basics For Spring Even Though Basics Are Boring And Spring's Never Coming

Plus my top-secret favorite most flattering and easy dresses in the world.
Publish date:
March 31, 2014
shoppables, modcloth, spring, Gap, basics, karina dresses

You guys know me, I loathe a basic. I can barely bring myself to spend the time waiting in line to buy a white T-shirt or a pair of black pants. It feels like I'm watching precious fractions of my life spin away from me into the gaping black hole of mortality. But even I occasionally, seasonally have to stock up on some basics. Here are the 8 pieces I need to prepare for the springtime that may never come.

1. A Slip-On Flat

Because you're not going to want to make the time for real shoes when you're sprinting out to chase the ice cream man or whatever. And since I think toes are a disgusting shameful secret to be shared only after marriage, flip-flops are out. (Beach vacation = my one exception to this rule.) Some options to preserve your toe modesty:

Printed Pointy Flat ($31.96) and Metallic Scrunch Leather Loafer ($31.46) from Gap

Navigating the Neighborhood Flat ($29.99) from Modcloth

These are weirdly sexy, maybe because they show the arch of the foot, but leave the toes to the imagination. Don't be a toe ho!

Women's Scrunch Ballet Flats ($26.94) from Old Navy

I'm a sucker for a Winehousian ballet flat in a pinkish nude -- I wore last year's pair so much they were basically hanging off my feet in scraps by the end of the summer.

2. A Leather Jacket

God, leather jackets are just so important. They improve every spring outfit, especially if, like mine, your style is a bit on the sweet side. The toughness of the jacket provides the perfect contrast to all my ultra-girly dresses.

In my opinion, most fake leather jackets look pretty bad and it's generally worth it to splurge for a real one. (I love these ones from Muubaa.) But if you don't have 600 bucks to drop right at this current moment (I don't), ASOS has some nice "Leather Look" jackets, including the Leather Look Structured Sleeve Jacket, which I bought for $122.32.

3. Another Lightweight Jacket

There are lots of choices here -- a nice trench is very spring-like and there are some adorable raincoats. But for me the camo jacket is a new spring essential. It serves much the same purpose as the leather jacket, toughifying outfits that are a little twee by themselves. I just purchased this one from Gap (as seen in the latest Outfit Of The Week Post):

Camo Utility Jacket, $79.95

Another must-have for me is the classic denim jacket. I still have mine from last season, but if you're in the market for one, that's basically what Gap exists for:

1969 Denim Crop Jacket, $79.95

1969 Destructed Denim Jacket, $89.95

4. A Light Scarf

I recently started getting weekly acupuncture, and the first thing my acupuncturist told me is that I have "cold in my neck" and should wear a scarf even once it starts to warm up outside. I don't really know what that means, but I just want to stop having rape dreams and waking up with my neck and back all locked up, so I'll do whatever she tells me.

I found this cute floral scarf for $34.95 at, again, Gap (What can I say? They're good at basics.) It also comes in a really pretty yellow. When choosing a scarf, hold it up to your face and choose a color scheme that brightens your features.

Other options:

Modcloth's Cat Person Scarf, $19.99

I like a circle scarf, as it eliminates that whole awkward, "How do I wrap this thing so it looks good?" conundrum. I also hope the title is based on the 1982 erotic thriller "Cat People," starring Malcolm McDowell.

Kate Spade Illustrated Lemon Scarf, $128

5. A Denim Miniskirt

Not pictured, as I haven't found it yet. Help?

6. A Cropped Jean

I personally prefer a flat-front retro pedal pusher like so:

Women's The Rock Star Clean-Front Capris, $29.94

But a more jeans-y option can be super cute for tooling around your neighborhood on the weekends. Both pairs will also look great with your cute flats.

Women's Cropped Skinny Boyfriend Jean from Old Navy, $29

7. Drapey T-shirts

I'm not a big T-shirt girl usually, but something about spring just calls for a loose, drapey T-shirt. One that floats away from the hips and stomach is most flattering for me.

A-Line Tee from Joe Fresh, $16

Drapey Tee from Gap, $22.95

I'm wearing the gray version of this T-shirt in the camo jacket picture above.

8. The Easy Dress

OK, so I've been meaning to tell you guys about Karina dresses for awhile. I think I was a little scared of giving away my secret. They are legitimately my favorite dresses in the entire world -- I probably own 20 of them. Karina is a local Brooklyn designer -- I buy her stuff at Flirt Boutique in Park Slope, but you can get some styles online, and she recently started selling a few pieces on Modcloth.

The dresses are made of a stretchy fabric that is extremely flattering to curves, and since it's wrinkle-free, you can just toss these dresses in a suitcase and go. The shapes are basic and the prints are gorgeous -- she's doing a lot of florals for spring and there are always polka dots, which I'm drawn to like a moth to flame. My favorite style for warmer weather is probably the Penelope, which is sleeveless WITH POCKETS. I think I'm wearing the Megan above. Karina also shows her dresses on lots of different body types and age groups, which is rad. She really loves to make real women look beautiful.

Here are a few dresses from the spring collection. They're pricey because they're made by one woman in Brooklyn, but they are definitely worth it as they are the ultimate easy, breezy, throw-it-on-and-look-like-a-lady dresses. Seriously, Karina is a miracle worker.

The Ruby Dress, $158

One Floral, All For One Dress on Modcloth, $139.99

This dress has already sold out once, so act fast!

The Nora Dress, $158

Perfection. Here I am in another one from my collection:

What are your must-have pieces for spring? If you live on the East coast, are you beginning to think we're all going to die in this barren winter? What are your feelings on exposed toes?