12 Fun spring fashion staples you can bust out every year

May 14, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. ET
Image: Becci Burkhart/SheKnows

There are few experiences that soothe the soul quite like emerging from 35-degree weather and icy sidewalks and entering a brand new world that smells like peonies and looks a lot more fashionable.

12 Spring fashion staples every woman needs

Spring allows us to peel off a few of our layers and experiment with color (oh, yellows, reds and oranges, how I've missed you)!

This season, we've fallen in love with trends that run the gamut from cool '70s hippie mom to military chic, but we're even more thrilled to find that so many swank styles are also practical spring staples that every woman needs in her closet.

1. The shirtdress

The shirtdress

There's something about spring that makes us yearn for half-day Fridays at work, but that doesn't mean we have the luxury of dressing like we're going to the beach. The shirtdress achieves that perfect balance of no-nonsense professionalism and pretty that just makes sense in the warmer months. It's also dead-easy to accessorize. Add wedge heels and a pendant necklace if you have a big meeting that day or smart flats for an honest-to-goodness half-day Friday.

2. Wide-legged or flared jeans

Wide-legged or flared jeans

After months of squeezing our skinny-legged jeans into rain and snow boots, our poor legs need a break. Lucky for us, '70s-style wide-legged jean trousers are all the rage right now — the higher on the waist, the better. Choose a light wash and feel California cool or stick with a dark rinse, which looks polished with a button-down shirt.

3. Menswear button-down shirt

Menswear button-down shirt

Roll up the sleeves, leave a few buttons open at the top, and tuck this must-have shirt into a pair of high-waisted jeans or trousers. Take this versatile look from the office to dinner by adding a statement necklace or drop earrings.

4. Poncho

Poncho

The ultimate way to free yourself from cumbersome winter jackets is to opt for an extremely stylish poncho, which is more practical than a cape, lets you show off your blouse or sweater and gives you freedom of movement. Instantly update a simple pair of jeans and loafers by slipping on a poncho in a bright color like red or bright blue and white.

5. Trench coat

Trench coat

April showers bring May flowers — prepare yourself for the elements by investing in a great neutral-toned trench coat that goes with every single item in your wardrobe. Bonus: Few outer garments are as flattering to a woman's figure, thanks to the trench's adjustable sash or belt, which cinches your waist so that it looks itty bitty.

More: How to make your trench coat work for spring

6. Culottes

Culottes

Save your short-shorts for picnics. Culottes do the work of both a skirt and pair of shorts and can be made to look all fancy pants with the addition of a pretty, sheer cream blouse, fitted jacket and killer heels. Today's updated culottes are longer than the dreaded Bermuda shorts-length ones that might still haunt you from the '80s.

7. Ankle boots

Ankle boots

Don’t retire your ankle boots just yet. There are plenty of fantastic ways to incorporate these little cuties into your spring wardrobe and they work wonders when the temperature isn't warm enough to break out your espadrilles just yet. Pair them with crop pants, skinny jeans and a basic T-shirt, or even a voluminous skirt and blouse.

More: 10 Stylish outfits to inspire your summer wardrobe

8. Military maxi skirt

Military maxi skirt

Everyone will be wearing a boho maxi skirt this spring — and they look great, don’t get us wrong. But if you want to stand out and do something just a bit different, opt instead for a killer military maxi skirt, which is the perfect blend of utilitarian chic and an easy-breezy spring attitude.

9. White pants

White pants

Bright white pants are to spring and summer what tweed is to winter — they're the ultimate seasonal fashion statement. The coolest way to wear the hue this spring is to make it less precious by pairing sharp white trousers with a graphic black and white blouse or shell top.

More: Why you need to wear white after Labor Day

10. Yellow

Yellow

The season's hottest color is also more wearable than you might think. Pick the right shade for your skin tone, whether that means pastel yellow, saffron or gold, and keep things simple by accessorizing with a pretty pair of button earrings or a cuff bracelet. Prepare yourself for the countless smiles and compliments you'll receive because a woman wearing a yellow sundress lights up every room she enters.

11. Tunic

Tunic

Even if you can't get on board with '70s-inspired flare pants, a tunic offers a less "dated" way of capturing the worldly elegance of laid-back times. It also pairs beautifully with everything from fitted white jeans and heels to shorts and sandals.

12. Floral dress

Floral dress

This season, the bigger and brighter the flowers on your sundress, the better. Keep yourself warm and toasty from now until June by wearing your dress with a sweet cashmere cardigan, tights and ankle boots.

Images: Becci Burkhart/SheKnows

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