off the rack: the spring styles that actually made it into my closet

As I think you know by now, I’m a big believer in finding ways to make trends work for me, instead of having to change my wardrobe and comfort level to suit the trend. The truth is that I’m at that point in my life where I know what I’ll wear, what flatters me, and what belongs in my closet. And I worked hard to get here! Sure, I find a piece or two to push the envelope just a bit every season, but overall, running blindly after every trend that struts by just isn’t my thing.

To wit, I thought you’d like to take a peek at what I’ve actually been buying so far for spring. Ready for a little stroll through my closet?

Spring Buys, via Shopping's My Cardio

Envelope-pusher: No surprise that the Rag & Bone jacket I’ve been stalking for two months made it into my closet. Tweed’s nothing new for me, though this tweed/moto hybrid definitely is. But it’s a jump I’m excited about. I’m telling you, this + boyfriend jeans is going to be my spring uniform.

My tip: If you’re going to push the envelope, it works best if you go with a new silhouette in a familiar fabric, or a new fabric in a familiar cut. Don’t go for silk patterned track pants if you’re not already comfortable in either silk or a drapey/tapered cut. On the other hand, if you’ve been afraid of tweed, but love a good moto…you see what I’m saying?

Up on Top: I can’t be stopped with the silk, apparently. This beautiful bandana print silk top from MiH will be amazing now with denim shorts, and equally wonderful in the fall layered under a cardi. And once again, I fell prey to the limited edition J.Crew print, and nabbed this Swoop top in punk floral before it sold out (I’m betting you can still find it in a store). It’s a little bold for me, but here again – new color, familiar silhouette. I’m thinking a cropped black skinny jean is in order here. And, I threw in J.Crew’s perfect shirt in neon violet linen. I know a long-sleeved shirt doesn’t feel very summer. But it’s linen, and takes to sleeve-rolling quite well. But mostly, look at that color! I was sort of amazed by how flattering this shade is on a range of skin tones. Well worth your $80.

Gussied Up: I’ve been on the dress bandwagon this season, in a big way, and I’ve added two to the rotation that feel as easy and effortless as I desperately want dresses to be. Emerson Fry’s silk keyhole dress was a splurge, no question. But now that it’s here, and I’ve tried on, all I can say is this: I will be buying this in every color it’s ever released in. That easy, relaxed-but-put-together weekend look you search for all summer? This is it. Also, it would kill at work with a blazer. Seriously: more colors, please.

Though this J.Crew ponte swing dress may not look like much, it’s a great spring find. The thick knit fabric gives it enough shape to glide over your curves instead of clinging to and focusing on. Also, it does some lovely things for the waist, has sleeves (a tricky find in spring) and the skirt is a great non-frumpy, non-revealing length. (I also happened to love the sleeveless version, but found it was doing a weird bunching thing in the back, and my salesperson told me someone else had mentioned that problem as well. So, out it went.)

The Short of it: Oh, how I hate shorts. But I do make an exception for one great pair of denim cutoffs. As with everything else, I’m hard to please. I want a little bit of distressing, but threadbare isn’t for me. And while I like a bit of slouch, anything too baggy can be unflattering at best and lead to diaper butt at the worst. And must we continue to deal with 2″ inseams everywhere we turn? After I filtered out the bad eggs, I was left with two good options – so, naturally, I bought both. Kut from the Kloth’s Catherine denim shorts are a very reasonable $69, have just the right amount of fading and distressing, a high-enough rise and a long-enough inseam. Perfect. I also quite like the Abbey from Lucky Brand, which comes in all sorts of washes, and has a nicely frayed edge so you can wear them rolled or unrolled. I picked them up in this berry color, despite the fact that Hubs thinks they make me look like a farmer.

What’s Next: Of course, there was also a mad rush for some spring denim – all of my standby dark washes weren’t feeling right on sunny days. But oh, light washes can be treacherous! So, more on those later. Ditto for the spring shoe bonanza I’ve found myself in. Yes, I went a little nuts. So, stay tuned for the details on both of those.

What am I still in the market for? Well, I’d like a better black skirt – something with a bit of volume and flare to it. Like this, but 3 inches longer (and $100 cheaper). And a few more linen tees in boring neutrals to round out the mix – I find I default to them so much more than my cotton versions these days.

What’s on your spring shopping list? Fill me in in the comments – especially if you need a little help. You know I’m always up for a cardio mission!

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