Rummaging your closet for spring outfit ideas? No fear! We've narrowed the search down to the five key pieces (and cute accessories to boot!) you'll want to invest in for an easy breezy style update this season. Consider these smart options--we promise they'll be your closet's new MVPs.
For more styling tips, pick up the March issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download now.
1. Denim JacketWhy it works: You already know how versatile it is. The trick is to make this wardrobe workhorse feel a little more thoroughbred. Look for of-the-moment details: a band collar, zippers instead of metal buttons. Then, for a pleasing contrast, pair it with silky floral shorts and saunter into the winner's circle.
Jacket, 3×1, $395, intermixonline.com; Tee, 6397, $165, shopbop.com; Bag, Marc by Marc Jacobs, $98, bloomingdales.com; Sunglasses, Illesteva, $280, illesteva.com; Silk-cotton, J. Crew, $148, jcrew.com; Sandals, Circus by Sam Edelman, $45; at Lord amp Taylor
2. Striped DressWhy it works: You can take a blue-striped classic shirtdress anywhere. Red and white accessories will always look right with it—but add one pattern you won't see on a flagpole, like this abstract-print scarf.
Scarf, Yarnz, $195; at Ron Herman, 323-651-4129; Dress, Chinti and Parker, $255, chintiandparker.com; Leather, A.P.C., $720; at A.P.C., 212-966-0049; Sandals, Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn, $150; kdbrooklyn.com
3. Striped DressWhy it works: For a Coco Chanel in Biarritz vibe, select a dress with horizontal sailor's stripes and a long, skinny silhouette. Give the look polish with an envelope bag in place of a straw tote, or wildflower flats instead of espadrilles.
Sunglasses, Le Specs, $59, zappos.com; Rose gold finish, Sarah Magid Jewelry, $98, sarahmagid.com; Satchel, Lauren Moffatt for Lauren Merkin, $395; laurenmerkin.com; Dress, Kate Spade Saturday, $120; saturday.com; Flats, Marais USA, $156; maraisusa.com
4. Flowy PantsWhy it works: A fluid material, like silk, creates a beautifully slouchy drape. Choose a top that's equally relaxed, like this drop-shoulder T. If you're craving a bit of structure, try crisp lace-ups in linen and leather.
Scarf, A Peace Treaty, $220, apeacetreaty.com; Top, J Brand, $195, at select Saks Fifth Avenue stores; Necklace, Bluma Project, $60, blumaproject.com; Pants, Clu, $187, at Blue 1, 631-237-1796; Cross-body bag, Coach, $268, at Coach; Lace-ups, Aquatalia by Marvin K., $375, aquatalia.com
5. Flowy PantsWhy it works:Don't be afraid of combining a bold pattern with a loose silhouette. Elastic at the ankles keeps the volume in check. Top with a honeycomb mesh jacket that echoes the breeziness of the bottoms.
Jacket, Milly, $595, millyny.com; Satchel, Kate Spade Saturday, $250, saturday.com; Pants, Olsenboye, $25, jcpenney.com; Tank, Kymerah, $192, kymerah.com; Leather, Dolce Vita, $159, dolcevita.com
6. White JacketWhy it works: Tired of your tough black moto jacket? Time to trade it in for something a little lighter and frothier (note the openwork detail on this number). Girl it up with satiny pastel trousers and sexy heels.
Sunglasses, Carrera, $129, at select Solstice Sunglasses stores; Necklace, Auden, $328, audendesign.com; Jacket, Ann Yee, $435, annyeecollection.com; Top, Bailey 44, $174, bailey44.com; Pants, $285, at Atrium, 713-520-0206; Clutch, Joanna Maxham, $325, joannamaxham.com; Pumps, Diane von Furstenberg, $325, at Diane von Furstenberg, 646-486-4800
7. White JacketWhy it works:Restraint is the secret to this ladylike look. Nothing distracts from the pristine silhouette—no collar or lapels, no scarf, no frills. It's just pure shape and simple lines. Punctuate with black-and-white accents.
Jacket, French Connection, $298, bloomingdales.com; Top, $295, at Barneys New York; Skirt, Atea, $315, ateaoceanie.com; Bag, Clare V., $460, clarevivier.com; Bangles, Elk, $48 each, elkaccessories.com; Heels, the Blonde Salad x Steve Madden, $169, stevemadden.com
8. Flippy SkirtWhy it works:Especially graceful in a longer length, this skirt is also super-comfy thanks to the forgiving folds of fabric. Balance the romantic bottom half with more graphic pieces, like a striped top, a bold bag, and textured heels.
Sunglasses, Michael Stars, $78, michaelstars.com; Necklace, T+J Designs, $88, tandjdesigns.com; Top, Camilla and Marc, $280, at Roam, 203-625-0200; Bag, Rebecca Minkoff, $395, at Nordstrom; Skirt, Obakki, $250, obakki.com; Heels, Delman, $598, delmanshoes.com
9. Flippy SkirtWhy it works:A shorter hem gives this look a playful feel. Go with a top in the same spirit, like this frankly fake, totally fierce animal-print pullover. The next best thing to bare feet: strappy flats that showcase your brilliant pedicure.
Top, Sea, $235, shopbop.com; Skirt, Rag & Bone, $450, at Rag & Bone, 212-219-2204; Bag, BCBGeneration, $128, bcbgeneration.com; Cuff, W. Britt, $425, wbritt.com; Sandals, Kooba, $150, available in March at zappos.com