The 11 Essentials Every Spring Wardrobe Should Contain

Good news: the days of pool parties, rooftop barbecues, and park lounging are finally, maybe, almost here. At long last your calendar will be full of not just work obligations but all of this fun you've been daydreaming about since you first heard the words "polar vortex." All of which raises one very important question: What are you going to wear?

To help with your upcoming closet excavation, we've made a checklist of staples we would all do well to have in our closets as spring arrives. Start digging through your old duds for favorites you can bring back and watch for sales to stock up on the items you don't already have. When that first warm Saturday happens, you want to be ready. Happy spring!

A BRIGHT MINI

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Take it back '60s style and jive in a bright mini. Come on, your legs have been begging to lose the tights and feel spring's fresh breeze all the way up to the mid-thigh region. Mini are also great because they're so versatile. You can channel Debbie Harry's '70s Blondie look by throw your favorite t-shirt or a loose sweater over it (sunglasses highly recommended), or pair it with a silky top, flats and a clutch for a more polished brunch-with-Mom look. Mini skirts are coming in a range of shockingly bright colors this year, so prepare to lighten up. We love this J. Crew fluted skirt in pale citrus.

A LIGHT BLAZER

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It's time to give your fall blazer a three-month hiatus. For spring, look for one that's slim-cut and 100 percent cotton. Whether you're throwing it over your work dress or wearing it out into the cooler nights, linen is a great choice — its high air permeability means it won't overheat you. The fabric also repels dirt, making it easy to pull off bright colors. This Rag and Bone Nancy blazer has a classic cut that can be paired with any outfit, and it's 100 percent cotton.

A CRISP WHITE TEE

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The white tee will always be a wardrobe staple. (We didn't create a list of 10 essential white t-shirts for nothing.) It's easy, comfortable, and incredibly stylish for the lack of effort it demands. Loomstate sells a loose v-neck short-sleeve style that complements all body types — pair it with dark jeans for a classic look so flawless you can get away with wearing it two days in a row.

NOT YOUR AVERAGE SUNNIES

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I'm not suggesting you bring back Kanye West's shutter shades — which don't even protect the eyes from UV rays — but when it comes to your sunglasses, play around with color and shapes. Ray Ban's timeless Clubmaster styles now have mirrored lenses in bold colors like cobalt blue, adding just the right amount of unexpected fun.

Platform Sandals

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Casual enough for the weekends and formal enough for work (if your workplace allows open-toe shoes), platform sandals are the gift that keeps on giving. If you plan to walk in them a lot, choose a pair with cushioned soles and adjustable ankle straps to accommodate swelling feet. They're also a great way to add a pop of color to an otherwise neutral outfit. Try these Topshop Lana2 platforms in sorbet orange.

Casual Sneakers

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Because spring is made for long walks outdoors. Go for slim styles like Vans Authentic Lo Pro. If they have clean seams and a low cut, they are as versatile as a basic tee. Wear them with cutoff shorts or a sun dress, and most things in between.

Denim Shorts

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Speaking of cutoffs, denim shorts are so classic, so American, so beyond reproach, even Taylor Swift wears them. They're go-to pieces for fashionable getaways and pair well with light blazers, according to Gwyneth Paltrow, but they don't require paying Goop prices. Comb your closet for a pair of jeans that's past it's prime, then follow these steps to make your own cutoffs.

A Fun dress you'd gladly wear every day

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If there's anything we can learn from Courtney Love and Alexa Chung, it's that any day can be dress day. Dresses are the fashion version of "set it and forget it," so find a dress that packs a punch with no effort. Florals are a great print to wear for spring, and this season we're seeing floral frocks in many shapes and textures, so it shouldn't be hard to find one that fits your body and taste. This Reformation mini dress is perfect for a picnic at the park or an outdoor music festival.

a WIDE-BRIMMED Hat

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If you think hats aren't your thing, you just haven't found your perfect hat. You also haven't been shielding your face from harsh sun exposure, which you should start doing STAT. I, too, was once a hat hater, but I came around, and the right wide-brimmed number will change your mind, too. As hat-obsessed jewelry designer Pamela Love once told to Urban Outfitter's blog, "It's all about how you wear it and how you feel in what you wear." Brixton's online store offers a great variety of styles to choose from to give your face some shade, like this Piper hat.

A Spring Pullover

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Like your blazer, spring's sweater is lighter and slimmer. Since you'll be facing fluctuating temperatures, especially transitioning from day to night, it's always good to have one at hand. Throw it over a dress, pair it with a skirt, wear it around your waist so you'll have it when you need it. Stripes always work well for warmer weather, perhaps due to their nautical association. This A.P.C. sailor sweater paired with casual sneakers and shorts makes a great, fail-proof approach.

Colorful Arm Candy

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'Tis the season to ditch the black and brown bags for a splash of color. Have you ever sat on a dark leather car seat in the middle of the day? So uncomfortable! Why deal with it throughout the day? Go for brights or eye-catching two-tones like this gorgeous Borough Bag from Coach.