Seven items that will spice up your spring style

This post is in honor of those of you who follow this blog for style ideas. I've been lagging a little in this category, partly because I've spent more of my money on books this year than clothes. Which actually is something that I hope to do forever, because your brain should be getting bigger investments than your closet. However, I promised to continue sprinkling in style posts so voila!

There are a few things that I've hunted and invested in over the past several months that I wanted to share here, because they've truly been worth it and on repeat in my closet. Not only were these pieces awesome in their own right, the fact that I've worn them so much is a little boost of confidence that my year of cutting back has helped me to become a more discerning shopper, in tune with what I truly need or will enjoy wearing for years. I've included links to some of them because I felt they were great buys worthy of sharing, but do not under any circumstance encourage you to buy them unless you've considered your own wardrobe gaps first!

Without further ado, here they are in no particular order:

#1 An oversize, pleated midi dress

This dress pictured above deserves its own post (note to self) because it is hands down the best piece of clothing I've purchased in years. It was pricey, but I decided to invest in it after trying it on, walking away, realizing how many different ways I could wear it, and calculating the cost per wear. I went back to buy it and dropped the cash guilt-free. It's super high quality, versatile and hand made in the USA which meets all the qualifications in my book. I love that it can be styled so many ways, for weddings with cage heels and a cool clutch, weekends with flats, even the beach with sandals.

If you're looking to make an investment, here's the link to this exact dress.

#2 Statement, artsy earrings

Although I wear the same fine jewelry every day, I realized that I had a gap of truly special earrings in my collection that can be a statement for outfits that are otherwise simple and basic. I looked for a few months before finding these perfect two-tone semicircle earrings and snapped them up on the spot because I could think of a dozen outfits that I'd pair them with AND they're also hand made in the USA.

If you love these too, here's the link to these exact earrings.

#3 An oversize woven leather tote

When I was 17, I found this woven leather Falor tote at TJ Maxx and fell in love with it, but didn't buy it and have always had it in the back of my mind since. It's simplicity, lack of branding and hardware, oversize shape and quality construction make it amazing. When I decided to invest in a new tote, I selected this one over the Gucci Boston bag that I've had my eye on for a few years. It's been coming with me everywhere lately, including work.

#4 A crisp, white blouse

…That's not an oxford or a tunic. This blouse is from my favorite consignment shop in Chicago (shout out to McShane's Exchange for all my Chicago based readers) and has given more mileage to my work outfits by adding some excitement to my tailored pants and skirts, and also polishing up my weekend basics like these distressed jeans.

#5 A small, neutral, high quality weekend bag

There's something about a great bag that makes anything you wear look better, and I realize that while I had a few great weekend bags that were small and easy to throw on and go, they were statement pieces that couldn't be worn with everything. I needed something in a camel or nude that wouldn’t compete with my outfit choices and would balance out items that might be a little out there (such as a pleated midi dress…). When I found this 3.1 Philip Lim nude bag at a great price point (and second hand), I snapped it up and have been wearing it every weekend since.

#6 Amazing, walkable heels

The two pairs of shoes that been breathing new life into my wardrobe lately are a pair of glitter block heel pumps from &Other Stories, and a pair of velvet strappy sandals that look much more expensive than they actually were (and have been inspiring me to keep my toenails painted to I can continue to wear them). I've been taking my go-to basic all-black or black-and-navy outfits and adding glitter heels to dress them up for nights out. I've been pairing these velvet pink sandals with my tried-and-true favorite spring dresses and they're making them feel fresh and new.

#7 A trendy off-the-shoulder dress

Although I've resisted the OTS trend for a while now, I picked one up at a cheesy tourist shop when Wes and I were in Miami because I was literally DYING OF HEAT in my maxi dress. Also broke my rules on hemlines and heel heights (but when in Miami…) and sort of loved it. I'll be wearing this with cool sandals, hats and bags all summer once it's hot in Chicago.

Also, special shout out to the Illesteva sunglasses worn in basically every picture here because I cannot get enough of them. There are a few other items that I have on my want list for spring and summer (like white high-vamp flats and a straw bag), and I'll share those in a separate post once I've fully vetted my choices…

Anyway, thanks for reading! Please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what you think of these picks, what you've picked up recently that has helped to refresh your wardrobe for the warmer months, or what you want to see more of on this blog.