3 Ways to Refresh Your Wardrobe for Spring

By: Peter Nguyen
Last Updated: April 2, 2020

Cedrick V. asks, “I recently used your fall guide to redo my wardrobe. Can I still wear my fall clothes in Spring? Or should I refresh it? If so, where do you rec I start?”

A common question I get from clients is if they can wear their fall clothes when it starts getting warmer. 

“Sure,” I tell them. “You can also drink a hot toddy when it’s 75 degrees out, but I wouldn’t recommend it.”

I understand. I love my topcoats and cashmere sweaters too! But it’s great to consider all the Spring style you can wear now after months of bundling up!

Colors! Unlined jackets! Camp collar shirts! No more beanies!

The great thing is if you’ve followed my guide to build your Fall wardrobe, transitioning your wardrobe to Spring is easier than you think!

The Essential Wardrobe Pyramid: The secret to building the perfect wardrobe

No matter what season, I use The Essential Wardrobe Pyramid to build my clients a perfectly balanced wardrobe. 

It looks something like this:

The Foundation (The Base) Also called The Minimalist Wardrobe. The foundation wardrobe centers around timeless, essential pieces in core (neutral) colors. Core colors are navy, black, white, grey, olive, and camel. Think of this like the perfect crust, sauce, and cheese pizza where you can lay toppings on. 

The Seasonal Wardrobe (Center) After my clients build their Foundation Wardrobe, we add some seasonal items in seasonal colors. For Spring, that means lighter fabrics and lighter and brighter colors. Think of these like buying ingredients for your pizza whose peak season is Spring.

Finally, we have the top of the wardrobe pyramid: The Trends. It’s only until my clients’ wardrobes have The Foundation and Seasonal parts of the wardrobes do we add trendy items.

Remember when restaurants added bacon to everything? It was ok if one or two dishes had it, but when you start putting bacon on everything, it feels gimmicky. Trends can be fun to try out, we just don’t want to overdo it. 

The pyramid is a great way to make sure your wardrobe is balanced. 

If you find that you’re having to continually replace items in your closet because “it’s out of style,” it might mean you need to add some foundation pieces.

If you feel like your outfits look a little plain and boring, it’s a good sign that you can add some seasonal and trendy pieces. 

Let me show you how:

Spring wardrobe tweak #1: Lighten up the colors

The Tweak:

The easiest spring tweak you can make is lightening up core colors.

If a dark, fall navy is a 5, turn back the dial to a 3 or 4. 

This is my favorite color hack to brighten up my wardrobe for Spring without resorting to easter yellows and greens. If you’re not a huge color guy like me, this is the perfect place to start. 

The Look: Your Daily WFH Outfit

You know I’m a big advocate for dressing up when you’re working from home. That doesn’t mean you need to go full suit and tie. 

When it comes to WFH, comfort is king. I recommend making a pant with some added stretch your daily go-to, like Bonobos’ stretch washed chinos (a personal favorite.) Save the collared shirts for Zoom meetings. Instead, pair them with something a bit more relaxed, like a soft everyday tee and lightweight sweater (This breathable one made from a blend of cotton and linen in light blue is the perfect choice for Spring.)

Spring wardrobe tweak #2: Add seasonal spring color

The Tweak:

Once you’ve added a few light core colored pieces, feel free to add some seasonal spring colors like purple and pink!

The Look: The Professional Zoom Meeting

Bonobos’ Italian linen blazer is the perfect jacket for when you need to bring your A-game to your next Zoom meeting. It’s unstructured and unlined, making it as comfortable as your favorite hoodie. 

Pair it with a washed button-down shirt, stretch chinos, and suede derbys, and you got the perfect professional look without feeling stuffy.  

The Tweak:

Did you know sailors wore stripes to help them be more visible in the waters if they went overboard? Along with the possibility that it might save your life, stripes are my style trend of choice this Spring. If floral prints were too bold for you in the past, go for stripes. 

The Look: The Outside Stroll

No, I’m not advocating you wandering around the city like it was 2019, but a little air and sunshine will do you some good, even if it’s just a short stroll around your block. 

Brighten up your mood with a striped tee and some stretch travel jeans (even if you’re not hopping on a plane anytime soon doesn’t mean you can’t feel like you’re lounging in first class.) And in case you run into a Spring breeze, don’t forget a Spring weight jacket, like this vintage-inspired cotton Field Jacket from Bonobos.

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This post was in partnership with our friends at RewardStyle and Bonobos. Bonobos have been my go-to shop for my 1-on-1 client work for the past 5 years, and I’m glad I get to work with them now! 

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