Five things to buy today and thank me for next year.

I’ll be honest: I hate spring shopping. I’m awful at transitioning between seasons. My heart is cold and my desire is to dress as such all the time. Give me all the grays and cold weather accessories. My heart is happy, and winter-loving.

But, I can’t avoid it. Spring is here.

And, because I work in retail, I have to act like I’m excited about it.

If I have learned anything in the past 2 and a half years of working at Gap, it is that there are certain pieces you need. These are the clothes that you can wear with nearly almost anything, and pair it up with the rest. A shirt, a jacket, some jeans, etc. We call them staples because can be used nearly year-round, never go out of style, and are arguably worth the buy to keep some basics in your closet. They’re flexible enough to be paired with several different outfits for tons of of different occasions, and are also basic enough to get plenty of use.

As March breezes by us and we watch the flowers grow outside our windows, there are a few items that I will be wearing these coming weeks. Below are the pieces that have made those transitions easier for me for several seasons now. These pieces are so flexible, yet basic, you can buy this week and thank me for next year. I promise, you’ll still love them then.

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Utility Jacket

I bought the navy one last year, wore it out of the store, and got compliments just minutes after I got out of my car to meet with friends. It has a drawstring on the inside, so I can tighten it and still keep my body shape. I’m still discovering its hidden pockets. It’s easy to keep clean. Plus, and I’m sure it’s totally not advertised as this, but it’s not afraid of a little rain. I often resort to this jacket as my rain coat because it dries quickly, and keeps me dry on the inside too. I can layer it up, or keep it plain. I can wear it with dresses or jeans, and heels or sneakers. Yeah— it’s THAT versatile. It’s perfect. As a matter of fact, I’m even wearing it now as I type this. Even though last year’s looks slightly different, this year is still offering one that is basically identical. Spring is happy to see this jacket again.

 

 

Girlfriend Jeans

Okay, so you’re going to see the picture of them and say, “Wow, Brianna. These look disgusting.” And then you’re going to try them on and say, “Wow, Brianna. These make me look disgusting.” But, I’m going to respond by telling you to walk outside the fitting room, down the hall to that huge mirror, look at how happy your legs look, and then come back. For me, all I had to do was walk around in these to know I wanted them. They are so comfy. I take off my skinny jeans most nights and have a line imprinted on my legs, but these? Well, these are my break. These are the jeans I wear when I want to be comfortable, but still look like I care about life. These jeans basically break all the rules, but in a totally modest and chill way, and I love it. They inspire me to wear what I want— not in a “I’m just not wearing clothes today” way, but in a “I want to wear sneakers and a tee today.” These jeans give me the confidence to do that. Dress them with sneakers, flats, oxfords, sandals. The shoes set the tone, and you can use any of them. And did I mention you’d be completely comfy?

 

 

Flats

These are soft on the outside and the inside. Probably what makes these the most appealing is the color selection. I went into the store thinking I’d go with a caramel or olive, but came out with coral. What, wait. Who am I? I’m Brianna McNeese and I don’t wear coral, right? These shoes had a different story to tell. Go with a safe, neutral color. Or, go with a bold color for that pop of color. And here’s a reminder: it’s spring. And as I mentioned earlier, I hate this transition. Mostly because I hate the color changes. But, these shoes give me hope.These shoes give the freedom to wear a pop of color to get everyone off your back about dressing like you love spring, but also let you keep the neutrals in the closet. These shoes are my way of saying to spring, “You can pry the gray clothing from my lifeless fingers after I die. I will keep my gray dresses and black cardigans… and these coral shoes. Thank you.”

 

 

T-Shirt Dress

This is a sweet story. I left work at 6:15 for my first date with Travis last April. On my way out, I realized I had nothing new and cute to wear for him. So, I stopped by Gap on my way out of the mall and within 10 minutes, was walking out with a t-shirt dress. By 7:05, I was walking out of my dorm in my new, easy to layer dress and completely confident in the time I was about to spend with him. Not only did I wear it that night, but I’ve worn it a few times since then (somewhat sentimental, you know?), and it always catches attention. They’re a great length, and can be worn nearly anytime of year. Seriously. Put some booties and a light scarf with it tomorrow, and by May you’ll be able to wear sneakers and a denim vest with it. I bought the stripes last year, and chose a solid for this year. Oh, and by the way, he gave me a big smile when he picked me up for that first date.

 

 

Super Soft Tee

This one was just too easy to not mention. This is the kind of thing you buy on a whim just because it looks fun. It’s super soft, and you’re basically stuck with it for the rest of your life because you can wear it with anything. A skirt and scarf will dress it up, or a denim jacket and sneakers will tone it down. It’s soft. Cheap. Fun. All the things. This shirt is all the things.

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So, this is what I’m wearing. And honestly, it makes me a little more excited to be in my hammock and catch the tables on the outside patio of the coffee shop in these coming weeks.

What about you? What fashion pieces are looking into as we move into spring? What do you think about these pieces? What would you do differently to them?

Long live spring and staple pieces.

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Inspired by the job I love and the product I sell. Thanks due to my mother for latching on to crazy ideas and being my photographer for an hour, and only judging me for it twice.

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