I don't know about the rest of you, but I find that I tend to gravitate toward certain pieces and trends when I shop only to discover as I mentally run through my wardrobe that I already own something very similar. Lately I've started thinking about what catches my eye most. This list is by no means comprehensive, although it encompasses certain patterns I noticed when I surveyed my wardrobe and my accessories.
1. Buttons. I love oversized buttons on cardigans and coats or as a whimsical detail on a shoe. I also love the look of covered buttons. Even on an inexpensive blouse or sweater, having tiny buttons that are covered in the same knit or fabric as the garment itself lends it that much more luxury. The Peter Pan collar, oversized buttons, and cuff detailing on this wool coat from Forever 21 ($39.80) are reminiscent of the details of my own coats.
2. Pattern, pattern, pattern. About half of the dresses I own are patterned: floral, paisley, bold geometric prints. I usually like wearing these patterns in a flattering A-line silhouette with a defined waist, kind of like this dress from Anthropologie ($151.37). With such a bold pattern, I would keep the accessories simple such as a simple cuff bangle, a string of pearls, or stud earrings.
3. Bold saturated colours. Blues, turquoises, bright pinks, corals, greens, and purples predominate and give the neutrals in my wardrobe a much needed punch of colour. I love pairing colourful coats and jackets or tops with denim, khaki, or black. This electric blue tube top from Forever 21 ($13.80) would look perfect with a black blazer, dark denim Rock and Republic jeans, and pointy-toed pumps or black patent flats.
4. Low to mid-heel shoes. I'm a big fan of comfort and I tend to walk and take public transit around the city. When I go out clubbing, I'm one of those girls who never leaves the dance floor. A comfortable shoe is key: Out of the thirtysomething pairs of shoes I own, only five pairs have a heel that is 2.5" or above. The other ones are either flat or have a low heel somewhere between 1" and 2". Lately I've been falling for more shoes that have a slightly chunkier mid-height heel, like this pair from Anthropologie with a 1.5" cone heel ($151.34).
5. Sweaters. I am a sucker for sweater knits: scarves, chunky and fine-knit cardigans, 3/4 sleeves, V-necks...so much so that my sweater collection has expanded beyond its alloted sweater drawer and into plastic bins on my bookshelves and another drawer. For winter I'll wear a wool blend for the warmth, but in the spring I like 3/4 or short sleeves on a cotton-blend thin sweater. And I definitely love the idea of layering. This 3/4 sleeve scoopneck black and white striped sweater from Banana Republic ($58) is remarkably similar to the one I bought at H&M last year.
6. Dark denim. I think dark denim is so much more polished and versatile than lighter washes, and it also has a slimming effect on your legs. Six pairs of jeans, three skirts, and one jacket later, my love of dark denim hasn't faded a bit. This pair of Rock and Republic jeans ($224) will take you everywhere in style.
7. Clutches and wristlets. Clutches have been around for the last few seasons, but this season bold, bright statement clutches are the bag for spring. I myself tend to go for structured clutches and wristlets that are just big enough to hold my essentials but not the oversized ones that require two hands to grip onto. Mizzj at Being High Maintenance, not Bitchy and I both fell hard for this Kooba clutch ($295) from Kitson.
8. Pretty graphic tees. I love graphic tees with pretty nature motifs and silver foil screened details, like this metallic butterfly tee from Forever 21 ($12.80).
9. A-line skirts. I've lost count of how many I own; it's such a flattering and feminine silhouette! With a fitted tee or cami, a light structured jacket, sandals, and a cute handbag, A-line skirts are pitch-perfect for spring and summer. I found this geometric print skirt from Banana Republic ($69), which captures this spring's op-art trend perfectly.
10. Structure. For better or for worse, I will never be an artfully dishevelled and undone bohemian bourgeois girl a la Kate Moss or Sienna Miller. While I think they're very stylish, it's just not me. I crave structure in my clothes and accessories and classic styling. For this reason, I'm attracted to tailored seams and fitted silhouettes in my jackets and coats; a belt doesn't hurt either, and I love the look of belted trenches and car jackets. For handbags, I avoid slouchy hobos in favour of sleek shapes and smooth lines.