Sam’s Choice – Spring Clothing Picks

Spring has definitely sprung here in The Deep South, and based on recent weather maps I’ve looked at, I’m assuming it is in your neck of the woods too.  So, as today is the official first day of Spring, here is a look at some of the spring wardrobe essentials I’ve got my eye on for this season.

I’ll start with a jacket.  Spring weather is usually pretty uncertain and you are definitely going to want a good jacket to get you through cool mornings and unexpected cloudbursts.  J. Crew’s Winslow jacket is a great option at a fair price that ought to do the trick for you.  It’s light enough that you will not work up a sweat while wearing it, and it also has a wax/oil finish that will keep you dry amidst the raindrops.  There’s even a hood to keep your head dry and warm.  Definitely a Spring go-to jacket and one that may even take you into summer as well.

For the times when the weather is perfect and a chill rolls in as the sun is setting I’d recommend something like J. Crew’s meridien II hoodie (sidenote: not everything on this list is from J. Crew…).  It’s a tad pricey, but I love the concept behind it, namely a pullover sweatshirt that does not look like you are ready to either workout or do some yardwork.  Throw this on with a pair of khaki shorts or chino pants and you are good to go.

Speaking of khakis, I’m a huge fan of putting a little twist on things, so these colored Gap khakis are a great choice.  I’m partial to the red ones myself, but there are enough colors that I think you ought to be able to find something that fits your own style.  Wear them with a neutral colored shirt of some sort and some flip-flops or sneakers (more complementary colored Converses, less flashy running shoes).   One of the best things about these pants are the versatility.  You can wear them for casual Friday at work, to a Final Four party at a friend’s house, or out on Friday night.  Pick up a pair of these and I know you’ll find plenty of opportunities to wear them.

You’re going to need some shirts to wear in addition to all of these fabulous options for outwear and pants.  For a t-shirt I’m sticking with just a basic soft v-neck.  Nearly every retailer has some version of this shirt in almost every color imaginable but I really like this one from Banana Republic.  It’s plain and simple so you can pair it with almost anything, but it’s not so grubby that you look like you just got done working on your car.  Like the pants above, I also love the versatility of this shirt as you can layer it under a button down, wear it on it’s own with shorts or jeans, or even throw it on with some swim trunks.  If you get this, I promise you will wear it so much more than you think.

One of my favorite things about spring is that it is cool enough to still wear something long sleeve as a top, but warm enough for shorts.  And for pulling that look off well, this striped t-shirt from Banana Republic is ideal.  The long sleeves keep the chill off but the fact that it is a t-shirt keeps you from overheating.  This is  another versatile piece that can be paired with tons of other things and layered under button downs.  And if you have not yet noticed, I am very partial to horizontal stripes.  Just don’t wear more than one item with a similar stripe on it or everyone will think that you’ve lost your mind.

And, for the aforementioned layering button down shirt , I submit this piece from Lands End Canvas.  Again, each retailer will have some version of this shirt in every color imaginable so you can be choosy on options and find one that fits you budget and color palate.  I am a really big fan of the gingham pattern in almost any color and purple (or violet if you so choose) is one of the “it” colors this spring.  If that’s too bold for you, a nice light blue option is always a good choice too.  I love a shirt like this because you can wear it to the office with a tie, to the ballgame with the sleeves rolled up and some shorts, or over a t-shirt with some jeans for a relaxed late spring barbeque.  It’s win-win-win.

With all of these clothing pieces, you are going to need something on your wrist to tell you what time you need to be ready for all of your engagements, and for that I recommend the Timex Weekender.  The simple face design and the colorful fabric straps make this watch perfect for spring and then into summer.  It’ll keep you cooler than the heavy metal watch band you’ve been wearing all winter and it’ll also add a little pop of color that will make you stand out just a bit.  Plus, with all the options they offer, you’re sure to find one that works for you.

And now you just need some shoes.  There are so many good options out there today that I’m assuming you already have your own favorites but these are a few of what I like this spring.  For a dressier option I really like these light brown Hawkings McGill Leather Brogue’s at Urban Outfitter’s.  I’m guessing there are about a thousand different places that you can get a shoe that looks nearly identical to these, but at this price they are tough to beat.  I like the classic look and color and I think that these would look great with jeans, khakis, or slacks.  It’s tough to beat a shoe that goes with that many options and this style is one that you know is going to stick around, so no need to worry about having to buy again in a year.

And as far as casual goes, nothing beats a good pair of Rainbow (brand not color) flip-flops.  I was introduced to these my freshman year of college by my best friend and I’ve never looked back.  They are super comfortable (after a brief break-in period), they go with absolutely everything, you can wear them for a long time before they even start to wear out (I know because when was in college in South Florida I did wear them almost every day and it took at least a year before they even started to show any major wear).  Getting a pair of these will definitely be worth your while.

And then for a pair of more casual sneakers, it’s tough to beat a pair of Converse Jack Purcell’s.  They are comfortable, timeless, and versatile, three things that you may have noticed that I am pretty high on.  I’ve had a pair of these for over a year now and I’ve worn them all the time in every conceivable situation with great success.  They look and feel great.  They come in a ton of colors and variations so you are sure to find something that works for you.

So while not a full and total wardrobe makeover for you, hopefully this can get you started looking (or buying for a boyfriend/husband/brother/father/etc) in some of the right directions.  I also realize that it is a pretty casual list, so time permitting, I may try and put together a more formal grouping of stuff that I like as well.  But for now, enjoy and happy Spring!

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