If you, like us, find yourself being a bit preoccupied at the moment, it's likely that you didn't catch on to the fact that today, according to the calendar, is the first day of spring. Temperature-wise, however, this month is anyone’s guess. Checking the weather in the morning has turned into a math problem — what to wear when the mercury is starting out the day with a downright wintry 38, but will be 65 by lunchtime? And that’s not taking into consideration the high winds or cold snap that’s sure to come in the next few days.
We’re in the same boat with you; staring at our closets helplessly in the morning and wondering which of our go-tos will keep us warm and cool at the same time. However, there’s nothing we love like a fashion challenge, so we thought long and hard about the 11 most essential pieces for this sartorially challenging season. And because we know you’re saving up dollars for those crucial spring and summer purchases (bathing suits, new sandals, actual vacation), we made sure that everything was under $200. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. A Wool Blazer
You may not think of wool as a transitional fabric, but hear us out — the winter-into-spring moment is actually the perfect one for your heavier blazer. Think about it: this piece could never cut it as an actual coat during freezing temps, but it’ll be way too toasty when it warms up for good. Right now, however, it’s the perfect outdoor/indoor top layer.
& Other Stories
Hourglass Houndstooth Blazer, $, available at
& Other Stories More A Loose-Knit Sweater
It’s definitely gotten too warm for your heavier cashmere blends and chunky cable knits, but that doesn't mean you can waltz out of the house in just your button-down and a topper, either. We recommend a lightweight cotton sweater with a looser knit that won’t suffocate you as a second layer. If it’s cute and springy enough, you can even wear it solo when the temps begin to climb into the 60s.
Knit Sweater, $, available at
H&M More A Cheap & Cheerful Sneaker
An easy way to test the color-block trend is by dipping your toe in. Remind yourself that it is technically a new season, even on the days when the mercury dips to pre-spring levels with punchy colorful kicks. No need to break the bank on these — a classic throwback style from a true athletic brand will keep your feet quite happy.
Sunshine Authentic, $, available at
Vans More A Large, Cloud-Like Scarf
This accessory provides a crucial extra layer on those days that you got too cocky and left the house in naught but a denim jacket, only to be confronted by sub-40 degree temperatures as you’re leaving the office.
Padded Triangle Scarf, $, available at
COS More Story continues Socks That Put The FUN In Functional
Forget no-show socks — these are show-
socks. You may not need the heavy-duty winter variety anymore, but now is the time to break out the lightweight styles that weren’t quite insulating enough for colder temps. There’s a brief window to let these weirdos shine, so you’d better take advantage.
Emma Ankle Socks, $, available at
Shopbop More An Almost-Sandal
Sandal season is so close you can taste it — but temperature fluctuations between 40 and 60 degrees mean that your tootsies will be too exposed in a straight-up flip-flop. Introducing these mini-heeled sling-backs.
Charles & Keith
Cylindrical Heel Slingback Pumps, $, available at
Charles & Keith More A "Jacket" That’s Secretly A Men’s Shirt
You may be able to find this item hanging in the closet of the nearest male, but if not; head straight to your local workwear site and snag the button-down most to your liking. Styling tip: resist the urge to cuff or roll up the sleeves. Keep them fully buttoned for a cool look.
Great Master Shirt, $, available at
SSENSE More A Turtleneck
You know the feeling: you open your closet to grab a coat as you walk out the door, and ever fiber in your being rejects it. What to do when it’s still chilly, but you can’t bear the thought of putting on your jacket again? We’re here to tell you that the turtleneck is a three-season friend — throw it on under a button-down or a sleeveless dress to ward off chills without the addition of another layer.
The Pima Micro Rib Turtleneck, $, available at
Everlane More The Heavy Trouser
Hold your horses, eager beaver: it’s not the time for featherweight poplin or linen bottoms just yet. You can, however, trade out your wool trousers for a heavy twill or double cotton option, that will insulate your legs when the mercury drops, but won’t suffocate your dermis if the temperature begins its midday climb.
Enya Suiting Pant, $, available at
Need Supply More Look-At-Me Earrings
Is it one of those on-the-colder-side days when you are
relegated to your winter wardrobe again; coat, scarf, and all? Even in April, it can happen. If there’s no room for seasonal newness in your look, reach for your brand-new, statement-making earrings to inject some artificial sunshine into your wardrobe.
Gold-Tone, Bead And Pearl Hoop Earrings, $, available at
Net-A-Porter More A Long Sleeve Floaty Dress
This billowy number could be filed under the, "if you dream it, it will come" train of thought. A pretty, airy dress can be thrown on with boots on a chilly spring day, but once it heats up, it's showtime — just pack sandals.
Ruffled Bustier Midi Dress, $, available at
Pixie Market More Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? 24 Jacket Trends To Buy Up For Spring These Street-Style Trends Exude Positivity Spring Break Dressing Just Got A Whole Lot Easier