30 April Outfit Ideas to Ease You Out of Sweats and Back Into Your Favorite Spring Looks

editor@purewow.com (PureWow)
·11 min read

April showers bring May flowers, but they also bring a slew of new trends to try as we shed our heavy puffer coats for lightweight jackets. That sentiment is doubly true now that quarantine is (slowly but surely) coming to an end and restaurants, movie theaters and coffee shops are reopening, giving us even more reason to dress up. If you’re not quite sure where to even begin—should we leap out the door in our brand new knit dresses and clogs, or break out our old standy-bys instead?—let these 30 fashionable ladies be your guides with 30 fabulous outfits to keep you inspired all month long.

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1. Embrace Blooms Both Big and Small

Yeah, yeah, we know, [insert The Devil Wears Prada quote here]. But we like to think of spring florals as less of a cliché and more of a classic stand-by. Mix tiny daisies with boldly hued roses for a look that says “spring is finally in the air.”

Shop similar styles: Maeve blouse ($118); Rag & Bone skirt ($350; $140); Linea Paolo shoes ($120)

2. Balance Heavy Winter Fabrics With Spring Pastels

Even if we’re still wearing cold-weather clothes (including leather pants and chunky knits), that doesn’t mean we need to look like we’re stuck in January. Pair heavier fabrics with Easter-egg shades like sunshine yellow, lilac, rose and Robin’s-egg blue for a look that’s both warm and seasonally appropriate.

Shop similar styles: Amanda Uprichard blazer ($312); Tory Burch blouse ($)298; Wilfred pants ($148); Linea Paolo heels ($110)

3. Try Chain-Adorned Shoes

Heels, sandals and flats with chain decoration are trending for spring, but if they feel a little too glam for your taste, we have some tricks to make them feel more relatable. Look for styles that feature acrylic links rather than metallic, and pair them with earthy colors and boho prints rather than sharp black tailoring or fitted midi dresses.

Shop similar styles: Faherty x b. Yellowtail duster ($358); Sancia belt ($109); A.W.A.K.E. Mode shoes ($695)

4. Tie Your Sweater Around Your Shoulders

The preppy styling trick is still cool in 2021.

Shop similar styles: Charter Club cardigan ($40) and crewneck ($70; $21); Commando pants ($138); Nine West heels ($99)

5. Use Accessories to Glam Things Up

A plaid overcoat, a simple tank dress and flat sandals make for a rather basic ensemble. But add some bright cat-eye sunglasses and a chic little clutch and you’ll look suddenly much more glamorous.

Shop similar styles: Sojos sunglasses ($11); Vince coat ($795); Staud dress ($278); Cuyana clutch ($175); Vince Camuto shoes ($100)

6. Knot a Scarf Over Your Head

No umbrella? No problem. Simply keep a square scarf in your bag for emergencies and tie it around your head to protect that blowout.

Shop similar styles: Madewell scarf ($13); Maison Kitsune sweatshirt ($200); DKNY skirt ($99); Calvin Klein heels ($99)

7. Sport an Oversize Sweater Vest

We didn’t see this trend coming either, but the Doug Funnie wardrobe staple has been popping up all over our social media feeds, so why not give it a try? Choose one in a slightly oversize cut and a fun color and layer it over a printed blouse in a complementary hue. (Avoid cable knit or argyle styles for now as they all too easily look like a school uniform or golf club staple.)

Shop similar styles: ASOS sweater vest ($29); Frame blouse ($348; $209); Agolde jeans ($178); Tony Bianco boots ($166)

8. Go Totally Accessory-Free

Take a true minimalist approach and sport perfectly tailored, solid-hued separates in expensive-looking colors like cream, camel or forest green. Leave the fancy jewelry or standout handbag for another day.

Shop similar styles: Polo Ralph Lauren sweater ($198); Bebe dress ($139; $88); Matisse shoes ($81)

9. Revamp Last Year’s Staples

Yes, the 20 tie-dye pieces you bought during quarantine last summer are still very much en vogue. Pair them with other old favorites, like a colorful slip skirt and plain white kicks, and festive accessories, like a bold mini crossbody and colorful shades, for a look that’s both a little nostalgic and freshly modern.

Shop similar styles: White Willow top ($98; $18); Grey Lab skirt ($80); Strathberry bag ($445; $312); Adidas sneakers ($85)

10. Add a Subtle Touch of Summer

Gingham is truly a summer picnic-ready print, but it can still work in the the early (and often chilly and rainy) days of spring if you pair it with jeans, a tailored button-down and brown ankle boots as opposed to floaty blouses or floral sandals.

Shop similar styles: Rumbrella umbrella ($36); Charlie Holiday jacket ($119); J.Crew shirt ($80); 7 For All Mankind jeans ($195); Everlane boots ($115; $69)

11. Break Out Your Fall Shacket Once Again

Layer the cabincore staple over light-colored dresses rather than denim or leggings to keep things seasonally appropriate and forgo a hat in favor of a pearl-adorned barrette or gold statement earrings.

Shop similar styles: Monki shacket ($103; $70); Banana Republic dress ($139; $104); Rag & Bone boots ($395)

12. Wear Colorful Denim the 2021 Way

The coolest way to wear non-blue wash denim in 2021 is in the form of a coordinating set, whether it be a jacket and skirt or a duster and boyfriend jeans. Another pro tip: Skip the skinnies in favor of a looser silhouette to avoid making your legs look like crayons.

Shop similar styles: Scotch & Soda jacket ($198) and jeans ($139); Agolde T-shirt ($58); New Balance sneakers ($175)

13. Try an Unexpected Color Combo

Who knew that lilac and mustard yellow would work so well together? Or red and teal for that matter?

Shop similar styles: Lands’ End T-shirt ($23; $17); Ann Taylor skirt ($89); Longchamp bag ($140); Simmi London sandals ($35)

RELATED: 9 Color Combinations That Will Never Go Out of Style

14. Or Stick to One Color Family

Tonal dressing is majorly trending for spring 2021 (and summer and fall and winter and then spring all over again). Our favorite versions of this look embrace the power of neutral hues like beige and brown with just a hint of color, like a mustard yellow or deep rust red.

Shop similar styles: New York & Company jacket ($150; $90); Endless Rose top ($40); L.L.Bean pants ($70); New Balance sneakers ($80)

15. Have a Superman Moment

Layer a T-shirt (graphic or otherwise) under a shirtdress and unbutton to the waist for a little peek of color or pattern. Then add a belt to keep things from looking too undone.

Shop similar styles: Sandro dress ($445; $178); Stylein T-shirt ($69; $41); Clinch Belts belt ($339); Cuyana bag ($195); Franco Sarto flats ($99; $70)

16. Embrace the Nap Dress, Even Outside the House

Nap dresses are set to be 2021’s version of the sweatsuit (i.e., our go-to cozy weekend wear), even as we venture outside the house more and more frequently. Balance the voluminous and youthful silhouette with tough flat booties and a black textured handbag for a cool weekend ensemble.

Shop similar styles: Ganni dress ($285); Shrimps bag ($511); Blundstone boots ($230)

17. Sport as Many Jumpsuits as You Can

A one-and-done outfit is kind of the dream, right? Enjoy the ease of a dress with the warmth of pants...and try to wear it as much as possible.

Shop similar styles: Tory Burch cardigan ($298); Skies Are Blue jumpsuit ($95); TMRW Studio bag ($145); Journee Collection flats ($43)

18. Mix Sporty and Femme

Turns out, a casual cotton sweatshirt looks pretty darn fab with that slinky slip skirt you’ve been saving for a special occasion.

Shop similar styles: Billabong sweatshirt ($50; $20); Souvenir skirt ($350; $175); Steve Madden boots ($105)

19. Get Sporty with Your Outerwear

Embrace the sportswear of the ’90s with a cool windbreaker or anorak.

Shop similar styles: Columbia ($110; $40); Woman Within jacket ($100; $70); The North Face jacket ($229; $138); Patagonia jacket ($249)

RELATED: The 18 Best Raincoats for Women, from a Classic Slicker to an Everyday Trench

20. Pile On Your Summer Whites

Memorial Day is still a few weeks away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rock an all-white ensemble right this very minute. Just stick to longer sleeves and slightly heavier fabrics (like denim rather than linen) to keep things firmly planted in spring territory instead of summer.

Shop similar styles: Victoria Victoria Beckham blouse ($365); Lyssé jeans ($98); Mar Y Sol clutch ($135); Comfortiva shoes ($70)

21. Go for Vertical Stripes

Vertical lines can help even the most petite among us look long and lean. If you’re worried black-and-white stripes might give off Beetlejuice vibes, simply add a blush pink duster or any other pop of delicate pastel.

Shop similar styles: PrettyLittleThing jacket ($38; $21); J.Crew dress ($88); Marc Fisher Ltd. heels ($160)

22. Try Side-Stripe Pants

The secret to mile-long legs? A bold, solid stripe right down the side of your trousers.

Shop similar styles: Eloquii jacket ($150); Soft Surroundings top ($109); ASOS pants ($40; $32); Woman Within boots ($129)

23. Have Fun With Textures

Eyelet lace with plisse pleats, molded gold jewelry with brocade—play around pairing all sorts of different textures and materials to create a look that’s as interesting to touch as it is to look at.

Shop similar styles: Fashion Eyelinks sunglasses ($14); Sylvia Toledano earrings ($225); SER.O.YA top ($345) and skirt ($298)

24. Pick One Standout Piece

Here’s a nifty trick to looking fabulously put-together with almost no effort: Choose one bold piece, like a bright plaid trousers or a tiger-print blazer, and keep all the other parts of your outfit uniformly simple and neutral in hue.

Shop similar styles: BP. T-shirt ($12); Free People pants ($128); Bottega Veneta clutch ($1,550); Birkenstock sandals ($100)

25. Make a Subtle Match

Perfectly paired floral shoes and a floral dress feels like a bit much. But sneakers with a red stripe that’s the exact same shade as the petals on your frock is the right way to do matchy-matchy.

Shop similar styles: Bardot dress ($119); Tory Burch bag ($498); Veja sneakers ($100)

26. Dress Up Classic Clogs

How do you make boho clogs look fresh and modern? Take inspiration from Coterie member Coco Bassey and pair them with a flirty minidress in a bright color and a glam chain-link belt. Keep the rest of your accessories classic and simple and prepare yourself for an onslaught of compliments.

Shop similar styles: Alice + Olivia dress ($350; $210); Lele Sadoughi belt ($150; $90); No. 6 clogs ($290)

27. Or Avoid Color Altogether

Perhaps Cruella de Vil was really on to something with those stark black-and-white printed outfits.

Shop similar styles: The Kooples sweater ($248; $75); Riley & Rae pants ($69); Louise et Cie shoes ($100; $67)

28. Repurpose Your Beach Bag

Get more use out of that straw tote, by wearing it all weekend long, regardless of whether or not you even go near sand.

Shop similar styles: Tory Burch top ($398) and pants ($498); Florabella bag ($150); Ted Baker London sandals ($120; $70)

29. Break Out Your Shorts

Yes, shorts season is upon us. For now, pair them with a light jacket and layered long-sleeve tops.

Shop similar styles: Ann Taylor blazer ($169); Vince button-down shirt ($275; $138); Lanston top ($88); Nanushka shorts ($445)

30. Throw On Your Summer Maxi Dresses

The time has finally come to start wearing all of your favorite warm-weather frocks sans tights. (Although you might want to stick to just the long-sleeve or maxi-length versions for now.)

Shop similar styles: MISA Los Angeles dress ($410); Saint G sandals ($139)

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