THE BLOG

Stretching My "Uniform" With Must-Haves for Spring

02/21/2013 12:08 EST | Updated 04/23/2013 05:12 EDT

It's no secret that I have built my wardrobe on renewed and renewable staples and a mostly monochromatic palette. Yes, I wear black nearly always. And I've figured out the silhouette that most flatters my figure (pants cut at the ankle, skirts of a slight A-line that hit two inches above the knee) as well as the staples that underpin what I wear (leggings, tees, tunics and jeans -- all black). Still, this doesn't mean that my wardrobe is a static thing that never changes or evolves.

As we move into a new season, I get just as excited about the arrival of new collections as a person who reinvents their wardrobe every season. Why? Because although I've figured out my wardrobe, there are always exciting new versions of things to help me expand my style in new directions. True, I won't be wearing an abundant Dolce floral this spring, but that doesn't mean I won't be trying new things in my own way!

The truth is that no matter how much you have got your style figured, it simply can't stay the same... even the most basic basics evolve over time and you could very quickly look outdated if you didn't adopt new cuts, materials, hemlines, heel height etc. I don't necessarily chase every new trend (last summer's peplum, for example, was NOT for me!), but I do look at what's emerging for new things that will fit with my existing style.

What's on my radar may not be the same as what every fashion editor is picking out. Trends like neons, pastels and florals rarely make a dent in my fashion consciousness. I look for subtler shifts in my style and for new designers whose signature look matches my own. In that way, my wardrobe keeps moving forward and I get to partake in all the joy of dipping into new collections, discovering those new designers and, of course, adding new shoes and accessories!

So what's on my radar for Spring? Here's where I'm going fashion-wise:

(1) Leather

Leather is one of my mainstays -- especially leather jackets. This season, I'll be wearing skinny leather pants, but also some relaxed leather pants I found from Vince -- with a T-shirt and great heel, my outfit will be complete. Barbara Bui also did an amazing leather tunic and pant combination this season. It's been a while since I did head-to-toe leather, but I think we can totally do it! If that's too much for you, check out Denis Gagnon's incredible mix of leather and linen.

(2) Shoes

Shoes are always a BIG focus for me and one of the areas where I'll sometimes let colour creep in. Navy and white are always crisp and casual but I love strappy heels and embellished (studs!) shoes too. For flats I usually love a Chuck Taylor style high-top (my favourite pair are studded too!) but I'll also try out the new Celine slip-on trainers.

(3) Embellishments

I'm opting for a lot of embellishments right now -- I picked up a great Michael Kors top -- my trusty black, but with an incredible chain neckline. I especially love tougher embellishments -- chains and studs and more gothic style embroidery -- over anything overtly romantic or feminine.

(4) Silhouette

My favourite silhouette of the season was from Greta Constantine and I've resolved to try out the maxi dress this season; I just love the idea of breezing about in something more voluminous. I'll also be relying on my favourite silhouette -- a dress or tunic over pants. I do this even with flats. The key for me is always having pants cut at the ankle (no matter what the heel). In terms of those anchor pieces, I'm loving Rag and Bone jeans right now.

(5) Hats!

I'll be rocking lots of hats this spring. They were all over the Saint Laurent runway and I was really inspired by the looks. This will be one of those new things that pushes in a slightly new direction, while still fitting my established style. As in all things, it's good to push yourself to experiment with your wardrobe... if everything starts to feel very safe and the same, try something that makes you a little nervous... you may even find that it becomes your new signature look!

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Links for products in the image:

Vince Leather Jogging Pants from Shopbop

ONE by Marna Ro Shirred Waist Dress with Leather Bodice from Shopbop

Givenchy Multi-strap suede sandals from Net-a-Porter

Christian Louboutin Pigalle Plato 120 Studded Leather Pumps from Saks Fifth Avenue

Denis Gagnon /Black Leather and Linen Short Dress from SSense

Hat from Saint Laurent