Spring Wardrobe Essentials I’m Reaching For In 2022

About this time of year, I want a wardrobe refresh. I’m not the same woman I was last spring and I want my wardrobe to reflect that. Today, I’m updating this post from last year with some fresh ideas with new links and rejoining my friend Susan of une femme d’un certain âge to share some of our spring wardrobe essentials.

Every woman’s essentials will vary with her personal style aesthetic, but they should create the backbone of her wardrobe so it’s easier to put cohesive outfits together. Here are the spring essentials I find most helpful:

A Third Layer

Unpredictable weather makes an outer third layer an invaluable wardrobe staple for me. I prefer most of mine in neutral colors for versatility, but a pop of color or pattern is also fun
woman wearing kimono over black top and pants

I added this duster this spring because it’ll dress up or down all summer long and add a bit of fun to my neutrals. I’m wearing it here over a simple column of black, so it takes center stage, but love it equally well as a supporting piece like with jeans and a tee.

woman walking in vest and jeans

I added this vest to my wardrobe this spring and already finding it invaluable. I wore it to Mexico earlier this week because I was expecting cooler than normal temps, and was so happy to have it.

woman showing two field jackets

Twill and canvas jackets are a great spring option. I don’t own one but I’m thinking they’d be perfect for my climate. Here are 2 great classics from Talbots I tried on a few weeks ago.

blonde woman wear white denim jacket and jeans from Blair

A denim jacket is often my jacket of choice this time of year in either blue, white, or gray. This one was a new find from Blair which fits fabulously.


Long and short cardigans are a popular layer for me year-round and on constant repeat in the spring. This time of year I opt for thinner weights that seldom button. Under these, I prefer sleeveless tanks because short sleeves leave a lump under the thin cardigan.

woman wearing pink sweater and black pants

This time of year, my tee shirts also get a thorough going over to see which needs to be replaced. Whites seldom last longer than one season for me because my sunscreen and deodorant, yellow the fabric. I don’t tend to invest much in t-shirts for this reason and many of mine come from Target, etc.

Modern Jean

woman wearing white jeans

Jean styles get dated, so I like to keep up to date with what’s new. I’m leaning toward straight and fuller leg jeans this spring, which helps add balance to my wide shoulders. I love deep wash in the cooler months, but as the spring rolls around, I reach for lighter washes and white jeans. Luckily, high-rise options are still abundant but I’m seeing lots of mid and lower rise making their way back.

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Comfy Shoes

Comfy feet top everything for me these days because I’m desperately trying to stave off bunion surgery on my left foot. The level of formality of my outfits has changed to meet my shoe needs but I still won’t wear “gnome shoes”. That has me reaching for modern sports sneakers and shoes with arch support. I have an upcoming post on my current favorites so stay tuned for that.




Not a garment but sunscreen is a very important item for me year-round.


I am very persnickety about my sunscreen because I am a melanoma survivor. Plus, photoaging is really adding up and no amount of beauty sleep will fix that. I prefer a physical block and I want cruelty-free options so I am thrilled to add MDSolarSciences to my repertoire this spring.

What are some spring essentials for you?

Now let’s go check out Susan’s spring wardrobe essentials at une femme d’un certain âge.



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  1. Great post! I’m always interested in footwear options as I have bunions, arthritis on the tops of my feet and plantar fascitis.

  2. Can’t wait to hear about your picks for shoes. Bunions, ugh. I also have arthritis on the tops of my feet. 😒

    Always interested in good sunscreens for mature skin I can wear under makeup.

  3. @Jennifer – At first I thought I was having a senior’s moment or was caught in a time-warp due my above comment but after reading your 2nd sentence I am relieved ….. lol! On that note; do find it interesting how your style has evolved and why so thanks for sharing as it certainly is ‘food for thought’ re change.

  4. I’ve been yearning for a variety of colors this spring, mostly in tops, but you look sensational in the everyday long cardigan outfit! I’d been make sure I do a neutral outfit now and then.

    I especially enjoyed this post. I love your hair–I’ve never regretted letting mine go natural. I only wish I’d done it years earlier.

    And I love Ecco slip ons–I have several pairs in different colors similar to the ones you wear. I always like seeing you in them.

  5. Hi Jennifer!
    What are gnome shoes?!

    1. Shoes that look like Bilbo Baggins would wear them.

  6. Jennifer your hair looks amazing.
    Enjoyed all your outfits shown today.
    The duster was a great add to your black outfit. You are ready for our ever changing Spring weather.

    1. Thank you so much Lin. I really appreciate your encouragement as I transition to gray/silver/white/ mottled combo. It’s an interesting experience 🙂

  7. I’m with ya on all of these, including the sunscreen!

  8. I love you in the black wide leg pants, print blouse and pink cardigan. It is one of my most favorite styles on you!

  9. Josie Cantarelli says:

    Such great suggestions. Can’t wait to experiment with some of them. Thank you. I also have bunions which makes it a challenge to buy shoes.

    1. The older I get the trickier my feet get

  10. Always appreciate your expertise, Jennifer. The only thing I might add; for those who wear prescription eyeglasses and considering a change in frames, they could always have their old ones converted into sun glasses. (Did this for my husband after his cataract surgery, rather than having expensive frames go to waste.) Just a thought! -Brenda-

    1. I just ordered new glasses today!! I hope I like them as much as my old ones, although I’m not sure how I could because I adore my old ones:)

      1. I’ll be happy to see the new glasses! I am challenged to find frames that I like in cooler, neutral tones.

  11. Love your Spring wardrobe suggestions.
    Makes me want to change over the closet and , of course, go shopping 🛍

  12. I have been thinking about substituting masks for scarves. I wear a scarf for the color and pattern when I wear one. I’m thinking I can do the same with a face mask, and I can buy a lot more pretty masks for what I pay for one scarf. I saw Johnny Was has some masks. I think I might start there.

  13. With the new variants, some seniors’ residences have banned fabric masks. The residents and staff have been vaccinated, but there is no guarantee with the new variants. Plus, visitors are of an age that has not had access to vaccines yet. So off we go with surgical masks and visors, physical distancing and hand sanitizers for the foreseeable future. Disposable masks it is, or no visits allowed.

    1. We need to follow the required protocol . Hopefully, we will be seeing an end to this and can get on with our lives more easily.

    2. I have a mix of masks. Although I don’t visit senior residences, I think investing in nice masks makes sense even if you do visit them. I often wear a cloth mask over a paper one.
      Kay, I’ve found cloth masks to be an easy substitute for scarves, and they keep your face warm in cold weather — whereas you probably wouldn’t wrap a scarf around your nose and mouth.

  14. Francesca B. says:

    Thank you Jennifer for putting all this together, great suggestions!
    Have a lovely weekend:)

    1. Happy Weekend, Francesca

  15. Really appreciate your take on essentials, allowing for different tastes and lifestyles! So many of these lists say “denim jacket,” meaning the classic jeans jacket— and I’ve had several of those that stay in my closet until I give them away. But a canvas chore jacket, that I’ll reach for! So boring if everyone wore the exact same thing.

    1. That’s why I prefer a broader definition of essentials:) We all have such different tastes

  16. Sneakers are the best but they look klunky. Too much white sole and a boxy toe. Maybe the solution is a lower sole and more narrow toe? Has anybody found my dream shoe?

    1. I own 2 pair of Munro Gabbie. I think they look more streamlined than most, and they give good support.

    2. I have a few pair of Cole Haan sneakers both slip on and tie. Take a look at those. Not clunky at all.

      1. I agree, my Cole Haan are great.

    3. The platform sneakers are not for me. I feel like I am more likely to stumble in them. And my husband isn’t very tall so I like to stick with lower heels/soles overall.

      I still love classic Keds – and they have a couple other styles that don’t have a platform (or platform looking) sole. I also have a pair of white leather classic Adidas that look good, wipe clean, and are super comfy.

      1. I agree, Keds are perfect for many occasions. I like extra cushioning when I can get it.

  17. Really enjoying your posts!
    Still struggling with the half tuck and when I do this, do I need to wear a belt?

    1. You can if you want. I often do.

  18. Susan Blakey says:

    Jennifer, I see we are on the same wavelength! 😉 I love those longer jackets on you. Thanks again!

  19. Loving all your suggestions! Your blog has helped me refine my wardrobe and has encouraged me to try some new styles. I’m petite with a well-defined waist. I love the finishing touch of a lightweight, casual jacket. However, many of the jackets I see are too boxy which is unflattering on me. What stores/brands do you find are best for finding slightly fitted light jackets? Chico’s used to be my go-to but their styles seem to favor the boxy look :(.

    1. Boxy does seem to be very popular. Ann Taylor is often more fitted so you might try there.

    2. Mary Alice Jenkins says:

      I found a great slightly fitted denim jacket on Talbot’s website recently. It shows my waist and is very flattering. It is longer than a typical jean jacket and has a seam at the waistline in the back and flares slightly below the waist. Hope you can find it!

  20. I have benefited so much from your blogs regarding building a wardrobe of essential, basic pieces of clothing. This makes for smart, budget friendly shopping. I have learned to invest in those pieces that will be my go to favorites for years.
    The raspberry, faux suede jacket is absolutely dynamite paired with those cuffed jeans! Both pieces would love to find a spot in my closet too!

    1. Hi Jennifer
      I’m not on Facebook. Could you possibly post your blog about your recent haircut on this website?

      1. I will always post it here. I haven’t finished the post yet but it will be here

  21. Thanks for great post! I love all the recommendations.

    Sweaters are a second thought when the weather warms up here. I’m looking for tops that are worn under jackets. I purchased two buttoned jersey blouses from one of your previous posts that are very versatile. I also look for a pretty printed blouse, for those times when getting out socially is starting to happen.

    1. Yes, lightweight sweaters for sure. I am so looking forward to social gatherings.