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10 Accessories to Add Polish to Any Spring Wardrobe

Skip the trends and include these simple classics

spinner image A woman holding a stylish blue handbag and wearing trendy outfit in a garden
Maryviolet/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

If you're shopping for spring accessories, hold it right there. Just because something's new and trendy (or on sale) doesn't mean “buy!” Remember those chunky clunky “dad” sneakers from last season? How about gladiator sandals that made our ankles swell? Mirrored aviators that made us feel shifty and look shady? Fanny packs that were meant to be carried as cross-body bags? They all sat in the closet, too embarrassed to come out. You've got to be very careful for the short season known as spring/summer. Here are 10 extras to buy now, regret never:

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spinner image Old Navy Dual Strap Canvas Tote for Women H and M Oversized Canvas Shopper Mango Contrasting Shopper Bag and A New Day Zip Closure Tote Handbag
(Left to right) Old Navy Dual-Strap Canvas Tote for Women; H&M Oversized Canvas Shopper; MANGO Contrasting Shopper Bag; A New Day Zip Closure Tote Handbag
Old Navy; H&M; MANGO; Target

1. A chic cotton tote with a zip-top

Retailers are promoting straw and rattan bags for spring. Fun in theory, but they can't match the practicality and versatility of a sleek cotton tote in a summery neutral. It can go from work to weekend, rain or shine, and hauls a water bottle, sunglasses, readers, e-book, sunscreen and fat wallet bulge-free. Look for a secure top closure, sturdy flat bottom, double handles for hand or shoulder carrying (some even boast an additional detachable shoulder/cross-body strap) and at least one inside compartment for keys or cellphone. Done!

spinner image Loft Cateye Sunglasses J Crew D frame sunglasses and H&M Polarized Sunglasses
LOFT Cateye Sunglasses (top left); J.Crew D-frame sunglasses (top right); H&M Polarized Sunglasses (bottom)
LOFT; J.Crew; H&M

2. Oversize tortoiseshell sunglasses

Ignore the futuristic shields and cutesy heart shapes and head straight for the big classy tortoiseshell frames with an Audrey Hepburn/Jackie O vibe. The generous proportions provide a wider swath of UV-ray protection (for your retinas and skin) and keep fatigue, puffy-eye allergies and a lack of eye makeup your secret. Oversize modern cat-eyes and rounded squares suit practically everyone, but they shouldn't be wider than your face or sit too low on your cheeks.

spinner image MANGO Leopard print umbrella Old Navy Compact Automatic Umbrella Cirra by ShedRain Leopard Print Mini Manual Compact Umbrella Totes Automatic Reverse Close InBrella Umbrella
(From top left clockwise) MANGO Leopard print umbrella; Old Navy Compact Automatic Umbrella; Cirra by ShedRain Leopard Print Mini Manual Compact Umbrella; Totes Automatic Reverse-Close InBrella Umbrella
MANGO; Old Navy; Cirra by ShedRain; Totes

3. A compact leopard umbrella

Spring showers always appear whenever you just washed and dried your hair/got a salon blowout. Now that we're shedding the protection of hooded coats and knit hats, having a stylish umbrella handy is a good backup but leave your full-size winter umbrella at home. A portable model in cheeky leopard is neutral enough to go with anything you wear, won't look dorky or too casual for evening or with tailored clothes, and will make you smile even in a downpour. And it will fit in that tote.

spinner image Michael Kors Dylyn Espadrille Soludos Platform Smoking Slipper Leather Sam Edelman Khloe
Michael Kors Dylyn Espadrille (top left); Soludos Platform Smoking Slipper Leather (top right); Sam Edelman Khloe (bottom)
Michael Kors; Soludos; Sam Edelman

4. Black leather slip-on espadrilles

Browse strappy sandals, mules and slides but first buy some black leather espadrilles you can start wearing way before pedicure weather kicks in. Think of this hybrid urban loafer and South of France perennial as an alternative to a basic ballet flat or loafer. The only decision to make is between a classic jute sole or a platform style. They work with everything you own and everything else you'll buy.

spinner image A model wearing a J.Crew organic cotton scarf in tie dye another model wearing a J.Crew square silk scarf in leopard and floral print a Loft Floral Scarf and a Mango chain printed scarf
A model wearing a J.Crew organic cotton scarf in tie-dye (left); LOFT Floral Scarf (top middle); MANGO chain printed scarf (bottom middle); model wearing a J.Crew square silk scarf in leopard and floral print
J.Crew (2); LOFT; MANGO

5. A lightweight printed scarf

Bare necklines and air-conditioning are not a perfect couple and a scarf just adds a certain savior faire to plain clothes. Hold off on statement necklaces like the massive gold links around now (we've been there, done that in the ‘80s) and flatter your face and neck in a light scarf — in florals, stripes or chain-link prints for a classic look, animal prints and tie-dye for a trendier effect. If you like to fold, twist and wrap your scarves in creative ways, choose a silky square that's at least 35 inches. If you prefer a quick wrap and dangle, opt for a long gauzy style.

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spinner image J Crew tortoise hanging hoop earrings Sugar Fix by BaubleBar Beaded Double Hoop Earrings H and M Hoop Earrings J Crew pearl charm huggie hoops and Loft Rainbow Resin Hoop Earrings
J.Crew tortoise hanging hoop earrings (top left); SUGARFIX by BaubleBar Beaded Double Hoop Earrings (top middle); H&M Hoop Earrings (top right); J.Crew pearl charm huggie hoops (bottom left); LOFT Rainbow Resin Hoop Earrings (bottom right)
J.Crew (2); SUGARFIX by BaubleBar; H&M; LOFT

6. New hoop earrings

While chandeliers and tassel drops are still going strong, super-light hoops are the earrings to buy. Easy on your lobes and piercings, they look right at the office, with a tee and jeans or out to a dressed-up dinner. Sleek hoops in colorful resin patterns and more embellished styles studded with pearls and beads are the update here. Choose from a small hoop to medium size (around 2½ inches) — but skip the super-large styles that get tangled in collars and hair.

spinner image Old Navy Canvas Sneakers Superga 2750 COTU Classic Sneaker Vans Era Keds Champion Leather CVO Universal Thread Bayla Lenia Wo's Vulcanized Canvas Sneakers and Mad Love Lennie Sneakers
(From top left clockwise) Old Navy Canvas Sneakers for Women; Superga 2750 COTU Classic Sneaker; Vans Era; Keds Champion-Leather CVO; Universal Thread Bayla Lenia-Wo's Vulcanized Canvas Sneakers; Mad Love Lennie Sneakers
Old Navy; Superga; Vans; Keds; Target; Mad Love

7. Throwback sneakers

Instead of multitone, mixed-media sneakers with giant wedges and cushioned pads, get a fresh pair of simple all-white or black-and-white kicks with traditional soles. They'll remind you of the kind you used to wear before the crazy-sneaker craze took off. We don't really need all the bells and whistles of a marathon runner or a club kid to look cool. Canvas is light and breathable and white leather looks clean and fresh. You'll wear them with anything from pantsuit pants to utility pants, a jumpsuit or midi dress and, of course, your jeans and joggers.

spinner image H and M Narrow Belt in brown another H and M Narrow Belt in crocodile patterned black and an Express Double O Ring Belt
H&M Narrow Belt in brown (top left); H&M Narrow Belt in black/crocodile-patterned (top right); Express Double O-Ring Belt (bottom)
H&M (2); Express

8. A narrow waist-belt

Now that we're all wearing a high or higher rise on pants and jeans and tucking in (or at least half-tucking) our tops, defining the waist with a belt is the finishing touch. A slim belt can also be your new BFF, nipping the waist of voluminous midi skirts and dresses or a boyfriend blazer for body definition. Choose a narrow width of around three-quarter to one inch with something special in texture or buckle. Embossed croc, snakeskin and leopard are all good choices to lift an everyday black- or brown-toned belt to fashion-forward level but are still classic enough to get year-round keeper status.

spinner image Leotruny Thick Cushion Athletic Cotton No Show Socks Toes Home Ultra Low Cut Liner Socks J Crew no show socks in tie dye Gap No Show Socks Old Navy No Show Sneaker Socks Nylon Gap No Show Socks in nude
(From top left clockwise) Leotruny Thick Cushion Athletic Cotton Non Slip Low Cut Flat Liner No Show Socks; Toes Home Ultra Low Cut Liner Socks; J.Crew no-show socks in tie-dye; Gap No-Show Socks; Old Navy No-Show Sneaker Socks for Women; Gap Nylon No-Show Socks in light nude
Leotruny; Toes Home; J.Crew; Gap (2); Old Navy

9. No-show socks and liners

You probably won't think of these as an accessory or appreciate them till you need them. Switch to these shallow shaped socks and liners and sweaty feet and blisters will be history. The scooped design assures the sock or liner stays hidden but buffers your tootsies from irritation at the heel, tops of toes and sole. For sneakers, choose the thicker, absorbent or moisture-wicking style; for shoes (anything from ballet flats to pumps or your new espadrilles) the lighter shell style.

spinner image Wild Fable Leopard Print Chiffon Fabric Twister with Tail Universal Thread Chiffon Fabric Twister with Floral Print and Tails Hair Elastics Old Navy Scarf Hair Tie For Women Urban Outfitters Lana Silk Scarf Scrunchie Anthropologie Nadia Hair Scarf
(Top row left to right) Wild Fable Leopard Print Chiffon Fabric Twister with Tail; Universal Thread Chiffon Fabric Twister with Floral Print & Tails Hair Elastics; Old Navy Scarf Hair-Tie For Women; (Bottom row left to right) Urban Outfitters Lana Silk Scarf Scrunchie; Anthropologie Nadia Hair Scarf; Anthropologie Cirie Hair Scarf Set
Wild Fable; Anthropologie (2); Urban Outfitters; Target; Old Navy

10. A scarf scrunchie

Embellished barrettes and padded hairbands are a big spring/summer trend but they can easily look too “girly” on grownup women. But there's one other item that's everywhere now and worth buying: the scarf attached to a scrunchie. It's a déjà vu blast from our hair past when we used to tie a scarf around a ponytail. Truly this may be your quick fix to giving dirty or straight out of the shower/pool hair a groomed, pulled-together look.

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