Illustration and photo editing by Tanya Leigh WashingtonIn my fantasy universe, my wardrobe would comprise mainly of flared sundresses for picnics and various retro bikinis for lounging under striped beach umbrellas. And, of course, I would own a slew of fitted sheaths for lunching and classy off-the-shoulder cocktail dresses for, well, cocktails. While my life may have a shortage of picnics to attend, I am still achingly drawn to ladylike dressing with a preppy twist.
Spring is here, and with it another opportunity to re-examine my closet. As a StyleBistro editor, my greatest resources for inspiration are the red carpet and the errand-running outfits of my fave celebs. I dug through my archive of SB favorites to pinpoint the prettiest, most timeless, and spring-iest looks I've seen over the past few years—and use them as my shopping guide.
1. Miranda Kerr's Minimal Sheath
(PacificCoastNews.com)Miranda hit the nail on the head of modern ladylike fashion in her cream Stella McCartney sheath dress. Nude pumps, a brown belt, tortoiseshell shades—and I would even love this without the baby blue Prada bag, but it certainly adds a nice touch. This not only encapsulates my desire for minimalism, it reminds me of the importance of a neutral heel—something sorely missing from my shoerobe. The Michael Kors "Aberly" pair would definitely fit the bill, but Aldo might better fit my budget.
2. Gemma Arterton's Rose-Tinted Fit-and-Flare
(Getty)Gemma's rose Louis Vuitton dress is not only exceptionally pretty, the knit sweater texture looks oddly cozy and easy to toss on. Though not the lovely pink hue, I liked ASOS' cute sporty take on the same idea and (confession) already pulled the trigger on this baby.
3. Alexa Chung's Denim Shift
(FlynetPictures.com)Denim continues to rule retail stores, and I'm not complaining. I fell hard for Alexa's denim shift dress and have been on the hunt for an equally versatile design. I would wear this with loafers, a scarf, and (to mix it up occasionally) a belt. Topshop has a couple of really cute ones, I just sorta want this one and this one to make a baby.
4. Candice Swanepoel's Nude Miniskirt
(PacificCoastNews.com)This Victoria's Secret model made me first take note of her style with this very outfit. Such brilliant simplicity! It also got me thinking about sandals. And yet again, less is more, because the more basic they are they more versatile they are—I'd like some I can wear with dresses and jeans. Perhaps that's why this Urban Outfitters pair is calling my name.
5. Cameron Diaz's Baby Blue Shirtdress
(Getty)Cameron's Akris shirtdress from her Bad Teacher promo tour still haunts me. That baby blue! The subtle nude accessories! Her messy ponytail! Perfection. It can be dressed up like it is here, or dressed down with these Mango ballet flats and this Madewell tote for a walk on the boardwalk.
6. Rihanna's Blue Jeans
(PacificCoastNews.com)I never thought I'd be referencing Rihanna for an example of minimalism, but this outfit (minus the hoops and gold jewelry) epitomizes it. A white blouse, blue jeans, and nude heels is all it takes. My weekend mission is to find the perfect pair of slightly worn-in skinny jeans like RiRi's. Maybe these Zara ankle-length jeans will be the answer. I could wear them with the aforementioned nude footwear or these rustic red dotted skimmers I've been obsessing over.
7. Kate Bosworth's Nude Off-the-Shoulder Dress
(Getty)Every time I see this look of Kate's it has an equally powerful impact. I never tire of that crisp off-the-shoulder design or those bright red lips and matching heels. This is the perfect spring or summer evening ensemble, don't you think? While I wait for Calvin Klein to remake this exact design, Donna Karan's draped jersey dress captures the elegance while Boohoo's off-the-shoulder skater number has a cutesy retro feel.
Non-celebrity related additions to my seasonal wishlist include Dior's "Cherie Bow" Addict Lipstick in Candide, this painfully sweet Kate Spade "Mariella" dress, a gorgeous white scalloped bikini, and a pair of cut-offs to wear over said swimsuit. Let the sunny days begin!
- See all of StyleBistro's Editors' Pick stories right here.