8 Fashion Icons to Inspire Your Spring Wardrobe

As the brilliant Jack London once said, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Thankfully, for us, fashion inspiration is pretty easily accessible. The list of fashionable women to emulate is constantly growing, and all it takes to find a perfect outfit is a trip to Instagram. These days, thanks to the likes of Kate Middleton, we don’t even have to look further than the front page of our news sites, where political icons and even royalty show us that there is no shame in the game of dressing as well as you speak. We rounded up a few of our all-time favorite fashion icons for you to emulate in your daily life — the First Ladies, the socialites and even the bloggers on your social media feed.

1. Kate Middleton: Princess-Perfect (Without the Pricetag)

Source: Harper’s Bazaar 

Source: Harper’s Bazaar 

Source: Cosmopolitan

While we can’t all be a princess (bummer), the Duchess of Cambridge has shown us that it’s surprisingly easy and affordable to dress like one. Looking flawlessly classic and fashionable at every life stage — from her days dating a prince and their royal wedding to her pregnancies and even global outings and events — Kate has utilized a wardrobe which perfectly blends custom couture and off-the-rack steals. Not only has Kate been seen re-wearing outfits, but those outfits can oftentimes be traced back to affordable stores such as Old Navy and J. Crew.

Wear it now: Pair practical pumps with a long (or quarter!) sleeved shift dress in a neutral, feminine color. A statement necklace or waist-cinching belt can take this royal ensemble from brunch to work to date night!

 

2. Jenna Lyons: Playful, Witty, & Whip-Smart

Source: Emily Weiss 

Source: Brit + Co

Source: Who What Wear

As the creative director and president of J.Crew, Lyons has been hailed as the woman solely responsible for the American woman’s closet. Her massive oversized glasses are often her best accessory, and they dress up her casual menswear-chic aesthetic. While her style is classic and simple, Lyons knows you don’t become the leader of a fashion empire by playing by the rules.

Wear it now: Pair a flowy striped knit over a pencil skirt and heat things up with some colorful jewelry. No prescription glasses? No problem. Buy an oversized prescription-free pair to frame your face, Jenna-style.

 

3. Beyonce: Authentically Casual

Source: Vogue 

Source: Shape 

Source: Billboard

When she’s not stealing the show at the Met Gala or announcing a pregnancy while performing at the Grammys, Beyonce finds more subtle ways to lead fashion revolutions. Her sexy athleisure brand Ivy Park made a massive debut both online and in stores, and fans everywhere can purchase looks inspired by those she wore in her music videos (Kale, anyone?). Beyonce rocks her curves while embracing both modern trends and her southern and African-American heritage. All hail Queen Bey!

Wear it now: Up your athleisure game with bold labels and sassy phrasing all over monochromatic sportswear. Feeling spicy? Rock a solid bodysuit under joggers, then top it off with a beanie and you’ll look #flawless.

 

4. Olivia Palermo: Modern Tomboy Chic

Source: Olivia Palermo

 Source: Mallzee 

Source: Refinery29

The original street-style superstar, Olivia Palermo is no stranger to dressing like the city slicker she is. After getting her start in reality television, Palermo quickly proved she was more than a pretty face. She’s been called the Best Dressed New Yorker by the New York Post, she’s modeled for global magazines, and she owns her own lifestyle website detailing her travels and fashion experiences. The best part? Palermo became a global style ambassador for Banana Republic last year, further reinforcing the notion that street style doesn’t have to come at a steep price.

Wear it now: Follow the rule of the third piece and layer a menswear-inspired jacket over casual staple pieces like jeans and a flowy tee.

 

5. Lupita Nyong’o: Low-Maintenance Yet High-Fashionable

Source: The Huffington Post 

Source: Vogue 

Source: E! Online

After making her breakout debut in 12 Years a Slave back in 2013, Nyong’o has been a staple on the world’s most famous red carpets. Growing up, she’s said she never felt comfortable in her own skin, fearing that it was too dark for her to ever feel beautiful. Now, however, Nyong’o has embraced her flawless skin and uses it as an opportunity to play with colors and textures. Nyong’o’s red carpet style manages to look effortless, as she often allows her gowns to speak for themselves without heavy makeup or accessories. This beauty shows that classic simplicity is key, and that there is no such thing as being too overdressed!

Wear it now: Minimalism is your new mantra, so channel this look with simple silhouettes, long and flowing skirts, and monochromatic schemes. Want some jewelry? Lupita’s dress for the 2015 Oscars proves that the dress itself can be the jewelry too!

 

6. Jackie O: Old-School Preppy

Source: Harper’s Bazaar   

Source: Town & Country 

Source: InStyle 

As one of the OG First Lady fashion icons, Jackie O’s clothing choices may seem a bit old-fashioned to those of us in the 21st century. But fear not — her class and grace are never out of style. And that’s what we truly want to emulate.

Wear it now: Not into the kitten heels or voluminous bouffant? No problem. You can still channel your inner Kennedy with a strand of pearls, a massive pair of dark sunglasses, and a tailored, collared jacket.

 

7. Aimee Song: Simply Beach-Ready (No Beach Required)

Source: Fashionista 

Source: Song of Style 

Source: Song of Style

As the creator of the Song of Style fashion and design blog, Aimee Song is no stranger to the ever-evolving world of style trends. Flawlessly incorporating the trendy with the classic, Aimee blends her love of design with her love of fashion by wearing artistic beauty in the forms of ruffles, sequins, and bold color. Dreaming of a life (and closet) this fabulous? Check out Aimee’s book, “Capture Your Style,” to see how she utilizes Instagram to create a life well-styled!

Wear it now: Pick out a flowing dress with a unique silhouette, and pair it with your strappiest and highest heels! Want to go more casual? Rock distressed jeans with a flowy blouse and tousled, textured hair.

 

8. Garance Doré: European and Bold

Source: Glamour

Source: Harper’s Bazaar

Source: Garance Doré

While you’ll find any number of fashionable women walking around France, you don’t have to look further than the streets of NYC to find Parisian style inspiration. Thanks to blogger and artist Garance Doré, sassy is the new sexy when it comes to street style. She often pairs black and white stripes with streamlined black pants, or you can find her lounging in her studio in a crisp all-white ensemble.

Wear it now: Go for cozy in an oversized sweater and skinny white crops, then top it off with oversized sunglasses and a tailored wool jacket. Doré’s simple and classy look can take you from the couch to the office and back again!

 

Who are your all-time favorite fashion icons? Who do you like to emulate when getting dressed every day? Tell us in the comments!