Spring Shopping Essentials for Now and Then (According to Net-a-Porter)
(Photos courtesy of Net-a-Porter; Art by Tanya Leigh Washington)In a sneak peak at their Spring/Summer '14 collections, Net-a-Porter buying manager Sasha Sarokin highlighted the top ten wardrobe pieces that will be gracing their stores in the upcoming season. The premier online retailer, which launched in 2000 and boasts hundreds of designer labels, has cleverly selected items great for layering in cold weather, so customers can get a head start on Spring trends.
1. Bomber Jacket
(T by Alexander Wang Satin Bomber Jacket, $475)Also known as "the new blazer," explains Sarokin, "It's a piece that doesn't need to be outerwear."
2. Crop Top
(Proenza Schouler Cropped Stretch-Cotton Poplin Shirt, $515) Don't be intimidated. Sarokin insists, "You don't have to do a thousand sit-ups each day to wear it; it's about how you layer it: over shirting; with high-waisted pants, skirts or even dresses." (View a holiday crop top look our executive editor Ann Brady created here.)
3. Ear Cuff
(Ryan Storer Rose Gold-Plated, Swarovski Crystal and Pearl Ear Cuff, $300)The fashion-forward buyer noted that statement jewelry will be significantly toned down in the coming months—with the exception of these progressive earrings.
4. High-Waisted Pant
(By Malene Birger 'Firoza' Stretch-Crepe Wide-Leg Pants, $450)High waist pants are "the key to wearing a crop top; [ideal for] tucking a white shirt into; and very retro yet flattering." Look out for garments in pastels or "washed out, feminine" colors.
5. Pointed Flats
(Jimmy Choo 'Alina' Patent-Leather Point-Toe Flats, $525)Feet can breathe a sigh of relief, as up-and-coming shoe styles offer a much-needed break from sky-high pumps. Pointed toe flats are an ideal option that Sarokin promises "you can wear with absolutely everything."
6. Drawstring Bag
(Karl Lagerfeld Studs Mini Embellished Leather Bucket Bag, $330)Sarokin considers "a must-have silhouette." Available in different sizes, bucket bags are "chic, retro and functional as well." Consider accessories in bright colors "to punctuate the pastel looks" from the runway that will soon be appearing in stores.
(Maje 'Elfie' Satin-Trimmed Crepe Tuxedo Jumpsuit, $570)"We keep on offering jumpsuits because our customers keep on asking for them." (View our jumpsuit special for style inspiration. Many looks even feature other items on the list!)
8. Mule Shoes
(See by Chloé Patent-Leather Pumps, $295)Yet another comfortable shoe option, mules are a fresh alternative to standard high heel pumps. Rest assured, many designers are reinventing the "old-school, '90s" version into trendier styles.
9. White Shirt
(Equipment 'Ian' Washed Silk Tunic Shirt, $230) Oversized shirts are a favorite of Sarokin's, who describes her wardrobe as "a mixing of the essentials. Because I travel all the time for work, I can't have too many novel moments, so I have a bunch of these Equipment shirts, a bunch of great statement skirts; I wear a lot of black shoes [that] I know are comfortable, and then I'll throw in a few fun moments of sparkles or neon or et cetera. It has to be a versatile piece; I like things that are quite quintessential for me. I'm kind of a purist in a specific way."
(Marni Convertible Leather Shoulder Bag, $1,530)A leather backpack offers a "smarter" look that is "not as sporty as some of the other silhouettes and great for walking around the city."
Net-a-Porter will also will also be carrying the widely anticipated Peter Pilotto line for Target, due out in February. The luxury e-tailer embraced the idea after the designer, whose namesake collection is already included on the site, expressed an interest in another distribution outlet for the collaboration. Although they primarily carry designer brands at high price points, Net-a-Porter is slowly introducing lower priced pieces (J. Crew, for instance).
"I call it picking a child," Sarokin explains about her buying role for the company. "Quite frequently, we'll have two things we have to edit down, and we just can't choose to give up one, so we say, 'OK, time to pick a child.' To me, that's the hardest part: When we have emotional attachments to something, knowing that I can't have everything in the showroom, and we just have to keep on shaving down. It's a blessing and a curse."