The Easy Under-$40 Spring Outfits I Wear When I Have Zero Brainpower

If this past year has taught me anything about fashion, it’s that easy outfits are both so important and extremely underrated. I simply can’t be bothered with looks that are either too complicated or take more than five minutes to put together, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still insist on looking stylish.

Enter: dresses and jumpsuits. These two styles are what I like to call one-piece wonders: Items that make for a cool look all on their own without the help of layers or accessories. (Although those are always welcome, too.) I’ve been following Taylr Anne Castro for a while now because she’s very much a leader of this effortless-style trend. I tapped her to share her current favorite dresses and jumpsuits (spoiler: she’s currently loving affordable options from Free Assembly) and all of her spring styling tips. Just don’t blame her (or me!) when you want to ditch your separates for the entire season.

“In the spring and summer, I swap pants for dresses,” Castro tells me as if it’s the most obvious fashion decision in the world. Truthfully, it kind of is, especially now that many of us are spending the majority of our time at home. When in doubt, a midi or maxi length is always a good bet, and Castro agrees. This one has a tiered skirt, making it way more interesting than your average T-shirt dress. However, it’s not just the cut and style that Castro loves about this dress. She’s a big fan of the fabric and color, too. “I love the airy material of this piece and its versatility. I could easily throw this on to wear to the beach or add some cute shoes for a date night with my husband. Typically, I love wearing neutral colors, but this spring, I am excited to bring some soft colors into my wardrobe. I’m really into blue tones right now, so this dress is perfect (and just so comfortable to wear).”

Whether it’s to create the illusion of a skirt and top, or just because chilly evenings are a real thing in California, Castro is very much here for adding in a neutral raglan sweater that nods to her elevated, surf-side style. This ultra-soft layer (that comes in sizes XS to XXXL) looks far more expensive than its $24 price tag and is the ideal weight for spring. As for other accessories she’d consider here, Castro suggests an optional “leather belt to cinch the dress a bit at the waist.”

For anyone who saw the word “jumpsuits” and immediately thought I can’t pull one of those off, Castro and I are here to kindly assure you that you indeed can. “I absolutely love the ease of wearing a jumpsuit,” says Castro. “It is something I can grab to look put-together without even trying.”

Her favorite jumpsuit of the moment is just as easy to style as any dress and not to mention only $36. “I really love the button detailing and the cut of this piece. The cinched waist really pulls the look together, and I appreciate the option of taking the belt off for a relaxed look,” she explains.

Polka dots are trending this spring, and this $39 dress is a great place to start.

This dress would be so cute for an outdoor brunch (sigh), but in the meantime, it makes for a very chic WFH frock.

I live in midi slip dresses during warm months, so this one is at the top of my list.

Dress up with strappy sandals or down with leather slides. You really can’t go wrong.

The color palette of this floral dress is so soothing.

I told you that jumpsuit comes in pink, didn’t I?

An LBD is always a good idea.

Fans of the cottage-core trend, buy this dress ASAP.

It’s a sweatshirt. It’s a dress. It’s actually both.