By Melissa Groth
Spring is officially here, though it doesn’t exactly feel like it. Getting dressed can be a game of chance if you’re relying on sunny, 70 degree days. Which is totally unfair, if you think about it, because once summer hits you can bet your Wellies that it’s going to be blistering hot and humid consistently until October. [Hopefully] we’ve at least seen the last of the snow, so the question is, during this time of transition between chunky scarves/sweaters and flirty spring dresses, how do you keep your closet stocked when the weather fluctuates more than your hormones during a super moon? We all emerge from our wintry caves wanting to burn our woolen peacoats as a sacrifice to the gods of April, but just because it was 70 degrees on Monday doesn’t mean it won’t be 30 on Tuesday. Here are some tips & tricks to making sure you’re adequately prepared for that awkward transition time, while making the sartorial most of the spring weather you’ve been given.
The great thing about transitioning your wardrobe from winter to spring is that you can still make use of winter clothes by just, like, wearing less of them. Almost anything you wear in winter can be adapted to a more temperate climate. Except for Uggs; just throw those out. The key is to introduce spring pieces into a winter wardrobe gradually (see def. “transition”). Do not exit the house in March wearing just a sundress, even if it does somehow end up being warm enough. That being said, what are the fail safe pieces you absolutely need in order to get to the other side of spring? Read on.
Boots, trench/jacket/parka/anorak, umbrella. A simple, classic mid-calf black rainboot goes with pretty much everything. If you prefer a pop of spring color, keep reading. If you’ve had enough with boots, you can find waterproof ballet flats made of the same material in some pretty cute colors that you can get away with wearing all day long. You’re going to be wearing some form of waterproof footwear for a good fraction of the season, so you might as well invest in a cool pair (or two) that will last.
The thing about rain gear is that it doesn’t breathe. A rain slicker is pretty much the most uncomfortable form of outerwear, so I stick with trenches, which, while not totally waterproof in general, are water repellent enough to get you through a commute. Plus if you were wearing one during winter, that’s one less thing you’ve got to stow away because they’re super adaptable. Try not to do a bare leg with a trench that’s longer than whatever skirt you’re wearing, though. It just looks like you’re not wearing anything except the jacket. We all know you are, but it’s a pretty solid optical illusion.
Emphasis on “accent.” Let’s take things slow here. You don’t want to detox all at once, that’s called withdrawal and it has severe symptoms. Start spring with a couple subtle pops of color; a bright handbag or pair of pumps balanced with neutral base pieces. Phase out earth tones mid-April.
Tights Or Nah?
I mean, unless you’re super pumped about having to shave your legs again, tights are a no-brainer. But the bare leg in early spring can be chic if you’re up for it. Tights can serve as one of your colorful accents as well. Just avoid blue, it’ll make you look frozen and we’re trying to summon warmer weather here.
It’s still going to be chilly most of the time, and definitely most mornings, so grab a couple pastel/floral/typical-spring-print scarves. You can still get away with plaid print, too, just buy it in a lighter fabric.
A good sundress can do anything. It can be just a top if you tuck it into a midi skirt, it can be just a skirt if you put a chunky sweater over it, it can be worn over a button down, it can leap tall buildings in a single bound. Plus they look cute paired with boots (rain or other). During the post-winter pre-spring transition, it’s best to layer it. I’m totally school marm here, but save bare shoulders for summer.
Now go ahead and use all of the above to figure out how the following tricky lil’ spring wardrobe conundrums:
It’s raining and everything is ruined.
The only thing I can recommend for your hair is coconut oil, Blake Lively style (wash it out, girl come on). As far as clothing, keep in mind humidity and how waterproof things don’t breathe. You know that kind of chilly-yet-humid-pretty-much-walking-through-a-swamp type weather we get in the spring around here? Stick with cotton and a sturdy umbrella.
If you had a super cute outfit planned and now it’s raining and no one will see it, they have clear rain coats for that. If all else fails, just stay inside. Rain is the worst.
It’s 30 degrees when I leave the house in the morning, but by lunchtime I’m regretting this turtleneck hard.
It’s all about the layers. And for God’s sake don’t wear turtlenecks. They are awful. You don’t need to keep your winter jacket around anymore because by 2 p.m. it’ll be in the 60s, so just make your day a very slow, very modest strip tease. One of my favorite layered looks for transitioning from winter to spring is a floral skirt or dress, plus a white button down, plus chunky sweater. When it gets too warm for the sweater, ditch it and add an accent belt to the button down. Don’t forget to roll up the sleeves.
Blazers are also great in the spring. I rarely wear one in the winter because they’re not heavy enough get away with not wearing another coat/jacket on top, and then I’m just bulky and uncomfortable. Warm enough to ward off a chill in the morning, light enough to make an all-day fashion statement. Plus, depending on the dress code at your place of work, they can really class up a crop top.
$ Forever21 Collarless Woven Blazer
It’s spring and I want to wear all of the colors and all of the florals and all of the pastel baubles right now.
No. I know it’s hard, but you’ve got to pace yourself. We’re all just beginning to drag ourselves out of our solemn wintry depression, so if you show up looking like Daisy the Sunshine Lady, expect resentment. It’s like they say about always putting one accessory back before leaving the house; pick one or two springy accessories, or one accessory and a bright top, then step away.
I’m sick of rainboots. And other types of boots. Let me show off my pedicure, dammit.
So it’s around 40 degrees but you got your toenails done and you want to show it off around the office in a pair of strappy sandals. Pump the breaks. Gladiator sandals are a big spring trend this year, but I’d recommend waiting until mid to late spring to go full Sparta. Start small. It’s all about the peep toe, which they make a version of virtually every shoe. Even the counter-intuitive peep-toe boot. If you HAVE to have a sandal already, go for a thick heel and moderate coverage.
You don’t have to do a wardrobe overhaul just because it might be getting warmer. Keep using winter items, but pair them with spring accessories and/or layers. You’ve probably still got a good 4-6 weeks before you should stuff all that winter stuff into storage. Plus, I’m pretty sure we’re supposed to get snow sometime this week, so my final tip in transitioning your winter wardrobe to spring is to, like, just watch the forecast and make good life decisions. Happy spring!