The Calendar Versus the Weather: Five Ways to Win the Battle

I don’t know about you, but I am ready for it to be spring. There are some brave blossoms out there, we’ve had lots of blue, blue skies and Easter is just around the corner, but the weather is not exactly cooperating. Snow on the first day of spring? Sigh.

My soul is positively yearning to don pretty spring clothes, but it’s not just chilly, it’s downright cold. And yet, the brighter light and longer days make the deep colors of winter just feel wrong.

What’s a girl to do? How can you embrace the calendar, and yet still dress for the weather?

Of course, before too long those of us south of the Mason Dixon line will be having the opposite problem – it will be too warm for the clothing that the calendar might suggest is appropriate. An equally vexing problem!

Not to worry. I may have spent far too long thinking about this problem so that you don’t have to. Here are my suggestions for how to handle this transitional season conundrum.

1.       Add some spring color

2.       Lighten the layers, both in fabric weight and in style

3.       Bring out the florals

4.       Show a little skin

5.       Just say ‘yes’ to spring accessories

Please note for those of my readers north of the 49nd parallel (did you see how I’ve incorporated some geography lessons here too?) some of these suggestions may require further calendar advancement before the application will be appropriate. I’ll assume you all have good, sensible judgement.

The problem for most of us is how to transition our winter clothing into spring without a) feeling uncomfortably chilly and b) looking like we’ve just returned from a tropical vacation and didn’t have time to change.

Add Some Spring Color

I suggest that you stay with the neutral basics you have likely been wearing through the winter, switching out the sweater under the jacket for a pretty blouse in a spring color, or changing the jacket for one in a decidedly spring hue. Or, just wear a sweater in a pretty spring color. Millennial pink is still big this spring, although the runways also showed lavender and a deeper hued pink. Personally I wish I could pull off the pretty peach color I saw in the stores – it’s something new we haven’t seen in a while and is just so, oh I don’t know, hopeful.

Lighten the Layers

There’s no need to lighten up from head to toe, pick one piece and consciously make it over into spring. For example, your black or navy bottoms can easily become more spring-like with a lighter colored sweater or jacket. Or add some broderie anglaise or eyelet (big this spring!) under your regular jacket and you’ll still be comfortable, but spring-like. You could also continue wearing a winter weight sweater or jacket with a lighter hued or weight skirt or pant. I had some fun finding pieces like these that will all layer well with warmer, more wintery items, but still give you a nod to the season AND transition nicely into summer.

Alternatively, you can choose a 'feels like spring' dress (without becoming a garden party all by yourself) and either wear a layer under it or top it with a sweater or jacket and keep your tights and boots on for now. The blue shift dress, above, is ideal for this transition. The key is to add in a spring element somewhere.

Bring out the Florals

I don’t think florals will ever NOT be a spring thing. Because fashion reflects nature, after all. Having said that, extreme floral prints really do belong in summer weddings, garden parties, and your aged aunt's closet. If you feel yourself drawn towards florals, incorporate them in a blouse or scarf, or perhaps in a skirt or dress if they aren’t too over the top.

Show a Little Skin

Depending on how chilly it is, you might be able to wear your fashionable ankle pants without socks, either with boots, or maybe even with a more open, transitional shoe. Personally, until it is actually warm enough to bare my legs (and they’ve had some weekend opportunities to be sun-kissed), I’ll still be wearing tights or ankle pants. Note: these are not sandals. It really, truly needs to be spring to successfully pull those off! I'd consider these options all transitional as they can be worn with socks or tights as well as without.

Say Yes to Spring Accessories

The easiest way to add spring! Try a pretty patterned scarf, shoes in a lighter color, or a pastel handbag. If you really aren't wanting to invest heavily in spring, this is where a little careful shopping will sweep you into the season without breaking the bank.





Aren't these fun for the weekend?



Yes, it may be chilly outside, but when it’s nearly April, I think it’s ok to carry a pink handbag. Or this one! Doesn’t it just make you feel lighter and happier?





I saw a woman just this week who was managing to do just about all of these things in one outfit. It was a coolish day,and she was wearing pale blue, cropped cotton trousers trimmed with eyelet, a jersey shirt tucked into these pants and finished with a black belt, a cropped black leather jacket and a multi-hued plaid wool scarf draped over the top. I can’t quite remember the shoes, but I think some sort of ankle boot with no socks. Granted, this is not something I could pull off, but she looked fashionable, seasonably appropriate and comfortable.

So go, have some fun shopping your closet for what you already have, and add in a few pieces that will take you from this spring that isn’t a spring into the summer.