So, while a lot of the world is sharing Instagram images of cherry blossoms and flowers blooming and coats that aren’t parkas, there are a whole lot of us who look at the window and still see snow. I mean, I think for most of us that snow is slowly melting, but we aren’t going to truly have spring until sometime in the middle of May. I try to slowly move out of my darker and heavier winter wardrobe when we come to April, but it takes some creative planning and styling for the first month or so!
To give a bit more of a background, the view below is from Sunday, and not much more has melted since. (In fact, as of the time of writing, it was supposed to snow on Wednesday, so we may have more snow!) Because of how much snow and ice we have for our 6+ months of winter, the city and province use sand on the roads to provide more traction (and is better for the environment than salt is), but that means that we end up with piles of sand on the sides of roads and at curbs until close to the end of May. (In fairness, they don’t want to clear it all away only to have a late snow in May that they have to sand for.) So, while it might technically be “spring”, it’s really “piles of snow, piles of sand, and more muck than you can process” for a good 6-8 months here in Manitoba.
0) Check the Weather
This may seem obvious, but I would recommend getting into the habit of checking the weather both the night before when planning your clothing for the day and in the morning when getting ready to leave. If the weather has changed overnight, as happens in spring so often, you may want to change!
1) Use Lighter and Brighter Colours
I, just like everyone else, embrace the fall and winter and all of the dark clothing that comes along with it! I am not a pastel person myself, because it makes my already pale skin entirely washed out and usually sickly, but lighter patterns are the perfect antidote- I wear stripes year round but I trade out the majority dark for majority white stripes. And if you are more of a solids person, I would start breaking out those brighter colours. I personally gravitate towards the sky blues and bright greens because they remind of the spring that is in fact supposedly coming. And as much as it hurts me to say, I would recommend that most plaids go away around this time. Unless you have a very light palette plaid in a light fabric, I find that they start to look quite out of place and don’t “fit”. I would give them one last wash and hang them up until the fall!
2) Wear Layers Outside for Protection
One of my biggest style related pet peeves is looking down at the back of your legs after walking into work or home or the store (or wherever you are) and realising that you have flicked a whole deal of sand, mud, water, and who knows what else onto yourself. I especially hate it at work because I take pride in my appearance and specifically strive to look neat and put together. It also can require the washing of pants and other clothing before they actually theoretically need it, which not only wears on the garment faster but also uses more water and electricity. (Sometimes I can wipe it by hand, but most times it needs an actual washing.) So, I grab an older pair of Lululemon pants (or sweatpants if it is quite cold) to wear in and out of anywhere that I will be spending more than a few moments in! Not only will this protect your pants, tights, or hose, it will also have the added benefit of keeping you warm in the morning (when I am still facing -10°C when I walk into work). As an aside, I would recommend staying away from lighter coloured pants if you live anywhere similar to me until the streets have actually been cleaned.
3) 3/4 Sleeves Are Your Friends
I find that 3/4 sleeves are a flattering cut on most people, and are a great tool in tackling those transitional seasons and periods. They are typically light enough to avoid overheating if it is a warmer day but paired with a cardigan are as warm as a long sleeve if a chill comes out. I do find that I need to play around with them in the store, because the length of a 3/4 sleeve at one store may be quite a bit shorter or longer than another, but the beauty of 3/4 sleeves is that there really isn’t a “right” or “wrong” length and you have quite a bit of room to play! (I also like using them for layering, as they won’t poke out past your cuffs on your sweater or blazer, if you are as particular as I am about that.) A standard 3/4 sleeve without embellishment is also a classic, timeless cut, and doesn’t reveal those potential problem areas that some people like to cover!
4) Stay Away From Black
Now, I know that people are going to protest against this because many people claim black as a wardrobe, but I find that it looks particularly heavy in spring. I do wear black in the summer, but they are summer pieces- short sleeve shirts, lighter fabrics, thin cotton skirts, etc, and specifically look like they are made for the summer. Wearing black sweaters and turtlenecks into the spring, or black wool skirts into the spring really says “It’s still the winter for me”, and can actually look quite harsh. I like to shift to more of my navy and grey neutral pieces in the spring, and it really does make it a difference! Find a lighter than black neutral and pair with those brighter pieces for a spring look- you will be able to wear those neutrals year round, and make the most use out of them. (It’s also sometimes nice to have something to wear that’s not black all of the time.)
So, now that it is spring, or at least theoretically spring, what are your style go-tos?