In Seattle, Spring weather is variable at best. There are some sunny and mild days, but generally things don’t warm up till May or June. It can snow in March, and perpetual rain and grey skies are guaranteed. In fact, Spring is colder than Autumn. And since the wet cold is worse than the dry cold, it feels chilly around here for a long, long time. This can put a damper on your Spring style.
I’ve learned to dress more Spring-like in Winter weather, despite the cold and wet. Of course, feel free to continue wearing dark, insulating and heavy Winter clothes and footwear when it’s cold in Spring if that’s your preference. No need to change up your look for the sake of a changing season unless it lifts your mood and you want the refresh.
The trick is to stay warm and covered in lighter, shinier and brighter colours, and crisper fabrications. Here are my favourite ways of achieving a toasty Spring look:
1. Lighten Neutrals
Switch to wearing lighter neutrals across all sorts of wardrobe items. Think shades of tan, white, pearl grey, bright, olive and taupe across items like outerwear, jackets, bottoms, knitwear, footwear, handbags, scarves and belts. Switch to denim in lighter washes of blue. If these neutrals are too light for your taste, throw in shades of cognac.
Wear weatherproof footwear in light neutrals. Sperry and Sorel make amazing weatherproof boots in cream and white. I have a pair of cream duck boots from Sperry and they’ve been sublime to wear in snowy Salt Lake City and Park City.
2. Brighten Outerwear, Knitwear & Bottoms
Brights, jewel tones, mid-tones, dusty mid-tones and pastels across a range of wardrobe items are fab to wear in Spring because they break up the monotony of wearing dark neutrals all Winter. Most of these colours look great with dark and light neutrals.
Wearing bright cashmere knitwear, wool coats, trench coats and bright bottoms makes sense in Seattle because we can wear them for a while. For example, I’m wearing the heck out of my new COS watermelon cashmere pullover and Boden tomato red jeans because they are perfect for a cold Spring day with white boots and outerwear. I’m wearing my tomato red, shocking pink, citron and cream wool coats a lot too.
3. Wear More Pattern and Pattern Mix
There’s something about wearing floral, gingham and bold striped patterns that make me feel like Spring is in the air, especially when I style them with brights and light neutrals. I also like to pattern mix with classic patterns.
4. Wear White Jeans
If you don’t wear white jeans in Winter, wear them in Spring. They magically make most items that you wear with them look crisp and fresh. Wear them with solid or pattered dark neutrals, brights, pastels, mid-tones, jewel tones and earth tones. Unless you’re wearing a dark neutral up top, lighten the footwear with white jeans.
5. Throw in Metallic Footwear
Metallic boots are amazing to wear on a cold Spring day when it’s not snowing, frosting or raining cats & dogs. Think silver, pewter, gold or rose gold boots, sneakers, loafers, oxfords or pumps. Adding high shine to an outfit makes it look interesting and glam.
6. Add Spring Scarves
Chunky woolly scarves look very Winter-y, so swap them out for silkier and cotton-rich versions. Wearing them in pastels, brights and light neutrals is an even better idea. They do wonders keeping out the chill and look chic too.
7. Layer under Crisp Blouses
On a milder Spring day, I like to break out a pretty long-sleeved floral blouse because I don’t wear blouses in Winter. I layer underneath them with camisoles or a thermal tee, and wear a Spring scarf and coat for extra insulation. It feels good to wear crisp woven fabric instead of knitwear.
8. Wear Nude-for-You Hosiery
I wear nude hose under Spring dresses and flared skirts with light-coloured booties or loafers Sometimes I layer nude hose under nude fishnets. I also wear nude knee-highs under cropped pants and jeans with sneakers, loafers, pumps and booties to give the illusion that my ankles are bare, but are secretly warmly insulated.
9. Lighten Lipstick & Refresh Your ‘Do
Change up the colour of your lipstick to something lighter, softer and less earthy, just for fun. Refresh the colour or style of your hair if you’re bored with your ‘do. Or head over to a Laura Mercier counter and refresh your make-up for the warm-weather season.
10. Rock a Fun Raincoat & Umbrella
Don’t underestimate the stylish effect of a fabulous raincoat and umbrella. Retailers are doing a much better job of making rainwear look chic and fun, and less like unattractive gear. Rocking rainwear lifts your spirits and chases away the blues. Throw in a pair of cheerful wellies too.
Turns out that I follow most of these style strategies in Winter, and not just in Spring because I LOVE Spring fashion. Over to you. Do you have cold and dismal weather in the Spring? How do you transition your look into Spring without freezing your buns off?