4 Tips to Look Great this Spring
It’s silly season (for a personal stylist, not newspapers)
I was walking to the station the other day and I was reminded why I think of this time of year as the silly season. There on the same street I saw one young guy wrapped up in a winter coat and another who had seen a bit of sun and ventured out in a t-shirt and shorts. Unfortunately neither of them had got it right.
But it’s not surprising really – just when we think Spring’s arrived the winter gives up one last fight. If you’re heading out to work in the morning it’s cold and it’s the same when you head back home in the evening. But during the day when maybe it’s sunny you want to be dressed for spring when you pop out to lunch or simply sitting in the office looking longingly out of the window!
It’s a time when we want to lighten the load but the key is to marry the practical with the emotional. With most people’s wardrobes being divided into just winter and summer I thought, as a personal stylist and personal shopper, I’d offer a few tips to help fix your between-season wardrobe and lift your mood at this time of year. Some tips are for women only – you’ll work it out men!
1. Layering is the the key
Before the warmer weather kicks in there is that desire to lift your wardrobe and wear something that looks and feels lighter – just more appropriate for spring. But there is a practical need to ensure that you’re warm enough. This challenge is one of the reasons that as a personal stylist I am very busy at this time of year.
This week alone five personal shopping clients have put this very challenge to me. The answer I gave them is that it’s all about layering – if you wear more spring/summer weight layers you instantly look more spring-like but you aren’t losing the warmth level.
Choose fine layers
For example, try wearing a fine layer underneath, then another top with a cardigan over the top of that. Finish this off with a lightweight jacket and you are ready for all situations.
So, when you are warm in the sunshine or indoors, for example, you can take off layers. Equally when you’re in the shade you’ve still got your layers to keep you warm. Those indoor scarves are useful as well at this time.
For men too…
For men the same idea applies – you should be going for lighter layers and more spring-like styles so maybe layering a t-shirt or a short-sleeved polo shirt with a longsleeve T-shirt underneath. For the warmer layers opt for lighter knits rather than thick wool which is too wintery.
2. It’s colourful outside – so should you be!
When the sun comes out we want the sun to come out in our wardrobe – to shed the drab colours you may have been wearing for something more colourful. But maybe you think that’s not right for you – if you happen to suit darker colours closest your face or perhaps you’re looking to create a slimmer silhouette and therefore favouring dark-coloured clothing.
But there is an answer – wear lighter, more colourful items away from your face:
- a broach
- a belt
or layers that are visible but not close to your face. One tip is I often give my personal shopping clients is to stagger the layers of your sleeves, or the lengths of tops, ensuring the under layer that is visible is lighter. So you can have splashes of lighter spring colours in your outfits rather than going head to toe in darker shades.
3. Ditch the hefty coat
Emotionally, switching from a winter coat to a mid-season spring jacket really helps to get you into that spring feeling. This will have a dramatic impact on your wardrobe day to day; instantly you’ll be feeling that you’ve left behind the winter. By layering as recommended above you can wear a lighter jacket while keeping warm – especially handy if you are out on a day that’s warm in the sun but if you come home late in the evening it’s very chilly.
4. What to do with your legs
You may not be ready to go bare-legged yet but tights are too warm in the middle of the day. So I recommend either leggings or trousers with an enclosed shoe (and no socks). This will keep you comfortable at all times of the day as the temperature fluctuates. Trousers have the added benefit that you can roll them up to keep cool (though I don’t recommend this if you are short in the leg.)
Bonus tip! Keep it practical under foot
Also footwear is another thing to start thinking about changing. Many women have probably been living in their boots over the course of the winter and now you can start changing to an ankle boot, a brogue, loafer or pump that instantly feels lighter but is still practical – the foot is still covered & you can still wear layers.
Also, men could potentially go for lighter coloured shoes to start their wardrobe feeling a bit more springlike so that will instantly change the feel of their wardrobe.
How a Personal Stylist can help
I appreciate getting this right can be a challenge and may be daunting to solve on your own. A lot of people simply don’t have mid-season wardrobes. They have their winter wardrobe and their summer wardrobe and they perhaps don’t think about having a spring or an autumn wardrobe .
As I write this early in the morning for example, it’s sunny but cold outside but wearing a winter coat and boots wouldn’t feel right. We just don’t want to be bundled up anymore.
You can’t underestimate the the emotional element of this as your mindset is moving into spring and shaking off winter. This fresh start that spring brings is why many clients for my personal stylist and personal shopper services come to me at this time of year there’s a real desire to look forward and get some help, maybe with a personal shopping session, to ensure their wardrobe looks and feels springlike.
Read on, pass on
If you’re new to this blog you might like to read more on my thoughts on style in my article I’m Not Anti-Fashion, but it has to be Style over Fashion Every Time.
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