There has long been a disconnect between the retail calendar and the weather. Spring dresses fill the racks in February. Wool sweaters hit stores during the dog days of summer. All because, over a century ago, clothing had to be ordered months in advance of the new season. Despite the proliferation of global trade and the development of e-commerce, the powers that be on Fifth Avenue insist on keeping us locked in this impractical homage to the Edwardian Era.
But today, I say, no more. I will not be the blogger who posts about open-toe sandals when there is three inches of snow on the ground. I refuse to stand bare-legged, shivering on a street corner in a lace sundress just so my Instagram feed has the freshest styles. And I will not spend my money on gorgeous pieces that have to sit in the closet until April.
This pick six is a love letter to practicality. To pieces that you can buy today, and wear tomorrow. Styles that will help you make the winter-spring transition with ease. Because it’s still way too cold outside for me to wear short sleeves.
The color of winter is black. Black tights. Black boots. Black sweaters. Black is slimming. Black is foolproof. But if you want to look ahead to warmer, sunnier days, you need to think about color.
Wearing winter pieces in a brights color is like saying, “There is hope. Spring is coming. I promise.” Roll these colors into your wardrobe now, and continue to wear them on chilly days straight through until April.
I addition to brightening up your wardrobe, you need to brighten up your skin. This is a two step process: You need to exfoliate away the dead skin, and then add brightening products. On reader recommendation, I just switched to this liquid BHA exfoliator to gently sweep away dead skin. To give my skin an extra boost, I use Laura Mercier’s Radiance Makeup Primer. It brings a brightness to the skin that warms even the most tired complexion.
Choosing the right outerwear for the early spring transition is a challenge. You want to be warm, but your Canada Goose Parka seems like a bit of an overreaction when it’s 40-degrees outside. So what do you wear?
A lined trench coat provides a down or wool layer that can be removed when the weather warms. Cole Haan’s Tali Trench has a removable quilted layer. For those in rainier climes, L.L. Bean makes a primaloft lined coat that is also waterproof. And if you don’t want your limited closet space filled with several different coats, for several different temperatures, the Eddie Bauer 3-in-1 coat is a great option.
Layering is the best way to dress for the unpredictable weather of the winter/spring transition. The best layering pieces available are striped tops. Whether you choose navy or black (or both, frankly), these pieces will become the foundation of your wardrobe. I love this look from my friend Jean at Extra Petite; the chunky scarf is a great addition to any transition wardrobe.
If you’re hunting for a great striped sweater, I am positively smitten with this LOFT striped tunic (just $49!). For something more unique, this Vince Camuto reverse back sweater is kind of fun. Looking for a simple, heavy striped tee? This Aldeburgh Breton top is a pure classic, as is this RAEY black-striped top.
Caring for your skin should be your top priority during this transition period. But while we indulge in lotions and potions for our faces, our hands, feet and bodies are often ignored. I couldn’t live without Kiehl’s Creme de Corps body lotion. And their Faile grapefruit whipped body butter is phenomenal. The proceeds also go to charity.
As you know, I am a woman who loves dresses. I wear dresses in all seasons. No matter how chilly, you can usually find me in a dress. But what kind of dress should you be buying in February that you can also wear in April?
I love printed or color blocked wrap dresses. Add tights and boots in the winter for warmth. In the spring, add a fun belt or a light jacket. Or just wear the dress solo. Choosing dresses with navy or black as their base hue keeps the print neutral and fresh, and makes it the dress a versatile choice for any season.