It's that time of year, thank you Punxsutawney Phil and your everlasting incompetence. Over the last couple of weeks, the birds have slowly started coming back to the area. I was thrilled to hear the annoying crow I will curse the whole of summer outside my window again last week. I was delighted by the appearance of daffodils in flowerbeds, along roadways and of course in grocery stores recently. All the signs are there. Spring is right around the corner, even giving us plenty of warm weather days sprinkled in these waning weeks of winter.
So, a few tips as you begin to transition your wardrobe for the change of season. For the love of all that is sacred, do not run out in a tube top and sandals the first time we hit 80 degrees. We're going to work up to that slowly.
1. Go through your closet: The best way to start a new season is by cleaning up and taking stock. Go through and get rid of all those winter pieces you didn't wear even once. (This will also make you feel less guilty when you're adding new spring and summer items to your closet, because you'll have room!) Shift your heavy winter items to the back of your closet and shelves and move the lighter items forward. Make note of what you have and what will work again this year, and also note staples you need to replace. Are your perfect white stretchy tees more dingy than perfect now? Throw those in with the donation pile and plan to replace them.
2. Check out the Spring trends and make a list: I don't tend to be heavily swayed by fashion trends. Instead, I usually look at what's coming -- you've surely seen plenty of neon, pastel and floral already -- and pick out a few of my favorite new trends that I'll try to incorporate. I get an idea of trend items I want to add to my wardrobe, as well as classic pieces I need to replace or update, and I make a mental shopping list. This is the easiest way for me to ensure that my closet will be filled with pieces I can actually wear, mix and match, rather than a hodgepodge of trendy pieces that I'll grow tired of in six weeks. And honestly, if there's something really trendy I want to try, I often pick one up at Forever21 or Old Navy, knowing I'm likely to only wear it a few times, anyway. It's somewhere to think about for a neon pink maxi dress, for example!
3. Focus on fabrics: One of the easiest ways to transition to a new season is to change the type of fabrics you are wearing. You can still wear long sleeves and pants for those chilly mornings and evenings, but instead of tweed, wool and corduroy, it's time for cottons and jerseys and lighter fabrics in general. (We'll work up to the linen and eyelet.) You don't need your wool scarf anymore, but a lightweight cotton scarf will serve you well in the mornings.
4. Think about prints: Just as with fabrics, your prints should also be changing. Instead of heavy plaids and argyles, it's time for more florals, stripes, and polka dots. Think about what a print symbolizes to you. If it makes you think of cozying up in front of a fire, it's time to move it to the back of the closet. If it makes you think of afternoon strolls in the sunshine or sipping cocktails along the water, it's time to put it into rotation.
5. Shoes, shoes, shoes: The same goes for shoes. It's really easy to create a transition look by slipping on a pair of peep-toes instead of your winter boots and show that you're ready to ease into warmer weather.
I know a lot of people have trouble figuring out what to wear when we're in-between seasons. To be honest, I'm sitting here giving you tips, but I have trouble sometimes too. Some mornings, I put something on and stand in the mirror, wondering whether it's really ok to wear this or that just yet.
So just start slow. Start replacing your wool coat with lightweight jackets and blazers as your outerwear, and loop bright, cotton scarves around your neck instead of heavy wool ones. You still want to layer, just using lighter layers. We'll get to summer and overexposed skin soon enough!
I have a feeling lots of you -- including me -- will be out shopping this weekend. Something about the warm weather we had this week just puts us in the mood, right? Try to at least take a look at your closet and take stock before you head out to the mall this weekend. You'll make better choices.