Just look at that sunshine out there! It’s amazing how lovely the weather has been all year so far and after such a mild winter I am certainly looking forward to a gorgeously warm spring and summer. Since December I’ve been telling everyone that it will definitely snow this winter – mostly based on the heavy late snow we experienced last February – and I’ve been waiting for it to happen, yet the frost has stayed away and we’ve had nothing more than a few hail stones. I was so certain that snow was on its way that I’ve been stocking up on woolly scarves and gloves in the January sales – but I’ve only needed to wear my bobble hat on one frosty morning in January (around the 5th) and there was a chilly morning on 29th December. I remember it well, because that’s the only bad weather we’ve had.
That’s not to say that the bad weather won’t still come in April. I’ve heard anecdotes from family and friends of snow on their early April wedding day and blizzards on mid-April birthdays so it could still happen. It would be such a shame to have a late snow in April this year because all the plants have come out of hibernation and been growing already but a heavy frost might kill off all those buds. So lets keep our fingers crossed that Spring really IS here and that we’ve only got lovely sunny weather ahead of us!
The trouble with this time of year is that ‘in-between-ness’ of warm and cool, sunny and dull, woolly jumper and t-shirt. What should we wear when a day starts off overcast but blossoms into the warmest day of the year? How silly and chilly would we feel when we head out into the morning sunshine in our sandals only for the wind to start howling and grey clouds to block out the sun. I’ve found this hot-and-cold, sunny-and-cloudy, ultimately changeable weather quite difficult to dress for. So far I’ve dealt with it by wearing lots of layers that can be taken off or added on as needed, always carried a coat with me and I’ve not yet shed the winter tights. Sometimes I’m too hot and sometimes too cold but it’s generally working well for me. The trouble is choosing spring-esque clothes without looking too summery but without resorting to chunky jumpers and snow boots. But I think I’ve come up with a solution:
1. Layers: And the essential item is fine-knit, thin or open-weave jumpers. After a recent shopping trip to London Designer Outlet (great for getting discount designer clothing in the UK) I have bought these light jumpers, one each in deep red, teal, cream and light blue. They are thin enough to layer up with vests and cardigans but are light enough to keep you cool if the sun suddenly makes an appearance. I’ve been wearing these with jeans and tall boots on chilly days and tucked into skirts during warmer weather and so far I’ve been able to cope with whatever the weather throws at me!
2. Colours: I also think that colours are important at this time of year, because you might stand out like a holiday-maker in pastels and tropical prints but look equally suspicious if you’re wrapped up in dark colours on a sunny day in the park. So another suggestion is to wear tones that are somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. Hang up your black jumpers and burgundy dresses and add a few whites, blues and greens into your wardrobe. This will help you to look fresh and spring-like without going for a full-on summer look.
3. Fabrics: I think that you can’t go wrong with denim at any time of year and it’s the perfect mid-season item. It keeps you warm on colder days but will still look cool if the sun comes out. Canvas is a good thick-but-cool fabric too so pumps, bags and jackets in canvas are perfect for layering with your fine knits.
4. Accessories: You don’t need a woolly knitted scarf to keep warm when the wind gets up, a thin cotton scarf will work just as well when it’s wrapped around your neck a few times so invest in a couple of these in lighter colours so that it still looks cool and fresh when the sun is out. This look actually reminds me of classic French styling so it might be a good idea to check out the French Style Tips section of the La Redoute website – very handy for getting a classic look during this difficult time of year. Also, if you have room in your handbag, always take an umbrella with you! At least then you can wear a thinner, non-waterproof coat and you’ll be able to stay dry under your umbrella-ella-ella if a shower surprises you.
What do you think of these styling ideas for spring into summer 2014? Let me know how you’re coping with the funny weather and what you’ve been wearing during this in-between season, I’d love to hear what tips you have for this time of year.