Spring is in the air, and you’re itching to put away your woolens and go for a lighter, brighter look. But there are still plenty of cold days ahead. You’re in luck! Current trends lend themselves to multiple seasons, and many major winter styles are extending into spring.
“It used to be, ‘One season it’s in, the next it’s out,’” says Cyndie Washburn-Nester, JCPenney women’s trend director. “Now clothes — even boots — have become seasonless.”
Though your faux-fur vest should go to the consignment store (sorry!), almost everything else you own — from leather to lace, pleats to colored jeans — can take you right through spring. Try these pro tips to wear your wardrobe now and change it up when the weather gets warmer:
Wear it now: Booties, tights and chunky sweaters add an ’80s hard edge — plus a The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo vibe — to leather pencil skirts, leather shorts and motorcycle jackets, says Roseanne Morrison, fashion director at retail consultancy The Doneger Group.
Wear it later: Go ladylike by pairing leather items with lace, or pastel or bright colors. A colorful top, strappy shoes and bare legs lighten up the look of a leather skirt, while bohemian printed tops make it fun and relaxed.
Wear it now: Go for a head-to-toe lace look, especially for evening. Or break it up — and make it a little edgier — with a cropped jacket, opaque hose, boots and heavy-gauge chain necklaces.
Wear it later: “You want to show some skin: Sheerness and lace’s peek-a-boo nature are driving this trend,” says HSN and Target designer Liz Lange. Wear open-weave lace sweaters over a camisole and skirt in a bright, spring-friendly shade like cobalt or orange. Accessorize it with a ladylike clutch, sandals and a silk scarf, or go bolder with a neon-bright handbag or wedge heels. Either way, skip the hose and jewelry, says Lange. “Lace is adorned enough to be its own accessory.”
Wear them now: Pile on layers — from jeans and jackets to capes and maxis — with your booties and taller boots, says Washburn-Nester.
Wear them later: Show off your boots beneath feminine, floaty floral dresses or shorts worn over tights, suggests Washburn-Nester. “Boots can take something dressier and make it more boyish.”
Wear them now: Layer away, with a sweater and vest on top and tights and boots underneath.
Wear them later: Switch to transparent hose (made popular by Duchess Kate Middleton) or none at all. Throw on a blazer or a Peter Pan–collared blouse and pearls. “A little cardigan makes it more ’60s- or ’70s-inspired,” says Morrison.
Wear them now: “Everything goes back to black,” says Washburn-Nester. If you have bright red or cobalt-blue jeans, set them off with a black, brown or navy jacket and turtleneck. For the final flourish, don high-heeled booties, boots or platform shoes in chocolate or black.
Wear them later: Spring is the time to break the rules. “Color with color is more playful,” says Washburn-Nester. “You can pair primary colors with orange or yellow, khaki or white.” Add sandals or wedges in tan or white, or choose a bold shoe in construction-zone orange or taxi yellow. For weekends, go casual with a T-shirt or tank, ballet flats or espadrilles, and rope bracelets.
As for next fall? Great news! “Many of these trends remain on the radar,” says Morrison. “They truly are investments!”