Dressing The In-Between
Inevitably every spring there are weeks when our wardrobe tumbles into total malfunction. We may mentally rejoice the first rays of sun, the colour pops of crocus, daffodils and bluebells beginning to run riot in urban parks and woodland bring broad smiles to every face, but we are left flailing about sartorially.
Because never mind the body parts that are still in full-winter hibernation; the fact that our summer wardrobes are packed away with the moths, while our winter ones are causing unattractive sweating on the commute, what feels warm at lunchtime can leave us freezing by the 7pm walk home. And then, just when you get everything sorted, the Met tells us snow is on the way.
But dressing the in-between is actually quite simple. You don’t need to pull everything out from your drawers and endlessly huff and puff about in front of the mirror.
Strategic planning will avoid an expensive trawl through every fashion website you shop on (with too many panic buys) as you desperately try to find items that cover up bare legs, can manage shock 22 degree temperatures (the weather today as I write), or hide toes not yet buffed and sheened.
Read on for tips to mastering the in-between…
Dare to denier
First, sheer tights are OK because Phoebe Philo at Céline told us so. You don’t have to feel like Theresa May on Brexit-exit, legs-it day. Go for bright colour and pair them with last year’s gentle florals. Or try chocolate sheer denier with your chiffon or silk winter dresses; black 10 denier also works perfectly under calf-length winter wool skirts – just match with a light-weight t-shirt or cotton turtle neck. All of which you probably have
Do trust in denim
Double denim is made for spring (see every French ingénue for inspiration or merely Google French Vogue editor Emmanuelle Alt). Avoid the skinnies – go for loose fit, high-waist faded classic indigo denim head-to-toe (Levis is a one-stop shop for this look).
Either choose a thicker denim shirt for warmth (you can always unbutton at midday for a bit of seductive allure), or a buttoned-up denim jacket with a simple white T-shirt underneath (Alex Eagle has the best sleeveless or V-neck T-shirts on her website). Or try the combination of French denim brand Sézane’s indigo denim jacket over their 1967 Brut jean.
White denim also never fails and instantly transports us to the Riviera. Again, wear loose and low with frayed edges if you already have it, a vintage leather belt and simple ribbed T-shirt (see Frame’s selection), with a summer tailored jacket and coloured loafers (Gucci’s in post-box red are my current favourite)
Swap in suits
Feather weight feminine suiting hides the legs, signals instant pulled together glamour and totally nails spring/summer’s biggest tailoring trend, all in one. Samantha Cameron’s scarlet suit for her brand Cefinn is an easy, pulled together look for day and night (just add white trainers like she does) or DKNY have more fluid sportier styles in black or white. Just keep a scarf to hand for post cocktail chills
Update your slip dress
Last summer’s slip dress is still in play. Dig it out now and pair with ballet shoes (Miu Miu’s are the best) layer over a T-shirt and sling over your bomber jacket for warmth, à la street style.
The classic shirt dress comes into its own – buy now if you haven’t got one already, it’s an all-summer investment. Slip over cropped cotton trousers or kick-flare jeans and open-toe mules. And it plays into the whole tunic-over-trouser trend that was all over the catwalks.
Brave the multifunctional tailored shirt
Your perfect new season jacket may have yet to catch your eye, but don’t rush and just avoid coats altogether. Instead, just wear a tailored shirt over jeans and layer a long-sleeved shirt underneath (it can always get whipped off in the loo at lunchtime and rolled neatly into your bag; fashion really does not need to be hard). British brand palmer//harding are a great investment and right now we definitely need to be supporting British brands.
The mid-length pleated skirt with a light-weight cashmere top is also a springtime winner. On our wish list is Gucci’s new classic, with their wild floral and animal prints. Or try Massimo Dutti’s in a retro floral as a great trans-seasonal buy.
Finally, rustle around in your grandmother’s dressing up box – she’s bound to have one from the Sixties and early Seventies. Match with loafers.