Sigh. It’s warm here in Ottawa, people. And has been for a few days. Maybe warm-ish would be more accurate, but above freezing, at any rate. With sunshine. And we’re still in February. The past few days have felt like nature’s balm to this winter weary soul. For those of us pining for spring, a bit of warmth and sunshine “knits up the ravell’d sleeve of care,” and makes us feel new again. Okay, enough with the Macbeth hyperbole, what I’m saying is that I’m ready for spring fashions.

So I’ve started my spring shopping research. Reading articles on spring trends. And looking at the runway shows for spring 2018.

woman in all white, one in a pink coat, and one in a coral jacket and green oants
Trendy spring looks from Max Mara, Dries Van Noten, and Agona.   source

Apparently white on white is big this season. Like the Max Mara look on the left above. And what British Vogue calls “ice cream colours”, soft pastels, baby blues, creamy vanillas, and raspberry pinks, like the Dries Van Noten trench coat in the middle above. Which hits on two trends: soft colour and trench coats. Apparently “trench dressing” was big on the Spring 2018 runways last fall. I guess that means the trench coat is back, and I didn’t even know it had gone. Works for me, though. I’ll be looking for a spring coat this year, just like I’ve been doing for the past three. Hopefully I’ll find one this spring. Another trend that appeals to me is colour: bright, primary, Crayola crayon colours. That look from Agona, on the right, inspires me, not so much the jacket or the trousers, but the colours. The colours are so fresh. I’m just getting started with my research and, already, I’m anticipating spring in a big way.

Today, I’m off to meet a friend for coffee, and I am eschewing my winter palette. Ditching, for today, some of the pieces of which I am right royally sick to death. Trying to channel spring in the middle of winter, and doing my best with what I have in my closet.

woman in red sweater and jeans holding a tweed coat.
Sheesh. Try to smile, would you?

First off, I refuse to wear my black Stuart Weitzman ankle boots. I love them, but, we need a break from each other. So I’m donning my brown Paul Green boots, instead, and hoping that the coffee shop parking lot has bare pavement. The leather soles on these babies make them treacherous on ice. My skinny jeans and my black leggings are staying in the closet. I haven’t worn my flared Current Elliott jeans all winter. Mostly because they look best with the Paul Green boots and… well… as I’ve said before on the blog, my days of risking life and limb for fashion are over.

Now, I need some colour. A pop of white with a long-sleeved tee shirt from Aritzia. And red with my old Banjo and Matilda cardigan. I love the length of this sweater. Plus it’s quite light weight and won’t feel bulky under my coat. And this gauzy, cashmere scarf from Holt Renfrew with all the painterly colours (pink and red and purple and green) will help pull everything together.
woman in red sweater and multi-coloured scarf
I’m trying to smile and squint at the same time. Loving my red sweater, though.

And I’ll need to be pulled together because I’m wearing my pink Max Mara coat over my red sweater. I know, the old adage that pink never works with red is out of date, but I still think that the two need some sort of transition piece to help them get along.

woman in pink tweed coat, scarf, and jeans
I love my flared jeans with these boots. And the scarf with my tweed coat. The backdrop, not so much
I love my Max Mara coat. And I haven’t worn it much this winter what with all the -20°C temperatures, not to mention the -30° wind chill days when sane people wear down coats, and toques, and mittens… or stay at home. Ha. No toque required today, my friends, nor down coat, nor mittens. Although my leather gloves will be tucked into my bag.
woman in pink tweed coat, scarf, and jeans
You know, I’m kind of enjoying this outfit. It feels fresh, and a bit springy, and is just what I need today. It’s not high fashion. Or cutting edge. But it’s comfortable, and pulled together, and polished. Well, polished enough. After all, I won’t be sashaying down Rodeo Drive, or waiting to make my entrance to a New York Fashion Week venue amidst a flurry of paparazzi. Ha. I won’t even be mingling among the Winterlude crowds in downtown Ottawa. I’ll just be sipping coffee with a friend in a neighbourhood cafe.  And feeling great.
woman in pink tweed coat, patterned scarf, and sunglasses

Now I must go. Hubby just yelled to me that it’s supposed to start freezing rain late this afternoon. Ackk… I do not want to negotiate our backyard in my leather-soled Paul Green boots when the sidewalk is covered in ice. Ever watched that scene from the movie Bambi… when Bambi encounters ice for the first time? Yep. That’ll be me, long skinny legs splayed every which way.

I’m only getting started with my spring shopping research. I’ll be back with a later post on what I’ve found… the good, the bad, and the ugly. And trust me… there is a lot of ugly. Ha. Then I’ll need to do my spring closet inventory, and make my list. A trench coat, loose white jeans, wide legged pants… again. I can hear poor Liz sigh when she reads that. I know, Liz. I never, ever like them when I get them on. But maybe I’ll get lucky this season.

Meanwhile, I’m off to meet my friend, doing my best to quell my anticipation of spring, to stave off the pining by wearing a bit of colour. A great cup of coffee and a croissant might help too.

Have a listen to Carly Simon sing about anticipation. I love Carly Simon. Back in high school my friend used to say that her song “You’re So Vain” was about my first boyfriend. But that’s another story.

I must sound desperate for winter to be over. Last week it was hats. This week, I’m forcing the season with some spring colour. What are you doing?


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From the archives


Stripes for Spring: Splurge Update

I seem to be all about stripes for spring this year my friends. Navy and white stripes. So fresh and springy. Stripes with everything, I say.


Fashion Philosophy: The White Tee Shirt

What’s your fashion philosophy when it comes to spring staples in your closet? Are you a fan of the white tee shirt?


Pumpkins on the Porch

It’s pumpkin decorating season, my friends. But not for me. Much as I love pumpkins, I refuse to conform to the norm of seasonal decorating.

37 thoughts on “Anticipation: Pining for Spring Fashion”

  1. This whole internet thing, so very strange. I don't know you, but when I read your blog, I feel as though I might. I nod in agreement, or think, "that's so true," or laugh out loud. Like I could call you over for a cup of coffee and a commiserrative chat about growing up in the 60's. Thank you for that feeling. For the invisible person whose thoughts I look forward to reading. I raise my coffee cup to you!

    1. Thanks so much for saying that, Ramona. Expostulation, agreement, and the occasional laugh out loud… that's what I'm going for. Not to mention the raised coffee cup:)

  2. I love your pink coat. And am also loving your take on Canadian Winter and Spring weather. When we Brits complain about the cold weather (as in, we do it all the time) we really know nothing about cold whatsoever. Wow -30C! That's cold. Cheers from a damp and grey 9C!

    1. We've had what Canadians call "an old fashioned winter" this year. Now I'm ready for it to be gone, gone, gone. Cheers right back at you, Penny:)

  3. Well we’re up in Scotland just now & my thoughts haven’t turned to spring outfits yet . It’s still all about padded coats , fleeces & serious boots . I had a quick swing through the town shops before we left home & it was starting to look a little summery . The high end stuff seemed rather too bright for me so I scuttled off . don’t do bright , though I like the more soft versions of red , emerald , cobalt etc . I’d rip that scarf off your neck if you were within reach . Hope you managed to get home without lying in the snow . Thanks for Carly , she’s a favourite of mine too .
    Wendy from York

    1. Oh, I am so sick of my down coat. And my fleece. And Stu's has hardly had his toque off all winter. I swear, Canadian men and their hats and long underwear. Hey..that could be a whole other post.
      I don't normally do bright… at least not double brights like in the picture I chose. But I could go for a light sweater in an ice cream colour… orange sherbet maybe.

  4. That's a GREAT look, and the red and pink definitely work together. When we dress, we need to feel good about what looks back at us from the mirror. You look smashing!

  5. I've been watching that same Carly Simon video!!! About wide legged pants… much less in white… They always look better on the models than they do on me, and I'm fairly slim. Bold color… can't bring myself to go there, yet, but "hope springs eternal." Brenda

    1. Oh yes… wide, white pants that aren't jeans look hideous on me. But I thought if I could find a more casual, looser-fit pair of white jeans… I might add to the collection of white jeans in my closet.

  6. Colour is beautifully refreshing after the neutral colour palette found in nature during a Canadian winter…looking forward to the arrival of spring; the fresh colours of new growth and blossoms will provide inspiration to a wardrobe renewal plan but my fear is that is still weeks away. Scarves are such a lovely way to 'marry' colours that ordinarily wouldn't look pulled together…hope the coffee with the friend was enjoyable and the freezing rain stayed away until you got home again safely. You looked a treat! Cheers, Alayne

    1. I have the same fear. I can inspire myself with spring looks all I want, but I fear we'll have snow until mid-April. I don't even want to think about it.

  7. I love that outfit on you, and I'm so impressed by that deft transition from pink coat on the outside to red sweater on the inside. Not at all the wild mixing of Advanced Style stylings, which wouldn't be you, but instead a lively palette of analogous colours beautifully restrained in classic shapes. Well done!
    Here, we're negotiating icy sidewalks, the slight snowfall of several days ago melting in the day's weak sunshine, then freezing its trickle everywhere. I'm choosing tractioned soles for now — the bulbs coming up in pots on my deck stand a good chance of being dusted by flurries still, so we'll have to wait a bit before going Full Spring, but given we're in Vancouver, Paul and I did see runners in shorts as we walked home from our delayed Valentine's Night Out dinner yesterday evening. . . .Sundresses are just 'round the corner. But for now, I'm on the couch, trying to finish the sweater I'm knitting while there's still a bit of winter left. . .

    1. Ah, thanks, Frances. I love how you describe things. I am not given to wild colours as a rule. Or only one at a time.
      I was thinking of your knitting when I made reference to that quote from Macbeth:)

  8. You look wonderful, your outfit really is great. And your hair looks fabulous too (new cut?). It might be me just seeing that for the first time as I tend to "suddenly" notice something that has been there all along.
    Thanks for another fun post.
    Suz from Vancouver

  9. It's still down coats and suitably soled boots here so I am envious of your being able to bring out the lighter weight coat and boots. I think the red and burgundy pink look great and make a good statement without being over the top. As to those bright spring colours I am not sure about them on me but would certainly not rule out a bit more colour in my closet but it would have to be a bit more subdued.

    1. The lighter weight coat is still out today but with an umbrella. I'm hoping to stave off wearing my down coat again until next year… if I'm lucky!

    1. Thanks, Mary Lou. I use Laura Mercier "brow definer gel" (although it looks more like a creamy powder) applied with a little angled brush. And a year or so ago started applying a Laura Mercier product called "Brow Dimension" which goes on like mascara with a wand, and keeps everything in place. The woman who works at the LM counter taught me how to use both products.
      As for lips I use Mabelline "baby lips" lip balm, with a soft rose Laura Mercier lipstick on top. I'm not much into lip liners or strong colour on my lips. Most days I just use the lip balm.

    2. Lovely outfit-I like when you've got an inspiration and implement it-perfect! And the hair is great
      I've never thought about red and pink together-(your combination is a right dosage )before Mrs. Beckham sent it to the runaway
      After a mild winter-boom,cold winter is here (not so cold as snowy as in Canada,but still).I'm not tired of my down coat ,because I've wear it only a couple of times
      I like the all-white with a flowing camel (or navy) coat outlook and even have a real off-white wide wool trousers,not jeans-they are so impractical in real life,even more than long coats!
      I wear,as an antidote to the winter blues and months of black velvet trousers-silk liberty print dress (with the turtleneck, leggings and studded ankle boots.) And a coat and (pink) scarf,of course.

  10. Hi Sue, hope you managed to stay upright whilst out and about for coffee 🙂 your hair looks great as does your outfit. I've seen quite a few combination of red and pink and think it can work with the right pieces … your scarf definitely brings it all together … Love Wendy's comment re the scarf!! Some great outfits on your pintrest for Spring 2018. Some I can imagine wearing , others are "sigh … if only" for me!! Which leads me to ponder on the long, I mean long!! trench coat I bought last year. Having seen lots of longer ones, just above the ankle, online, I tried one, loved it and home it came. Ok, right … When am I going to wear it ?? Not great for really wet days!! Needs boots of shoes with heels … So no long walks! 🙂 You can see where I going here … Do you know the saying "buy clothes for the life you lead not the life you'd like to have" I'm going to hang it where it's visible in the Spring, ready for coolish but bright, dry days … and maybe try it with flats!
    Thanks for including Carly … I still listen to "Tapestry" now and again… Love every track! My best friend in Primary school and I performed a dance routine to " You're so Vain" …. I can still remember most of it! 🙂 I think lots of us had boyfriends that it could have been written about … except for the expensive lifestyle, maybe!
    BTW looking at my "swiss wardrobe" this time and wondering why I just packed the blacks, whites and shades of grey! Apart from a couple of colourful … Ish 🙂 hats I didn't bring any mauve, heather or pinks … Won't make that mistake again! Desperate for some brighter colours! … I have seen a lovely pink jumper in a shop window here … 🙂
    Have a good week!

    1. I did stay upright, as it happens. The freezing rain held off until the evening.I love the sound of your new coat; I love the look of a long trench, left unbuttoned with jeans. My problem is I always buy a spring coat and then never want to fasten it up:)

  11. Meant to mention, I do like the "ice cream" colours. For me it would be the pale mauve or pale pink … I'd have to wear them with a neutral though, I think wearing lots of pastels or brights, together, is definitely out of my comfort zone! Looking back, I did in my teens and 20's but not now!

  12. We Canadians need to officially declare two winter fashion seasons. The first is Holiday Winter for November, December and January with reds, sparkle and party clothes. The second is Phase Two for what we have from now until True Spring , which is AGES from now, for us Albertans at least. It's still cold and snowy but the days are getting longer. Our fashion season should have lots of warm and cozy clothes but in different colors and brighter lights. (Brenda Kinsel brought this up recently on her blog.) I'm starting with a switch out on some scarves, like you Sue, and swapping out some accent colours. I think I'll put PLUM away for a while and bring back my warm AQUA. They both still work with my basic neutrals of navy, olive and tan. It's just nice to have a change and pretend Spring is coming. Stay warm out there, friends! Love your post, Sue.

  13. I love your scarf and agree that it helps to bridge the pink and red. I wonder if either the pink or red was in a pattern, rather than solid colors, you wouldn't have felt the need for the scarf –except for the warmth that is! Good luck with freezing rain, which is worse than snow I feel!

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