Shopping My Closet for Pre-Spring Fashion

With determined, and slightly unrealistic positivity, I decided earlier this week that spring was on its way, and I should be prepared. Okay. Maybe not spring spring. But pre-spring at least. Even though the snow in our front yard was still up to my knees, the driveway, the path, and the streets and sidewalks in town were bare and dry. The sun was shining. And I’d had several wonderful walks. It was time to lighten up a bit, in more ways than one. But for the purposes of this post, I’m going to stick to lightening up my winter outfits. And declaring that pre-spring fashion is now a thing.

Woman standing on a deck, snow behind, wearing white Gap sweater, white Uniqlo down jacket, Aritzia pants, Stan Smith sneakers, Fossil bag.
My favourite pre-spring outfit

What I really wanted to do was to wear my new-ish, wide-leg trousers from Aritzia without having to roll them up or tuck them into boots, like I did in this post. So using my Pinterest board where I’ve saved inspiration ideas for styling my tailored trousers, I embarked on a happy morning of trying on outfits, and trying to photograph them.

My first pre-spring fashion look was this outfit. My black, light-weight, cashmere crew-neck sweater from Everlane, half-tucked into my trousers, with a black belt, black Stuart Weitzman boots, white ultra-light down Uniqlo jacket and this old, old cross-body bag from Holts.

I like this outfit. It’s casual enough, comfortable enough, and just springy enough for me. Even though I’m wearing pieces from my winter closet, the jacket lightens the mood. My black down coat would look good with this combination, but then the look would definitely be winter-ish.

Woman standing on a deck, garden fence and snow behind, wearing black Everlane sweater, white Uniqlo down jacket, Aritzia pants, and Stuart Weitzman boots.
Stuart Weitzman boots, Aritzia trousers, Uniqlo jacket, Everlane sweater.

Next, I changed up the sweater for a black Vince tee shirt, and pulled on my almost-vintage Max Mara blazer. This is a more serious look, but I really like it. If I were going out, I’d wear a light scarf, my black trench coat, and carry my cognac-coloured Fossil bag. My Everlane trench coat from last year is sold out, but you can find the newer version here.

Then to make the whole look more casual, I swapped the black tee for my white Vince tee, put the black cashmere sweater back on, and changed my boots for my Stan Smith sneakers. I love how the white tee picks up on the white sneakers and makes them not look out of place. I tucked in the tee shirt, but just folded the sweater under to make it blouse out a bit. This is me totally embracing the over-sized trend. And feeling pretty pleased with myself, if slightly ecclesiastical.

But I think that this pre-spring fashion combination, below, is my favourite. Same pants, same sneakers, but I pulled on an old cream wool sweater from Gap. Because it’s really long, I tucked the ends of the sweater into my waistband, making it fold over the waistline of the pants so I don’t have to wear a belt. Even if I do say so myself, I think that Fossil bag looks positively yummy with the white jacket and cream sweater.

Woman wearing white Gap sweater, white Uniqlo down jacket, Aritzia pants, Stan Smith sneakers, Fossil bag.
Gap sweater (old), Uniqlo jacket, Fossil bag.

Spring is always late here in the “great white north.” I won’t be turning my closet for at least another month. By the time spring gets here, we Canadians are truly sick and tired of our winter clothes. So I like to dip my toe into spring gradually. That way I don’t have to wait for real spring, I can feel as if I’ve changed things up, and I can still stay warm. These pants are perfect for pre-spring because I can wear heavy socks with my sneakers, undetected. No way am I baring my ankles until May. Next up, I’ll be hauling out my bright green cashmere hoodie which I packed away when I did a deep-freeze closet edit back in January. Not sure what I’ll do with it yet. But that bright green will surely brighten my mood.

White Gap sweater, white Uniqlo down jacket, Aritzia pants, Stan Smith sneakers, Fossil bag. My favourite pre-spring fashion outfit.
All set for some errand running maybe.

I do think that playing around with clothes, shopping my closet for new and different combinations can be a mood enhancer. But as I said in my last post, sometimes the tried and true tricks I use to maintain positivity don’t always work. Usually a cup of tea and a good book. A brisk walk followed by a cup of tea and a good book. Bibliotherapy, as it’s called. Or a good closet rummage are real mood changers for me. But when they don’t work, and then don’t work again the next day, and the day or week after that, it’s time to reach out for help. But I said all that already in my last post, so I won’t go on.

Shopping my closet was fun this week. The sunshine helped. And my tailored trousers that I’m so glad I bought last spring. I’m keeping my eye out for black tailored trousers now, to replace a black cotton pair that I’ve worn a lot in the past couple of summers, and which I don’t think will survive another washing. Here are some of the candidates which I’ve identified so far.

You know, the fashion industry always has a pre-fall season. Weirdly enough it falls around the time we are longing for spring. So why not a pre-spring fashion season? No reason at all, I say. Haul out the lighter cashmere or the bright sweaters to wear under a winter coat. Ditch the winter boots and heavy scarves. Pull a spring trench coat on over a sweater and a fall blazer, add a bright scarf, and a pair of sneakers. Voila, you have an almost but not quite spring outfit.

Or that’s what I was saying on sunny Thursday. When I was blithely taking my photos, and then heading off for a walk with my buddies.

Today, I’m singing from a slightly more realistic songbook. Ha. We had snow last night. And awoke this morning to a beautiful winter scene, with the trees branches bedecked in white, our garden fence posts all wearing white chefs hats, and the bench on the deck covered in what looked like eight inches of vanilla icing. Sigh. It is only mid-March after all.

Still… I see on my weather ap that on Thursday the temperatures will be nudging up into double digits. I may be able to don one of my pre-spring fashion combinations soon. Just not today. Ha.

What’s in your pre-spring wardrobe, my friends? Do you shop your winter closet to find outfits that make you feel springy when spring is still a few weeks away?

P.S. Most of the clothing links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking my link (except for the Aritzia one) I will earn a commission which helps to pay for the blog.


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33 thoughts on “Shopping My Closet for Pre-Spring Fashion”

  1. Hi Sue,
    Winter came back here in MA too (in fact ice and snow tonight), but not with the temperatures or amounts of snow that you get.
    I like all of your outfits, but my favorite might be the one with the black tee shirt, black blazer and black boots. Very smart.
    I really like those pants and might like them in black as well. Have you thought about a black pair of the same pants?
    I’d like to share my pre-spring wardrobe ideas, but I’ve got nothing. Maybe your post will help me pull something together. I recently bought a JCrew striped button down with a small ruffle on the collar. Maybe I’ll put that on with a nice blazer for a work Zoom call. I have been living in long sleeve tees!

    1. I like that outfit too, and think I will probably wear it next fall, if not this spring. I’m on the hunt for a button-down shirt as well. Pink, I think.

  2. The songbook is very different here (Australia) and this last week has been balmy! So welcome after so much rain.
    Not sure how well I’d cope with single digit temperatures!
    I love your pre-spring outfits!

    1. Thanks, Genevieve. When it’s been -20°C for much of the winter, +8° or +9° is balmy. I won’t be saying that if we’re still getting those temps in May though. 🙂

  3. Ecclesiastical 😄 I do like your loose trousers & it’s so easy for you long legged folk to wear them . With my shorter legs I need them to taper off a little at the ankle . My first pre spring changes are to put away mittens , thick scarves & wool hats . Soon the wool trousers & cowl neck jumpers will go . We are on holiday just now , not Scotland this time as I’m on the family history trail & one branch has led to Somerset in the 1600s . It’s taken years of effort to get all the info & Covid world stopped us visiting . So the fleeces & parkas are left behind & we’re both looking much more presentable for visiting pretty little towns & villages . Max shook his head & said ‘ So many coats ! ‘ 😁 I’m enjoying putting together tidy outfits for a change . We’re perhaps spoiling the effect by having the scruffiest mongrel dog in the area – he is cute though .

    1. A family history jaunt to Somerset sounds great. We did some driving in Somerset and Wiltshire on a guided day trip out of Bath in 2017. Such a wonderful part of the world. Re: coats and husbands. Stu thinks it’s odd for anyone to need more than two coats. And one of those should be a Gortex for canoeing. 🙂

  4. You were made to look amazing in those trousers. Ecclesiastical indeed. I will find it difficult not to giggle in church this morning. It is difficult to find joy these days, but your post, morning sun, although brief, and my new library book, The Christie Affair, will go a long way to brightening this late winter/pre spring Sunday. Optimism breeds optimism.

  5. Spring! What a lovely word and I can’t wait! Usually spring, for me, means packing away my winter sweaters and losing the basket of mitts and scarves from the back door closet. Too soon to bring out my summer tops that were packed up last fall. The upcoming week is supposed to above freezing everyday here in Alberta so I am crossing my fingers that we will lose a lot of the snow that has piled up over the winter. I think I am most looking forward to ditching the heavy winter boots and wearing my summer shoes and sandals. Oh how I love just being able to slip on a different pair to match whatever outfit I’m wearing instead of the same old boring but sturdy winter boots!

    At least we were able to “spring forward” the time last night so we get that extra daylight in the evening and that always makes me feel like Spring is just around the corner. (Fingers crossed lol)

  6. That “ecclesiastical” made me chuckle — and really, your outfits are all inspiring, and thus trending a bit spiritual 😉
    I’ve just tiptoed over to the Spring garments in my closet as well — yesterday, I wore a much-loved cotton-linen, just-below-knee, full skirt (with pockets). With an ochre lightweight merino T/sweater, navy tights, and dark metallic loafers. Couldn’t help thinking how impatient I am to ditch the tights and get back to bare legs and Birkenstocks, but it was a start. . . and more spring-wearable for my 3km walk in intermittent rain than your long wide pants would be. Those just don’t play well here where the ground is too often puddled and they end up wicking water up to the knees. Are they hemmed shorter than I can see in the photos or do you have to be judicious about when/where you wear them? I love the look and I suspect that generous length is part of its chic elegance.

    1. No, those pants would not be good in the rain and puddles. I’ve had them hemmed but they are still a pinch long with my sneakers. Okay with my ankle boots, though, which have a bit of a heel.

  7. Ok Sue, you plan on running errands in those trousers and white sneakers and not getting one drop of Eastern Ontario slush on them this time of year?! I live in Ottawa and I could not walk to the end of my ( very short) driveway without mucking them up. Just thinking of the long flowy pants of the ‘70’s and being told ‘do not bring the mud in the house’ and having to remove them at the door and head directly to the laundry! A girl can dream though and hopefully in a few weeks you will waltz through the parking lots unmarked, meantime on with the BOGS and jeans or leggings for tramping through my urban ‘hood. Love the taupe, black and off white combo, neutral but not ho hum, very sophisticated!
    It’s obvious that your green hoodie is meant to be sprung for March 17th!!

    1. Not anymore. On Thursday the pavements in Manotick were dry. And then we had that dump of snow. But I’m hopeful for later in the week. Temperatures of +12 I saw. 🙂

  8. The Max Mara jacket and Vince tee are perfect transitional pieces for spring! Love the look. Very sophisticated. It snowed this morning here but I donned a maxi dress in purple and cream. I lasted for about an hour and went back to sweats and a bulky sweater. I was too cold in the dress and just didn’t feel excited about waffing around Gone With The Wind style. That was my feeble fashion attempt today. I have instead focused on cleaning and creating spring vignettes with rabbits and eggs. Visually satisfying and strikes a creative note in my soul. I hope by April we will have firmly walked into spring. April here unusually means layers! I appreciate your willingness to be the designated hitter for the team and remind us spring will arrive sooner rather than later! As always I look forward to reading your posts! You always make my Sunday!

  9. Love all your outfits today. They would be applicable in this corner of the world as well as we are about to head into the “season of mist and mellow fruitfulness”. Still warm days but the nights are starting to cool off. My pet peeve about colder weather is the feeling of being bumffeld up in layers of clothing – much prefer the freedom of shorts and a tee or tank.
    Enjoy the sunshine and your pre-spring clothes.

    1. I agree about the bundling up in layers. Sometimes after I’ve put on all my layers for skiing, I’m not sure I have any energy left to actually ski. 🙂

  10. Margaretanne Clinton

    Sue. Great hair.
    Love the red pot accessory photograph . Love the tobacco bag.
    So. I have dupes and I’ll again copy. !!
    Can’t wait to impress with the casual elevated outfit.
    Thanks for the post !

  11. Hi Sue,

    yes, you and the tailored trousers are a “dream team” indeed! I love your statement further up in a comment: Pink I think. Wonderful. Let`s all think more pink, I remember Grace Jones “La vie en rose”!
    Hugs from Cologne,

  12. Your trousers are lovely,such a beautiful colour! It goes nicely with “sandwich rule” white,as well as with black. The right shade of pink would be nice too
    I hope you have better weather 🙂 now
    Here is sunny ,but it was cold for a while especially in the morning
    My go-to outfit is still winterish but,as there is no fear of ice, I can wear my black pointed old Tod’s ankle boots that go well with wider,slightly boot-cut houndstooth trousers and black or white turtleneck. I love this combo very much and didn’t have a lot of opportunities to wear it during the winter,so…..
    Nevertheless,last weekend,for dinners in Istria I’ve wear my flowery (but very subtle print) silk dress,as skirt under the turtleneck.

    1. I wish I had a black boot with a more narrow toe to wear with my trousers. I’m not really fond of the look of my Stuart Weitzman boots with my wide-leg pants. I must try them with my more pointed brown Paul Green boots. Your houndstooth trouser outfit sounds lovely and chic. Not to mention the wearing of your silk dress as a skirt with a sweater over it. Dinner in Istri…sigh. We so loved that region of Croatia.

  13. You look great in your pre-spring outfits!! I feel awful saying I live in the west and mid-march now our weather is 89 the last week!! All I want is weather like yours!! I want to be able to wear sweaters and warm coats!! Boots!! For Spring I already need really Spring clothing!! I change out my entire wardrobe for Spring/Summer weather!! My husband reminds me that people move here because of our beautiful weather!! I just long for snow!! It’s funny how people are always wanting what we don’t have!! I’m working on being content where I am!!

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