So what are the first signs of spring where you live? Here, at least this year, it’s the fact that the snow seems to have disappeared almost overnight. For weeks we saw no discernible difference in the snow cover. Huge piles of snow remained, well, huge. Then one warm day, with double digit temperatures, followed by one or two rainy days, worked a miracle. And bam. Spring had arrived. Not to say that it’s warm outside. Ha. I wish. Just that it’s starting to look like spring. And despite the temperatures, it’s time for spring outfits.
I’ve been dipping my toes into spring fashion this last week or so. The urge to stuff all my winter coats and my heavy cashmere sweaters back into storage drawers and garment bags and pack them away has been hard to ignore.
So, I did as I always do this time of year. I held off packing my winter stuff away. And instead I pulled out my spring coats, some of my spring sweaters, and my sneakers and loafers, and now they all reside in my closet cheek by jowl with most of my winter stuff. I tell you, my friends, my tiny closet is a pretty crowded place. But early spring outfits, and by that I mean outfits that look like spring outfits but are warm enough for late March or early April, require a selection of pieces from both my spring and my winter wardrobes. Early spring requires a kind of hybrid closet.
In spring I wear a lot of navy and white or cream. Especially now that my hair is white. There’s just something about navy with my white hair that I love. In perusing my closet, and thinking of pieces that might freshen up what I already own, I added a new item to my wish list. I’ve been on the hunt for an oversized navy and white or cream sweater to wear with my spring and summer outfits. I settled on this one from COS, and ordered it the other day.
But here’s the thing. Now that I’ve made my choice, I feel like I did as a kid when I couldn’t wait to wear new shoes in the spring. In fact I remember one year, when our yard was still too muddy to allow me to move off the doorstep, I wore them on the doorstep. Ha. I can still see myself dancing around on the step in the sunshine, happy to finally be able to wear my new shoes outside. And then going back indoors to put on my galoshes. Anyway, like I said, I can’t wait to try my new navy and cream sweater with my cream cargo pants, but wait I must.
So on Friday I dug out this old navy and white striped cotton sweater instead. Bought in 2014, it’s still in good shape, and sometimes I wear it under my navy Max Mara pantsuit. It doesn’t look bad with my cream pants, a navy light wool scarf, heavy socks, and my Stan Smith sneakers.
But while my sweater is the same navy as my Moncler spring coat, the scarf is lighter in tone and looks a bit off with the coat.
So I swapped it for my Burberry scarf which is the exact shade of navy as the coat. In fact, that’s why I bought the scarf a few years ago. I was having trouble finding a navy scarf that was navy enough to go with the coat. You know, that very dark navy which in a certain light looks almost black. The Burberry scarf cost way more that I had planned to pay for a scarf. But at least it will always fit me. And considering I have scarves I wore in university, I imagine that I will have it for years to come. So once I’d changed up the scarf, I began to wonder if the cotton sweater would be warm enough for an early spring in Ottawa. I guess I could layer a white tee shirt under it.
Or I could just swap the cotton sweater for my Uniqlo navy cashmere turtleneck. Much better. This sweater will supply the level of warmth I need on cool spring days. And it looks great with the Burberry scarf.
And with the Moncler coat. This outfit is what I mean when I say that I need both my winter and my spring wardrobes to dress this time of year. Spring on top. Winter underneath for warmth. I’ll probably wear this outfit when I fly home to Mum’s later in the week.
Here are some of the early spring outfits I’m wearing, have worn, or will wear. I wore the navy walking outfit in the spring of 2020 when walking was the only thing I was doing. Ha. I wore the green Club Monaco hoodie with my black faux-leather trousers and my old black Michael Kors raincoat to lunch last week, and this week shopping. The black turtleneck and red windbreaker is my regular spring walking outfit. How lovely it felt to wear that jacket the other day. And to go without my woolly hat.
I am excited to be able to pull on my navy Max Mara spring blazer over my green hoodie. I love navy and bright green. Last spring, I wore this with jeans and my navy running shoes. This outfit will have to wait a while, unless I wear my trench coat and a scarf over it, which is a possibility. It’s still early to wear the striped ALC tee shirt under my black trench from Everlane. The weather is a bit cool for bare ankles. I could put a layering piece over the tee shirt and wear socks of some sort. But I think I’ll save this outfit for April.
Now, I must tell you about my shopping trip this past week. An unsuccessful, and patently uninspiring trip. I saw nothing at all which I was tempted to buy.
Nordstrom was a disappointment. I don’t know if they are catering to a different clientele these days. Or if the absence of Liz makes it not a fun place to shop anymore. I wandered about for a half hour or so, examining everything, just like I usually do; I looked at prices, held up sweaters to see if the colour suited me. And I swear I was not approached by a single salesperson, to either ask me if I needed help, or just to smile and say hello. And since I didn’t want to try anything on badly enough to chase down a sales person, I left.
Aritzia was next and was wall to wall pastels. Club Monaco was all boring business wear and cropped sweaters. I finally fetched up in Zara. Not my usual habitat, but I had seen some oversized shirts. Bright pinks and greens just like I wanted. But even the exact colour I desired could not persuade me to buy a shirt which fit me everywhere but was two inches too short in the sleeves. Or the one that had two broken buttons already, and one that snapped off in my hand when I tried to unbutton it. I will in future stick to my guns about quality.
Back home I decided that I would, after all, order the pink COS shirt. And they were out of my size. Ha. That will teach me.
Except that it probably won’t. I always like to do a reconnaissance mission before I buy. I need to know that what I have chosen is the right choice. That there is not something better out there. Now that I know what’s out there, or isn’t out there, if another pink shirt the right colour and style comes up I will jump at it.
And if not, there’s always next spring. Like I said in my last post. I’m in no hurry. And I don’t really need anything anyway.
So, yep. Spring is here. More or less. It still might snow. Probably will snow before winter is done with us. In which case I’ll be glad I did not pack away my down coats and heavy cashmere sweaters. You know, it might look like spring, but it doesn’t smell like spring yet.
I remember I wrote a post about spring smells a few years ago. You can read it here if you’re interested. How the smell of mud always reminds me of spring. And spring games of marbles, skipping ropes, and making mud pies. I remember the week I wrote that post I arrived breathless and a bit late for afternoon book club and found all the ladies deep in conversation about what they used, as kids, to carry their marbles around. And what games we all played. I tell you it was way more interesting than the book we’d read. Ha.
Early spring is not an attractive season. Too many browns, and faded golds. Too much dead grass and garbage on the roadside uncovered by the melting snow, as you can see on my walking route yesterday.
But when I crossed the road and turned back toward home, I began to notice that, while the ditch on the other side of the road had been almost dry, this one was gushing. And the sight and sound of that gushing ditch took me back in time. It did. And I pondered if I should stop and drop a few sticks into the flow. And then run alongside them as they sailed into Manotick.
But I demurred. I do have my dignity to consider.
That’s it for me tonight, my friends. Writing this post, I’ve been moving back and forth from my old computer to my new one, so much that I am going a bit dippy. Time for me to go to bed with my book. Sometimes no matter how much we think we embrace it, change is always hard. But I’ll tell you all about that another time.
How is early spring unfolding where you are? Do you have a hybrid closet like me this time of year? One that is bursting at the seams with spring things you want to wear, and winter things it’s too early to pack away?
P.S. The clothing links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking my link, I will earn a commission which helps to pay for the blog.