In like a lion

In theory as March comes and goes the weather should be getting warmer, it should start to be a question whether or not we need a coat before stepping out of the house, let’s assume for a moment that this is fact, not just theory. So as wool coats become too much, but we are still far from the rolled-up sleeves and man-tanks of summer, we need to find a nice middle ground that can account for all the weather craziness that spring can throw at you (Trust me, I grew up in Idaho, I’ve seen it all). The simple answer is layers; put a sweater with it.

Layer up!

Not only does this method keep you warmer on your commute, but it adds nearly infinite outfit possibilities to your closet. That shirt and tie combo you’ve worn to work a hundred times before looks completely different with a sweater under or instead of a jacket. If you are still wearing a jacket/blazer, keep the sweater thin enough that it lies smooth, especially in the sleeves. This combo also classes up a pair of nice jeans very well (although maybe not work appropriate, you know what your office expects).

The opposite also works. Feeling a bit too stuffy in your blazer? A plain, preferably neutral hoodie underneath can make an outfit more relaxed and youthful. Word for the wise though, the hoodie should not be the focal point here;we are still trying to showcase the blazer, that’s why the hoodie isn’t on top. Also that would probably look pretty awkward.

Light jackets are also a good option for the thermally disadvantaged. Like the leather jackets we talked about in the fall, most of your medium weight jackets will carry over between these liminal seasons. Things like trenches can be a little more intimidating, but can reap big rewards if done right. And even windbreakers can be okay especially in rainy areas, as long as it isn’t shiny work-out material (basically the less it looks like a windbreaker the better). Jean jackets are another grey-area trend that has made a comeback lately. Honestly, I’ve really liked some examples of these I’ve seen and they do add warmth. The key to a jean jacket is to make sure it doesn’t look like a hold-over from the 80s or 90s, no acid washes or ridiculous fading. I will address the issue of denim on denim in another post, but I’ll throw out this tip now: if you are going to wear your jean jacket with jeans, please (PLEASE) make sure they are distinctly different shades and washes. We do not want a denim suit.

Yay Sweaters!

Basically layering is the easiest way to experiment with your wardrobe. Vests (waistcoats) can look great over a button-up and the look is toned down under a cardigan or jacket. Layers also make it possible for you to adjust to the fickle weather. And if you need any more convincing, watch Steve Carell’s makeover from Crazy Stupid Love and listen to the wisdom that is Ryan Gosling as he transforms through layers (and some other good advice).

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