Get ready for spring! 18 Style Panel tips for transitioning your winter wardrobe for warmer weather

Get Ready for Spring
Get Ready for Spring

So far, 2013 has been a mighty test of our patience. While spring may have officially begun a month ago, Mother Nature has kept us waiting with bated breath for any real show of it.

And when checking your weather app before leaving the house no longer ensures you’re prepared for what awaits outside, it’s time to get creative with layering by mixing winter essentials with summertime accessories. Because we, much like everyone else, struggle with perfecting the subtle nuances to transitional dressing, we asked our Style Panel for a little help.

Our two newest members of the panel, both showed us how to make an airy maxi skirt an essential for the transition from winter to spring. Lyndsey Forest of Over My Styled Body paired her skirt with a heavy army-inspired jacket and camo scarf. Her combination of an ultra-girly skirt with a menswear jacket offers some end of winter inspiration for all of us. Meanwhile, Jennifer Pistor of Prairie Girl in the City matched her black maxi skirt with a bright pop of neon and floral shoes, inspiring us to get ready for spring.

Panellist Deanne McRae went a little nineties with her transitional look, wearing thigh-high socks, a full-skirt and leather jacket to add some warmth. And where McRae showed a little thigh, panel members like Cee Fardoe and Cara McLeay went barelegged and braved the last few moments of winter exposed in style.

Read on for more tips on making your wardrobe work as we transition out of winter (fingers crossed!) and into spring!

Question 47: What are your tips for transitioning your wardrobe from winter to spring? Read the answers now! »


Get Ready for Spring Krystin Lee

Krystin Lee, 26
Toronto | Suburban Faux-Pas

In an effort to bide my time while we desperately seek spring, I’ve resorted to layering. This dress for example screams summer and on its own, would be a tad inappropriate for the weather as of late. I decided to pair it with a chambray shirt in an effort to tone down the brightness of it and add a sense of warmth. Instead of the typical peep-toe heels I’d pair with the dress, I went with sling backs which nods to the warmer weather while keeping my toes warm. How do you wear your spring items in this transitional period?

Krystin’s wearing: Sunglasses, Karen Walker. Necklace, Purple Paparazzi. Shirt, Joe Fresh. Dress, Gap. Shoes, Blush Shop. Clutch, Gap. Ring, Ily Couture.

Get Ready for Spring Lyndsey Forest

Lyndsey Forest, 23
Edmonton | Over My Styled Body

Transitioning from the cold winter months into spring is a yearly tradition living in Canada as I’m sure many of you have experienced. Finding pieces that are fun for spring but still weather appropriate can always be a bit of a challenge, so whenever I get a bit of spring fever, I balance out my outfits with some warmer winter pieces. Take this minted maxi; I layered it with a chunky camo scarf and quilted jacket. That way I’m still dipping into the spring trends without sacrificing warmth!

Lyndsey’s wearing: Skirt, Zara. Jacket, Aritzia. Scarf, Zara. Shoes, Jeffrey Campbell. Bag, Zara.

Get Ready for Spring KD Faustino

KD Faustino, 28
Calgary | The Girl With the Messy Hair

Spring has been quite a tease especially for us here in Alberta. Some days are warmer than the others and some are just completely miserable like getting a major snowfall in the midst of “Spring”. When the transition from Winter to Spring starts, I suggest not going bare-legged but wearing coloured jeans to slowly inject some “spring” to your outfit. Go from dark hues (like this burgundy baroque pants) early on and then when days are getting warmer, you can keep progressing the hue to a lighter tone (or brighter ones like a shocking red). You can still layer during this season but when doing this, stick to light airy fabrics. Hang a coat or a jacket over your shoulders like a cape so you can easily remove it when it gets too warm and keep it close to you when it is cooler. Kick off the knee-high boots, and opt for booties instead. You can also say goodbye to your toques, because wide-brimmed hats can shield the sun and keep you cool.

KD’s wearing: Combination coat, Zara. Top, Forever 21. Pants, Joe Fresh. Booties, Zara. Hat, Le Chateau. Bag, Topshop. Sunnies, gifted. Watch, D&G.

Get Ready for Spring Nicole Wilson

Nicole Wilson, 29
Toronto | Dainty Girl

Spring weather is a rollercoaster ride in Toronto. We’re eager to go nylon-free in spring dresses, leave the coat at home or wear open-toe shoes with a fresh spring pedicure – but Mother Nature makes us take baby steps. There’s always some crazy person out there in shorts as soon as the temperature hits +1, but the rest of us have to get creative to transition from winter to spring! For me, this always entails a lot of layering and it’s the only season that I can get away with a pretty floral dress and edgy moto-boots.

My go-to look in the winter involves leggings and boots, so on dreary spring days, l stick with that formula and swap the winter sweater for a billowy blouse. Spring is all about colour and you can still pull it off with practical bottoms and boots if the weather calls for it. For this transitional look, I wore my favourite faux-leather detail leggings and lace-up ankle booties with a floral print blouse and a bold pop of colour. Winter staples to keep me warm and dry with a fresh spring twist. I can’t wait to wear this blouse with white skinnies and coral sandals.

Nicole’s wearing: Blouse, Zara. Leggings, Mondor. Boots, Nine West. Earrings & Necklace, Shop for Jayu. Bracelets, Biko Jewellery. Clutch, Ela Handbags.

Get Ready for Spring Melanie Morais

Melanie Morais, 24
Edson, AB| BornLippy

As you can see my fellow fashionistas, Alberta isn’t transitioning into spring very smoothly. What I’ve learned since moving here is that the weather is extremely unpredictable; one moment it can be +15 the next -15. That being said, the transition with my winter wardrobe and spring wardrobe is slow but what I like to do is wear bright colours and patterns such as florals. It’s amazing what wearing a bright colour or pattern can do. It can instantly change the winter blues and make you dream of all the beauty that spring brings. If I can’t see spring outside, I might as well wear it!

Melanie’s wearing: Sweater, Gap. Skirt, H&M. Flats, Steve Madden. Necklace, Oia Jules- Etsy.

Get Ready for Spring Barbara Ann Solomon
Photography by Trevor Negin

Barbara Ann Solomon, 25
Toronto | Barbara Ann’s Style Blog

When the first signs of spring start to show, getting dressed becomes far more difficult. Mornings are cold, afternoons are warm, and the evenings can go either way. The best way to dress is with layers, so if you go for a walk outside at lunch time, like I do, you don’t have to sit the rest of the day all sweaty and uncomfortable.

I’m wearing a transitional outfit that is a mix of my fall and spring wardrobes; a maxi dress, a knit sweater, silk robe, and faux fur vest, depending how the weather goes, I should be able to layer up or down and stay comfortable. I love this season because you can wear your cute boots on cooler days, and go for an open-toe pump on the warmer ones, just make sure to prep your feet for the season ahead!

Barbara’s wearing: Vest, Kristen Blake. Robe, Wilfred. Sweater, Old Navy. Dress, ASOS. Boots, Ecote. Necklace, Liana Marie. Headband, Zara.

Get Ready for Spring Christina Cravero

Christina Cravero, 27
Toronto | The Style Mogul

Whether we’re transitioning from winter to spring or vice versa, we’re always layering and taking off. Mornings start off crisp and we transition into warmer days, and light jackets are ideal. Also, with Spring/Summer we think colour, and yet my outfit doesn’t scream bright, but it does have a feeling of Spring! If you’re tired of pants, try opting for a maxi skirt, a light blazer and a pair of fabulous wedges.

Christina’s wearing: Blazer, Marc Jacobs. Jeans, Dynamite. Tee, H&M. Wedges, Vintage Chanel. Bracelets, Rachel Roy & Vintage. Necklace, Stella & Dot. Rings, Vintage & H&M. Purse, Baker’s.

Get Ready for Spring Jennifer Pistor

Jennifer Pistor, 33
Vancouver | Prairie Girl In The City

To transition from chilly winter weather to cool spring days, maxi skirts are my go to item. They offer warmth and coverage without looking too heavy. Pops of bright colour in a top with a few fun accessories are an easy way to add a bit of personality to my spring uniform. I also try and shed my boots as soon as I can. Closed toe heels keep the chill off my feet but allow me to bear just a bit of skin for a warmer weather look.

Jennifer’s wearing: T-shirt, The Gap. Skirt, vintage. Belt, Brave Leather. Bag, H&M. Shoes, Nine West. Necklaces, Maison Scotch and Toodlebunny.

Get Ready for Spring Cee Fardoe

Cee Fardoe, 27
Paris via Vancouver | Coco and Vera

The second the spring sun peeks out from under the winter rain clouds, I ditch my opaque tights in favour of bare legs even though it’s rarely warm enough in the first days of spring for that much exposed skin. When transitioning your wardrobe from winter to spring, don’t do what I do; it’s the easiest way to catch a spring cold and I should know, because I wind up with one every year!

No matter how thrilled I am to see the sun when spring comes, I’ll always be a monochromatic girl at heart, and letting go of my beloved black clothes for the season isn’t easy. I like to ease into the transition, beginning by pairing one spring piece like this peach lace dress from H&M, with heavier and darker items that have been on regular rotation in my winter wardrobe; a black and white cardigan from J. Crew, black glitter heels from Zara and my favourite black handbag. This is a great way to conserve a little bit of warmth on the first cool days of spring – even if you’re reckless and going without tights like I do – and get the most out of your winter wardrobe before you pack it away for the season.

Cee’s wearing: Cardigan, J. Crew. Dress, H&M. Heels, Zara. Handbag, Artessorio. Bracelets, Aldo.

Get Ready for Spring Whitney Cosgrave

Whitney Cosgrave, 25
Los Angeles | See Shop Eat Do

My favourite way to transition into Spring is to pair little summer dresses with my army jacket. I love the juxtaposition of the pink dress with the masculine jacket, plus it keeps me warm when a sleeveless dress just won’t cut it.

Whitney’s wearing: Dress, The Island Company. Jacket, vintage.

Get Ready for Spring Kayla Short

Kayla Short, 26
Halifax | Short Presents

Right now I am obsessed with cropped trousers; I basically want to wear them everyday of the week. Unfortunately it’s still pretty chilly here in Halifax (and wet I might add) making the exposed ankle look a little problematic. When I was heading to Legally Blonde: The Musical at the Neptune Theatre I really wanted to wear my new cropped pink trousers from Zara, but I didn’t want to wear heels because I knew my feet would be cold and wet and I’d probably slip. Like I said I really wanted to wear the pink pants; I mean pink pants how perfect are they for Legally Blonde? So I was determined to find a solution, and the best I could muster up was to wear them with my Vince Camuto ankle booties with socks. Although boots are typically considered a Fall/Winter item I actually seem to get a lot of use out of them in the springtime. These ankle booties are the perfect way to transition to warmer weather because when it’s cold and raining my feet were both dry and warm, but I can still have fun with brightly colored cropped trousers and/or fun cardigans.

Kayla’s wearing: Trousers, Zara. Blouse, Suzy Sheer. Cardigan, H&M. Boots, Vince Camuto. Earrings, Stella & Dot. Clutch, Victoria’s Secret. Lipstick, Lancome.

Get Ready for Spring Deanne McRae

Deanne McRae, 22
Mississauga | Threadbare

Spring is always a challenge to dress for as my winter wardrobe seems much too heavy and my summer wardrobe is the opposite. What’s more, the weather can be extremely unpredictable (anyone else living in the GTA can attest to this, I’m sure). In order to remain practical and stylish in equal measure during this season, I like to layer my summer clothing under heavier pieces. This way I can stay warm on the chilly spring mornings and transition my outfit by removing heavier pieces should the summer sun decide to grace us with her presence.

Get Ready for Spring Alexandra Nikolajev

Alexandra Nikolajev, 27
Toronto | I’m a Little

Maybe it’s wishful thinking but I always look towards the next season when shopping for the current one. I love pieces that are easy to integrate in to any seasonal wear and skirts are no exception. I love skirts year round, as you can layer around them in winter and show some bare leg once the spring and summer seasons arrive. I also love how skirts dress up daywear and are wonderful pieces to go from day-to-night, any time of year.

This Zara skirt was a staple during my winter months. Whether paired with a fur vest, nylons or booties this skirt got me through the snowy nights and is an great piece to transition in to spring. By styling this patterned piece with a black crop top, a bow belt and ankle strap heels, this skirt is ready to spring forward and hit the town for a new season.

Alexandra’s wearing: Top, American Apparel. Belt, Kate Spade. Skirt, Zara. Heels, Christian Louboutin. Accessories, Prada, Vintage, J.Crew, CC Skye.

Get Ready for Spring Cara McLeay

Cara McLeay, 28
Vancouver | A Fashion Love Affair

I love the springtime because it means all of my dresses can come out and play again! With the weather being unpredictable, however, I pair my dresses with boots to make sure if it starts to rain, I will still be comfortable.

Cara’s wearing: Dress, Shoshanna. Necklace, J.Crew. Bag, Coach. Boots, Steve Madden.

Get Ready for Spring Stephanie Koch

Stephanie Koch, 27
Kelowna | Inherited Jeans

Canadian weather this time of year is an especially fickle friend; one minute you think it might be safe for sandals, the next it’s colder than a mother-in-law’s kiss. What to do? Transitional dressing is all about mastering the layering game, so be prepared for anything without looking like the fool in bare legs or a sweaty mess in a parka. I layered on a sheer blouse, then a denim shirt with more weight to it, and finally a wind and water-resistant utility jacket. On the bottom, denim gives you quite a bit of warmth, and if it’s warmer you can cuff them like I have or sport a cropped style with a sturdy ankle boot. Topped off with a hat and perhaps a scarf, this is a good bet for a dry day with a wide range of temperature from morning to evening, and will protect against wind.

Stephanie’s wearing: hat ,Club Monaco. Sunglasses, Joe Fresh. Coat, Cynthia Rowley. Denim shirt, Joe Fresh. Leopard shirt, H&M. Jeans, J Brand. Boots, Sam Edelman.

Get Ready for Spring Iva Grbesic

Iva Grbesic, 37
Toronto | One Chic Mom

I honestly wasn’t sure I would be able to write about transitioning my winter to spring wardrobe because of the weather we’ve been having in southern Ontario—just when I thought warmer weather was in the forecast we were hit with an ice storm. Anyway, it seems like Mother Nature is finally in the mood for sunshine and I obliged her by packing up all my chunky sweaters, dark cords, heavy coats and blazers and brought out lighter knits, brighter blazers, light denim, skirts, maxi dresses and spring coats. I keep my dark blue and black denim as well as basic skirts and dresses that are a medium weight. I tend to wear those pieces up until the summer heat makes its appearance. This outfit is a perfect balance of winter/fall basics (black jeans and basic stilettos) and combining new spring pieces (bright blazer and sheer blouse in a colourful pattern).

Spring is always about bringing out the brighter or lighter colours and appreciating the thaw of snow and sunshine on my face but the mornings can still be cool and harder to dress for. I find the best way to combat the colder mornings during this transition is just to layer —add a spring coat to my blazer and blouse combination. This allows me to shed the coat in the afternoon.

Iva’s wearing: Blazer, Smart Set. Blouse, Smart Set. Denim, Adriano Goldschmied. Shoes, Jimmy Choo. Bracelets, Cocoa Jewelry. Watch, Michael Kors.

Get Ready for Spring Jacquelyn Son

Jacquelyn Son, 20
Vancouver | Style Worthwhile

As I’m transitioning my wardrobe from winter to spring, I like to begin with denim. Even though the weather is getting warming, I still want to wear my favourite every day boots for as long as possible. Here, I paired them up with some light-coloured ripped jeans. I personally think that spring is the best time to wear ripped denim as you get just the right amount of breeze through the parts of the jeans with holes without freezing your butt off. Winter is the time to wrap yourself in thick dark denim and summer is the time to throw on your short shorts and cut-offs. Therefore, there’s no better time than spring to rock all your pairs of destroyed jeans.

Jacquelyn’s wearing: Top & Ripped Jeans, American Eagle. Chelsea Boots, Locale.

Get Ready for Spring Amber Desilets

Amber Desilets, 30
London | Canadian Fashionista

Spring is in the air, I can feel it… its 15+ today and I’m so ready to start wearing dresses without tights… finally! Since we don’t know what the weather is going to be like from day to day I always have my denim jacket nearby, it’s a great layering piece to transition any outfit from winter to spring and it goes with pretty much anything. Also a great inexpensive way to add some spring into your winter wardrobe is to accessories with brighter, sparkly jewellery; I’ve picked up on the softer feel of this pink dress with some rose gold bracelets and watch to match. Finally another great way to transform your look from those cold winter months into warmer spring days while still keeping your tootsies warm is to pair you last season ankle booties with your new spring dresses.

Amber’s wearing: Jacket, Smart Set. Dress, H&M. Belt, Joe Fresh. Watch and spike bracelets, Aldo. Purse, Michael Kors. Cuff, Cocoa Jewelry. Booties, WalMart.

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