Although we’re still in the thick of winter right now, it won’t be long before you’re hastily shoving the boots back into their boxes and putting all thoughts of abominably large ski jackets and woolly scarves to the back of your mind. But with the start of spring comes a new style conundrum: How to dress for the season when it’s not really cold anymore, but not exactly balmy either? That tricky in-between period can spell sartorial disaster for the unprepared. By setting up your wardrobe with a few key transitional pieces now, you’ll be ready for whatever the change of season brings.
The Long-Sleeve Polo
Polo shirts will forever be ubiquitous. While you may always have a soft spot for the traditional model, fluctuations in weather and changes in lifestyle suggest that newer versions might be more suitable—especially when spring arrives. Long Sleeve Wool & Cashmere Polo from Vince is an incredible contender for a brisk spring morning that suddenly turns into a shockingly sunny and pleasant afternoon before picking up a few winds by evening. Featuring long sleeves, a smart canvas collar, and handsome toggle detailing along the placket, it’s worlds apart from the ordinary polos in your closet, and is certain to keep you warm when you need it the most.
The Lightweight Jacket
Temperatures aren’t likely to shoot up to tropical levels unless you live, well, in the tropics. Until things turn in your favor, make sure you’ve got a jacket that’s just thick enough to provide substantial coverage without making you feel like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. One to try: the Vince Camuto Diamond Quilted Full Zip Jacket ($127.90), which captures a classic, old-world feel with hints of corduroy trim and herringbone accents. It’s available in three universal hues, so you can easily find one that fits nicely into your existing wardrobe.
The Relaxed Sweater
It’s cool, yes, but not cold. You don’t need gloves or a scarf or a balaclava or anything OTT to keep you warm, but you do need something that’s more substantial than, say, your favorite T-shirt. To the rescue comes a sweater that’s equal parts light and cozy—something that won’t add bulk, and that looks just as appropriate with a pair of jeans as it does with a pair of simple khakis. The Hooded Sweater with Buttons ($34.99) from H&M is a smart choice that toes the line between casual and pulled together; the hood brings it down to earth, but the knit fabric and attractive details give it a higher-end appeal.
The Chukka Boot
It’s not every day you have an excuse to wear a low-profile boot. In fact, it’s pretty rare—winter calls for more foolproof footwear and the dressier occasions when you might wear said boot don’t exactly fill up your calendar. To that end, it’s time to get acquainted with the chukka boot, which rises no higher than the ankle and is usually made with either supple leather or luxe suede. The Sanders Suede Chukka ($285) is a to-die-for option that is sure to earn instant raves for its surprising versatility and ability to stand out from the pack—not to mention the unexpected green hue, which is more universal than you’d expect.
The Rain Coat
The key to comfort on a cooler-than-average spring day is to layer. And whether it’s drizzling or there’s a full-on downpour out there, nothing is more essential than a crisp raincoat to see you through the day. The ASOS Design Longline Trench Coat ($95) is an ideal choice that you’ll be grateful for throughout the season. It’s water-resistant, sleek, and stylish all at once. You can easily throw this on over a long-sleeve sweater and a pair of jeans, or over a lighter top if you suspect a light drizzle is in the forecast.
The Sporty Pants
Do sporty bottoms ever really go out of style? Whether it’s a super slouchy sweat pant or a more universal track pant, you can’t go wrong with their comfort and effortless style. This spring, give your casual wardrobe a boost with a pair that’s decidedly less understated and just a touch more luxe. You can still wear your Ted Bakery Zakery Slim Utility Pocket Trousers ($70) with your most laid-back tops, but they also pair well with more polished shirts to give you a few more options. The real difference here is in the pulled together construction.
The Cotton Robe
After months of living in flannel whatnots, you can finally fold them up and put them on the top shelf in favor of crisper, lighter pieces. Even if you’re the type to walk around in boxers, you might appreciate having an airy robe on hand when you pop out to grab the mail or just want to add that warming layer on brisk mornings. A cotton robe, like this plaid version from Nautica ($55), is the ultimate find: it’s simple, comfortable, and perfect for keeping you just warm enough without venturing into toasty territory.