Transitioning your wardrobe for the spring season can be tricky.
The key to making the move effortlessly is to do it slowly and deliberately. The idea is not to pack up all your winter gear the moment the snow melts, but rather to start swapping out winter pieces for spring items a few at a time.
Allow me to help.
The following are 5 key pieces to help you start making the transition into spring:
Pea coats and parkas are a no-go for the spring season.
Instead, what you want is something lightweight and easy to wear. A type of jacket you can throw on if it’s drizzling outside but you could just as easily take off and put away when the temperature starts to rise.
The perfect candidate for the job is the Harrington (aka Baracuta) jacket:
These jackets have been around since the 1930s and still look just as stylish today.
If you’re interested in scooping up one of these jackets I’ve covered 5 of my favourite options here.
The spring season means it’s time to put away your heavy duty winter boots and pull out the lightweight trainers that have been sitting in the back of your closet since last summer.
Although casual sneakers can be worn year round (depending on where you live), the spring season is generally when I recommend guys bring them back into heavy rotation. The snow and ice are gone and the temperature is warm enough that you’ll actually be able to feel your toes in them.
I’ve covered some of my favourite casual sneaker styles in a previous article here.
With that said, I’ve been very impressed with the selection of trainers Nike has been putting out recently, especially their Roshe One series:
I like these trainers for a few reasons: first, they are very basic in design. No crazy patterns or anything like that. This makes them easy to wear. Second, I like that they come in a huge range of solid colours (I’m a fan of the midnight navy). Lastly, they are reasonable priced at around $100.
These trainers can be worn easily with things like denim jeans and chinos. I’d recommend not trying to dress them up too much. Things like v-neck t-shirts, henleys, and polos are perfect. A button up shirt and tie, on the other hand, not so much.
For those of you who are really into the whole urban active wear aesthetic, I highly recommend you look into getting a pair of trainers like these.
Lightweight Oxford Button Down Shirt
The OCBD (Oxford Cloth Button Down) is the quintessential casual button up shirt option.
The only problem is that shirts made from oxford cloth tend to be thicker and more densely woven, making them very durable but not necessarily ideal for the warmer season.
Lightweight Oxford button down shirts are made from a looser weave which allows them to be more breathable but just as casual and care-free as traditional oxford cloth shirts.
My favourite lightweight Oxford shirt right now is the Gitman Zephyr Oxford Shirt:
Pair this with literally anything: chinos, jeans, wool trousers, you name it.
A quality lightweight oxford shirt such as this should get plenty of rotation for the spring season.
Chambray is a great fabric for the spring and summer months since it’s lightweight and breathable.
A lot of guys are familiar with chambray button up shirts but chambray chinos are somewhat of a rarity.
And that’s one of these reasons why they are stellar pick for the spring.
If you want to incorporate some chambray into your wardrobe but do it in a more unique way, I highly recommend looking into a pair of chambray chinos.
The other great thing about chambray chinos is that they are incredibly versatile too. You can wear them with a nice pair of leather dress shoes or dress them down with a pair of casual sneakers, and they look just as good with a button up dress shirt as they do with a plain v-neck t-shirt.
My favourite pair of chambray chinos right now are the Chambray Stretch Chinos in 770 fit from J.Crew:
These are in the same fit as my favourite cotton chinos which is good news for guys with muscular legs. The added stretch makes them incredibly comfortable through the seat and the thighs.
There are a lot of different ways you can wear these chinos. Here’s one example:
In this outfit I’ve paired the chambray stretch chinos with a nice white/navy contrast collar button up shirt from Batch, a braided leather belt from L.L. Bean, double monks from Allen Edmonds, and a basic navy cotton/cashmere cardigan.
The great thing about an outfit like this if the temperature rises during the day you can easily peel off the cardigan and still look sharp.
Style is more than just about what you wear. It’s also about what you carry too.
Many guys think of umbrellas as purely functional items, paying little attention to their style or appearance. What a lot of guys don’t know is that an umbrella (or a wallet, or a briefcase etc.) is a great way to elevate your style.
When it comes to umbrellas I recommend sticking to something basic but of higher quality. Most guys generally opt for some type of cheap umbrella they find at the drugstore. No good.
Instead, look for an umbrella that is sturdier (made out of fiberglass), preferably with a wood handle.
This is from a Canadian company called The Umbrella Shop. They have been making umbrellas since 1935. The prices are definitely affordable (the one you see costs $35 Canadian) although the shipping is a bit steep ($15-20 Canadian). With that said, these are extremely durable umbrellas that should last you a good while. Definitely worth the extra few bucks.
Dressing well for the spring season isn’t about making big, wholesale changes to your wardrobe in one fell swoop.
Instead, the idea is to gradually transition out of your winter wardrobe a few key pieces at a time.
Start by swapping out your heavy winter coat for a lightweight spring jacket.
Then move on to switching your boots for some casual trainers etc.
Make the change slowly and deliberately and before you know it you’ll be ready for warmer weather ahead.
Here’s to looking sharp!