In like a lion, out like a lambskin-lined, platform wedge boot: The winter-spring transition can be a freeing moment. Wool gives way to cotton, black to beige (or better yet, peach), and boots to something strappy as all-get-out.
It's not, of course, a "moment." Typically, you have at least a few weeks of fashion limbo, when it's too warm for a coat, too cool for a sundress and perfect for a long walk outside.
So, what to wear for a smooth seasonal change? Here, five ways to spring-up your winter wear, winterize your spring wear, or maybe just invent a whole new season altogether. Call it "sprinter."
First, lay it on thin …
You don't need a heavy coat to keep warm during the in-between days. Hang up the wool and pull out something lighter.
Cotton toppers, velvet blazers or a suede mid-length jacket are all perfect transition pieces when you put a couple of thin layers underneath. Pair a three-quarter-length jersey top with cotton-voile button-down or a long-sleeve silk blouse under a sheer mohair sweater. You can peel off or pile on as the weather dictates.
Next, put back that black …
Color can change a mood as quickly as sunlight breaking through clouds. Or a tulip blooming yellow. Take a cue from nature and use some color to get into spring.
Nothing says "sure, it's chilly, but not for long!" like white -- and pink, beige, peach, yellow, coral and even amethyst. Oh, and grass-green! Lighten your sweater, blouse or jacket color to get a spring feel in the final days of winter. It'll prepare you for the full-on pastel sleevelessness to come.
Next, move away from solid …
Mixing it up is always advised, but in the transition to spring fashion in particular, a purely solid ensemble is just a waste: A great print can make almost anything seem reborn.
Half the time, all you need to go from "winter" to "sprinter" (yep, we said it again) is the right scarf.
Go for a one that's lightweight, knit or woven, and airy in a spring print. Floral, tribal or a pale-colored animal print will work wonders.
Loosely wrap it in an effortless drape when possible; if it's too cool for that, go snug. It'll still change the feel of your ensemble.
Hair, it's been a while.
You'll be retiring that hat, so it's time to focus on the locks you've been hiding since December. Not that you've been neglecting them -- of course not. But a new 'do can transition your style beautifully into spring (not to mention lift your mood from the long-winter blues, if you've got 'em).
Layer it, lighten it, shorten it, blow it straight, add bouncy bangs, or simply go for a trim to liven it up. Your hair will thank you for a spring-worthy refresher.
And finally, for the rest of your head …
Pastels aren't just for your spring clothing. Now that the weather's warming up, what better way to brighten your look than lightening your lips? They are, arguably, your most noticeable accessory.
This spring, you'll find lip (and eye) colors in heat-quenching shades of sorbet and iced neutrals. Peach, pink or something slightly latte will move you from cool to warm with a three-second swipe. And, as usual, you can go sheer, shiny and delicious in a clear gloss. Pair it with a subtle, shimmery shadow for a look that can heat up the final days of sweater weather and carry you well into cardigan-and-sundress zone.
Sprinter, here we come.
For more information on seasonal style and fashion updates, look over the links on the next page.
Squeezing into a tight pair of Spanx can make you look better, if not feel better. Learn about shapewear by reading this article at HowStuffWorks.