Looking Good on a Spring Day: The Impossible Dream?

Well, it’s springtime, which for many of us means a switch in the wardrobe to correspond with warmer temperatures. The clothes that you’ve relied on all winter, what with their utilitarian warmth, give way to the lighter, cuter attire. There’s also more rain and more humidity; gone is the cold dry weather that wrought havoc upon your skin but made good hair days a given.

While a lot of people get excited about the liberation from their winter wardrobe, I can’t muster up much enthusiasm. I’m already pretty terrible at dressing myself, and I like the simple practicality of warm clothes on a frigid day. I’m also a fan of summer styles at that opposite extreme where it’s so hot that no one cares what they wear. Transitional seasons are much harder for those of us who don’t find solving fashion dilemmas to be fun. And that first day of cold rain is a huge wakeup call.

I think I have more trouble with dressing in the spring than the fall because there’s the expectation of lighter, “springier” clothing. When things start cooling off in the fall, adding a pair of boots or a jacket to a skirt or dress you like and throwing on a scarf seems pretty simple. It’s not as easy to do this in reverse. I stop wearing the bulky sweaters and heavy coats, but replacing them with the right weight of spring layers is harder for some reason. I often find myself sweating or shivering on days I’ve made the wrong decision. If you live or work in a big building that switches from heat to A/C on a set date, it can be even harder. Coming inside on a 60-degree day to a building with the heat still on can make you wish you wore a sundress.

Colorful wellington boots lined up One of the big decisions for springtime dress is: do you resist rainy-day gear or do you embrace it? I’ve been a bit of a resister for a while now, but I’m starting to think it might be time to just dive into adorably nerdy spring accessories. First up: galoshes, or as I prefer to call them, wellies. I wore a bright red pair when I was a little kid, and it’s hard for me to remember when (or why) I stopped wearing them and started wearing my normal shoes on wet days and hoped for the best. Next is a trench coat. I’ve never owned one, and I know they’re often praised for their ability to make any awkward, in-between outfit look better. They’d probably give me a little more warmth, not to mention look more professional than my current light jacket.

And finally we come to what’s actually my least favorite thing about trying to look good in the spring: dealing with hair. The weather makes a huge difference for my frizz-prone hair, and I’ve yet to find a shampoo or styling product to overcome this (probably because none actually exist). In college, it rained the day I took my college ID photo and I had to spend four years seeing a daily reminder of just how bad a little damp weather is for my locks.A woman with straight, sleek hair wearing a headband

The problem with having frizzy hair is that putting it up doesn’t always help much, and can actually make things worse. Also, does it bother anyone else how whenever you see advice in a ladymag to wear a headband to cover up a bad hair day? It’s always accompanied by a picture of a headband-ed woman with perfect hair. That’s because the headband is a terrible device for covering up fluffy, frizzy hair. Not to mention that, depending upon how you dress for work, a headband doesn’t always go with your look. And by the end of the afternoon, having what is essentially a cute, colorful clamp on your skull starts to get pretty annoying.

So, my dears, please tell me I’m not the only one who has trouble with this. What are your springtime fashion dilemmas? How do you try to fix them?

Photos: World of Female, Flickr, gizmodiva

11 replies on “Looking Good on a Spring Day: The Impossible Dream?”

My hair has been a MESS this month; I can only imagine the level of frizz it will reach with mid-summer humidity. Mostly, Spring sucks because the weather is so unpredictable. What worked yesterday might not today. I mean, here in Chicago, it’s 50 and foggy and wet today, but is projected to be 75 and sunny on Saturday. 2 days ago, I had on a winter coat. So confusing! I’ve been getting a lot of wear out of my trench coat this Spring, though I wish I’d gotten one with a heavier lining; I have been too cold in it several times. I’ve switched from wool to light scarves, and that’s worked well for layering. Shoes are more difficult. I haven’t replaced my rainboots since my old pair ripped 2 years ago, so I tend to wear leather boots or sneakers on rainy days, and ballet flats on dry days in the Spring. Frankly, I don’t feel like I own in-between clothes, so I’m pretty much living in jeans and a white button-down, or tees with light cardigans over them. I’ll be happy when it’s reliably warm enough for bare legs and short sleeves.

I’m pretty much a jeans and tee girl year round, but lately I have been trying to look a little more like an adult. Nearly every time I go to Goodwill I find a cardigan. I snagged a brand new $40 one for $5 recently. I’ll probably wear them with the $5 cotton dress that I bought in every color.

Dresses helped me realize something. No pants are the best kind of pants.

my frizzy hair also does badly on humid days. the best cure i’ve found is Neutrogena triple moisture leave-in conditioner. i use it on days when i’m in a hurry, but have to look good at work for some reason. i just shampoo my hair (don’t even bother w/conditioner), get out of the shower, comb my hair, and rub some of that stuff in while it’s wet, let it air dry. it ends up looking pretty silky. downside is that it’s heavy, so if you don’t wash your hair the next day, it’ll look oily.

I have 0 problem dressing for spring and summer (sorry Hattie), but I absolutely cannot figure out fall (jealous of you there, Hattie) and winter.

My go-to spring outfit is a pair of straight or skinny jeans/slacks, a light tshirt (vneck works best) or tank top, and then a light, brightly colored cardigan. Throw on a pair of flats and there you go. Or sometimes I wear a light checked/striped button up.

Or a skirt – if I feel like giving my nether-regions a breeze, you know.

That’s pretty much my approach as well. Jeans, tank top, cardigan (either black or a really bright color like turquoise or yellow), and Crocs flats or matching flip-flops if it’s warm enough. I’m also all about the sundress or knee-length gauze skirt with a tank and cardigan combination too – really, anytime I can let the nethers breathe after being cooped up in pants all winter, I’ll take advantage of it.

They really ARE the best! And I think some styles can totally past for normal flats. Mine are slightly more obviously Crocs (I’ve got these, but they’re so fantastically comfortable and cute with jeans that I don’t care. I frequently gripe about my feet and how it’s impossible to find flats or heels that stay on my feet, and these are perfect.

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