Mango white jeans

How to dress for spring when it still feels like winter

Posted on March 15, 2013

All it took was a few mild days in late February to turn our thoughts to brighter, lighter clothes. Changing from a coat to a jacket, from a boot to a shoe and from black to blue represents a change in fortune, that longer, warmer, happier days are on their way. One sunny day and our optimism knows no bounds; a dark, wet day and we can’t imagine it any other way. We were up and now we are down again. Back in the winter woollies and wondering how we can dress optimistically in minus degrees.

In Ireland, spring can bring snow and summer, endless rain. I know we all remember the long, hot summers of our youth but they were probably made up of that one sunny week in April when nobody really believes it’s happening until it’s over. The sad truth is that you will need jumpers, jackets and even boots to get you through an Irish spring and summer. The trick is in buying clothes and accessories that will keep you warm and dry but still feel cheerful enough to make the transition to spring.

1. Coloured jumpers

Brighten up your style without compromising your warmth or comfort levels.

B+ab yellow jumper

Yellow cable jumper by B+ab from Asos

Topshop mint jumper

Mint jumper by Topshop

2. Add a beanie

This is my default option. A beanie isn’t really a fashion statement in the way a fedora or a beret can be – it is just a way of adding an extra accessory or a pop of colour without changing the look of an outfit. Go for a neon colour to drag you out of winter and into spring.

Topshop neon beanie

Neon beanie by Topshop

3. Wear white

I’m not a huge fan of white and tend to go for ecru or cream but “winter” white can look great. I have to admit I don’t really know what colour winter white is, but it tends to mean heavier fabrics. And I’m all for wearing what you want when you want so white in winter is fine by me.

Mango white jeans


These white jeans from Mango do the trick. In fact, the whole outfit is chilly-spring friendly.

4. Layer up

Being a cold-blooded creature, this is something I do in all seasons. A tight, stretchy, longline vest under a tight, stretchy top under the t-shirt/top/jumper I actually want people to see. A general rule is that you can’t ever take off the top layer as the tightness and stretchiness of the under layers tends not to be flattering. I did get a couple of tight and stretchy long-sleeved tops in Dunnes Stores last week (tops not online) which are not the worst and I would probably strip off in front of close friends and family if the weather made a surprise improvement one day but in general, my love handles are not for public viewing. H&M is always good and cheap for basic tops and I have heard great things about Baukjen’s longline top but at €59, I won’t be trying it any time soon.

5. Coloured bags

A great way to add a bit of colour without having to think about it too much. I am currently in the market for a small, bright green cross-body bag – if you see one, please let me know. There are loads of great neon clutches out there at the moment but with three little monsters, a dog and sometimes a husband in tow, there is absolutely nothing practical about a clutch for daytime for me. I did try last year and got two or three wears out of it. It’s yellow though so still ok for this year if I ever get to go on a date.

Topshop green bag

Green cross-body bag by Topshop

Mango orange bagOrange shoulder bag by Mango

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