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Keep warm this spring: tips for transitional dressing

If somebody visiting the Bay Area asks me how to dress for the weather, I say what everyone says: Bring layers.

This is the same skill set my clients need to have in order to dress for spring weather in April. I LOVE helping them work out those details! And of course, I LOVE sharing them with you!

my Chico Prada jacket

My Prada Chico’s jacket


Details on my Prada Chico jacket

Details on my Prada Chico jacket

Recently on an Office Tuesday, I opened up my closet and saw my Prada Chico’s jacket. I know the label says Chico’s but in my mind, it’s my Prada jacket. It has details that delight me just like a Prada jacket I helped a client buy once.

My home office is just at the other end of the hallway. It was chilly in Sonoma but I wanted to figure out a way to wear this jacket.


The history of my Prada Chico’s jacket

I don’t recall how many years it’s been since I purchased it. I do remember I was going to spend several days with my peers at my AICI industry conference in some very hot climate (Florida, I think) in the summertime and I was looking for something decent to wear that wouldn’t show perspiration. I’m not a tie-dye person but this jacket with 3/4 sleeves has a rich sheen to it (like silk, only it’s polyester) and I love the detailed ribbon collar, pocket detail and the tucks and pleats in the back of it. It doesn’t wrinkle. It sits away from the body so it’s perfect for hot weather and it’s very dessert friendly (important). I figured I could wear a camisole underneath it and pair it with a white linen trouser and heeled sandals, add jewelry and a luxe handbag and look good while pretending to be comfortable in hot weather (I’m not). It was a small investment for limited use and it turned out to be a big hit.


What happened next

I’ve worn it a lot. I always feel great in it and always get compliments on it. Who knew?

I wore it recently while shopping with a client in the designer section of Nordstrom where it’s hard to find a T-shirt for less than $350. The sales associate couldn’t stop gushing about my jacket and wanted to know who the designer was. I could not tell a lie. I said “Chico’s” but regretted it. She looked disappointed. I guess she’s not into the thrill of finding something inexpensive that when paired right looks expensive.

Okay, so what I’m really here to tell you about today is how to layer for this transitional and unpredictable weather. It’s not really winter but it’s not feeling too springlike yet either.

So on that Office Tuesday I solved that problem this way:


spring layering

Layered up for spring


I’d never put a white shirt under it but it seemed perfect now for both function and fashion. I love how the white brightens up the look. I love shirt tails and long sleeves hanging beyond jacket edges. It looks modern. I also love how a camisole plus the white shirt helps me stay warm. The jacket itself doesn’t offer warmth of any kind.

And then the fashion fairies gave me a present. I went to grab my taupe cashmere scarf because I was still feeling chilled. But what I found was a multi-colored one that was a gift years ago from a great friend. I love when she gives me scarves (and she does this often!) because it always makes me think of her. I had actually had the scarf folded, ready to put away for the winter because it was looking heavy to me, not springy. But when I picked it up and held it against my jacket, I couldn’t believe how well the pieces blended! It was as if the people at Prada Chico’s had planned it that way!

I took the scarf and put it in a hangman’s knot and my neck was nice and toasty. It didn’t look heavy at all.

A crisp collar was a new touch to my "old" jacket

A crisp collar was a new touch to my “old” jacket

These two pieces were made for each other!

These two pieces were made for each other!


The takeaway

So this spring, see if you can walk down the aisle of your everyday life wearing a white shirt under something that will enjoy something sleeveless in its place in a few weeks. It will make waiting for warm weather easier. And don’t forget the fabulousness of scarves: they are there to protect your pretty neck from the cold and also bring attention to your smile.

Enjoy this unpredictable weather!



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