With recent temperatures soaring, and the shops full of tempting textures and textiles, this is the month to tastefully transition your look from spring to summer without being caught out by a cold snap.
I love the month of May but it can also be a challenging month to look cool and stylish. Just take a walk around town to see what I’m talking about. One sign of a large yellow orb in the sky and out come the cycling shorts, maxi dresses with bra straps and flip-flops adorning unpedicured feet…
It might not feel like spring is officially in the air, but it is technically here. And with warmer days ahead, what could possibly go wrong? Just one thing, and it involves our wardrobe: Putting together appropriate spring outfits can honestly be a little tricky. Yes, we’re dying to bust out our warm-weather clothes, but sometimes Mother Nature still has some chilly days in store.
Getting stumped when it comes to curating the perfect spring wardrobe often has less to do with not having the right items, and more to do with knowing how to put them together. We all probably own the staples like a vintage T-shirt and a silk skirt, but who thinks of pairing them up?
From the achievable level of bare-leg exposure (I don’t think anyone is ready for full thigh in this weather) to the simple coat switch you can employ for instant warmer-weather power, here are a few moves you can make to shift into gear right now. In fact, it’s a safe bet that we all have items hanging in our wardrobes right this second that can be worn in dozens of unexpectedly stylish ways this spring. All that’s missing is a small dose of inspiration…
Long skirts/dresses and Trainers or Boots: This is a look I adore – time to banish the 60 denier and bring out my faithful cowboy boots and trainers. The great news is that this look is stylish and comfortable so what’s not to like?
Neutral Denim: Khaki chinos and neutral denim feature massively in this season’s trouser trend. Leave your beloved dark denim in the wardrobe for a few months and indulge in something different, like a full beige-on-beige look.
Prints Charming! This season’s prints are all kinds of colourful and graphic, creative and wild, so no matter what your sartorial vibe typically is, there will be one you can incorporate into your look with ease.
Of course, florals for spring are once again a thing. As Miranda Priestly quipped ‘Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking!’… and they always will be so you might as well get used to seeing them on every seasonal trend report for the rest of time. But this year polka dots hit the spot, animal instinct goes colourful and tie-dye in all of its trippy, rainbow glory is having a high fashion moment so there are lots of variations to the palette of patterns. You’ll be able to mix and match to your heart’s content.
‘The Qualities I admire most in a woman are confidence and kindness’
Oscar de la Renta
Smalls for All Recently I have become aware of a wonderful charity doing life-changing things for young vulnerable women in Africa. Smalls for All was founded by Maria Macnamara after speaking to a priest, whilst volunteering in Ethiopian orphanagesabout the lack of underwear and the problems this can cause women. Having a lack of underwear offers health and hygiene problems. But not just that. If girls are lucky enough to attend school, then they regularly need to be off school for several days every month simply because they don’t own knickers.
Furthermore, in some African communities, underwear is often seen as a status symbol and offers a degree of security. Women who can afford underwear tend to be seen as having someone who cares for them – a husband, brother or father. Women without underwear are seen as vulnerable, and so owning underwear can actually help prevent the assault of young girls.
As someone who has bulging drawers of ill-fitting or gently used bras that no longer fit, but are by no means at the end of their life cycle, this offered me the chance to do something useful with them rather than just textile recycling. There’s so little fabric on bras that is it even worth recycling them in textile banks? Or throwing them away? Bras aren’t cheap to buy and it seems a terrible waste to send them to landfill, however I now have a package of gently worn bras ready to be posted to Smalls For All, 108 Buchanan Crescent, Eliburn, Livingston, West Lothian, EH54 7EF.
A fantastic and easy way for show kindness to other women in need… make sure to tell all your friends!
Taylor Shirt & Broderie Anglaise T-Shirt, £29 (each), Topshop
Rochelle Humes for New Look. Top £15.99, Trousers £25.99
Charlene Psychedelic Tulip Midi-Dress, £345, Rixo London
Austin Midi Dress, £39, Topshop