12 Outfits for March 2018

We've reached the end of March! As you will see in this month's outfit photos, I am celebrating the end of winter with bundles of bright, sunny flowers. While I'm one of those rare oddballs who actually loves winter, I don't think I've ever been so restless for spring. This season's felt colder, longer, and fuller of personal reflection than any I can remember -- and now I'm rearing to go outside, get moving, and take action!

Lucky for me, my March sampler wardrobe did not disappoint. Beyond the overhasty storage of my wool coat, I was pleased with its mixability and overall boho-chic look. It's immensely satisfying to finally discover the perfect blend of basics and statement pieces. I've been pendulum-ing between those two extremes for a long time.

When I planned this sampler at the end of last month, I was struck by an instinct to lunge for my skirts and sundresses. I'd already identified my spring inspirations and made a shopping list for the warmer months ahead -- fare-thee-well, winter! I've always thought of March as marking the start of spring and, calendar-wise, that's true. But nowhere I've lived has spring actually ever started when it's "supposed" to do so. In New York, spring is the shortest season after fall, lasting about 2/3 as long as winter. It makes up for the lack of sunshine during its miserably long summers, but essentially nullifies the transitional basics acquired during my time in Seattle. My favorite long sleeve dresses, light sweaters, and down vest seem to lie constantly in waiting.

What did work during transition time:
  • Choosing a palette and sticking to it. With the exception of my lightwash jeans and floral dress, everything in this wardrobe fell into the category of a neutral (black, white, gray, and beige) or a green. Palettes aren't a requirement for maintaining small wardrobes, but they do allow for maximizing a limited collection. When everything goes with everything, you can mix and match to your heart's content! It also creates a lovely harmony in your personal presentation, which suggests a certain reliability of character.
  • Focusing on duality, not transition. Winter and spring can coexist in the same wardrobe, but as mentioned above, unless you live in a truly temperate climate, weather fluctuations are going to demand one season at a time. If you're struggling with adjusting to temperatures changes, you may consider including both wool sweaters and light tees in the same collection, as opposed to relying on spring jackets which will likely prove too cool for wintry days and be cast off in the sunshine.
  • Rejoicing in the power of accessories. Another troubling aspect to season transition is that it seems like the wrong time to buy anything. On the one hand, it can feel risky to invest early in warm-weather styles and nonsensical to buy cooler pieces just to store them in a few week's time. This is when I turn my attention to those necklaces, scarves, hats, bags, and tights which haven't journeyed beyond my bedroom in awhile. I'm super pleased by the mileage I got from my bejeweled collar necklace, afghan scarf, and leather backpack this month -- and it's nice to know they feel loved in return.
Additionally, completing my bi-annual personal style overhaul was rewarding as ever. This process gave me time to reflect on last year's wants and purchases and served as an invitation to pour over a cast-off Vogue with tea and cookies, which is always a welcome treat. It came together just in time for the Housing Works sales, and it was comforting to know I was shopping on more than just impulse. I can't wait to share the new treasures I found in future samplers!

What else is on the horizon for spring? The annual stream of fair-weather visitors is arriving, and I couldn't be happier to have an excuse to tromp around the city with my out-of-town pals. (Always a fun time to plan some new outfits!) Daylight savings time has brought brighter light to the restaurant, which has in turn brought more attention to the state of my work garments and necessary repairs therein. Sporadic nannying opportunities require having one or two kid-proof outfits on hand. And if I can get over whatever hump's been looming before me, auditioning will start to take more of a front seat in my life again. In preparation for the warmer weather, I'll also be giving my winter items a final laundering before storage, including multiple-wear pieces like coats and hefty handwashables, like my merino sweaters. Gotta harness those last days of radiator heating!

Until April, everyone.

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