In many places, spring is a tricky season to dress for as it fluctuates daily between chilly and warm. Neither cold like winter or hot like summer, this transition period needs special sartorial attention to navigate in style and comfort. Here we will go through some fabrics and garments you can always rely on in spring.
If winter has wool and summer has linen, the fabric of spring is cotton. Cotton is a natural material that is harvested when the cotton plant has created small balls of white fibre. After a process of cleaning and spinning, the cotton can be woven or knit into fabric. Cotton is the most used fabric globally and has a large environmental impact. Therefore it is, as always, important to buy high quality cotton garments from trustworthy brands and to cherish and take care of it to make it last.
Cotton is great because it is a robust fibre that is soft and good at absorbing moisture. Not only does the softness and strength make it great for clothes, as it absorbs moisture well it is comfortable to the skin and is great at absorbing dye. This means that you can get durable, comfortable and beautifully coloured clothes in cotton.
Two iconic cotton garments spring to mind for the transition season.
Firstly, the classic Oxford shirt is the foundation of the preppy wardrobe which masters the blend of casual and dressy. An Oxford shirt is know for its softly woven cotton that feels more substantial and less dry than a dress shirt and of course an Oxford shirt has a button down collar. No other shirt is more versatile as you can easily wear it with knitwear or jackets and are free to tuck it in or leave it casual.
Secondly, cotton trousers should be your first choice for spring. As with all clothes fit is first but once you get that right you almost can’t go wrong. Cotton trousers are comfortable to wear and easy to wash and care for. Be careful not to chose a cotton that is too stiff, as softer fabrics fall more cleanly and avoid lots of unwanted folds. The great news is that you can really play with colours. Of course the most classic colours are sand or navy chinos but there are so many more options out there. Try and discover how easy it can be to match other colours like tobacco, burgundy and many more.
Besides cotton, wool can also be great in spring in a mid-weight fabric. The best example is a “4 season” business suit which is made to be worn year round in air conditioned offices. For mild alternating temperatures this mid-weight wool option is great and good value for money year round. However, one should never forget the pleasure of dressing for each specific season.
The key and delight of spring dressing lies in adaptability. Your outfit should keep you warm on cold mornings, allow you to feel the sun warm you at lunch and look stylish in the evening. Here you need garments to take on an off according to the weather.
Light knitwear is good for this purpose. There is a special joy on the first spring day where you can leave the house without a coat and scarf. Cardigans are especially easy to take on and off during the day.
Finally, there is an abundance of jackets that can work perfectly in spring, you just need to find what suits your style best. Perhaps you like the simplicity of a cotton windbreaker or the ruggedness of leather jackets. Perhaps you like the feeling of a light bomber jacket or the structure of a tailored navy blazer. Whichever jacket fits your style they are all excellent options and should be a source of excitement in addition to a solution to the problem of spring’s fickle temperatures.