2013 May 1

BC_Ladies_Patti_Classic_Vest_84_668May Day has arrived and most of us are experiencing some sunshine to go with it, but the changeable weather is by no means over.

So how do we dress for the best of the weather without being caught out by the worst of it?

Lightweight clothing

Many people confuse lightweight and skimpy – new fabrics make lightweight clothing such as polo-shirts much more comfortable without them having to feel insubstantial or overly tight. Tight clothing can make you really uncomfortable in the heat and encourages the appearance of sweat rings whilst in cooler temperatures it can leave you feeling clammy.

Layered clothing

Try to wear three or four layers: a vest, polo shirt and fleece work well for men, while a camisole under a dress topped with a shrug gives women more options to add and remove layers as the weather changes. Remember that until at least mid May, night time temperatures drop rapidly, so having a warm ‘final’ layer for evenings is wise. You might want to carry a lightweight hoody or choose the Rihanna option and wear a shirt that ties around the waist but still shows your summer style T-shirt underneath.

Colour choice

Lighter colours work well, and add a summery vibe to your outfit, so yellow T-shirts or peachy shirts are great, but add a darker colour for evening to bring your outfit in line with the lower temperatures: navy blue works well for spring evenings, so a dark blue jacket works well for men, while a teal or navy sweatshirt brings evening warmth to women’s summer wardrobes.

2009 March 2

klassic20poloSpring is typified by new growth, chilly sunshine and Easter which is a strange festival, because it’s movable – some years it’s early enough to count as winter, other years it’s late enough to be fully into spring. It’s also both a religious festival for Christians that often more or less coincides with a traditional and pagan celebration of the arrival of spring. And that makes it difficult to know what to wear.

Spring, in general, is a very difficult time of year for clothing choices – when one day is cold enough for thermal underwear and a woolly hat, the next is plenty warm enough to be outdoors in a T-shirt and jeans, with a baseball cap keeping the sun out of your eyes!

So what’s the best way to second-guess the weather, feel comfortable, and look smart at this time of year?

There are two key factors: colour and layering.

Colour is important – this the time of year to retire your navy and grey clothing and pull out the warming tones of cream, beige and even brown – match them with soft pinks, ice-blues, catkin-yellows and spring greens and your outfits will immediately look springlike, even if they are heavyweight clothing. As an example, pick a cream jacket to go over a thick sweater and it will look more summery than a navy blue one, even if the jackets are the same weight.

Layering is vital – what you want is to be able to remove and replace clothing without fuss, as the weather changes throughout the day. As an example, a gilet or sleeveless jacket over a long-sleeved rugby shirt or hoodie gives you a perfect balance of warmth and coolness. An alternative is to wear lighter inner clothing, such as a spring coloured  polo-shirt, with a scarf and a zipped hoodie or waterproof jacket – once again you can take layers off or add them back on without looking daft and you’ll always feel comfortable.