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5 Easy, Polished Layers for Spring Dressing

The joy—and challenge—of springtime is that the weather can surge and dip over a short period of time. Make sure your wardrobe is prepared so you enjoy the great outdoors.

Spring walk
Credit: Getty Images

In New England, where I live, “If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes” is an amusing, oft-cited adage. Particularly in the springtime, it’s all too easy to be shivering one moment and looking for shade the next. 

In the middle is a profoundly beautiful season, a fragile yet palpable warmth that beckons us as it stretches away from winter and toward summer. It’s meant to be enjoyed outdoors, filled with the bracing deep breaths of fresh, blossoming air. 

It’s hard to know how to dress to make the most of this time of year, though. You might be thinking, “layers—obviously!” and you’d be right. But easy, breezy spring dressing is best when your layers are light yet cozy, warming for when you need a cuddle, but lightweight enough to easily tuck into a bag or backpack.

Here are my favorite spring layers to meet the weather wherever it is right now…or will be in five minutes.

1)  Vest
Clearly, a jacket is a handy layer in springtime, particularly if some of those famous “April showers” look like they might sprinkle. But sometimes, all you need is for your core to be warm—the rest can feel the breeze. A down or quilted vest looks nice layered over a simple long-sleeved sweater or tee and will keep you toasty without adding too much bulk.

2)  Scarf
Is a smartly-tied scarf a fashion accessory or a warm layer? Why, yes—it’s both! A lightweight wool, polyester or cotton scarf keeps your neck and chest comfortable during those breezy spring days. Try a new way to tie yours to make a fashion statement while you dress to impress!

3)  Poncho Sweater 
One of the easiest warm spring layers is a lightweight knit poncho, which is essentially a wearable blanket that you only need to lift over your head and drape over your torso to look polished and feel cozy, almost like you’re wearing a hug. When you warm up and are ready to go down a layer, these sweater-y pieces fold up small enough to tuck even into a small purse or bag.

4)  Long-Sleeve Tee
It’s the rare spring day that’s so warm that a long-sleeved tee shirt is uncomfortable. I rarely leave home without one of these simple solids as my base layer. A necklace or patterned scarf can brighten and dress up this staple piece, or you can pair it with jeans and a light jacket for a grab-and-go look that’s as easygoing as you are.

5)  Open-Front Cardigan
A short sleeved or sleeveless top is lovely in springtime. I love to wear blousy patterned tops layered under open-front cardigans (no zippers or buttons needed) that I can pull on and off throughout my day. Lightweight, comfortable and reminiscent of a blazer (but far less stuffy), cardigans bring the warmth and the polish I look for in spring.

What are your favorite spring layering pieces?

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