Two Fridays ago, I was out running errands. Despite being in the upper 60s that day, in early March, it felt weird leaving the house without some form of a jacket. I popped my navy blazer over my crisp white shirt that I wore with a pair of jeans and red loafers and was off. It wasn’t long before I was sweating and regretted wearing a jacket. Throughout the day I saw people in looks that ranged from people in short-sleeved tees only to others wearing puffer coats. Clearly, I wasn’t the only one confused. Everybody has been. If you live or ever visit NYC in the spring, take a subway ride where you will easily see a person in a down coat sitting next to a person wearing shorts and flip flops. it’s bizarre.

As optimistic as I and all my fellow northeasterners were during our week of temperate weather, we knew this unseasonably warm weather wouldn’t last. Despite being hopeful every year that we get a blast of warmth after a long cold winter, we know how it will play out. Sure enough, exactly a week later, we all woke up to weather in the upper 20’s. Just one week after wearing just my blazer, I was back to wearing my warmest puffer coat.

The northeast isn’t the only part of the country where the weather becomes highly unpredictable during the transitional months. It’s not just the transitional months where some parts of the country go through volatile weather patterns. Mark Twain once said, “The coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” I’ve worked with clients who live there, four seasons can easily happen in a day. My assistant, Rachel, she lives in Colorado, and their weather is wackadoo. One day it can be 70 and the next they can get nearly a foot of snow. If you live in a seasonal part of the country, being clothing-confused during the transitional months is something one comes to expect despite never really being prepared for it. You would think we would have learned by now.

TRANSITIONAL STYLE: DRESSING FOR WORK DURING UNPREDICTABLE WEATHER

Layers are the name of the game during changeable transitional seasons where not only each day can be unpredictable but each hour can be as well. Somehow you need to figure out how to dress for mornings with frost on the windshield, transition to a temperate sunny afternoon, and then make it home without freezing. You need to be able to add on and peel back what you wear in a way that doesn’t look like afterthought dressing, especially for work. In today’s post, I have gone beyond your typical cardigan layered looks for a transitional style to give you five different options to consider.

OUTFIT #1

TRANSITIONAL style

There are quite a few layers to this look and if you wear them all or strip down to just the shirt and still look pulled together. I styled this striped shirt from J.Crew under a hot pink cashmere sweater from Saks, under a plaid blazer from Me + Em. The look is completed with navy trousers from MM. Lafleur, slate blue loafers, and a pair of pearl stud earrings.

OUTFIT #2

transitional style

Admittedly, unzipping a dress and taking the shirt layered underneath it is a bit awkward but it can creatively add a layer of warmth when the weather is being mercurial. It also creates a different look for the very basic black sheath. I layered this slim white shirt underneath this black sleeveless dress from Theory. Over the dress, I added this very easy-to-remove cardigan layer from Rails and finished the look with over-the-knee boots from Cordani.

OUTFIT #3

Veronica Beard blazers are pretty amazing and probably one of the coolest parts of them are many of them are dickey jackets which means you can add these inserts into them to add the look of another layer. While it’s not a complete layer, having warm protection over your chest can make a difference. If Veronica Beard blazers are out of your budget range and you’re not interested in buying one resale, did you know that Quince started making their own version complete with dickey inserts? Good luck getting your hands on one of these blazers, however. They sold out instantly and show no signs of restocking soon.

I styled this Veronica Beard blazer from Veronica Beard with their wool cable knit dickey over a short sleeve chestnut short-sleeve sweater from FRAME, a pair of plaid pants from Avenue Montaigne, and finished the look with a pair of cognac flats from Sarah Flint, and hammered crescent earrings from Ettika.

OUTFIT #4

You probably saw sweater vests floating around all fall and winter. The last time I remember sweater vests being the rage was in the 80s. Maybe I just blocked out their other returns over the years. While I’m not really pro-sweater vest, I can see it as a solution for an easy extra layer of warmth on one of those up-and-down weather days. I styled this Marie Oliver sweater vest over a navy asymmetric gathered dress from COS. I finished the outfit with pearl drop earrings from Argento Vivo and tall block-heeled boots from Margaux.

OUTFIT #5

In this last look, I styled this belted top from Tuckernuck that looks like a poncho. It’s a great style for layering which I did over this mock button-up shirt from BOSS Hugo Boss and paired with my favorite Akris Punto technical cotton ankle pants. I finished the outfit with oyster-colored loafers from Stuart Weitzman and a gold chunky necklace from st. Moran.

DO TRANSITIONAL STYLE IN STYLE

As enjoyable as it is to know that warm weather is on the horizon, this time of year can be very tricky for clothing selection, but with a little creativity, you can look chic no matter what the temperature.