The Big Shift

By Sharon Mosley

February 18, 2014 4 min read

Let's face it: We're all ready for the spring thaw. After a winter of our biggest chills in decades, we may finally see some warmer temperatures heating up the days ahead. Time to start booking those pedicures!

Here are a few ways to make the transition as soon as that ice melts:

—Switch out your heavy coats. Put away the puffy parkas. This is the time to take advantage of all those great trench coats out there. From waterproof florals to shimmering iridescents, these belted classics will get you through the early spring. A three-quarter length coat is flattering layered over pants, skirts or dresses.

—Make cardigans your best friends. Another timeless classic, the cardigan sweater is always a favorite when the weather is still chilly but not freezing. Choose a longer style for more coverage if you need it. You can easily button these up for work or wear them over a tank and belt for more casual occasions. The colors available now are endless and provide lots of possibilities for layering — a key to transition dressing.

—Lighten up on sweaters. The chunky knits that you've been wearing for the past few months can be stowed away. Pull out the nautical stripes and the polka dot crewnecks. Lightweight cashmere is also perfect for making the winter-into-spring shift. A sophisticated sweater in a vibrant color or punchy print can always do double duty later this summer tied around your shoulders over that sundress.

—Work that dress. The sleeveless chemise is a year-round staple in many wardrobes ... but bare arms aren't for everyone, especially in cooler weather. However, these dresses can provide a great layering backdrop for those cardigan sweaters and trench coats mentioned above.

—Crop it. Shorter jackets and tops are making fashion news this spring, but you don't have to bare it all to get the same effect with warm weather clothes. Just layer longer shirts and tanks underneath the cropped tops and you'll get the look without showing off the skin. (You can always do that come summer!) Team with fuller, pleated skirts.

—Color it pale. If you're tired of the dark blacks and grays of winter, then spring forward with some pastels. Powdery pinks and blues are refreshing at this time of year. Winter whites will also give you new neutrals to work with in your wardrobe.

—Double up on accessories. Not quite time to slip into flip-flops, but you can still wear socks and tights with sandals ... a winning trend for spring. Ankle boots are another way to rock a dress or long skirt. And don't forget scarves and wraps — still necessary for staying warm — but consider changing out your wool ones for breezy colorful prints and patterns — an instant way to bring spring on — the sooner, the better!

(SET CAPTION) Add a dose of spring to your wardrobe with nautical striped T-shirts and sweaters. (www.landsend.com) (END CAPTION)

Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association. To find out more about Sharon Mosley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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