Transitional Dressing Deconstructed, Layer by Layer

On the coattails of our Pick Six: Winter-to-Spring Transitional Shoes blog post, we thought it might be helpful to break down the essentials of a full transitional, spring outfit. It’s such a tricky balance to strike–the ability to be simultaneously warm enough for winter and cool enough for summer, with a simple tweak of the few garments on your back.

While it requires just a little forethought, the benefits of a well-layered outfit in spring are well worth the extra five minutes of planning so that you’re not stranded for the day in uncomfortable conditions. We’ve all been there! Sweating in a heavy pullover without an undershirt, or freezing in a dress with no leggings…and in city traffic, there’s no time to go home to change clothes once you’ve made the disastrous mistake.

We’re here to help! We’re “deconstructing,” if you will, our perfect transitional outfit, layer by layer. With a casual and dressy option per layer, our goal is to identify solutions for all of our working girls, from office execs to full-time moms.

Transitional Dressing Deconstructed, Layer by Layer


Transitional Dressing Deconstructed, Layer by LayerRarely is a basic tank top or camisole the MVP of your wardrobe, but it really is the most important element of layering. If it’s a hot afternoon and you’ve shed your top layers, it may be your whole look for the day! This Scalloped Tank by Michael Stars (left) is made of bamboo cotton, so you get the comfort of a t-shirt but the polish of a well-designed garment. The Stretch Silk Tank Top by Rebecca Taylor is a more professional option because of the luxe material and styled pleats across the bottom. We recommend sticking with mostly solid and neutral colors, as well as streamlined silhouettes for your base layer.


Transitional Dressing Deconstructed, Layer by LayerWe love the fringed edge on the Best of Me Top by Free People (left)! This button-up would look great open or tied in a knot at the top of high-rise jeans with the Michael Stars tank underneath. Or dress up your look with the Ballet Wrap-Tie Cardigan by Banana Republic Factory. On a cold day, this second layer can add much-needed warmth, or can be taken off completely for bare-armed bliss!


Transitional Dressing Deconstructed, Layer by LayerAnkle-length is our favorite pant length for spring. Skinny or wide-leg, ankle pants allow you to show a little skin when you’re itching to put away your heavy winter boots, as well as show off the cute mules you’ve been dying to wear! Madewell does denim so well, and their 10″ High-rise Skinny Jeans with Drop-Hem (left) is no exception. Such a nice, classic wash and fun cut-off detail at the ankles. The Washable Stretch Crepe Wide-leg Pant by Eileen Fisher is an office-appropriate option that doesn’t sacrifice relaxed for sophisticated.


Transitional Dressing Deconstructed, Layer by LayerWho knew beige could be so dreamy? It sure wows on this Hooded Spring Parka by Whistles (left). A soft balance between cream and rose, this color has appeared in recent designer collections and goes with everything. You’ll want to wear it even when it’s not raining, but the hood will sure be handy when it is. And I love the styling and contrasting knit textures of this Open Knit Kimono by Anthropologie over the ballet wrap cardigan above, its long, fitted sleeves peeking out from under.


Transitional Dressing Deconstructed, Layer by LayerMules are our go-to shoes for this rainy season, because you get the protection of the closed toe but the air circulation of the backless design. Plus, they’re cute! The Nikki Suede Slip-on Mules by G. H. Bass have a matte appearance that makes them ideal for pairing with jeans and good times. The Modern Penny Loafer Mule by Everlane is made of shiny leather that reads work as much as play.


Transitional Dressing Deconstructed, Layer by LayerCan’t forget the accessories! And there are some really festive spring jewelry designs out there right now. The Cuba Earring by Rachel Comey is a solid, everyday piece that looks casual but still intentional. The Triple Oval Earring by J. Crew is minimal and tasteful and just a notch up the “dressy” scale.


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