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How to Master Spring Layering


The arrival of spring may bring the promise of warmer weather, flip-flops and short sleeves, but there are likely to be a few lingering chilly days that require some light layers. Now is the opportunity to ditch the drab winter coats and wool sweaters in favor of pastel cardigans, bright blazers and hip leather jackets. Spring layering is all about mixing textures and patterns for that fresh and youthful vibe you’ve been missing since summer. Take inspiration from the streets with these stylish looks that prove just how creative you can get with your layering this spring.

1. Classic Cuts With a Punch

A patterned suit makes for a bold ensemble and serves as the perfect base for an edgy leather jacket. The combination of color and texture brings this look to life and transitions easily from a crisp spring morning to an afternoon lunch al fresco. A colorful bag and wedge sandals add a touch of fun to a polished suit silhouette, but classy heels and a clutch can instantly take this look into date-night territory. When you’re not feeling chilled enough for the jacket-on-blazer combo, just drape that fabulous coat over your shoulders to channel your inner off-duty model.

2. Double Dress, Double the Fun

Layering doesn’t have to be restricted to stuffy cardigans—try out a layered dress look this spring for a fresh take on a classic pairing. Layering two dresses is the perfect solution when the mid-thigh grazing mini just doesn’t give you enough coverage. Try a fitted sweater dress over a longer shirt dress or a tunic top over a knee-length dress. If you’re doing a little wardrobe revamping, invest in some classic pieces like chambray shirts and tunic sweaters to breathe new life into some of your favorite warm weather pieces!

Related: The Spring Break Uniform You Need For Every Destination

3. Get Creative With Crop Tops

Your favorite summer crop top that was doomed to stay in the back of your closet until June can make an early appearance this spring. A crop top makes for a great layering piece over a button-down or sheer top. Pair it with high-waisted pants for balanced proportions and a little extra coverage. A cropped sweater is another great winter to spring transition piece and a versatile addition to dresses and tank tops. Look for cropped pieces that hit just below the rib cage and wear them over shirts that fall below the hips. This will elongate your torso and make you appear taller.

If you’re looking for a single new piece to carry you through the unpredictable spring temperatures, a cropped statement jacket is the way to go. It’ll go with everything you already have in your closet, including your favorite jeans for a modern casual look or a sleek skirt for those internship days.

4. Feminine Meets Functional

When you just can’t decide if it’s really spring yet, the sweater and mini-skirt combo is your go-to solution. You can show a little skin but still keep yourself protected from the elements with a couple extra layers up top. Try a sporty version of this feminine style with a chunky sweater and utility jacket layered over your favorite mini. Heeled booties make a sleek finish, while wedged sneakers make the look extra sporty cool.

5. Minimalism at its Best

If you haven’t tried your hand at a jumpsuit, now is your time! It’s the perfect spring piece: it's versatile, effortless and suitable for any number of layering combinations. A long sleeve tee underneath, a sharp leather jacket or a loose, boxy-blazer on top are just some of the ways to style this trendy garment. If it’s your first one-piece, try a foolproof cinched or belted waist. If you’re short, make sure the legs hit just above the ankle to achieve the best proportions. Work it with sandals, booties or pumps depending on your mood (and the weather of course).

6. Sweaters for Spring

As the weather warms up, a long sweater is the ideal piece to take the place of your heavy down jacket. A dramatic cardigan that hits just below the knee will add a bit of flair to your favorite jeans and tee or even a feminine spring dress. There are endless possibilities for accessorizing an oversized cardigan, but to avoid looking drowned in miles of fabric, bare some leg and sport a pair of heels or booties. A belt tied at the waist will also give a loose sweater more shape and can help take the look from day to night.

After a long, dreary winter, the thought of breaking out your spring wardrobe is exhilarating. But for that period in between winter’s end and full-fledged sunshine, layer some of your favorite pieces from both seasons. Spring layering is all about combining light airy pieces, a touch of texture and a fun mix of prints and patterns to joyfully welcome the start of a new season. So take some inspiration from these street style looks and get to layering!

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