You are currently viewing Best Ways to Get a Great Winter-to-Spring Transition Look

After a long winter, you want to don your new summer outfits. However, while the calendar says spring, the weather often fails to acknowledge this fact. See how you can create winter-to-spring transition look that is posh, but keep you warm and comfortable on those chilly days.

  1. How to Wear spring-inspired Outfits When It Still Feels Like Winter
  2. Layer Item from Summers with Pieces from Winter for a Winter-to-spring Transition Look
  3. Go with Lighter Colors in the Winter-to-spring Transition
  4. Leather Is Perfect on Windy Days
  5. Wear the Right Underwear
  6. Wool Pants/Skirts with a Button-down Shirt for Chilly Days
  7. The Winter to Spring Transition only Seems to be Difficult to Dress for
  8. Tips for Layering in the Winter to Spring Transition Days
  9. Summary of Best Ways of Winter-to-Spring Transition Look
  10. References

Updated: March 2021
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.

How to wear spring-inspired outfits when it still feels like winter

While March/April are spring months in mid latitudes, it can still bring snow in Canada, the northern states of the US, in the mountains and at the Last Frontier. Nighttime temperatures rarely are above the freezing point. Thus, springtime dressing requires a mix of warm and cold season pieces and/or layering for comfortable cold wet weather outfits in the below freezing air in the morning and the around 50F or higher (10oC) temperatures around lunch time.

When you are on a budget or just want to save when shopping for the warm season wardrobe, smart layering will solve your problem: How to dress in style without buying clothes for the relatively short time that you actually can wear them. In the following, I share are my secret tricks for the best way to look stylish around vernal equinox.

Springtime in Alaska is temperatures below freezing. #Alaska Click To Tweet

Layer Item from Summers with Pieces from Winter for a Winter-to-spring Transition Outfit

Leopard print looks great with red. Both pieces are from the cold season. Adding a light cream cardigan over another cardigan worn as top builds an appropriate insulation layer. The color combination leopard print with red is a fashionforward Do that nearly is a classic.


Style blogger Nicole in office look with layering of a leopard print top under a cardigan

Style blogger layering two cardigans for a business casual work outfit on a chilly, windy spring day
Outfit details: Ap09 silk cashmere cardigan, GNW leopard top cardigan, G-III suede skirt, Moschino belt, Festina watch, pantyhose, Hermes collier de chien bangle, D&GM sunglasses, and Apostrophe ankle strap pumps (all own)


You can find more spring layering outfit ideas in the April Lookbook.

Go with lighter colors in the winter-to-spring transition

To “acknowledge” the season, go with two light colors like the white and tan in the ensemble in the next photos. The boots, skirt, and tight are from the winter wardrobe, while the jacket and top are from the summer closet. Disclosure: I barely have any real spring clothes as it lasts less than a month, if at all. You can read more about green-up in Alaska at the link.

Go for lighter colors as the weather gets warmer. #styleadvice Click To Tweet

Alaskan stylist in spring with leather jacket, wool skirt and silk top

midlife fashion blogger in black, tan and white mix of winter and summer clothes
Outfit details: Banana Republic light wool skirt, Spencer & Graham leather jacket, Anne Klein polka dot silk scarf, statement necklace, GNW tight, Sanchez tall riding boots, smoky quartz necklace (all own), and silk top c/o Lilysilk


On chilly days, try a light color winter coat like the jeans coat later in this post or the coat in the photo below. Colors like blush pink, baby blue, cream, light gray, mint, or moss look season appropriate and work with winter and summer pants alike.

#fallstyle Nicole wearing a floral embroidery white coat over jeans with a Russian scarf
Nicai Yin floral embroidery coat, GG loafers, Modalo Pippa bag, Pavlova scarf (all own) and flared jeans c/o Ethyl Clothing


Pair your light color clothes with “seasonless” colors like navy, black, medium gray or jeans in all washes.

Leather Is Perfect When It Is Windy

When it’s sort of windy, go for leather. Yes, you can wear leather in spring and summer. At least what an Alaskan living in the Interior thinks it is windy. 😉 Leather is a great material to keep the wind from reaching the skin. A suede skirt is as easy to style than a regular skirt. See this post for more than 40 other looks with this suede leather skirt.

Wearing leather is a great way to keep the wind out. Click To Tweet

Leather is a bad insulator, but great to keep the vernal equinox winds off. Ok, someone from the Netherlands would call our winds lame and calm weather. 😉 However, the chill factor and still below freezing temperatures make the wind ugly. No wonder, people in Interior Alaska prefer 40 below freezing conditions over windy around freezing. 😉 Anyhow, leather is perfect to keep the wind out. On chilly days, wear tights or long underwear underneath for insulation. The photos below show outfit inspirations what to wear on windy March days.


mature fashion blogger sitting on stairs in leather pants, Tee, and blazer

stylish lady in windy weather gear wearing leather pants and a blazer
Outfit details: Moda International leather pants, Harley Davidson booties, Tahari glen check blazer, pendant necklace, and Hermes collier de chien bangle (all own)


Leather pants dressed up with a blazer make a perfect Casual Friday combination on windy vernal equinox days.

over 50 years old style blogger in posh casual blazer and leather joggers shoulder season look

midlife blogger wearing a denim coat, leather beret and joggers as a winter-to-spring transition look
Outfit details: Max Mara denim coat, Vince leather joggers, 3.1 Philip Lim tote, Harley Davidson booties, LeatherCoatsEtc gloves, leather beret, and college Tee (all own)
Beat the equinox winds with leather clothes. Click To Tweet


Yes, you can wear leather in spring and summer.

Wearing leather is a great way to keep the wind out. #leatherlove #HighLatitudeStyle Click To Tweet

Note that in Interior Alaska, the month with the highest average wind speed is June with just a little more than 3 m/s. We sometimes get strong wind when a low in the Gulf of Alaska is in the right position to produce the Tanana Valley wind due to channeling of the wind. Other strong wind events are related to storms entering the Interior from the Bering Sea. These storms also bring a lot of snow and often outages because of  trees that fell in the power lines. Last winter, some households were without electricity for nearly a week after a Bering Sea storm. Do you hate dressing in the dark due to outages? In summer, strong wind typically can be associated with gust fronts of thunderstorms.


Wear the Right Underwear

I have a confession to make. I own a couple of old-fashioned half-slips. Why? To stay warm in thin fabric skirts in the transition – or how we call it – shoulder season. In the photos below, morning temperatures were still in the single digits (warmer than -18oC, but colder than -12.8oC). Tall boots, tight, and a half-slip made it possible to wear my silver leather skirt already. I wore an all neutrals look in this example outfit by adding a black and gray Fair Isle sweater.


Alaskan woman in silver skirt with Fair Isle sweater and panther statement belt in spring

midlife style blogger in silver skirt with Fair Isle sweater
Outfit details: Chanel silver leather skirt, GNW tight, Harley Davidson booties, panther statement belt, Eddie Bauer Fair Isle sweater (all own)


You can switch your coat with a blazer when you wear a winter sweater underneath (see look below).

Alaskan stylist wearing layers in spring for a casual work outfit with plaid blazer and denim skirt
Burberry plaid blazer, Oliveo denim skirt, LV bucket bag, Hunter booties, silk scarf and Ray Ban sunglasses (all own) for an office appropriate spring outfit


Wear summer clothes with winter underwear. #springfashion #HighLatitudeStyle Click To Tweet

Wool Pants/Skirts with a Button-down Shirt for Chilly Spring Days

The photos below show office attires in all light colors. The plaid wool pants add interest to the classic chambray shirt. When there is fresh snow, booties are in order to avoid wet feet. When temperatures are still in the double digits below freezing, keep wearing the pants with long-johns or tights underneath.

Lady in wool pants and chambray shirt at vernal equinox

over 50 years old fashion blogger in winter-to-spring transition look with button down shirt, plaid wool pants and pearls

fashion book author in work attire in light colors
Outfit details: Oliveo chambray button-down shirt, Pendleton plaid wide pants, Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle, Coach Chelsea booties, Hermes collier de chien bangle, golden bangle (gift from my late Mom), long pearl necklace, triple mixed size pearls necklace and baroque pearl necklace (all own), and Akoya pearl necklace c/o The Pearl Source Inc.


As you know, I have a knack for wearing street style chic. To be honest, when Fashion Weeks are around, I pin more street style outfits to my pinterest boards than the upcoming trends. Of course, I notice the trends. However, I only pin those that are suitable for women in midlife and beyond. Here a street style combination of an edgy denim jacket and a classic pleated wool skirt. You can read the review of this jacket at the link.


Stylist in winter-to-spring transition look consisting of a sequin patched denim jacket and plaid pleated wool skirt
Outfit details: Pendleton plaid pleated wool skirt, Brooks Brothers short sleeve sweater, Kieselstein Cord Belt and buckle, L.K. Bennett suede leather tall boots, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Seiko watch (all own) and sequin patch jacket c/o StyleWe


Wear light blouses or short sleeve tops with a jacket to stay warm. #springstyle Click To Tweet

The next outfit inspriations feature a red, white and black classic pairing of a light button-down shirt with a suede skirt accessorized with a polka dot silk scarf. Stylist’s advice:

When wearing red, white and black, ensure you don't look like Mrs Santa Claus. #agelessstyle #HighLatitudeStyle Click To Tweet


Stylist’s tip: On chilly days, add a scarf to your outfit to keep your neck warm. You can find how to up your style with scarves in the post at the link.


older lady in red, white and black print and pattern mix
Riders by Lee buffalo plaid button-down shirt, Anne Klein polka dot silk scarf, G-III suede skirt, Kieselstein Cord belt, statement snake tail buckle, Hermes collier de chien leather band, and Nine zebra print pony hair pumps (all own)


A suede skirt is as easy to style than a regular skirt. See this post with more than 40 other looks with this suede leather skirt.

The Winter to Spring Transition only Seems to Be Difficult to Dress for

The hardest days to dress for in spring are those, when it is not freezing-cold, but not warm neither. I call these days the neither-fish-nor-meat days. This funny wording is a direct translation of the German “weder Fisch noch Fleisch.” It’s still too cold to wear the spring outfits, but already too warm for the winter clothes. The best you can do is to either layer spring pieces or dress in a mix of winter and spring pieces.

Mix winter and spring pieces during the winter to spring transition to get a stylish head start on spring. #styleadvice #HighLatitudeStyle Click To Tweet

Tips for Layering in the Winter to Spring Transition Days

On such days, your best bet is to go for layering. The idea is that you can drop a layer at the office and/or when temperatures are up a bit during lunch break due to the Sun’s diurnal cycle. Other options than the one shown in the outfit photos are to wear a layering top under or a sweater over a sheath dress with a jacket for the commute. Or what about replacing the denim jacket in the above outfit by a cardigan. What about ditching the denim jacket in the outfit shown in the photo and wearing a puffer vest over the blazer. In all this layering, the goal is to avoid wearing a winter coat that would provide similar insulation as the combined items, but would be too warm for the warm part of the chilly spring day.

Layer to avoid to wear a winter coat in the winter to spring transition. #Styletip #HighLatitudeStyle Click To Tweet


Salvatore Ferragano pumps and Jaeger tote details

fashion blogger wearing a summer dress styled for spring to stay warm in the winter to spring transition season

fashion influencer in summer dress styled as a winter-to-spring transition look
Vittoria Verani blazer over Red Star denim jacket (all own) worn over jersey sheath dress c/o Lookbook Store,  own pantyhose, Salvatore Ferragamo pumps, Ray Ban sunglasses, Jaeger tote, and statement necklace (gift from my husband)


More spring outfit inspirations with this white summer dress. Read what mistakes to avoid when layering to look stunning.

Springtime in Alaska is temperatures below freezing. #Alaska Click To Tweet


stylist in Alaska spring work outfit with plaid blazer, denim skirt, pantyhose and rainboots
Burberry plaid blazer, Oliveo denim skirt, LV bucket bag, Hunter booties, silk scarf and Ray Ban sunglasses (all own) for an office appropriate spring outfit


Summary of Best Ways of Styling a Winter-to-Spring Transition Look

Climate is what you want, weather is what you get. #wx #HighLatitudeStyle Click To Tweet

Thus, dressing for the weather is always a good idea. Also when packing for a vacation check the long term forecast first and pack with that in mind. You can find more about how to dress for rainy weather at the link.

What do you wear after vernal equinox? A combination of your cold and warm wardrobe items or do you have a springtime wardrobe? Show me your transition looks on instagram by adding an @highlatitudestyle in your post.

P.S. Are you registered for my email notification to let you know when a post goes live? I’d highly appreciate it if you take the time to sign up and ask your friends to sign up too!!


Nicole Mölders, 2019, Outdoor Universal Thermal Comfort Index Climatology for Alaska, Atmosphere and Climate Sciences, DOI: 10.4236/acs.2019.94036

Photos of me: G. Kramm

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