Many of the styles and colors we've embraced for months continue into spring, but who among us isn't already thinking about the hot new hue, peachy cheeks or strappy wedge sandals?
Though Mother Nature could still dump snow and ice in March, it's fun to give the upcoming season a little love. Isn't that what fashion is all about?
With that in mind, we asked Oklahoma style and beauty experts to weigh in on how women can ease into spring fashion without their teeth chattering or freezing freshly manicured toes.
“Transition dressing is all about easing into the next season, not doing an entire wardrobe swap in one weekend,” said Lisa Shinn, contemporary buyer for Balliets at Classen Curve.
One easy change is to trade in dark tights and boots for bare legs — or at least nude tights — and a pair of platform heels. Or buy a sleeveless dress but start wearing it now with a colorful cardigan or blazer, she said.
“Transition is the perfect time to let pieces of your winter wardrobe come out to play with pieces of your summer wardrobe.”
Keep fabric weights in mind, though. Wearing a wool sweater dress with a ballet flat that looks too much like spring can have the wrong effect, she said. “It's all about balance.”
If there's one suggestion that's echoed again and again, it's the addition of color.
“Begin to pop in more color everywhere,” Shinn said. “Colored blouses under your suiting. More colorful dresses and skirts. Colored denim on the weekends and especially brightly colored bags like green or yellow.”
Brook Balentine, buyer for Cayman's Clothiers in Norman, said color for spring isn't groundbreaking, but it delivers a punch that's more than visual.
“It makes you feel good to add color because you've been wearing browns and blacks for fall,” she said.
For spring, the color palette ranges from Tangerine Tango, Pantone's color of the year, to neons to pretty pastels.
“I think the best way to transition is to wear a cardigan in a vibrant color,” Balentine said. Start wearing it now and continue to reach for it all through summer.
A colorful scarf, brightly hued bangles and a knit blazer, maybe in navy and coral stripe, are good choices, too. Such pieces can be budget friendly, and they mix well with other items in your closet.
From head to toe
And let's not forget our feet. “Shoes are fantastic statement pieces to a woman's wardrobe, and it's an area where you can really have fun and play up your outfit with bold colors and styles,” said Leigh Standerfer, owner of Heirloom Shoe.
Footwear for spring and summer is loaded with bright colors, fun textures and interesting styles, she said. “When the weather is still chilly outside but you are dreaming about spring, it is very simple yet chic to pair a cozy neutral sweater and neutral pants with a bright, colorful shoe.”
Makeup is another way to get that springlike feeling.
Even with a mild winter, many Oklahoma women are ready for spring, and color is what's on the radar, said Lilly Stone, owner of Sooo Lilly Cosmetics inside Kokopelli at Northpark Mall.
Pink and coral are strong lip shades this season, and some of them are glossy and intense such as her Lovestruck and Flirt. Eyes can get a wash of color as well. Stone suggests putting a touch of turquoise, purple or lime green at the outer corner of your eye for a change. For fun, apply it to the lash line and lower lid.
“Think '60s and '70s, groovy times,” she said.
“If color on your eyes is not your thing, apply a pop of coral or fuchsia to the apples of your cheeks. Blending is key, and buff with a puff.”
Prefer something even more subtle?
“The best way to ease into spring is to smell like spring,” said Alex Mendez-Kelley, owner of The MakeUp Bar. “Start looking for fragrances that have soft floral notes as opposed to the heavier muskier woods of winter. We love Ineke's After My Heart or Chemical Bonding.”
She also suggests lightening your home fragrance to remind you of soft blossoms and fresh air. And try switching from candles to diffusers.
Nail polish is another easy and inexpensive way to transition from season to season. If you can think of a color, it's in, Mendez-Kelley said.
“The pale sherbet colors of peach and orange still rule as well as lighter gray blues and minty pistachio greens. And when is hot pink and fuchsia not in for spring?”
Nail polish is Mendez-Kelley's favorite accessory these days. “I love Essie's Ole Caliente, a beautiful rosy coral, and OPI's Holland collection. ... I personally have been in love at first sight with Fly in the Nicki Minaj collection.”
Whether you choose nail polish or shoes, makeup or clothes, remember to take baby steps when going for a spring state of mind. It's still just February.