A Guide to Warm Weather (When You're Still Stuck in Winter)

Only a few days ago did I actually realize the weather had been 70 degrees for the past two weeks. The sun was shining, I could actually feel my face, finally, and there was no need for several layers; I probably could have walked around in a swimsuit and I'd feel perfect. I should be happy, satisfied, at least grateful for this sudden change in climate. For once, I don't have to wear a turtleneck! But I miss those turtlenecks. I never had time to buy a faux-fur coat or an oversized trench or a shearling-lined jean jacket or even a velvet jumpsuit or leather pants, and the cold seems like the only excuse to wear out-there items like those. The cold was so much easier, ironically, because I could layer practically anything together and it would be deemed the highest forms of fashion, while in the warmth I can only wear one layer of clothing and that's just boring. Yawn. Wait, here's an idea: follow the same guidelines for winter fashion, just wear way less of it. Will that work? Let's test it.

Top and jeans by Gap. Bomber by Brandy Melville. Shoes by Topshop.

I'm a self-proclaimed jeans-hater but the minute the temp rises I miss them dearly, but my legs need to breathe! So here's a trick: find an old pair of jeans (or steal them from your mom) and scissors and have some fun. Do some cutting, fraying, whatever it takes to let your legs get some air. I found these from my mom and I think she wore them in 1999, back when awkward-rise boot-cuts were in style. I found them ripped in the knees (half the job is already done! Thanks, mom!), but then I wanted my ankles to feel the sun so I cut three inches off at 7 a.m., half asleep, and I'm pretty sure the right leg is a bit shorter than the left but hey, that asymmetry gives it more of a DIY feel.

One of the trends I missed during the cold abyss of winter are tops suited for spring, whether they're floral ones, sheer blouses, or cropped tanks. Of course, I learned to layer these over turtlenecks during the winter and I wish I had more time to do this, but this weather has something against turtlenecks, so I guess I'll have to leave my arms and neck naked and vulnerable with my favorite printed tank from Gap.

But going from turtleneck to nothing is a bit fast and my body still has not adapted to this sudden change, so we have to take things slow and maybe add a light layer over that tank, like a denim jacket or, even better, an embroidered satin bomber from Brandy Melville. The truth behind this buy is that I was still suck in winter-mode and this would be so cute under my pea-coat!, but it also works for spring (or fall) -- a much-needed in-between layer. Also, bombers are really in right now, especially those of the varsity-striped and embroidered nature, so can I officially call myself a cool-girl?

The idea of showing my feet (and ugly dancer toes) is just bizarre, but the first step to accepting this warmth is wearing at least one article that is meant for the sun, maybe something as simple as shoes that aren't boots or something as wild as denim cut-offs. Since it's not festival season yet, I'll go for the shoe option. I haven't touched sandals since last August and I've been perfectly content without them, but maybe showing my feet in public isn't so bad, and the ones from Topshop that I've owned for almost two years make matters a bit better. Yes, jeans and sandals do work, even if I'd feel better wearing ankle boots. Rip the band-aid off, Natalie. Wear the sandals. 

By the end of all of this I somehow had a decent look for myself, maybe a look for someone who misses winter too much (who wears jackets in 70 degrees??), but at least I was trying. Sometime next week I'll probably accidentally throw on a turtleneck or a knit-sweater or even my parka reserved for below freezing temps, because even though it's March, it still feels like January. It's going to take some time.

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