Colgate Couture: Transitional Times



Lisa Mischianti

Finally, after much anticipation, Hamilton saw its first warm spring day of the year. But, as we all know, mid-April can be uncertain around here. In fact, I remember back in 2007 when I was at Colgate for April Visit Days and it looked more like January, with several inch­es of snow covering the campus after a “freak” springtime blizzard. My point is, these next two weeks can be hard to predict and even harder to dress for; the weather can even alter drasti­cally from morning to evening. This is why knowing how to create transition­al outfits is crucial. While it may seem pretty straightfor­ward, mixing your winter and spring wardrobes has some easy pitfalls. So, I have a few tips and tricks that will still keep you looking cool as the weather moderately warms.

At the first sign of springtime sun, people seem to have one of two impulses. Some acknowledge that we are still in warm weather limbo but are dying to whip out their new spring pieces all the same, so they throw on the thin-strapped, floral-print frock with the black opaque tights and high boots that they have been wearing all winter. While the idea to go for a more transitional look is there, the execu­tion is not quite right. Springtime cuts, patterns and fabrics are often just that: springy. So, pairing them with heavy-duty tall boots and black tights just clashes. Other people get so excited that they go the whole nine yards the first day the thermom­eter rises above 50: sleeveless, shorts and flip-flops. Hold your horses, it is not even May yet! Just yesterday you were wearing a wool cable knit sweater, and tomorrow you might be again!

What is the right way to go about it? For me, the perfect tran­sitional outfit consists of bare legs and coverage on top. So lose the tights, but still sport a dress, skirt, or shorts in a material that is not season-specific, like jersey or silk (i.e. no wool). Stick with solid hues or seasonally ambiguous prints, like plaid or stripes. To satisfy your urge to celebrate the season, throw in a dash of springtime color in the form of an accessory. Invest in a nice, worn denim jacket (check out Levi’s, it’s classic and perfect) or a light­weight blazer to layer over everything. And a note on footwear: when I say to show a little leg, that does not include feet. Hold out on the sandals for now. At this point, sporting bare legs and feet all at once looks a bit extreme. In my opinion, sandals should not come out until the weather has become stably warm. Instead opt for a short bootie, a flat or even a cute little sneaker; this will keep the look from feeling prematurely summery.

I am just as eager to switch to warm weather attire as the next per­son, but we have waited this long so we can make it just a few more days donning transitional clothes. And after all, mixing and matching winter and spring pieces can be a fun opportunity to revamp and revitalize your look!