5 ways to wear a patterned shirt
See ya later, plain Oxfords
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And here we are, bang smack in the middle of the changeable-weather season, aka spring. It’s the time of year where you head to work in a coat and scarf and leave with your shirt sleeves rolled up and coat thrown over your arm, or you’ve headed out for the weekend in shorts and a tee and are finding yourself sheltering from rain come 3pm. Joys.
While dressing for this time of year can seem, well, impossible, there are some super useful tips, fabrics, and accessories, you can get to grips with that should make dressing that bit easier. Enter stylist and layering megafan Toby Standing (he loves a cardigan), who’s about to break these down for you.
Wool in winter, linen in summer – right? Sure, but there’s also plenty of cross-seasonal materials that will serve you well when you’re not quite sure what season to expect when you step out the door. Merino wool is a knit that springs to mind here – it’s got moisture-wicking properties that helps keep you cool while it's warm, but it’s still insulating enough to keep you warm when the weather wanes. Perfect for those days in a pub garden, that turns into late afternoons at a pub garden, that turns into nights at a pub garden.
Other more modern materials like Gore-Tex also come in strong here, particularly for outerwear and footwear. This fabric allows moisture to leave, not enter – in other words it’s a super waterproof fabric that isn’t going to cook you alive.
A good way to battle the elements, while remaining adaptable is to look at the easy to switch-out and remove items. We’re talking scarves, hats, things like that. These can give you warmth when you need it, let’s say during the early commute, and are easy to take off when you don’t need them anymore, let’s say on your commute home. Toby says, “I’m personally partial to a nylon bucket hat, it helps with rain protection but also works to block out sunlight.”
As with any inbetween season, the failsafe approach to getting your styling right will always fall within the art of layering. But, while wearing layers of clothes that can easily be removed depending on the weather is the way to go, you don’t want to end up wearing everything you own (see: Joey in that Friends episode). The trick is to dress from the lightest layer to the heaviest to ensure you’re prepared for whatever comes your way.
As a general rule of thumb, just start with a t-shirt and go heavier and looser from there. Cardigans, overshirts, and gilets are all strong players here as they tend to be pretty roomy, allowing for more to be worn underneath and over top, while never feeling bulky.
If you’re heading out when it’s sunny, but you can feel it in your bones (or you can see it on the weather app) that it’s due to rain, being prepared is always the best approach. For Toby, taking a bag you can pack your outerwear into is always the way to go. His preferred option is a tote bag, “I’ve got a great waterproof style that I always make sure I’ve got with me if the heavens look like they’ll open.” But backpack and messenger styles work equally as great too, if they’re more your thing.
Words: Yasmine Kennedy
Styling: Toby Standing