Are we there yet?...I'm asking myself everyday between New Year's Day and March 1st. A wardrobe "no-man's land" this period can feel especially challenging to dress for. Longing for milder, brighter days and the chance to wear lighter, brighter things, I pile on the layers, close my eyes and pucker up for Spring's first kiss.
I caught up for coffees & chamomile teas with my pal, stylist-at-large and regular contributor, Tessa Frost to talk style goals and wish lists for the season ahead.
Deola: For me, Spring wardrobe building is always a gentle progression. Starting with resisting the urge to reach for my knitted joggers yet again, I’ll also switch my dark denim for lighter shades with a bit of detail. I have 3 or 4 favourites I always go back to, but I’m constantly on the look out for the latest twist on classic blue denim. Paired with a lightweight knit in a brighter shade (underneath my winter-weight coat), I feel enough of a wardrobe step-change.
I live in flats during the daytime (I have an ever-growing selection of trainers and pumps to prove it). As the days get longer and hopefully warmer, ankle lengths will creep up and i’ll eventually brave an outfit sans-socks and perhaps even a skirt or two. I'll opt for separates over dresses for endless outfit options.
Tessa: As soon as January hits, I'm busy clearing out clients' wardrobes and getting their Spring looks ready and up-to-date. This inspires me to do my own big Winter clear-out too and by the start of February I will know which Spring pieces I have my eye on. I like to rely on good quality pieces like organic cotton or linen tees, lighter weight knits, the perfect cream Spring blouse, culottes and ensuring my denim collection is up to date with some cropped styles and of course a fresh pair of white jeans.
I will also start to introduce more warmth and colour into my clothes, and this could include investing in some sling-backs and a bold statement earring, all in bright jewel tones. My look is quite understated but I tend to use accessories to inject some additional personality and style.
(Ruffle Sweater by Ille De Cocos, Tie Blouse by And Other Stories, Fringed Jeans by Zara, Metallic Flats by Nicholas Kirkwood at Netaporter, Jewelled Earrings and Rib Stripe TShirt by J Crew, Bucket Bag by Marni at Netaporter)
What I most look forward to is being able to rush out of the house with just a denim jacket or day blazer, my ballet flats and a cross body bag in Spring neutrals. It feels so liberating after months of wool hats, heavy knit scarves, faux fur and ankle boots!
Deola: Yes, it's the freedom of wearing fewer layers. Ironically what I love most about winter dressing is piling the layers back on again! But for now I have tunnel vision for all things Spring.
Tessa: There are so many great trends coming through already. I really love the sheer look that is everywhere at the moment. Showing a glimpse of skin or the silhouette of a beautiful bra or lace camisole is such a subtle, confident and feminine look, especially in linen or a lightweight fabric. I'm so happy fringing is back too, the high street has some really fun and frivolous pieces which are still easy to wear when teamed with simple denim, a pencil skirt or a basic tee.
Deola: Racer stripes on denim are definitely a "thing" and I love the tuxedo-effect this has on a casual classic. I'm also a fan of pencil skirts styled in a casual way and anything high-waisted, with a tucked in blouse/ knit/ tee. Elevated with stripes, ruffles and pretty detailing.
(Linen Gauze Stripe Sweater by Ille De Cocos, Polka Dot Trainers by Converse at Dover Street Market, Racer Stripe Jeans by Zara, Faux Leather Pencil Skirt by Zara, Cats Eye Sunglasses by Miu Miu at Matches, Cross Body Bag by Sezane.)
Tessa: Pretty, feminine details are a key theme this Spring and into Summer. I'm loving the current fashion for shell accessories and there's a Isabel Marant cowrie shell gold necklace and earring set I'm longing for - super versatile and makes me think of sun and exotic places!
Deola: I'm a true minimalist when it comes to accessorising. A mini cross-body bag in tan and a fresh pair of Cat's Eye sunnies and I'm ready to beckon the new season.
Deola Charles, founder of Ille De Cocos and Tessa Frost, founder of Fig & Frost personal styling consultancy.