Spring weather can be so unpredictable – we can swing from Siberian to sweltering and back again in a single day. One minute, you’re strolling down a perfectly sunny street only to turn the corner and find yourself caught in a crazy wind tunnel and then out of nowhere, you’re sweating. To complicate matters, there’s sun outside and air conditioning blasting indoors. So how do you stay comfortable? Our best defence against this transitional weather is a good offence: Layers. I love layers!

My Pinterest boards are a well-curated collection of coverings. The options are endless: blazers, cardigans, button-downs, lightweight sweaters, heavyweight jersey knits, tanks, shells, camis, and the list goes on. The trick is knowing how to put it all together, but dressing in layers is easy if you plan ahead. Read on for everything you need to know to layer your Spring wardrobe with finesse.


Start with a good base. It’s easy to reach for a ribbed cotton tank but an even better choice is a loose woven tank in cotton or silk, like this one from Everlane. The reason? It’s a more attractive stand-alone piece if you get so warm that you need to strip right down. When it’s cooler, you’ll need a lightweight cotton long sleeve, like a colour-saturated boatneck tee from Cory Vines, to add warmth without bulk under a blazer or a chambray shirt. This updated neckline scoops slightly lower than the traditional boat and is very flattering, even if you’re busty. On top, add an oversized sweater from Cuyana with a pair of leggings or cropped black skinnies. Thin enough to tie around your waist, you can also wear this shirt a bathing suit cover up when the sun is strong.

base layersFor a second layer, consider a Chambray (but, really, any button-down will do). This versatile shirt can be worn under a heavier cotton tee or any sweater and it looks cool under a blazer, too. As a topper, it works open as a jacket and it, too, is excellent at the beach. Chambray 2 Another must-have mid-layer is the classic cardigan sweater. Take the lightweight-version of fall’s favourite Boyfriend Cardigan from LOFT. It completes the look over a monochromatic white tank and white jeans. Or, for warmer weather, keep the cardi and swap either of your whites with this cute cami or these adorable embroidered shorts, also from LOFT. LOFT collageWhile it’s always easy to reach for a jean jacket, a lightweight canvas field jacket – in washed or waxed canvas like this one from J Crew Factory  – is a hip update. It’s perfect for the unpredictable precipitation in Spring. Even cooler still is this RUDSAK jacket, a combination of rough-edged linen with leather sleeves – a brand new item for Spring. Continuing as a strong trend after a resurgence in the colder months, leather shorts, leggings and trims are everywhere for Spring and Summer. RUDSAK collageThe RUDSAK site also features some really cool mini-moto jackets in lighter colours and a cute little crop they call a bolero that could easily make me forget my jean jacket even exists…for a little while. FASHION TIP: Spend some time experimenting. Layers are best when you play with prints, get crazy with colour and experiment with textures. It should be fun to put together an outfit that will take you from hot to cold or day to night. And always keep in mind the best part of Spring layers. All of these option can worn again in our next transitional season: Fall!      

About the author

Colleen Carlisle

Years in the garment industry left Colleen Carlisle with a nasty habit of trend-watching and forecasting. Always obsessed with finding the perfect fit and the most flattering colours, Colleen is in the personal shopping and styling business as a Director with trend-setting accessories company, Stella & Dot.

Colleen is a passionate entrepreneur, an enthusiastic volunteer and a style-savvy dynamo who can't bear to keep her mouth shut no matter the consequences. She is happily married to Mr. Good Times and with their two hilarious children plus a dog called Bones they split their time between her hometown of King City, Ontario, and family homes in Muskoka and on Siesta Key in Florida.

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