The Structured Spring Cardigan

Structured Cardigan by Autumn CashmereIt’s that time of year when you don’t know what to wear: spring. We get bits and pieces of spring in between cold and rainy days, when the weather doesn’t know what to do. But, in Toronto, when spring actually comes, it typically lasts all of 3-4 weeks in a row.

If you’re like me, your closet is set up for one season or another. In the Fall, I put away my warm weather clothing in the basement. Because I’m always cold, my winter clothing consists of lightweight, long-sleeved t-shirts and a sweater or blazer. For six months of the year, I have to wear two long-sleeved layers of clothing, including some kind of wool top. So, when it’s those in-between temps like we’re having now, I find myself turning to thin wool sweaters or thick cotton sweaters.

Structured Cardigan by Autumn CashmereThat’s where the cardigan in this post comes in. It’s a thick-knit cotton cardigan so it has some structure and weight and acts as a blazer-like top, giving the outfit a smart casual look. It’s perfect for wearing now. It might be hard to tell in the photos, but it’s all navy, except for the black 2-inch detailing around the neck, sleeves, and placket. The two-toned knit makes it easy to pair the cardigan with jeans, navy, or black pants.

Structured Cardigan by Autumn CashmereStructured Cardigan by Autumn CashmereStructured Cardigan by Autumn CashmereI’m wearing this with an oxford faux wrap tie top. It’s a ‘faux’ wrap in that the ties in the front are just for decoration. They’re sewn into the side seams of the shirt and you tie them in the front. Otherwise, the shirt is a full button-down under the ties. You may have seen this faux wrap style on other items of clothing this past winter, like sewn into sweaters or dresses. And, you’ll see it in summer clothing as well. It’s kind of a fun detail.

Structured Cardigan by Autumn CashmereAs the weather warms up, I know I’ll be wearing this cardigan with t-shirts and tank tops. I can’t wait!

What do you reach for this time of year as the weather gets warmer?

(Cardigan: Autumn Cashmere; Faux-wrap top: H&M)

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Transitional Dressing: Summer to Fall 2015

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Fall officially arrived this week and, although we are still enjoying some summer-like weather, the cooler mornings and evenings make us think a little harder about what to wear!

Transitional, or trans-seasonal, dressing is a way to bridge both the summer and fall styles.  It’s a way to hang on to warm weather thoughts while being excited about the next season.

Here are some tips on transitional dressing:
1. Base outfits around a blazer, jean jacket, leather jacket, wrap, or sweater and around pants or a longer skirt
2. Layer, layer, layer: cotton with wool; cotton with fleece; light wool with heavier wool, etc.
3. Incorporate upcoming trends, textures, and colors into your outfit
4. Wear closed shoes, open-toed shoes/boots, or unlined boots that won’t be too warm; include textured or colored tights
5. Add a scarf that can be used as a wrap in the morning or evening

In these photos, I am wearing Velvet jeans – my go-to outfit base – along with a navy J Crew Schoolboy Blazer, which I admittedly wear year-round.  The blazer is one of my favorites because it is an all-season light wool and comes in petites, so no alterations are required!  Under the blazer, I am wearing a cream, long-sleeved, cotton, waffle-knit sweater, from Velvet.  The scarf is a rectangular wool/cashmere/silk blend, from Tilo, in a color that is in for fall. The smooth texture of the scarf is enhanced by the suede fringe, another fall trend.  Because the boots, a staple from Browns Shoes, are unlined, they are more of a transitional shoe than a winter boot.  Finally, the statement necklace in blues and forest greens works well as a transitional piece.

Do you have a transitional go-to outfit?

(Jeans and sweater: Velvet; Blazer and necklace: J Crew; Belt: Marc Cain; Boots: Browns Shoes; Bag: Massimo Dutti.  Photos: Lauren R)

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