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Transitioning into a spring wardrobe

Spring options from R&D in Orchard Park

J Railey

We experienced our first taste of spring last week in WNY. It was delightful: the sun was shining unabashed by clouds, dogs were walked by their giddy owners, car sunroofs were open. But when you looked around, there was still snow on the ground: muddy, frozen, and piled up everywhere. And the next day the temperature was back down to thirty-five degrees.  So how does one appropriately dress in this weather?


Admittedly, I’ve given up on my heavy coat. It’s stored away in the closet, not to be seen again until November. And yesterday I wore flats instead of boots with my jeans. Take that, winter! But I saw a woman wearing flip-flops and a man wearing shorts, and that’s taking it a little too far. There is a way to tastefully transition from five layers to just a few, all while looking stylish.


My advice? Be a butterfly. Slowly make your way out of the cocoon of heavy sweaters and waterproof coats, wool socks and Sorel boots. A lightweight sweater under a leather jacket, paired with jeans or slacks and kitten heels is the perfect outfit for running errands before heading to happy hour. Throw on a punchy, bright yellow scarf to inject some color contrast and warmth. 



Forty-seven degrees is still cold, and you know it. Please don’t put away your tights just yet. A night out? Going to a concert? Break out your summer shorts, but wear patterned tights underneath. Better yet, be a little daring and opt for thigh-high socks. Cowboy boots, a long sweater, and you’re set. 


In my book, there is nothing sexier than a tee, leather jacket, jeans, and stilettos. Everything about this screams classic and confident. Lucky for us, it’s also spring appropriate.  Switch it up and wear faux leather leggings with a fitted jacket or blazer. Add a wide-rimmed hat during the day or a chunky necklace at night for extra detail.



A trip to my favorite store, Research & Design, and a conversation with stylist Mary Cannan, proved that spring is definitely in the retail air. Inside the shop, denim shorts, airy, comfortable blouses, and bold pastels abound. She suggests starting with the classics.


“Build your outfit on the basics: tee, jeans, jacket,” says Cannan. “Then add as many accessories as you see fit, and don’t be afraid of color—or white pants … this way you can make your outfit seem effortless, but you’ve really paid a lot of attention to the details.” Cannan says that layered necklaces, booties with silver chain embellishments, and even just a bold print on a purse or scarf can easily complete your look.


So find that button-down shirt dress you wore last September and start adding light layers so you don’t freeze to death (or look like a crazy person). Bare legs can’t will warmer weather into existence. It’s all about fashion verse function, and finding the perfect balance between the two.




Jessica Railey is a frequent style contributor to Buffalo Spree.

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