Talking Spring Fashion
In our last fashion questionnaire, we gathered to discuss our personal style, highlights, and even regrets of the year. Reunited spontaneously in Washington, D.C. last month, Raquel and Olivia spent many a coffee break and shopping excursion discussing the state of our wardrobes, shaking off the last bits of freezing temperatures to revel in brighter, longer days where all we could think of were the freeing, rejuvenating fashions of spring. As we fold away coats and shake out our florals, we’re talking what comes next…
Has the weather allowed you to dress for spring yet?
Raquel: It has a little! We’ve been having storms the last couple of weeks that usually result in momentary cold snaps, but the last few days have maintained averages in the high 70s (20s C!). I’m still in trousers mainly but without socks and with flowy blouses instead of sweaters, and at home I’ve been living in easy shift dresses with my slippers.
Olivia: It has, though not very consistently! We keep having a warm day followed by a cold, windy one, so I’m a bit frustrated with it. We were lucky in Washington a couple of weeks ago though, as I was able to go out bare-legged once and break out the dress I’ve been most excited to wear for spring.
RR: Yes! It was so nice in Washington, I’m still mad at myself I didn’t pack more dresses for it.
Do you keep separate wardrobes or specific pieces between winter and spring? Or mix and match?
Raquel: Pastel sweaters, certain colors of dresses and skirts, and a lot of footwear just doesn’t get worn when it’s cold for me, since I tend to live in specific pieces throughout the winter like wool and boots. I mix and match in a lot of lighter winter things as the seasons transition, but around this time I’ll usually shift entirely to spring pieces. Most will make their way into summer as well but eventually I’ll put them back away for autumn.
Olivia: I mix and match through maybe mid-March but then have a separate wardrobe for the rest of the season, with more cotton sweaters and knits than wool ones and different colors and textures. I finally packed my velvets away at the end of last month, and I just did my full closet swap yesterday. I’ve been going through a major wardrobe rehaul these past few months – sorting through things that no longer fit, that I no longer like, etc. and finally finding an organization system I like, so I actually had a lot of fun swapping things out yesterday.
RR: While I typically stop wearing things, I never pack them away, but I’ve actually decided to try that this year! If only to make my closet a little bit less overwhelming, but also because it’s an open format, and I think as much as I love the darker pieces in the later months having an almost entirely dark covered wall staring out at me is starting to depress me a little. I want to see all of the pretty colors!
OGW: I definitely feel that. I feel almost emotionally oppressed when I see all my dark, wintery clothes in the spring or summer. It feels weird using that word, especially in relation to clothes, but I see the dark knits at this time of year and my mood immediately drops and I feel like something is sitting on my chest.
Does your mood or sense of style change between seasons?
Raquel: I spoke about this a lot in my cold weather piece, because it does in what feels like a very dramatic way. However, after thinking it through there, I feel like I established more of a connection between the differences and I wonder if that will subconsciously continue or if I’ll overcorrect and bolt dramatically into a hyper spring style. Today I’ve definitely jumped out of my velvet trousers and neutral sweaters. I’m wearing a bright red wrap dress!
Olivia: Mine definitely does, especially when it comes to colors. Mid-February hits and I suddenly don’t want any more dark colors and am really drawn to whites and creams and pinks and different polka dot mixes. During my wardrobe swap yesterday, I realized everything hanging in my closet now is either navy or white with a few pops of color (think pink, think green) in between. I think changing my style between seasons helps keep me excited for every moment of the year and to keep myself from ever getting bored with clothes.
RR: Oooh that’s smart. I feel like that’s a common benefit I see from people who keep separate wardrobes, is that they’re more excited to see their own clothes after a while and less likely to go out and buy something they don’t need.
OGW: That’s definitely the case – there’s a lot of excitement where it almost feels like seeing an old friend again after several months. Like I couldn’t stand the sight of my sweaters anymore when I packed them away, but I know I’ll be so excited to break them out again in September. Just like I wore certain dresses a ridiculous amount of times last summer but am excited to feel again – there’s one black and white floral one that fit me so well while still being incredibly comfortable, and I really look forward to wearing it later in summer.
Is there any particular trend or aesthetic influencing your spring wardrobe plans now?
Raquel: This one’s pretty popular, but I’ve just finished Season 1 of Killing Eve and as the bandwagon goes, am still obsessing over Villanelle’s style. There are so many elements there. From the voluminous and bright all the way to her tailored printed suits, I feel like every wardrobe element and outrageous item I’ve been thinking about for the last few years has manifested itself into a single collection and I want it all. Without a costume budget, of course, I’m currently sifting through my pre-existing wardrobe to see how I can interpret it for myself. So far I’ve done a lot of print mixing, deeper colors like burgundy and warm blues, and volume all over.
Olivia: I’m having a bit of a Katharine Hepburn moment, honestly. I’ve been waiting for the right kind of trousers to come back into fashion for what feels like decades (I tried to bring them back on my own when I was like twelve, and let me tell you – 2003 did not like it), and thankfully for me they have right as I’m going through a time where I spend a lot of my days running to physical therapy or doctors appointments and just practically am better off slipping in and out of trousers rather than exclusively skirts and dresses. Living in a three generation household of women, my family also has a bit of a tendency to share or pass on clothes – and I’m also lucky to be going through this fashion moment just as I’m the right size to break into our collection of trousers.
Are you looking for or have you purchased anything new for spring?
Raquel: I put myself on a buying ban at the beginning of the year while I cleaned out my closet, so I didn’t shop all winter! I’m still not done, so still avoiding random shopping, but looking to spring and after hearing Olivia wax poetic about a new trapeze style polka dot dress she wore in Washington, I’ve been searching for something equally light and easy, but I want mine in a Liberty print to replace an old heavily loved Liberty print dress I de-cluttered last year. I’ve also been wanting to replace my beloved J. Crew satin leopard print flats since they fell apart a couple of years ago; I don’t have a real deadline on that but I’m generally hoping the regular return of spring shoes in stores will finally produce a suitable replacement this year.
Olivia: Polka dots! In addition to the super flowy polka dot dress Raquel mentions above (that I won’t shut up about), I’ve bought a new polka dot panel skirt and short-sleeve polka dot dress that’s more fitted to my waistline. Both are navy, and I love them. I’ve also recently picked up a pair of woven leather loafers that I’m really excited to break in as soon as it heats up another few degrees. Otherwise, blouses to wear with my trousers (please make that rhyme).
OGW: Suits for our generation.
What are you most excited for in your wardrobe this season?
Raquel: I’m still working through the wardrobe declutter I had planned back in January (letting go is HARD, y’all), and I’ve decided to test the waters with a capsule wardrobe for spring. I won’t be tossing anything yet, just putting away so I can focus. What I’m excited about in the process is challenging myself to wear everything I’ve got, instead of letting most sit while I wear one or two other things in the same way repeatedly, but also being honest about what I need if something doesn't actually work. Being plus size, I feel like so many things get purchased just because I have a picture of what I want in my mind and settle for the first passable thing that fits, but I want to finally let all of that go and make room only for the pieces that make me properly happy.
Olivia: I’m just looking forward to being comfortable and to wearing things I really love and not being afraid to really dress how I feel and be as extra as I want to be. I’m also really excited to swan around in flowy dresses once it gets to be that perfect spring temperature in the upper 60s and to start wearing more pink again. My husband brought home the first peonies of the year yesterday, and their absolutely unreal shades of pink have me really excited for the season now!
Olivia Gündüz-Willemin is Editor-in-Chief of The Attic on Eighth. She is dedicated to reading her way through the world and trying to stay as calm as possible.
Raquel Reyes is Creative Director at The Attic on Eighth. She enjoys styling photo shoots, dramatic hair accessories, and old fashioned cocktails.