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From winter to spring: Clothing that transcends the seasons

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Here in St. Louis, we had an abrupt change in the seasons, in which everything seemed to transition directly from winter to summer. Although you have no doubt started to pull out your shorts and maybe even your bathing suits (is SLUruba open yet?), we all know that Mother Nature has a tendency to be a bit testy when it comes to springtime.

Nothing is worse than being ill-prepared for the arctic blast that hits you once you leave your dorm or apartment even when the sunshine leads you to believe its at least seventy-five degrees. Before you pack away all of your winter essentials in favor for your favorite summer uniforms, here are a few winter staple pieces that you can easily incorporate into your spring wardrobe to enable a smooth transition between the seasons.

1. The denim/chambray shirt

The "Petite Keeper Chambray Shirt" ($78.00) from J. Crew is literally such a keeper it's stylish season after season (Image courtesy of JCrew.com).

This was a big year for denim and chambray shirts. Many people bought them for the winter as a comfortable and chic option to wear with colored denim or leggings. The blue, red and purple varieties of chambray also paired great with dark wash jeans. This casual button-down shirt should not be packed under your bed just yet because there are various ways to style this piece to convert it to a spring essential.

I love the look of a light blue denim/chambray shirt with a patterned body conscious skirt. The shirt does not overwhelm the patterned skirt and dresses down the skirt to make it more daytime appropriate.

If you were not able to snag a denim shirt yet, there are many places where you can still find them. To find the best priced denim/chambray shirts, I suggest Gap, Old Navy, Forever21, JCrew Outlet or any thrift store. Since the seasons are changing, it will definitely be easier to find a denim or chambray shirt you love on sale.

2. The chunky knit crew neck

The Zara "Low Back Sweater" ($19.90), shown in "Yellow", comes in three colors, all of which would look great in winter and spring (Image courtesy of Zara.com).

This past winter, there were a lot of chunky knit crew neck sweaters in stores. They are not as bulky as cable-knit sweaters but instead they are a little more “airy,” for lack of a better word, which makes them perfect for being a winter-spring hybrid piece.

These pieces can be easily worked into spring wardrobes by pairing them with wide cut shorts in lighter fabrics. The heaviness of the sweater is offset by the lightness of the shorts both because of the fabric and cut. When paired with ballet flats, this is a polished but comfortable look for both class and running errands. This is also a good transitional look for people who get cold shoulders and arms but may overheat while wearing pants.

3. The “combat” boot

The "Troopa Boot" ($99.95) by Steve Madden, shown in "Cognac Le", features a side zipper to avoid time wasted on the tall laces (Image courtesy of SteveMadden.com).

This past winter there was a throwback to 90’s grunge that I totally loved. A new variation on the combat boot (think: peasant meets army) popped up left and right. While these new styles weren’t completely true to their Doc Martens and Palladium roots, these new hybrids were definitely more accessible and wearable by the general public.

Mid-calf boots like this were and still are popular because they are a new alternative to UGG boots that are comfortable and actually look good. (Side note: I too am guilty of owning UGG boots. They feel like mini pillows for your feet, but it is getting harder and harder to justify the visual appeal of such ugly fuzzy moonboots).

Moving forward, these boots look great with skinny jeans in the winter but can also be worn with your favorite sundresses in the spring for a spunky alternative to sandals or ballet flats.

While transitioning through seasons can cause wardrobe decisions to become increasingly difficult, I hope that these tips concerning converting “winter” items into “spring” items will help you in your attempts to follow mother nature’s sometimes erratic whims.

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