Transitional Dressing 101 + Win a White Oaks Mall Gift Card

A perfect transitional look from street-styler Elizabeth Victoria Clark.

I'm done. Like, SO over it. Aren't you? I'm all about being a glass half full kinda girl but this unrelenting winter is enough to transform even the most optimistic among us into pouting, snivelling, whiny, cranky babies. Waahhh.

Happily, fashion has a way of tinting the lenses of our ski goggles rose-coloured and since we've been lucky to experience a few days of balmy weather lately, that means it's officially time to think spring. 

If you're super sick of your parkas, puffers and Sorels, it's time to take our basic course in winter to spring fashion. Welcome to Transitional Dressing 101, where the lecture discusses pretty shoes, the only test involves shopping, and instead of a diploma, you get a White Oaks Mall Gift Card. Now this is the kind of continuing education I thoroughly enjoy...

TRANSITIONAL DRESSING LESSON #1: Go a little overboard.

THE TAKEAWAY: Stripes scream spring, so whether you add a striped breton shirt under your blazer, carry a navy & white striped clutch, or opt for an anchor and starfish charm bracelet, a little bit of nautical goes a long way to making any outfit look more spring-like. 

OUR PICK: Striped Tee, $23, American Eagle


THE TAKEAWAY: Orange is just the juicy pop of colour you need to counteract all the dullness of this late-winter weather. On the rare dry days (like yesterday..sigh...wasn't that lovely?), at your office or out for dinner, a pair of orange pumps are sure to put a spring in your step.

OUR PICK: Suede Pointy-Toe Pumps, $70, Le Château


THE TAKEAWAY: A lightweight blazer adds polish, structure and a layer of extra warmth to any outfit - perfect for those days when the weather swings from plus to minus. Bonus style points for a cute printed detail like the sweet polka dots on the blazer above.

OUR PICK: Polka Dot Blazer, $49, Smart Set

TRANSITIONAL DRESSING LESSON #4: Replace your toque with a ballcap.

THE TAKEAWAY: On reasonably warm days, a cute baseball cap looks so much more 'March' than your tired old toque. Try one in a fun colour to instantly brighten up any grey day. 

OUR PICK: Graphic Baseball Hat, $18, American Eagle 


TRANSITIONAL DRESSING LESSON #5: Carry an on-trend bag.

THE TAKEAWAY: Fringed accessories were all over the Spring '14 runways but why wait until spring is official? An oversized white fringe bag is the perfect way to tell the world that you're ahead of the trends before everyone starts wearing them at this summer's music festivals.

OUR PICK: Fringed Shoulder Bag, $29.95, H&M


TRANSITIONAL DRESSING LESSON #6: Give your Sorels a break.

THE TAKEAWAY: I mean, really, you are SO happy you decided to invest in those boots, but at a certain point, your big clunky stompers can start to feel depressingly redundant, not to mention heavy. A pair of stacked heel ankle boots (treated in weather protector, natch), and worn with a pair of cute socks will help lighten your load. Opt for a rich cognac over black and you'll be able to wear them all spring, summer and fall with your skirts and dresses.

OUR PICK: Stacked Heel Ankle Boots, $130, ALDO

TRANSITIONAL DRESSING LESSON #7: Try a tee with substance.

THE TAKEAWAY: We love wearing our tees but at this time of year, they just feel far too flimsy. The sweatshirt tee is every girl's winter to summer answer, perfect for dressing up with a skirt or down with jeans, and substantial enough to feel right for the weather right now.

OUR PICK: Sweatshirt Top, $39.95, H&M


TRANSITIONAL DRESSING LESSON #8: Replace chunky with lightweight fabrics.

THE TAKEAWAY: Scarves are a year-round wardrobe essential but a heavy wool scarf is doing nothing for your spring state of mind. An oversized cotton, silk or linen scarf will still keep your neck covered when you need it but looks so much easier and breezier than your old winter scarf.  

OUR PICK: Dot Scarf, $34.95, GAP

TRANSITIONAL DRESSING LESSON #9: Take your spring jackets from storage to street.

THE TAKEAWAY: While you might think it's too early to start wearing your spring outerwear, all you need are the right underpinnings to make your trench or anorak work right now. Layer a sweater, blazer or scarf underneath and you'll feel cozy, without having to resort to your standby down puffer jacket (again).

OUR PICK: Mid-Length Anorak, $129, RW&CO.

TRANSITIONAL DRESSING LESSON #10: Update your sunglasses, stat.

THE TAKEAWAY: The easiest way to look like you've bid adieu to Old Man Winter? A super fun pair of sunglasses, of course! Think fun shapes, bright frames and tinted lenses to celebrate the return of our good friend, the sun.

OUR PICK: Tinted Tortoiseshell Sunglasses, $9.95, H&M

TRANSITIONAL DRESSING LESSON #11: Buy a cool new bomber.

THE TAKEAWAY: If you have a biker bomber from last year, you're still good. If you don't, even better, because this new slouchy biker bomber from Danier has your name all over it. To showcase this jacket's perfect slouch to its full potential, be sure keep your pants skinny or at least slim underneath. 

OUR PICK: Dagmar Boxy Fit Lamb Leather Biker, $399, Danier


THE TAKEAWAY: While our hearts are thinking minis, our brains know better. I mean, one only has to look out the window to understand that this is just not quite possible (yet). A midi or tea-length skirt (between midi and maxi) however, is wearable right now with opaque black tights and a chic black turtleneck, and with bare legs and pumps once the mercury rises. Any day now...

OUR PICK: Flared Printed Midi Skirt, $69.95, H&M 

You have all passed Transitional Dressing 101 (I grade on a curve) so now for the fun part:


We're giving away a $50 White Oaks Mall Gift Card to one lucky student...I mean, help you shop for some of these pretty spring finds.

Here's how to win it:

1) Leave a comment below telling us why you're excited for Spring.

2) For a bonus entry, Follow White Oaks Mall on Facebook.

3) Contest is open to residents of Canada only.

4) Contest closes Friday, March 21st at noon. We'll announce the winner on Wed, March 26th on this blog. Winner will also be contacted via email.