There are sure signs that spring is slowly on its way: the sun has started to feel warm again and the weather is nice almost every other day. Though there may still be some greyness and gloom in these final throes of winter, don’t let the practicality that February weather demands to curb your optimism or fashion choices. Indeed, there is a very special quality to February as a month: it is a time of contrasts. Winter is melting into spring: the clouds may be grey, but the crocuses by the side of the road are in bloom. Take some pointers from the world around as now, more than ever, pops of colour and interesting layered styles are what’s needed to find the brightness in even the drizzliest of Cambridge days.
It can be frustrating to wait for the right weather to start wearing favourite spring and summer pieces again. But don’t let yourself be constrained by circumstances! Simply adapt the way, in which you style more summery pieces, so as to make them appropriate for the chilly February wind. I like to wear my summery wrap tops and blouses with a simple grey or black turtleneck underneath, for example. Simply pair with jeans for a more relaxed look, or – if you’re feeling dramatic – a black velvet mini skirt, as I like to. Heavy (faux) leather boots will complete the look, while keeping your toes nice and dry when you inevitably step into a puddle on the way to lectures.
Another personal favourite style tweak this February has been to add fishnet tights to what would otherwise be a very toned-down outfit. A chunky grey jumper and black skirt is a very comfortable and relaxed outfit – but add the fishnets and it becomes interesting. The obvious downside of this favourite wardrobe staple is the fact that it does not provide much warmth. So, consider wearing fishnets underneath a pair of culottes for those colder days when you still want to add a little detail to your outfit.
In the same vein of adding a statement detail to a simple look, why not consider a statement scarf? A simple red scarf will add an eye-catching pop of colour and pull your look together. A classic outfit (dark top and trousers, or skirt) becomes a blank canvas that allows for self-expression with little details like that. Jewellery has the same effect: I have recently been loving tortoiseshell and medallion jewellery for the slightly vintage and folksy vibe it brings to my outfits. Find small pieces like that, which you can use to express your personal style and interests without forfeiting the comfort of a cosy layered look.
Another thing worth doing is trying to get a different perspective on things now that we’re moving into a new season. Why not try and wear that long jacket or shirt as a dress? Or perhaps that fancy blouse would look nice paired with dungarees for a more casual look? You can appropriate any item of clothing to the look you want it to be, and this can be a nice way to break away from constraints you set yourself. Why not even try your hand at altering some clothes by shortening them, or adding patches? For example, I’ve been wearing this rust-red charity shop find as a dress a lot recently after removing the shoulder pads from the jacket.
There are many ways to find style inspiration this February and there’s absolutely no reason to resign yourself to a month of purely practical clothes. If you’d like to inject some fun into your wardrobe, or use the opportunity to make a style change (no matter how small or radical), there is no better time than the present. And February is no exception to that!