Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bringing out your spring things

Spring's first moments
You know the moment when the seasonal axis tilts, when the street suddenly starts dressing differently? 

I thought that moment would come yesterday, escorted by 10C (50F), sunshine and breeze without ice in it. But the streets were still full of black parkas and winter boots, despite dry pavement. 

Youth gets there first. I saw kilted schoolgirls in bare legs and ballerinas, a couple of boys in shorts. Youth always insists it isn't cold, is the first to cast off sensible cover. But grown women are still huddling in long coats, leery of colour.

Dressing for spring is a wistful flirtation, advance and retreat, but one day we take a hint from the crocus and push forth.

I will take out a printed skirt to wear with tights, like this Parisienne shot by Scott Shuman, The Sartorialist, bridging winter and spring.

How to sneak into spring

But it's still chilly; cashmere in spring colours is cozy under a trench or leather jacket.
Out of storage, into the dresser
And scarves; this is perfect carré weather. With my usual simple, neutral clothes, the scarf provides colour, a light layer and a flag for the season.

Which to choose?

Roses, bees or the goddess of growing plants, Ceres?

Vibrant oranges piqued by leaf green or leopard?

Rabbits in hats, butterflies in branches, merry-go-round horses?

Flowers, birds or flâneurs?

The delicate feathers of the first hatchlings?

A nautical sextant in ochre, green and coral?

Isn't it a pleasure to say, "Oh! I can wear this again!"? 

What are your favourite spring things?

23 comments:

coffeeaddict said...

You've got gorgeous scarves!
As for your thoughts on how to transition into spring, I couldn't agree more.
Skirts, woll sweaters, scarves, a trench and a pair of light boots are my staples for this time.

Deja Pseu said...

Duchesse, your scarf collection has me drooling!! Love the "flanneurs" especially and have been on the lookout for something similar.

We seem to have been recently plunged smack back into winter, with temps between 40-60F and lots of rain, more in the forecast. So it's still boots pour moi, but with sun (cold sun) in the forecast today, think I'll add one of my brighter scarves for a pick-me-up.

Belle de Ville said...

It was so cold and rainy here last weekend but I'm hoping that it was the last gasp of Winter.
I've already started reorganizing my closet for Spring and put away the tweeds and took out the bright colored sweaters.
So sweaters and scarves it is for a while, but even if the weather gets warm, I'm not ready for white jeans yet.

Anonymous said...

Advance and retreat, yes, exactly. For me this is leather jacket weather: my old, soft black leather, open over cords and cashmeres (in pretty shades--you are so right) with scarves to keep the wind at bay. Last week, when the weather turned almost balmy, I went most days for a cotton knit muffler, candy-striped in two shades of pink--that one always makes me smile--and pink cashmere gloves. To meet friends for dinner this week I will choose a dreamy pale blue scoop-necked cashmere sweater, my lone Hermes scarf patterned with deco soap bubbles in soft blues and grays, and some silver jewelry.

C.

P.S. I'm with Deja Pseu--love your scarves, especially the flanneurs and feathers.

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Duchesse...your scarves are lovely!
A stunning collection...thank you for the images.

A little spring sunshine and you'll be sporting your silks and what appear to be cashmere sweaters...

I am so longing for the warmer weather...and am definitely bored with the rain.

Personally I feel wearing a scarf is a great way to add cheery colour and it puts a bounce in ones step.

Chicatanyage said...

The blossom is just beginning to come out in London too after a very long winter. Have tentatively unpacked a few lighter spring outfits. Fingers crossed. PS. love your collection of scarves

MEMORIES COLLECTION BLOG said...

Mis cosas favortias de la primavera es trabajar en el jardín y esperar, dar largos paseos entre el sol y la suave brisa, renovar la estética de la casa, planificar el verano...
Me gusta tu blog. Felicidades.

materfamilias said...

Such pretty-coloured cashmere to lift your spirits toward spring's warmth. Here in Paris it's a crazy (and so welcome!) 17 degrees and higher. I thought I'd allowed for this, but my black wardrobe is getting me down a bit. Luckily, I do have a few scarves (and have some retail plans up my sleeve). So glad your winter has finally yielded to the spring . . .

Duchesse said...

coffeeaddict: Thank you, even if the weather is not exactly spring, the will is there!

Pseu: That's part of a 25 year collection, but fewer bought lately. 40-60F is downright balmy here:)

Belle: White jeans don't show up here till May, but bright sweaters, bring on!

C.: I love the sound of your muffler! Yes, you too have made the colour turn of spring.

hostess: All cashmere in that stack, as it is only 0C today, spring according to the calendar, winter according to body.

Chicatanyage: I've seen some girls in light cotton skirts but just can't muster it. Colour plus warmth is the plan for at least another six weeks.

materfamilias: 17C, how divine... and unusually warm for Paris, wonder if it will last.

rb said...

I have an Anne Klein wool gauze skirt similar to this
http://cgi.ebay.com/250-ANNE-KLEIN-NY-GAUZY-BROWN-WOOL-FLORAL-SKIRT-L-14-/230577968828?pt=US_CSA_WC_Skirts&hash=item35af8496bc
(but a different print of black background with grey, beige and light blue print) that I have been wearing for "spring" with black tights and black jacket. I am larger on bottom and probably shouldn't have the focal point there, but darn it, I can't wait!

Duchesse said...

rb; A happy skirt! (Too bad about the snags and pulled threads, though.) Mine is ecru with black abstract flowers, and the pleasure of wearing it far outweighs (pun intended) any rules.

Duchesse said...

My Memories: I can't read your comment in Spanish, as I am only fluent in English and semi-fluent in French. Thanks for reading.

Susan said...

It has been in the 80s in Dallas. Way too warm for this early in the season. I tend to have winter clothes and then summer clothes. We go from one of the other in lightning speed.

Duchesse said...

Susan: Spring clothes (such as a pale yellow fine wool coat) get hardly any use here, our spring is so short and cool. Years ago I realized silk blouses were a poor buy, too cold most of the year, too hot in warm weather.

Since spring colours look off in fall, too, the true Easter-egg colours are as short lived as the eggs themselves, and not very popular here except for church ladies in their magnificent Easter hats.

Tiffany said...

That's amazing, your spring is colder than our mid-winter. Gorgeous scarves - how can you choose?!

Jane W. said...

We have the same Ceres! (Although mine is in a paler colorway.)

I look forward to light cotton sweaters.

Jill Ann said...

My rough translation of My Memories' comment:

"My favorite things of spring are to work in the garden, and to wait/hope for long walks in the sun and the gentle breeze, renovate the looks of the house, plan the summer... I like your blog. Best wishes."

My Spanish is not great, but that's the gist of it!

Duchesse said...

Tiffany: Sometimes the scarf dictates the sweater :)

Jane W.: It's such a perfect spring theme, enjoy!

Jill Ann: Thank you so much!

Memories Collection, I enjoy long walks without ice underfoot, and hearing songbirds as they return.

Terri said...

the feathered scarf is just beautiful. The forsythias in my neighborhood burst into full bloom today...and the clothing on campus bared a lot of very pale skin.

LPC said...

What gorgeous scarves! How wonderful to have them line your wall like that.

Duchesse said...

Terri: Oh, forsythia, such a pleasure. And pussy willows, hyacinth.

LPC: Put them on a wall rack to shoot, they live in a drawer. Otherwise would fade.

lagatta à montréal said...

Jill Ann saved me a bit of work. I will point out the magnificent Spanish verb "esperar" meaning both to hope for (as in French) and to await.

Pseu, 40F is possible on a balmy winter day in Toronto or even Montréal now (with global warming), 60F not so much. I'm in sandals at 60F. You wear boots at such a temp?

I loved those spring coloured cashmere sweaters. Admit I'd have been scardily anticipating smarmy pastels, but knew that was not the taste of la Duchesse. Those are colours of actual life-forms that emerge in the Spring.

To say nothing of the beautiful scarves. I like les flâneurs et les flâneuses as well.

We got a tiny but discouraging dump of snow yesterday, but I did do a short jaunt on my bicycle today (just for errands). The snow had melted from the streets but there are little gobs here and there, as it is just a bit above freezing.

As for coffee addict - on bicycle a skirt, leggings, obviously a scarf, a light coat and light booties or sturdy but not sportive shoes.

I'd need another body and another life to wear white jeans, and even then, I think I'd be Jane Birkin and just wear ordinary ones.

Materfamilias, I'm happy to hear about the 17° in Paris, as they have had a hard winter for the second year running and often the temp would be lower than Montréal! I was working in Amsterdam not long ago and it was quite chilly.

la fourchette said...

oooh! That feather scarf is *lovely*. When you tire of it (hah!), I suggest you have a give-away on the blog...I'll be first to do whatever you ask to be in the running! Nice to meet you through Deja Pseu's post! Bonjour from a new follower in the south of France.