Gay does have another meaning, not to make a big thing of it. And spring is the time for gay clothes, pieces that seek the sun, ever warmer and more insistent on the back.
Here are some lighthearted delights on my wish list this spring. Just one item would lift my heart.
Dots et fleurs
Eric Bompard's silk polka-dot shirt (E95) will be perfect with navy pants, my denim pencil skirt, or even jeans. Pretty and polite; if you have good legs, wear it with shorts.
Keds. Gingham with fruit. Because the bohemian side loves a sunny summer day, when maybe you do not much of anything. (I tried them on; they run wide, and I'm a standard B.) Price, $45.
Gay, jaunty, chic; Stella's insouciance is MacCostly, but if I had a plump piggy-bank, I'd spring for it. (Deck-chair striped top, $1,165 from net-a-porter).
Boden Breton stripe top, in mint, £25. Or candy pink, or lilac, the fun colours. Jaunty in navy, too, but the ice-cream shades promise more hijinks.
Madras: An inherently happy fabric, not easy to wear unless you're quite thin, but anyone can carry a bag with a retro stripe. Price, $40 from Land's End.
Red shoes make you skip! First, a pair for touring, with padded insoles and an anatomic footbed: Acropedio's cherry "Rose" flats, $139 from Zappos.
Then, a flirty pair for dancing, Kate Spade's "Caelyn" suede wedge; price, $325 at Zappo's. Poppy on the toe, Prosecco at hand.
And a hat!
Our mothers understood: You kept that coat, you bought a fabulous new hat.
Straw will strut soon as buds push forth. I covet Albertus Swanpoel's fedoras; his Cape Cod model is $380 at Barney's.
Frugal but flaunty: A vintage panama in a merry red stripe, size Medium, a mere $24 from etsy seller Hoogs. Imagine with your jeans, a light sweater, and spring in your step.
Out of the closet
What will you bring out or buy? What lifts your heart, makes you yearn for tulips, find the first outdoor terrace, venture a sockless shoe?
There is always one thing that shouts spring, and we'll let it, even if a pair of rain boots.