Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Seattle Style: How to Dress for Spring

Seattle Style: How to Dress for Spring

I'm adjusting my style for spring in Seattle. It's quite different from what I'm used to, from my former life in sunny California.  If I were still kicking it in the Golden State, I'd already be bare legged and in cut-off shorts paired with a light cotton top by now. Here in Seattle, there are no shorts, no bare legs, and no light cotton anything. It's still chilly, even during those sunny moments, and most often, grey, overcast and rainy. Why, just a few days ago, I enjoyed a mid-day lightning/thunder/hail storm. Spring is a bit different here. So Spring dressing calls for a different tact as well. 

How to dress for Spring in Seattle: 
  • Say hello to layers. Layer your look with lightweight jackets and sweaters.
  • Get Rain Ready. Wearing water resistant fabrics are key to staying dry + stylish.
  • Go sheer, not naked. Sheer legs add warmth yet avoid a dowdy wintery look.

Springtime in Seattle: Hola, Layers.

Say Hello to Layers.
Spring style in Seattle means dressing in lightweight layers. 

You can wear flouncy floral dresses IF you layer them with season appropriate jackets and sweaters. I've packed my warm but wintery woolens, and replaced them with light colored + lightweight sweaters, jackets and coats.

Rain Ready means Wearing Water Resistant and Irresistible Style

Get Rain Ready. Style in Seattle means being ready for rain at a moment's notice. Since you never know when rain showers will strike, utilizing umbrellas, raincoats, and wearing water resistant fabrics are essential tools for staying dry, warm and stylish in the Emerald City. You'll gladly embrace  water resistant materials that dry quickly. Soggy wools or sodden cotton have no place on your back, or your wardrobe this rainy season. Look for stylish renditions of breathable micro-fibers, rayons, nylon; even select polyesters make great garment choices for Seattle style this time of year.

Getting a Leg Up on Rain: Go Sheer and Stay Dry
Go Sheer, not naked. As much as I love dark tights for winter, they tend to look too heavy for springtime looks. But the chill factor here means that a bare leg is sartorial foolishness. Your remedy? Sassy, stylish and affordable, high quality sheer pantyhose! A silky sheer nylon leg adds a layer of warmth, and finishes a look, without an ounce of style sacrifice. I styled my Hanes Silky Sheers two ways, one in jet black and one in nude, for two very different looks; both are perfect for the Seattle spring season. Sheer nylon panty hose help keep your legs warm,  while keeping the look light and chic. With sheer panty hose, you can avoid a naked and cold leg. Stay warm and dry- and keep those stems covered! 

Look #1: Black, White and Mixed Print All Over 
  • Vintage 1960s Gingham Print Raincoat
  • Vintage 1960s Floral Metal Brooch
  • Old Navy Striped Scoop Neck Pullover
  • Vintage 1970s Floral Polyester Dress
  • Vintage 1950s Houndstooth  Parasol
  • Hanes Control Top Silky Sheer Panty Hose in Jet Black
  • Alice + Olivia for Payless Striped Wedges

Look #2: The Black + Tan
  • Vintage 1960s Tan Suede Jacket
  • Manteau Retro Boat Print Rayon Dress
  • Vintage Floral Brooch and Bracelets
  • Vintage Coach Handbag
  • Hanes Control Top Silky Sheer Panty Hose in Nude
  • Micheal Antonio Vegan Suede Nude Heels

See me kicking it, Seattle street style! My styling of Spring's fresh graphic prints in bold black + white crop up over at Seattle Street Feet.  

Don't Go Naked: Get Nude.  Hanes Silky Sheer Hose in Nude for a Stylish Springtime in Seattle.

One thing that surprised me, was how keen I became to the nude sheers. I mean, I haven't worn nude colored pantyhose since the mid-nineties. These 21st century sheers however are super silky, super sheer and very fine. They don't seem to snag as easily as I remember, and the quality feels superior to the nylons of old. The price is right too- no need to plunk down anything over ten spot for a pair- you can find Hanes at your local drug store and for under $6. 

An added boon for my +40 year old figure was the control top! The waist was perfect, not too binding, not too loose, and it smoothed my curves just right for hip hugging skirts and dresses. I (trust me, it's not as crazy as it sounds) even wore them under a pair of jeans, and LOVED the way it made me and my jeans look. I tried this after reading a great post about nude hose over at You Look Fab. You can read the style inspiring post HERE. Adding a layer for warmth,  my Hanes smoothed my "double hourglass" and looked FAB with a pair of high heels.

Seattle dressing in the springtime requires a bit of creativity- good thing this city is a hotbed of creative people. As I warm up to my Pacific Northwest home, I'm glad I know these 3 simple tips to transition my winter wardrobe seamlessly into spring, and do it in style.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Ulla-Marie said...

It is often thanks to problems and limitations that great styles and excellent art is created? I like your black and white ensemble and I'm a bit in love with your nude vegan shoes.

Sheila said...

I actually really like nude hosiery - where are Hanes made?

I'd add that for Pacific Northwest dressing, leather is awesome! It cuts the wind but it not too heavy or warm - most leathers are also fine when they get wet (duh, they're skin). I also break out all my vintage slips and camisoles.

The Cranky said...

LOVE the nude shoes, absolutely gorgeous!

Unknown said...

A bit like dressing for living in Sweden , love your black and White look and the striped shoe!

Anonymous said...

Ooh, I love the black and white ensemble, Bella, very sweet, and that dress is super sexy on you! I used to wear ultra-sheer hose in the early 2000s, when I worked in a department store. The dress code was such that we had to wear nylons, so I went as sheer as I could get in nude (DIM), and loved 'em. I even had a senior manager stop me and ask me if I was wearing hose - sure fooled her!

P.S. Thanks for your sweet comment - and big duh, that was my mistake totally. I was just so bummed I didn't participate last week in your link up that I convinced myself it was weekly, lol! xoxo

SeƱora Allnut said...

magnificently layered outfits, love that monochromatic combo, so pretty shoes and matching prints!, you look gorgeous!
Great advices to look fabulous and stay warm and dry!, sheer hosiery was not my cup of tea, but now I love how you sport it with so much sassiness!
besos & layers

Patti said...

You and Angie are going to bring back sheer hose! Love these looks, and I really adore your nude heels xoxoxo

Curtise said...

Love that monochrome outfit, Bella - checks and stripes and florals, lovely! I'm firmly committed to coloured tights and never wear nude, but you look good in them with those suede heels. Beautiful umbrella/parasol too. xxxx

Susan B said...

You look fab as always, Bella! And between you and Angie, I'm ready to give nude sheers another try.

Megan said...

Those striped shoes are amazing! Love them. I really like all the patterns mixed together in the black and white outfit.

thorne garnet said...

Wow, you rocked 2 looks with that difficult black and white trend. :)

Love the dress, the collar and neckline are flattering

Krista said...

I don't know if you sold me on nudes but dam your legs are looking banging! B&W is never boring on you, I love all these layers and patterns and textures. It took me almost 2 years to figure out how to dress for Portland weather but I think I've almost got it:)

Anonymous said...

I love both outfits but especially the black and white mix one!!

We have crappy weather in the spring here--one day almost 90 and humid, the next barely 50 and rainy!!

I ADORE nude sheer hose--it makes my translucent white legs look so much better!!

Tami Von Zalez said...

Hi Bella Q - yeah, I know all about Seattle, was born and raised there. I didn't wear shorts until I moved to California ... ya gotta get used to the drizzle.

Hollie Black-Ramsey said...

good heavens! Those old toe heels are AWESOME! You look amazing as always

Anonymous said...

Both outfits are gorgeous, especially the shoes! I'm glad sheer pantyhose are coming back because I'm not always comfortable with completely bare legs, and mine take a long time to tan! I read a couple of years ago that it was the influence of the Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton) that renewed interest in nude sheers!

PS - You're on my blog post!

No Fear of Fashion said...

I love control tops... and no it is not unbelievable you wear them with jeans as well. Because of the way they make me look, I really wear them every day (my goodness... I am becoming my mother more and more each day). And sheer tights.. haha.. I am wearing them for years now. The best ones were 5 denier (also in hold ups) and were made by Pretty Polly (British brand). They stopped making them. Should not be allowed. They actually made you look barelegged but you weren't. As for your B&W outfits (so fashionable), well done. I like your dress with the little white collar best and those nude shoes you are wearing with them.

Lady of Style said...

You have done so well with your black&white outfit. I especially love your coat and your slingbacks!

German spring is quite unpredictable as well - layers, umbrella and a coat... I know!

Lady of Style

Silhouette de Femme said...

I am guilty of your "sartorial foolishness" as I am mostly bare legged in the cool Spring! Your dresses are just beautiful & I see you got dressing for our weather pretty much down! My cousin moved here from Portugal & is forever cold!

Beryl said...

Those are cute shoes. Did you mention fleece? You always know you are in the right place for the flight to Seattle at the Southern California airport - just look for all the people in fleece.

The Style Crone said...

Your posts always leave me wanting more. More of your style, writing, and those great Bella poses.

Lisa said...

...i can't get past staring at the shoes!

bluehuewonderland said...

Super are a doll! You look fab in black and white with your dark hair. Love the pattern mixing.

What a great weekend!

blue hue wonderland

Crystal Hammon, ABC, MLS said...

Oh girl, I just want to hug you for doing a post with panty hose. Because, really, how can something that's been around FOREVER be so totally taboo? You're saying it's okay?

The whole bare legs thing may work for some people, but I just can't feel good about that--and as you say, tights just don't look right for spring. I'm exploring nude fishnets, per Une Femme, as one option. But when push comes to shove, I love these ultra sheers.

Mrs. D said...

Great suggestions! I definitely need to get over my aversion of sheer tights - like you say, the all black ones feel too heavy for Spring although this year we seem to be having an extended Winter here in England...
I love your shoes- particularly the stripy ones!!!