Winter has not yet settled for good this season and it is already over. Welcome to March, the epitome of "shoulder season" in our European climate.
Author: Mateusz Tryjanowski
Well, of course we might experience some snow around Easter time (instead of white Christmas) or in the beginning of May - weird things like this happen from time to time here in Poland - but in general, let’s say that winter is over and we can start thinking about proper Spring.
But how shall we dress like if we already project incoming heatwaves, but still experience huge temperature amplitudes?
Temperatures only slightly above 0*C at nights, peaks just little below 20*C in the sun during the day. First properly warm days in the second half of the month, memories of freezing cold in the beginning still alive. March can sometimes be a month of truly schizophrenic outfits - on the streets we often see people wearing sweatshirts only next to those in thick down jackets, first attempts to wear shorts and insulated boots side by side.
We, the enthusiasts of the so-called “classic menswear” - or let me just say “fancy clothes” - may treat March as a month of a great chance. Or even chances.
First, it is the last chance to wear clothes made from the thickest of cloths, just before they get put into storage for the next few months. There is no way to replace or imitate their weight, substantiality and drape. Great texture, colorful mix of yarns and deep colours - that’s why we love our tweeds and why we will miss wearing them. It is also the last moment to wear our heavy overcoats, warm long scarves and other comfortably insulating pieces of clothing that protect us from the outer world and give the reassuring feeling of safety and warmth.
Secondly, the opposite - it is also the first chance to get out our light, summer pieces that have waited for their turn for the last few months. Waiting for the first day warm enough to wear a linen suit is somewhat magical experience, not much different from this chlidish impatience while waiting for Christmas presents. No matter how much we enjoy wearing our cold weather clothes, we still miss wearing those that cannot be worn because of weather. March is usually the first month of the season when we are able to test those awesome spring outfits that we have been putting together in our heads since January.
And the third, last of the great chances - opportunity for layering. The end of winter and early spring are the best time to put on many layers, both for practical and stylistic reasons. Shoulder season is the chance to mix together pieces suited to different seasons, unbutton the coat, add a sweater, tie the scarf a bit looser or undo it completely, show more accessories, add or take a layer depending on a time of the day (and the temperature that goes with it). In terms of various colour combos, playing with proportions or mixing styles it is absolutely the best time of the year - it’s neither too hot nor too cold to do that.
Moving slowly to the summary, I would like to share one more thought: although huge retailers taught us that a year in clothing industry is divided into two parts - spring/summer and autumn/winter - in fact, the most fun stuff happens between them, during the shoulder season, when you do not exactly know what should you wear. And the less you know, the more you can do. It is worth to risk and experiment!
March is not as scary or ugly as some say - or at least not for us, menswear enthusiasts. In the end, any reason to dress in a more interesting way is good, right?