Bertie Brandes | Contributing writer | Thursday, 19 March 2015

Fashion Mistakes We All Make At The Beginning Of Spring

The Debrief: The many pitfalls of the spring wardrobe

I’ve been growing my leg hair. I’m sure you have too. Why? because it’s been freezing. Not to boast but mine got so long since being liberated way back into 2014 that my own mother told me I had to do something about it. I didn’t, naturally because life is better natural.

But then yesterday, as the sun streamed through the window on to my pale, pale face I suddenly knew it would be the day I wave goodbye to my new hairy friends and begin a treacherous journey into the pitfalls of my spring wardrobe. Then I woke up this morning and it was fucking freezing again. 

Spring forces us to ask questions of ourselves we are simply not yet qualified to answer. As we collectively shake off the dust and dried tears of Jan/Feb let’s also pay tribute to the worst mistakes of spring dressing, then avoid them, then put the wrap down and back slowly away.


This is what Spring hinges on people, the severity of the hat you decide represents where you’re at right now.

Mine is a simple beret, it can only go so wrong, but there was a moment a few hours ago when my hand lingered over a baker boy hat so badly made with such a long and absurd peak that I would have lost several friends over it.

This close encounter fails to mention the most unforgivable hats of all – in order, the close to illegal wide brimmed 'floppy' hat normally found in cheap magenta or off-soup carrot, the knitted slouch beanie (needs no further description) and the trusty fedora, beloved of Vogue contributors and Pick-Up Artists alike. Ok maybe I’m being slightly harsh – do what you have to do to feel quirky. Or, you know, just don’t. 


Beret, American Apparel, £21, Beanie hat, Matches, £25


It all seems to (annoyingly) come down to bad maths. Spring is temperately not as straightforward as Summer or Winter so we respond by blindly adding and removing clothing and accessories in totally unbalanced equations to try and make sense of an inherently nonsense season.

While you may lead a joyous life most of the year wearing either everything you own at once or as little as possible, in Spring you’re left to your own mad devices deciding how many of each thing to pile on. This is how you end up wearing linen shorts, three pashminas, a parka, wellington boots and a polo neck. Actually that sounds like Burberry’s last collection but you get my point, just try jeans and a t-shirt if you’re feeling a bit confused.

Also there are a few basic equations to keep in mind: shorts + scarves = deranged at Cheltenham; bare legs + warm boots + light jacket = foot sweat and freezing cold arms; bare legs + big long jumper = Mr. Burns when he becomes nuclear and hovers around in the forest; any of those + hat = unforgiveable. BTW, really sheer black tights are your best friend and allow you to avoid all of these unfortunate circumstances in one swoop. 


Sheer tights, M&S, £5, Marc by Marc Tee, £45 


The kind of clothes newly pregnant women make their friends promise to never let them wear, the kind of clothes only ever appropriate for an off-duty Disney star in 2003. The cream loose knit jumper dress matched with burnt orange knee-high socks, a salt and pepper cardigan, soft blue beanies and huge vomit-coloured scarf – yes, that salad made of wool. Venture into the wool salad area of any high street shop at your utter, utter peril. Try one of these sassy numbers with jeans instead they’ll only make you sweat about 25% more than normal which isn’t bad.


Wool jumper, Zara, £25, Striped jumper, Zara, £45


The prison you may choose for yourself this spring will include a long, slim camel Zara coat with sewn-up pockets that don’t un-sew and sleeves you fucking knew you couldn’t fit a jumper underneath and wow still couldn’t even when you got it home.

The trap of the over-slick goes hand in hand with the Mid-March decision that it’s time to become really #legit, to pay attention at work and to stop stealing the green Nespresso capsules for “a rainy day” or a day on which you somehow magically get your own Nespresso machine.

You will get your nails done approx twice before you realise it’s cripplingly expensive; buy trousers that press neatly into your bladder and err dangerously to dressing like a skinny latte (no foam). Slick is as boring as wool is gross. Also if you don’t wear things with pockets we can’t be friends.


Pumps, Schuh, £90Parka, Topshop, £50

Like this? Then you might also be interested in...

'Sequins Are Sexy' The Kind Of Sparkle Ashish Has Spoken

Zoolander IRL: We Asked Models Backstage At LFW To Play Blue Steel With Us

All The Things From The Topshop Unique Show We Want In Our Wardrobes, Right Now

Follow Bertie On Twitter:@BertieBrands

Tags: Getting Ready