In the March edition of our fashion advice column “Ask Megan,” Style Coach Megan LaRussa Chenoweth of Megan LaRussa tackles readers’ questions about transitional style — how to dress for spring when it is cold AND hot outside.

Style Coach Megan LaRussa Chenoweth of Megan LaRussa

Style Coach Megan LaRussa Chenoweth of Megan LaRussa 

What shoes should I wear during this transition weather? I often notice that some people start breaking out the spring shoes with open toes. Can I still wear my booties?

Shoes are often the trickiest part of dressing for transition weather. It can feel confusing knowing whether or not to wear sandals or booties when it’s going from 50 degrees to 80 degrees in a day! But I’m here to help you with this shoe dilemma with a few easy guidelines.

For most Southeastern cities, it doesn’t get full-blown HOT until later in the spring. With that being said, we should be sticking to closed-toe shoes until mid- to late-March. This means you need a nice shoe arsenal of closed-toe shoes for transition weather, ranging from a ballet flat or loafer to a stylish sneaker to a nude pump and even a neutral color bootie.

What makes these closed-toe shoes appropriate for this spring weather is their color and fabric. Opt for shoes in lighter, brighter colors such as taupe, grey, metallic and even bright colors like pink and blue. It doesn’t mean black is out of the picture, just stick to black shoes that are less suede and other winter fabrications and more light and airy in appearance.

Finally, let’s chat styling. Booties, for instance, can definitely be worn this time of year. But it’s all in how you style them to keep from looking like it’s the dead of winter. Select neutral, like taupe and grey, booties that can be paired back with white, tan or grey jeans. It can be a very chic transition weather look to style your summer white jeans (full length, not ankle) with lighter, neutral-colored booties.

A loafer or ballet flat in your favorite neutral shade is a must in every woman's closet. Image: Eloquii

A loafer or ballet flat in your favorite neutral shade is a must in every woman’s closet. Image: Eloquii

Closed-toe booties in lighter neutral shades are a transition weather style staple. Image: Nordstrom

Closed-toe booties in lighter neutral shades are a transition weather style staple. Image: Nordstrom

This mule exudes femininity and sophistication. Image: Nordstrom

This mule exudes femininity and sophistication. Image: Nordstrom

For more tips & tricks on the right way to wear booties, check out my blog post here: meganlarussa.com

RELATED: Step Out In Style: Modern Mules

What types of vests and jackets are best for this weather? I don’t need my winter coat anymore, but it’s still chilly out, so I how do I layer this time of year?

Southerners need a lovely variety of light coats and jackets to serve us during the spring and fall (and sometimes winter too!). It’s important to have these on hand, so we’re not grabbing an old fleece, a wool coat or a rain jacket when we just need a light layer for those brisk mornings.

I always help my clients create a well-rounded coat closet that is composed of coats for every occasion and every season. For spring, I highly recommend a lightweight trench coat in a neutral color. A neutral can mean tan or khaki, but also blush, grey or even red. Pick the hue that best speaks to your personal style. If you live in an area that gets really chilly days, then I’d recommend finding a trench with a removable liner too.

The next coat I’d recommend having on hand is a stylish raincoat. This jacket is different than your outdoorsy, athletic raincoat, and has a different purpose. I would look for something with some shape to it, through a sash, belt or just princess seams. When you have this style raincoat in your coat closet, you can throw it on for literally any occasion — both casual and dressy — and look appropriate.

And don’t forget to have lightweight jackets and vests in your closet too. These items can serve as a third piece and pull your entire look together. They also make dressing for transition weather so much easier, as you can throw them on in the morning and take them off when it gets toasty. Look for bomber jackets, denim jackets, blazers and cardigans to serve this purpose.

For transitional weather, a lightweight trench coat in a neutral shade is a wardrobe workhorse. Image: Eloquii

For transitional weather, a lightweight trench coat in a neutral shade is a wardrobe workhorse. Image: Eloquii

Look for lightweight jackets that have some shape, wither through a sash, belt, princess seams. Image: Nordstrom

Look for lightweight jackets that have some shape, wither through a sash, belt or princess seams. Image: Nordstrom

This longer raincoat with drawstring wast accentuates the figure and elongates the frame for an overall flattering look. Image: Nordstrom

This longer raincoat with a drawstring waist accentuates the figure and elongates the frame for an overall flattering look. Image: Nordstrom

Third pieces, like this blazer, make dressing for transition weather so much easier, as you can throw them on in the morning and take them off when it gets toasty. Image: Anthropologie

Third pieces, like this blazer, make dressing for transition weather so much easier, as you can throw them on in the morning and take them off when it gets toasty. Image: Anthropologie

Every woman needs a jean jacket that captures her personal style. Investing in this classic piece will be money well spent. Image: Anthropologie

Every woman needs a jean jacket that captures her personal style. Investing in this classic piece will be money well spent. Image: Anthropologie

Get inspired by my favorite outfits for this time of year! Snag my complimentary guide here: stylestrategysession.lpages.co

White jeans or no? Can white jeans be worn before Easter? If so, how do I wear them without looking like summer?

Yes ma’am! The old rule of no white jeans before Easter can thankfully be thrown out the window! You can now safely rock your white jeans year round, but of course there are dos and don’ts to keep you looking effortlessly chic.

The first ‘do’ is to wear them now, but keep to full-length white jeans, as opposed to cropped styles. Pair them with a closed-toe shoe in a lighter, neutral color to keep your look elongated and flattering.

The second ‘do’ is to wear your white jeans with spring-appropriate tops and third pieces. Avoid pairing your white jeans with tops that feel very summery, such as sleeveless, bright summer colors in summery fabrics like linen, for instance. Instead select tops with short or three-quarter-length sleeves, breathable yet substantial fabrics and lovely spring colors that flatter your skin tone.

The third ‘do’ is to incorporate your aforementioned lightweight jackets and vests into your white jeans outfit. Try a tan, grey or olive jacket or vest for a beautiful, tonal look. Or for a more colorful look, select your favorite spring hue and wear it in your third piece, be it a scarf, cardigan or even a bomber jacket.

Pair your full-length white jeans with a closed-toe shoe in a lighter, neutral color to keep your look elongated and flattering. Image: Anthropologie

Pair your full-length white jeans with a closed-toe shoe in a lighter, neutral color to keep your look elongated and flattering. Image: Anthropologie

Pair your white jeans with spring-appropriate tops like this casual-chic eggshell blouse. Image: Anthropologie

Pair your white jeans with spring-appropriate tops like this casual-chic eggshell blouse. Image: Anthropologie

A three-quarter-length vibrant top with a classic third piece makes this white jean ensemble collected and polished. Image: Gap

A three-quarter-length vibrant top with a classic third piece makes this white jean ensemble collected and polished. Image: Gap

RELATED: 5 Spring Trends That Every Woman Can (and Should) Wear 

I never know what to do when it comes to dresses and skirts this time of the year! The mornings are cool, but the afternoons are warm. Do I need to wear tights? Hose?

Another good transition weather dilemma! It can be baffling this time of year to know whether or not you should be covering your legs with tall boots, hose or tights. But now that it is March, it’s time to put aside our tall boots and tights (and throw away the hose!), and go for bare legs.

Many of my clients fear going bare-legged without having a little sun first. If you feel the same way, then try out a sunless tanner, like St. Tropez, for a natural sun-kissed look.

Another solution to chilly legs is making sure you have that go-to trench coat. That way, when you are out in the elements, your legs can have some sort of coverage that also looks seasonally appropriate.

And lastly, make sure you are wearing spring, not summer, dresses this time of year. Stick to dresses with a more spring-like or neutral color palette, spring fabrics and even a bit of a sleeve if so desired. It’s dress weather, but not yet sundress weather.

Make sure you are wearing spring, not summer, dresses this time of year. Image: Anthropologie

Make sure you are wearing spring, not summer, dresses this time of year. Image: Anthropologie

This striking long-sleeved denim dress is a great option for spring. Image: Anthropologie

This striking long-sleeved denim dress is a great option for spring. Image: Anthropologie

This vibrant green screams spring. Add your go-to trench coat on a chilly day. Image: Eloquii

This vibrant green screams spring. Add your go-to trench coat on a chilly day. Image: Eloquii

Have fashion questions? Ask Megan! Submit your own fashion-related questions for possible inclusion in this monthly column by emailing [email protected]

To learn more about Megan LaRussa, or to view style-coaching options, book an appointment or sign up for the Style Yourself Chic Society, visit meganlarussa.com.

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