The Orchid Effect

When I moved into my apartment almost a year ago, my friend left me three orchids to look after while she moved to Vermont. I was so terrified that I would kill them in a matter of days, but miraculously they have survived. It’s ironic actually; I’ve managed to let my peace lilies, basil, rosemary, and several other herbs die, but the orchids have prevailed.

These delicate flowers have taught me a lot over the past nine months; first, that I do not have a green thumb, but also that just because something appears dead and barren doesn’t mean it cannot bloom.

Thus the inspiration for this post. If you’re a Triangle local, you’ve probably noticed the unseasonably warm weather these past few days. This seems impossible considering that just last week we had a high of 20 degrees, but indeed it has felt like Spring rather than Winter. So, just as the orchid can bloom despite the time of year, I decided to dress in pieces more suited to the relatively high temperatures. But how do you dress for warm weather when it is technically winter? No one wants to look crazy wearing a sundress on a 60 degree day in January, yet draping yourself in dark colors just feels wrong. Keep reading and I’ll teach you my three tricks for merging the seasons!

Light Layering
This ensemble was inspired by the first bloom from Medusa (named for all of her snake-like roots) since I cut back the stem last Summer. A bright, sunshine yellow sweater was the focal point for the outfit, but I needed to tone down the hue and make the look more appropriate for Winter. I did this by adding a touch of black and layering. The undershirt is a super lightweight chambray, but just the hint of a layer makes everything feel more warm and cozy. This technique doesn’t have to be implemented with a sweater; you can layer two button-ups or shirts to give a similar effect. Add a lightweight scarf and you have the perfect outfit for a warm day in Winter.


(Ann Taylor Loft sweater and shirt, Joe’s jeans, Sam & Libby for Target oxfords, vintage Casio watch)

Bright Colors, Warm Fabrics
Nothing says Winter like chunky knits, thick wovens, and fabulous furs. Wear these materials in bold colors to embrace the spirit of Spring. This outfit combines multiple textiles in mostly solids to create a statement, taking inspiration from a single print that makes the look cohesive. If this technique is new to you, try introducing it in accessories, like a blue fur scarf or pink leather gloves. Even a pop of color can make a mostly black ensemble feel fresh.


(Vintage cape and scarves, Kate Spade gloves, Gloria Ortiz heels, J. Crew shirt, Susana Monaco dress, vintage belt)

Juxtapose the Intensity
Most Winter fashion is comprised of deep, dark colors. When the sun comes out, take the opportunity to wear more vibrant variations on these hues. I played off the deep purples in this vintage skirt by incorporating a bright violet sweater. This ensemble combines sporty details, reminiscent of Fall athletic events, with feminine touches that are so Spring. Floral prints with dark backgrounds help to blend the two seasons even more.


(GAP jacket, J. Crew sweater, vintage skirt, Cole Haan heels, vintage necklace and clutch)

So the next time it rises above 50 degrees in the dead of Winter, remember that there are no rules that state Winter fashion has to be dark. Liven things up with a splash of unexpected color and don’t be afraid to show a little skin!
(Just make sure you remember to get a pedicure before breaking out those peep-toe heels.)


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