Style is Style: Spring Showers (Or Layering As We Know It)

The time has come: it’s officially warm(ish) here on the Wet Coast. I’ve reached that awkward in-between-seasons moment in my wardrobe. Sometimes overcast, sometime wet and dreary and at times weirdly balmy? This haphazard weather makes for a complicated daily dilemma and each morning is a meteorological surprise. Yay.

So what’s an Autostraddler to do? As much as I’d love to travel with my own personal Farnsworth Bentley and never bring an umbrella, my life shows no signs of employing a manservant. Not to mention having a manservant would be weird. The solution I’ve come up with? Layers that simultaneously keep me warm if need be, but allow for coolin’ down when the time comes. You’ve got to have a layer strategy. I’ve styled a couple outfits that proactively anticipate both torrential downpours and super sunny skies.

This season’s bomber jackets are a painless way to add warmth without weight. Part tomboy, part athelete-off-duty, bombers are a light alternative to a varsity or jean jacket. Paired with a pleated skirt reminiscent of a cheerleader’s uniform, this outfit is a nod to those days spent in bleachers. The high socks are a reference to one of my P.E. teachers, but they also keep my ankles warm during those early morning rainshowers.

spring showers 1

I’m wearing: a vintage Giants bomber jacket, pleated skirt and boots. Zara shirt (from a friend), J. Crew socks.

I like to think of Chuck Taylors as the unsung hero of spring footwear: they are just as fly with cuffed jeans as they are with a pleated skirt. Not to mention they are ridiculously comfortable! I’ve been known to sacrifice my comfort for aesthetic leanings, but my Chucks are my saving grace. I kept the casual vibes going with a motorcycle jacket + relaxed fit jeans, save for the polka dot shirt. I’ve got a love for collared shirts; they imply the perfect amount of flawless to an otherwise chill look.

spring showers 2

I’m wearing: a vintage Levi’s motorcycle jacket, Old Navy jeans, a F21 polka dot button up and thrifted mint Chucks.

I suppose my strategy could be subtitled “you can’t go wrong with denim” because… denim. In my book as a style institution, it’s safe to say I don’t think one can live without a jean jacket.

This time around, it’s a nod to both the 90’s and 50’s, with a babydoll dress layered over a patterened polo shirt. I’ll layer shirts and dresses around this time of year, since it isn’t quite warm enough for simply sundresses. Teddy picker shoes and novelty socks (hoisery is my weakness) make things a teeny bit more teddygirl. This would be my go-to for heading out to a sockhop or even a “Just Dance” party.

spring showers 3

I’m wearing: a Topshop jean jacket, vintage dress and polo, Dolcetta shoes and UO socks.

Are you experiencing awkward hailstorms immediately followed by sunshowers? Or is your climate a little more stable? Let me know how you deal with seasonal transitions. Meanwhile, I’ll be wearing sunglasses and bare legs with my rainboots… Until next time, friends!

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Lydia O

Lydia Okello is a feminist, body positive, queer personal style blogger. On her website Style is Style, she showcases her panache for bright colors and power clashing. When she isn't pawing over Samantha Pleet collections on Tumblr, she's dreaming about havin' a kitten of her own one day. You can find her on Twitter, Tumblr and on her personal blog.

Lydia has written 64 articles for us.


  1. I am awed by your style every single time you write for AS. Amazing, I wish I had half your style.

  2. Ugh! I’m dealing with the same weather you are. I like to think I could have style if I only had the money. I love look #2! And you look awesome in it. Alas, me feet are too wide for Chuck Taylor’s.

  3. I live in Tucson, where we basically have multiple seasons every day… in the desert it can be 90 during the day and cool down to 50 that night so layering is a necessity. I’ve been really into the shorts-over-leggings/tights look lately. I love the second outfit especially, plus that pleated skirt!

  4. I was like *YES, a style post!* and got super excited because I love yours, and then, as I read, remembered that my full-time summer job imposes a uniform. :(

  5. I was bought a denim jacket by my true love last year and I turned my nose up at it. She took it away. Now I want it back goddammit!!

    I LOVE the fancy black and white shirt in the middle pics – gonna have to copy. (Yesss, it’s flea-market day here today…)

    • I share your (initial) skepticism about denim! When I hear “throwback to the 90’s” I think about wearing a denim jacket to primary school, and how awkward those years were, and… no.

      However I am now seriously considering getting a denim vest. Except I’ve learnt that “vest” does not mean the same thing in the UK as it does in my head, which complicates online shopping quite a bit – cut-offs? Sleeveless jackets? I DON’T KNOW HOW DO I ENGLISH.

      • Haha! I always totally snicker at the US ‘vest’ thing. Like, imagine a denim vest, FFS!!

        Waistcoat sounds too damn fancy for denim, but that’s what it is, right? Oooh will you get a sexy lumberjack-type one with fleecy lining to keep out that London wind?

        Like this?

        • I am a lot more “teenage boy” than “sexy [anything],” so I’d probably look more like this (sans exaggerated masculinity):

          Which reminds me that I should probably be looking in the H&M boys section.

      • I made myself an awesome denim vest by just chopping the arms off a thrifted denim jacket. I left the armholes a little frayed. It is badass.

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