With the arrival of spring comes warmer temperatures and longer days – and for most of us, it’s a relief to finally put away those thick jumpers and winter coats.
But spring can be a tricky season when it comes to style. A chilly morning can quickly brighten into a sunny afternoon, and a dry day can soon turn drizzly, making it awkward to know how to dress.
However, the unpredictable changing weather doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on style; it just means being smart with your spring outfit choices. Plus, shedding your winter wardrobe is a surprisingly effective way to find a new lease of life and look forward to the year ahead.
From layering up to investing in a refreshing new cologne, here are eight spring style tips for men.
1. Embrace layering
If you only take away one tip from this article, it should probably be to embrace layering. Spring weather is unpredictable, and layering makes it easy to stay comfortable should the temperature suddenly rise or fall significantly.
A simple sweatshirt, light jumper, or cardigan over a base layer like a shirt, T-shirt, or winter undershirt, goes a long way. And while the weather is still on the chillier side, you can also add a jacket, blazer, or gilet.
Plus, not only does layering add warmth and give you the ability to quickly remove a layer to stay cool, but it can also add depth and dimension to your outfit.
For more tips on how to layer up for spring, have a read of this guide by Lands’ End.
2. Move towards lighter colours
In winter, many of us rely on dark, chunky knits and coats to get by. Though, as the days get lighter and brighter, why not reflect this in your clothing colours?
Adding some more unusual colours into your wardrobe is a great way to look more seasonal, and spring colours like yellow, pink, lavender, and green can brighten up your look – even if it’s a flash of a lilac shirt underneath an otherwise dark outfit.
If you’re not a fan of bright colours, then you might want to think about going lighter, not brighter, when it comes to colour.
Neutral colours work well during spring, and even going a few shades lighter in your favourite darker colours can have a stylish, seasonal effect – for example, moving from dark grey to light grey, and from dark indigo to washed blue.
If you’re new to wearing colour, then it’s worth checking out our article for men and women; 10 ways to dress with colour and confidence.
3. Invest in a pair of Chelsea boots
You may already have a decent pair of boots that got you through the cold, wet, and sometimes snowy winter months – but these aren’t necessarily the right pair for spring. Often, these can be too hot and may look at odds with your lighter spring outfits.
Chelsea boots are great for spring – sturdy enough to splash through puddles, yet smart and light enough for a sunny day.
If you already have a pair of Chelsea boots that you wear in winter, you might want to buy another pair for the warmer months. For example, if your winter Chelsea boots are chunky dark leather, why not buy a tan or grey suede pair for spring?
Chelsea boots come in all different colours and textures, and the price tags vary considerably depending on which brand you buy – so you don’t have to spend a lot, although a good pair will last you years. To save money, you could always look for second-hand Chelsea boots online.
For more inspiration on the best Chelsea boots for all budgets, check out this guide by British GQ.
4. Wear a light, waterproof jacket
A light, waterproof jacket is one of the most important elements of a spring wardrobe. With the days becoming milder, spring jackets don’t have to be particularly warm, especially if you’re wearing layers – but ideally, they should be both windproof and waterproof.
Bomber jackets are another popular choice. Though, if you want to go for a casual jacket with a smarter edge, then a Harrington jacket, which was famously beloved by James Dean, is a great alternative.
If you’ve been wearing a dark winter coat over the past few months, why not think about going for a lighter jacket colour for spring, just like your boots? Tan, khaki, and light grey are all great choices for spring jackets. For more ideas, check out this guide to spring jackets over on Ape to Gentleman.
5. Swap jeans for chinos
Jeans are an obvious choice for winter trousers – and many men wear them throughout the year, too. But one of the easiest ways to transition into a spring wardrobe is to swap your jeans for chinos. Not only are they lighter than jeans, but also they’re available in far more colours.
So, if you’re feeling adventurous, why not go for some bright colours or pastels, which look very stylish when paired with darker tops? Or you can play it safe by going for more subtle tones like olive, grey, stone, and khaki.
Plus, chinos are super versatile and can look smart paired with a shirt, or casual paired with a T-shirt or sweatshirt.
If you’ve never really worn chinos before, have a read of this handy guide by Savile Row Company.
6. Try a new pair of sunglasses
The weak winter sun means many of us don’t break out our sunglasses for months. So when spring comes, why not think about buying a new pair? If you’ve been wearing the same old sunglasses year after year, you could break the habit this spring and consider treating yourself to a new style.
There are so many different styles of sunglasses, from aviators to rectangular shades, and browline to wayfarers, and what looks best on you will depend on your face shape. If you’re not sure which style of shades suits you, why not pop into your local opticians, or check out this guide by Shades Daddy?
If you don’t want to change the style of your shades – or you already wear glasses – why not change the colour of the frames? It’s a small change, but you’ll be surprised at how many people notice!
And remember that while sunglasses in the shops can be expensive, you can find cheaper alternatives online – just make sure they provide proper UV protection!
7. Swap winter materials for spring fabrics
When it comes to our wardrobes, many of us are creatures of habit – and while some like being adventurous and experimenting with different clothes, styles, and colours, others prefer to stick to the outfits they know they feel comfortable in.
If that sounds like you, the best change you can make for spring is to switch up the fabrics of the clothes you wear. If your go-to outfit is a shirt, jumper, and jeans, you could just swap the materials. For example, thick flannel shirts can be swapped for lighter linen shirts, cable knit jumpers can be subbed for cotton sweatshirts, and you can simply wear a lighter pair of jeans, or maybe even corduroys!
In general, the fabrics you should be looking out for when shopping this season are cotton and linen – breathable fabrics that when layered, will keep you warm, but will also allow you to stay cool when the sun comes out.
8. Try a new cologne
Another small change that can have a surprisingly powerful effect on the way you feel, and how ready you are for a new season, is wearing a new cologne. Many men wear a single cologne throughout the year. Though, what works in autumn and winter doesn’t always work in spring and summer.
Just as you probably wouldn’t burn candles that have winter scents, like cinnamon, gingerbread, or cardamon during summer – heavy, spicy fragrances can seem out of place in the warmer months. Investing in a fresh, light new fragrance is a great way to get feeling ready for spring and summer.
For spring, look for uplifting or refreshing scents rather than peppery, spicy fragrances – for example, colognes that contain notes of lime, bergamot, and other citrus, woods like cedar, spruce, and sandalwood, and clean cotton and linen.
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to buying a new cologne, have a read of this excellent guide by Vogue to get some fragrance inspiration!
Spring can be a tricky season to navigate when it comes to style, but it’s also an exciting and versatile one.
You can try bright, adventurous new looks by buying a few new colourful spring shirts and pairing them with light chinos. Or, you can stick to your tried-and-tested favourites, and simply switch up the fabrics for lighter, more breathable materials.
Outerwear is important too, and from smart spring jackets to sturdy Chelsea boots and a slick new pair of shades, there are many ways you can look just as stylish outside as you do indoors.
And sometimes it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference – like choosing a refreshing new cologne that gives you a mental reset, and helps get you ready for spring.
For more style tips, head over to the fashion and beauty section of our website. Or for guidance on how to bring more order to your wardrobe and get more wear out of each item of clothing, you might want to check out our article; 8 tips for creating a timeless and sustainable capsule wardrobe.