Sunday, March 20, 2011

Reader's style challenges and questions - How to combine winter and spring items

Today's post was meant to be the how-to for the criss-cross bow, but a style request sent by Y.L. via email, took precedence. The how-to will be next, promise!
Dear Mai Tai:
I received Ms. Mocca earlier and it is so lovely! Thank you again [..]. As the weather is getting warmer I have been wearing my trench coat a lot recently. But as it still gets chilly in the evening I still tend to get the fur collar out and wear them. Therefore, is it possible for you to show how you pair your fur collars with a trenchcoat? Thank you very much!
With spring coming nearer, it feels wonderfully fresh and exciting to introduce lighter clothing and accessories to one's winter wardrobe, and as it is one of the big changes of season, it sometimes results in a look with high contrasts in colours or materials. By adding a scarf which picks up on the colors of the wardrobe pieces, the different elements come together, and depending on the cw of the scarf, the overall balance of the look can be shifted towards winter or spring.

For the challenge, I've replaced the trench coat (as I don't have one) with a beige blazer, but the principal remains the same, and can be applied to other colour combinations too. I chose scarves with various degrees of beige and brown, and very much liked the different effects they produced..the darker cw of the Quadrige (top left) brought the collar and scarf together, hereby focusing on the winter element, whereas the soft colours of the Coaching (right) resulted in overall harmony. The Modulation (bottom left) made a light and airy combination with the jacket, therefore giving the look a fresh spring feel..

..another option is to go tone in tone with the fur collar and basic wardrobe (whether it's brown, black, taupe etc), and let the trench/blazer stand out as an accent. For this look I chose the Brides de Gala, taking a last opportunity (at least for now) to show another facette of this beautiful scarf. Soon the days will get brighter, warmer and longer, which is when my cherished Dip Dye usually goes into hibernation until the next autumn/winter.

Capsule pieces: chocolate sweater, chocolate cotton trousers and beige blazer
Shoes: mesh ballet flats
Accessories: Brides de Gala 90 Carré Dip Dye, MT Collection scarf fur collar in mocca, Capitales enamel bracelet and Kelly in ebene
Scarf tying method: Ascot knot

Using the scarf as a splash of colour is another possibility, and a lovely way to greet spring with élan! Wearing the same basics as above, but replacing the scarf and bracelet for a Belles de Mexique Gavroche (two loop method) and Bourgogne clic clac bracelet.

Many thanks for the great challenge, my dear Y.L.!


  1. What a wonderful and stylish way to celebrate spring! At this time of the year, it's not always easy to combine our desire for lighter clothing with being clothed warmly enough to get us through the day. Your post is a lesson on how to achieve it with style and elegance. Thank you for posting dear MT.
    Have a wonderful week ahead.

  2. Looks great MaiTai! Thanks for the tips. SA :-)

  3. Dear Maitai:

    This is a wonderful post and you look gorgeous and stylish as always. Thank you for raising the point of using light scarf to balance the "heavier" fur collar and lighter jacket/trenchcoat, as that was exactly what I was hesitating about when pairing the two! Thank you for creating such a post for my enquiry. This provides a truly invaluable advice for dressing colorful while keeping warm in these spring days! Hope you have a wonderful week.
    Y L

  4. My dear MaiTai

    What a lovely idea to combine a lighter coat with one of your beautiful fur collars.
    All three scarves match Ms. Taupe and the beige blazer so well!
    The outfit with the dip-dye Brides de Gala is so elegant and chic whereas the Belles de Mexiques makes me long for Spring and warmer days.
    Thank you to YL for the suggestion and for you, my dear MaiTai, for posting those beautiful pictures.
    Wishing you a great week ahead. Warm hugs, M.

  5. How is it that you make everything look so effortless, dear Mai Tai? When I see your outfits, I am always in awe how everything falls into place so beautifully. You have such a beautiful sense of style. The way that you show the light Modulation scarf, the darker Quadridge, and the medium range of the Coaching are just stunning.
    The of my favorites. Always so elegant.
    And the Mexique brings such a lovely splash of color. I'm really loving the neutral background with the bright pinks and oranges. Your new clic clac in bourgogne compliments the scarf beautifully.
    Enjoy a wonderful week ahead.
    Warm orange hugs, CS

  6. I was at our local planetarium with DH today watching as their giant sundial registered the exact moment of the spring equinox; I returned home to find your winter/spring transition post waiting: such magic! Wonderful flexible ensemble ideas as always, dearest MaiTai! All of these options are stunning, and offer such inspiration for how to attune our wardrobes and scarf selections to early spring's temperatures, lighting, and seasonal mood. Once again, a timely and useful post. Brava!

  7. There she is again... the lovely Ms BdG!!! Thank you for showing her off one more time. Must say that the fresh lavenders of Coaching look fab with this outfit too. Warmest, msT

  8. Thank you for the sweet comments and lovely compliments on this post, dear booksnchocolate, Scarf Addict, Y L, Manuela, CS, Dr V.O. and msT.

    Here’s to spring, my dear booksnchocolate. Wishing you a sunny and happy first week of the new season! :)

    Thank you, dear SA, glad you enjoyed the post :)

    So pleased you liked the outcome of the challenge, my dear Y L, and many thanks again for your, very timely, request. A very happy spring to you :)

    Very happy you enjoyed the post, my dear Manuela. The collar was actually the mocca, not the taupe, but the look would work equally well with the lovely Ms Taupe too :)

    Awh, you are too kind, dear CS! After a bit of practice, it does becomes effortless, and the scarves and capsule pieces begin to just slot into each other.. The clic clac gives me much joy, many thanks!

    What a fabulous way to greet the new season, dear Dr. V.O., and how special to cherish the exact moment where the balance shifts from winter towards the light and warmth of spring and summer! Thank you for sharing :)

    Ms BdG is a true winter queen, dear msT! I remember when the first Dip Dyes came out, in the height of summer in 2009 , and in the bright light and sveltering heat I thought I would never want to reach for a scarf as somber as her. Thank god for rule #5 - be flexible, as she has become one of my favorite winter scarves.

  9. Lovely classic looks. I have really enjoyed wearing my Mai Tai Collection scarf - my neck is just starting to get crepey, a perfect cover up!

  10. Wonderful tips! This outfit is a great way to combine a light jacket with a fur collar and scarf. Absolutely chic and well put together with a beautiful range of colors. Love it!

  11. Dear MT! I've got a question for You. Could You tell me how You store and how You look after the scarfs? Do You have some kind of pocket for them or perhaps in a drawer? How You wash them? 'They' always look so beautiful, ironed and fresh... So elegant for every day! Many spring kisses, love, KaRolka

  12. I am so sorry I wrote Ms. Taupe instead of Ms. Mocca, my dear MaiTai. I think you are right. Ms. Taupe would look great with this outfit as well. Warm hugs, M.

  13. Yet another elegant and creative, as always, post! The lighter jacket with the darker collars are very stunning in their contrast. I will have to remember these looks for Fall transition as Spring has already sprung in my backward with the temperature climbing daily! I have put fur babies into full hibernation mode until Fall. If I were to duplicate these beautiful looks right now I would seriously be thinking...HOT FLASH :)Not a thought I want to have! Sending you sunny, Spring skies and starry nights, T xx

  14. Oops! Sorry, I meant backyard,not backward !!
    However, backward does best describe the way I am typing lately! T xoxo

  15. A very happy spring to you, dearest MaiTai. Indeed, your post is a most fantastic way to start the beginning of this wondrous season! And thank you to Y.L. for a great style request. You've done again, my dear - we are all in awe of your amazing talent. You've truly achieved the perfect balance for this seasonal transition, whether to blend or to contrast all the wonderful textures of cotton, silk, and fur, with the colors of both seasons so perfectly, each outfit uniquely beautiful and just so right. Thank you for the many lovely appearances of BdG - a special beauty. Wishing you a warm and sunny week ahead, with much love and happiest hugs xx

  16. Dear MaiTai-
    I fortunately stumbled upon your blog just over a week ago as I was looking for a scarf-tying video on YouTube. I have spent the past week reading all your archives for much needed inspiration in shaking off my new-mother-of-a-seven-month-old, yoga-pants-wearing fog and embracing some semblance of a chic wardrobe as the spring thaw has begun.

    To that end, I thank you for sharing your secrets and style with an amazing combination of boldness and humility.

    I look forward to many more posts to come.


  17. If I may second KaRolka's request, I'd also add this related question: how do you avoid getting stains or spots on scarves from common culprits like face serums/creams, makeup, water, etc.?
    Many thanks, MaiTai, for your expertise and never-ending generosity!

  18. Another wonderful entry. Thank you so much MaiTai. Thank you also for your reply regarding removing the care tag.

    Have a nice day!

  19. Thank you very much for being an inspiration, and for being a transmitter of nobility, elegance, and intelligence :-)

  20. You're the best and so kind to write out all this thoughtful possibilities. In case I might need to leave the house early in the morning (when it's still frosty), I would now know how to do it in style. :D xox, Macs

  21. So happy to hear, dear Tabitha, thank you :)

    Glad you enjoyed the post, LV!

    Dear KaRolka, I feel guilty for not having done such a post yet, as I’ve received quite a few requests similar to yours. It is on my list, and hope to get down to it soon x

    Oh Manuela, it does not matter at all! In fact you inspired me to wear an ‘all taupe’ outfit today, so all thanks to you!

    Wow, full spring already chez toi, dear Trudye! It feels so close and cosy with you girls here, that it’s easy to forget the huge differences in time and climate zones we all live in. In the mornings and evenings we still have some chill in the air, so my fur babies are still on duty. Lol re the backward typing, I did not even notice it the first time! Much love to you <3

    Wishing you a most wonderful spring too, my dear Scarf Enthusiast! Before reading your comment, I did not even think to point out the different textures, but you have yet again captured the essence of this post in one single sentence. I am in awe of your talent to analyse, and then express your thoughts in the most beautiful, sensual way. Mille merci for all the treatsxx

    A very warm welcome to my blog, dear Amy! So lovely to hear how you came to visit here. Wishing you a chic and fun spring, and much fun to see it all through your baby’s eyes.. the first spring is so special!

    My dear Dr. V.O., I promise I will! Re creams/serums, wait until all is well absorbed into the skin before putting a scarf on. Make up shouldn’t be a worry, unless the scarf is worn as head scarf. With water, be careful.

    Wishing you a nice day too, dear A :)

    You are so gracious and kind, my dear cecilia, thank you <3 Wishing you a lovely sunshiny day x

    My dear Macs, you are the sweetest, thank you. Just checked on your blog, and must say that you are always leaving the house in great style!

  22. Well thank you - after all your wonderful inspiration I wouldn't dare to present myself otherwise. ;-) But still this combination of "fur with spring clothes" was another idea, I hadn't really thought of and therefore it was very much appreciated! <3

  23. Awwh, thank you my dear :) With hugs xx