Not sure what to wear for your outdoor restaurant reservation? Here’s some spring outfit ideas that are equal parts stylish and practical.
Finally, outdoor dining is back on and with the world once again at our fingertips (well, kind of), first things first: what are you going to wear?
If you’ve already downloaded the online menu and booked in a time slot with your friends and family, then this is what you need to think about next. Dining al fresco may be a welcome treat from not cooking at home, but here in the UK we know it’s not unlikely to experience all four seasons in one day. And this is why the Stylist fashion team has put together some outfit inspiration that not only screams spring but also – thanks to clever layering – will mean you can enjoy the experience rather than sitting outside with your teeth chatting.
Outfits that are as practical as they are stylish? You. Are. Welcome…
Add a colourful leather coat
If you step outside and ask yourself “Do I need a jacket?”, then the answer is most probably yes. Transitional jackets can be anything from a shacket or utility style to fail-safe denim, but if you’re ready to make a new season statement after months inside then opt for colourful leather (real or faux).
Adding joy to any outfit, you barely need to think about what you wear underneath seeing as it makes an impact with minimal effort. To keep it casual, throw it over off-white jeans and chunky kicks.
Try out pastel denim
Does the idea of putting jeans back on run a chill down your spine? Fear not, as pastel denim is about to make you fall in love with the fail-safe fabric all over again. Make like style editor Tamu McPherson and tuck a sorbet shade denim jacket into a pair of tailored trousers.
If you wear it done up, you can pick your layer – from vests to long-sleeved tops – and you won’t even be able to see how wrapped up you are underneath.
Wear knee-high boots with a summery mini dress
You know those short summery dresses you’ve been dying to bring back out again? Do so. Instead of teaming them with flip flops like you can during the summer, though, try them out with knee-high boots.
Not just for winter, the longer length boots will keep your legs from freezing and also give a cool, retro 60s feel to any mini dress.
Go matchy-matchy with your spring knitwear
Think you have to vacuum pack your humble cardi away now it’s spring? Think again. The granny chic style has been teamed with the cami top to create a dream duo you’ll want to wear with everything from jeans to slip skirts.
The best part? You can strip down a layer to wear them as separates if the al fresco space is warm as they look just as good on their own.
Layer a colourful coat over a fancy frock
So, you’ve been waiting for months to wear a particular summer dress to an actual event rather than just a supermarket trip but the weather isn’t playing ball. Do you a) wear the dress and worry about the goose bumps later? Or b) match it to your cosy coat?
The correct answer is of course ‘b’ because look at how amazing colour co-ordinating outfits are. Go top-to-toe tonal (in a colour of your choice), and you’ll feel smug about looking, and feeling, incredible.
Rely on the knit dress
Ah, the knitted dress. Loved for winter - and loved even more for spring/summer 2021 - this chunky knit style has become a hero piece no matter the weather.
Warm enough to wear on its own but cool enough to add layers, it’s the do-it-all dress you’ll want to take as your plus one to any upcoming outdoor dinner plans.
Team a knitted vest with your favourite floral dress
A favourite among fashion editors and influencers alike, the knit vest has become a hero item you can layer over… well, basically anything. From T-shirts and shirts to spring dresses, add the sleeveless style to any outfit for a layer that’ll keep you as comfortably cosy as it will stylish.
Tip: wear it over long-sleeved dresses if you want to show it off and be able to ditch the coat layer for your al fresco adventure.
Shop spring layering pieces
There’s nothing wrong with wearing a wintry coat for spring, especially when it’s this damn good. A colourful coat will be the saviour at an al fresco dinner.
Instead of reaching for those light linen dresses with spaghetti straps already, opt for long-sleeved styles. This dress by sustainable brand Omnes screams spring.
Try out a pair of timeless knee-high boots with your favourite summery mini dress for a look that’s on the right side of retro.
So many people embraced the knit vest for autumn/winter and it doesn’t have to stop there. The sleeveless knit is the perfect layering tool over T-shirt and shirts for dinner catch-ups.
Bright colour-pop faux leather is a great way to stay warm but also embrace spring/summer shades. This blue collared style by Stand can be layered over midi dresses, slips or simple off-white jeans.
The knit dress is now one of those key items that works across all seasons. This collared, belted style from Warehouse is available in beige and powder blue and will look just as good with boots as it will with chunky sandals.
Make denim more appealing after months in loungewear by opting for colourful iterations. Grab this pink Mango style in a couple of sizes up and layer over long sleeved tops for chillier evenings.
Keep cosy in cashmere with this two-piece set you’ll want to wear with every pair of jeans. If the temperatures rise, you can easily ditch a layer and wear the top on its own.
Main image: Getty
Images: courtesy of brands