Uh, a spring wardrobe? What is that?

Welcome to the Philippines, where there are basically only two seasons—summer and “rainy”. Is rainy a season? Not by traditional fashion standards, but it’s certainly the way of life here.

In other countries, spring is the awakening from a long, dull winter. When it comes to fashion, it’s the season with a happy medium: still cold enough to pull off super sleek outfits without requiring five layers of clothing, but not yet hot enough to be sweating buckets. And let’s face it—spring fashion is freaking adorable. So, what’s a girl to do when faced with springtime weather while traveling to Japan, Europe, or North America?

No need to stock up on clothes you won’t be able to wear in the Philippines, because it’s possible to stay practical while putting together weather-appropriate outfits using pieces you already have!

To prove this point, I looked at the outfits I wore on a trip to Canada last year and tried to recreate and rework them back home, using pieces you can shop right here on BeautyMNL. The result? It turns out my “spring abroad” clothes are more aligned with my “summer in Manila” wardrobe than I thought!

LOOK 1: MOCK-NECK TOP + SHORT SKIRT

CANADA, 2018: I thought I’d dodged the miserable cold by not traveling during the -ber months. Unfortunately, spring temperatures can get pretty unstable. In Toronto, for instance, April might mean nice breezy days in the high 10s, but with really cold evenings.

For this look, I chose a simple T-shirt with an A-line mini in muted earth tones. The tights and the boots were enough to keep me warm, and I was ready to throw on a jacket when evening came. Remove the tights, and this is a cute casual outfit for hanging out with friends.

MANILA, 2019: A loose, ribbed mock-neck top in a neutral color is the perfect partner for a more sophisticated bottom, such as a lace skirt that can take you from day to night. This no-fuss outfit means worry-free sightseeing (or in this case, roaming the city). Big bonus: not only do ribbed tops go with everything, but they’re also travel-friendly since they don’t crease easily—just roll them up!
GET THE LOOK: My own skirt. Glamour Studio Ribbed Mock Neck Top, P395. Shop it here.

LOOK 2: LONG-SLEEVED TOP + MIDI SKIRT

CANADA, 2018: I wish I had cuter turtlenecks—trust me, I’ve been on the lookout. But I love how this simple white one is such a classic, and goes well with basically anything in my closet. I packed this printed midi skirt, one of my favorites and a personal power outfit staple, because it always made me look super put-together, while the white sneakers kept everything low-key.

MANILA, 2019: If the thought of wearing a turtleneck makes you itch, why not switch it up and try a printed top with a solid-colored skirt? The sleek silhouette of a boatneck Breton top balances out a floaty pleated midi skirt. It’s the perfect combination of chic but boho, while still being cozy and comfy.
GET THE LOOK: My own top. Pink Lemon Wear Amorita Skirt, P200. Shop it here.

LOOK 3: EASY LAYERS

CANADA, 2018: I was expecting some icy blasts as winter made its last hurrah, and I was glad to be prepared—places like Montreal can still go below 10º even when it’s not winter. Layering is the tropical girl’s best friend when it comes to the cold, and the easiest way to ensure you remain within your preferred airline’s baggage allowance.

My suggestion is to choose pieces that will keep you warm without sacrificing style, like a classic leather jacket. The secret to this look is the thermal shirt and leggings I have on underneath a deceptively light furry white sweater and some good jeans.

MANILA, 2019: Having a hard time looking for a leather jacket, or think it’s a bit too much for the Philippines’ climate? Denim does the trick, too! A denim jacket is one of the most versatile pieces you can own, and you can find it in a nice bright wash for a pop of color. Pair it with a quirky item, like this mint green asymmetrical button-down mini I instantly fell in love with.

GET THE LOOK: Flair & Stare Ashley Button Down Skirt, P480. Shop it here.

My final advice? Traveling is basically having to work with a capsule wardrobe in a foreign country, so pack classic pieces that you can play around with, or shop for key items you can reuse back home. You don’t have to bring a lot to be able to create an array of different looks. And you definitely don’t need a whole new cold-weather wardrobe that’ll just end up gathering dust in your closet—work with what you have and what you know, and you’d be surprised!

What are your tricks for building a spring wardrobe? Sound off in the comments below!

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