It’s spring time in Ottawa, which means that birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and heaps of snow are still littering our sidewalks. But just because the weather is miserable, doesn’t mean your fashion choices have to reflect that.

Even though this kind of forecast calls for more layers, that isn’t inherently a bad thing.  Here are some ways you can experiment with different pieces to accommodate for this unpredictable weather.

These boots are made for walking

Before we spring into layers, we have to start from the bottom up—meaning boots, boots, and more boots. There are so many types of transitional footwear to invest in during this season, from knee-high models to ankle snow boots.

For snow, rain, and that awful mix in between, combat boots are a good choice, and Dr. Martens are a classic bestseller. While they can be slightly expensive, it certainly is a great investment, both weather and style wise. To achieve a similar look, on a tighter budget, you can also look to get a store brand version of popular styles. Call it Spring has a great selection of good quality shoes for a fraction of brand name prices and offers various distinct styles from combats to chelsea boots,

Another fun spring style that never gets old are rain boots. If you’re feeling fancy, Hunters Boots are the way to go, but you can always opt for a non brand name option too! Anything with a rubber sole is fair game, as long as your feet stay dry. These boots come in various lengths from knee high styles to ankle size, and in even more colours, so take your pick and hit the streets.

Working with layers

With the unpredictable weather, it’s often hard to find pieces of clothing that are suitable for all day wear, and this is where layers come in.

If you’re opting for a more prominent “college look” try layering a sweater on top of long sleeved collared tee. Depending on the forecast, your sweater could either be a cozy winter knit or a loose-fitting cardigan. Cardigans are ideal for a quick pop on when things get chilly, but they’re also easy to shed in times of unexpected sunshine. You also have the option to pair it with your favourite scarf and top it off with leggings or jeans.

This option will help accentuate your style, thanks to its neatness and chic factor, and the layers won’t feel too heavy. It can also help minimize the need for a heavy coat.

However, if you’re hesitant to drop the coat all together, you can always opt for a spring jacket in denim or leather to throw on top of your layers when the weather jumps into the negatives. This way you won’t be sacrificing your style or your core body temperature.

For the last look, if you already own a long tee and a cropped sweater or hoodie, you’re in luck. Start with the long tee as a base and add the cropped hoodie or sweater on top. This look creates an illusion of double colour, and adds personality to your style. If you’re not feeling the cropped hoodie, keep the sweater and trying pairing it with an infinity scarf.