How to wear: big knits and bare legs

Warmth from the waist up; spring fever from the waist down

This is the perfect time of year to do your biannual wardrobe switcheroo. The one where you pack all your winter clothes out of sight, and bring out the summer clothes you stashed away six months ago. Are you ready? OK, that’s me done for today then. I will leave you to get on with it. Good luck, have fun, see you next week, bye.

I am completely unqualified to help you, because I am rubbish at the seasonal wardrobe switcheroo. It’s not that I don’t try. Every spring, I open my wardrobe and pull out the winter clothes that I definitely won’t need until later in the year. Heavy coats go in a suitcase. (But not wool blazers or leather jackets, obviously, which count as summer coats.) My full-length trench goes in, too. (But not anoraks or macs. Are you mad? What would I wear in Norfolk in August?) My flat boots with a furry lining. And the heaviest roll-neck jumpers. Oh, and gloves. And – well, that’s about it. The rest stays where it is.

The wardrobe flip only really works if you spend half the year hiking in frosty snowscapes and the other half on a beach. It doesn’t take into account hanging out at home, or spending the day in an office, or train travel, all of which tend to pootle between slightly muggy to a touch chilly. It doesn’t even take account of the fact that any sensible person takes a coat to a country wedding or that, if you do an early morning commute or school run or dog walk, you need hoodies all year round. It doesn’t take account of life, in other words.

If you’re interested, I do have some thoughts on what to wear when you want to celebrate that it’s spring (ish) although we are a long way from sundress weather. Mainly, how to keep your love of knitwear alive when it is March and you feel as if you’ve been trapped in a cobweb of yarn for seven months straight. There’s a thing women do at fashion week, which is to tuck chunky jumpers into tight skirts or high-waisted jeans. It’s warm enough now for bare legs and a just-below-the-knee pencil skirt – this is an old, old one of mine from M&S, in what I think of as faux leather but is no doubt now sold as vegan leather – if you wear something properly warm on top, like this sweater. Don’t tuck it in all the way round or you will look like you are shoplifting a draught excluder. Just tuck the front bit, like they do on Instagram. Warmth from the waist up; spring fever from the waist down. The best of both worlds. Or of the real world, anyway.

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