Are you wondering what to wear in Chicago in Spring?
Do you live in Chicago and want to zhuzh up your looks for Spring?
Or are you considering going to Chicago for a visit and want to know what to bring?
Well lovely readers, I just returned from a two-week visit to Chicago and I thought it might be helpful to show you what I wore.
I had many special occasions to attend and casual visits with friends and family. I had lunches, dinners, teas, a bridal shower, Easter egg hunts, and more! Read along with me and see how I put together many looks from relatively few pieces.
I know you might think that since I live for seven months of the year in Chicago, I already have many appropriate clothes there. The truth of the matter is my favorite, cutest pieces are with me in California. Thus, I needed to bring home a suitcase full of clothes and accessories to be ready for my schedule.
In this post...
How to Determine What to Wear in Chicago in Spring
Whenever I go on a trip, the first thing I do is determine what events are on my itinerary. The second thing I do is look at the likely weather and temperature ranges. Of course, the weather could be unseasonably warm or cool, but I use the predicted weather as a starting point.
For instance, in trying to determine what t wear in Chicago in Spring I learned the average temperature ranges are as follows:
March 26 (low) to 42 (high)
April 36 (low) to 51 (high)
May 46 (low) to 64 (high).
My trip was from April 6-20. During that time the temperature actually ranged from 39 to 80! Oh my! Yes, Spring weather in Chicago can be surprisingly varied! But, I was able to dress around all these weather patterns with a bit of strategic planning.
Travel Looks (What to Wear in Chicago in Spring)
Pro-tip: For travel looks I try to wear my bulkiest pieces on the plane so I don’t have to use up suitcase real estate. I also make sure to wear very comfortable shoes to walk through airports.
First Travel Look (Outfit Number One) for What to Wear in Chicago in Spring
I wore this turquoise wool coat and would suggest you bring a wool coat or lined trench coat as the weather really does change a great deal in Chicago springtime. I chose this brightly colored coat because I wanted to look spring-like even if the temperature was cold. Pro-tip: Wearing bright colors, in your accessories and even some clothing pieces will go a long way toward making you feel pretty and confident in your travel wardrobe. (My coat is from winter, but here are a few similar options: here, here, and here).
I paired the wool coat with a turquoise V-neck sweater and print scarf. Pro-tip: Outfits definitely look more expensive when you coordinate the color of your top with your third piece (sweater, blazer, coat, etc.).
I wore vintage wash J-Crew jeans as they are very comfortable for traveling and I knew I would wear them with other outfits on my trip. The small bandana helps accessorize the look and fills in the neckline.
Second Travel Look (Outfit Number Two)
I love this second look as it was what I wore back on the plane to California. I frequently find planes to be cold and therefore I prefer to wear warm pieces. This J McLaughlin boyfriend sweater works well with these straight-leg medium-wash jeans. I accessorized it with a pretty spring-colored J McLaughlin scarf (last year’s but similar, here). Pro-tip: I love the scarves, belts, and purses at J McLaughlin as they are always high quality, classic in their styling, and frequently colorful.
I am actually wearing a v-neck white tee from Lands End under this cardigan so that if I got hot upon arrival in Palm Springs, I could remove the cardigan and still look cute! Pro-tip: I am a big fan of v-neck tops as they serve to elongate my neck and make it look less wrinkled. Also showing a bit of my neck and my upper chest is slimming compared to crew neck tops which tend to emphasize my bust.
Cold Weather Spring Look (Outfit Number Three)
I wore this look to lunch with my friend, Julie. It was a bitterly cold, windy, but very sunny day! The turquoise coat worked great with the cashmere sweater and the tan wide-legged pants made for a warm, stylish look.
I added comfy tan suede booties and the same bandana as in outfit number one. My tan purse is such a great value! It looks like a much more expensive bag and the neutral color will make it a great piece to have.
Travel Pajamas (Outfit Number Four)
I’m not sure that pajamas truly count as an outfit, but when you travel, it’s nice to have cute pajamas that are decent enough to wear with guests. For four of my nights in Chicago, I hosted my son’s soon-to-be family as I was having a bridal shower for Jake and his lovely fiancee, Rachel.
These darling Soma champagne glass print pajamas are very comfy and easy to wear. I usually wear a Soma nightshirt, but this notched collar top doesn’t need a robe to look appropriate. By the way, Soma sleepwear washes well and I just hang them up right out of the dryer without any problem. The pajamas are 93% rayon and a bit of spandex so they hold their shape well. The print top is apparently sold out, but here is another solid-colored top that will coordinate nicely. And it’s on sale!
Special Occasion Outfits (for What to Wear in Chicago in Spring)
Bridal Shower Look (Outfit Number Five)
This is what I wore to the bridal shower I gave (along with my sister-in-law Sheila) at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Illinois. This pink cashmere boyfriend sweater (M) was perfect with my nude quilted bag (terrific buy!) and nude pumps. The white pointe pants fit so comfortably (6).
I wore a gold watch, a pearl bracelet, and diamond stud earrings. I added a long strand of pearls from Mr. G.Q. and a gold chain necklace with a central pearl.
Here’s a photo of my terrific daughter-in-law-to-be, Rachel. Don’t you love her sweet white dress and gorgeous white pumps with beautiful chiffon bows on the heels?
Here is the lovely bridal couple with my son Jake facing the camera while Rachel is looking at him.
Here they are trying on matching his and her aprons! I found these on-line and had to get them.
Here Jake is flanked by me and his former babysitter, Irena. She’s been a member of our family for 29 years!
These delicious cookies were made by Alliance Bakery in Wicker Park and were in the shape of teapots. The shower was a high tea party. Aren’t the flowers lovely? They were done by Eileen at Lake Forest Flowers.
I found this bag several months ago and had to get it for Rachel! Mr. G.Q. are so excited to have her join our family this July 8th!
Easter Dress (Outfit Number Six) of What to Wear in Chicago in Spring
For Easter (it was 75 degrees!) I wore this pretty floral Maggie London dress. Mine is sold out, but here are three more from Maggie London (here, here, and here). I added a J Crew factory white linen blazer and cream Ann Taylor sandals. I love the ankle strap and pretty heel to these so much that I ordered them in black for my son’s black and white wedding. My bag is a classic J. McLaughlin wicker one with brown leather trim. J McLaughlin has such cute bags!
Going to Lunch Look (Outfit Number Seven) Of What to Wear in Chicago in Spring
I wore this darling Avara pink ruffled sleeve top with black cropped pants and black D’orsay pumps to lunch with my friend Georgie. We went to Summer House Santa Monica in Chicago. The best Spring accessory was this darling Avara pink bag that is so “Jackie O”, don’t you think? It is only $68!!! You need this if you love pink as much as I do.
Dinner Look (Outfit Number Eight) of What to Wear in Chicago in Spring
This is what I wore to dinner when I took much of my family and Jake’s new family out to dinner at Tocco’s restaurant in Winnetka, Illinois. I love this black ruffled top from Anthropologie. I paired it with black cropped pants, a black clutch (similar, here), and black pumps.
Above is a photo taken at Tocco’s restaurant. We had such a fun time. The weather was perfect! I didn’t even need a wrap at 10:00 P.M.!
Conclusion to What to Wear in Chicago in Spring
I hope you enjoyed seeing what I wore in Chicago during my Spring extravaganza stay! It was a trip filled with events and the outfits I brought worked well together. The weather is always fluctuant in Chicago springtime so you should bring layers such as cashmere sweaters, scarves, a fun wool coat, etc. Try to pack the brighter colors of springtime even if the items are made of more wintery fabrics. Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions about things you would bring to wear in Chicago in Spring.
Happy last week of April!
Here are a few more posts for you to enjoy:
How to Wear a White Blazer Six Ways
A Pink Gingham Shirt Five Different Ways!
How to Refresh Your Patio (Five Easy, Fun Ways!)
Delicious Roasted Red Pepper and Cherry Tomato Salad
your readers got their Money’s worth on this post.
Dr. Julie, You are so fashionable! Love all the tips and links to these trendy accessories and closet must haves. I agree the flowers were beautiful! Perfect for a spring shower 🙂
Thanks Eileen! Happy Friday!
A lot of beautiful outfits
Dear Dr Julie, thank you for sharing your fun life, family and outfits with us! And congratulations on your beautiful and growing family! My fav outfit is the one with the black top from Anthro.
Thanks for commenting Elianne. I love that top too!