If you, like me, have been struggling with what the heck to wear during this strange time of year when the weather is acting more confused than a moose in a swimming pool, I’ve got bad news and good news. The bad news is that we can probably expect at least four more weeks of 35-degree mornings and 50-degree evenings, intermittent rain showers and glorious sunlight coupled with grisly windchill.

The good news is Man Repeller Market Editor Elizabeth Tamkin has come to our collective rescue with three styling tricks to help us through early spring, a.k.a. the puberty of seasonal dressing. Plus, if you’re in the shopping mood, everything you see here clocks in under $150 (with the exception of a corduroy pinafore at $220 — although you’ll find a similar option in the “shopping bar” at the very bottom for $69). Peep them below, and if you have a tried-and-true trick up your own sleeve, share it in the comments.

Trick #1: Elevate Your Athleisure

When it’s positively clammy outside and I have no idea how to properly clothe myself, I find that I often try on fifty bajillion different options, reject all of them and ultimately collapse into the confines of a head-to-toe athleisure ensemble. I call it a Sad Spring Surrender, because every time this happens it always feels like I simply gave up, and I spend the rest of the day wishing I’d tried a little harder. With the outfit above, Elizabeth reminded me that there’s a middle ground between the ease of comfortable practicality and the satisfaction of putting thought into what you’re wearing. All you have to do is elevate your athleisure “base” (i.e. leggings and a sweater) with various statement pieces — like a cool blazer, a pair of cowboy boots and accessories galore.

Trick #2: Get Weird With Layers

As annoying as it can be to get dressed in early spring, it happens to be one of the best opportunities for waving your freak flag in the personal style department. Why not layer a raincoat over a pinafore over a sweatshirt over a skirt if it means you can feel warm and like yourself all in one go? Great idea, Elizabeth!!!!

Trick #3: Treat Your Sweaters Like Tops

It’s such a bummer when you’re wearing a beloved top but it’s too cold to wear it alone so you end up covering it with a sweater or sweatshirt or big-ass coat all day as if it were just as mundane as a skin-colored bra. Elizabeth’s solve for that is simply giving your warmer upper-half garments the special top treatment. Sometimes that’s as simple as taking your two favorite V-neck sweaters and pairing them together like a springtime PB & J, tucking them into your pants, accessorizing them with some dangly necklaces and telling them this is their time.

Styled by Elizabeth Tamkin. Photos by Bridget Badore, @bridgetbadore.

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