As spring clothes slowly trickle into stores, we are getting ready to put away all those heavy knits and prep our closets for the warmer days ahead. Spring 2012 is an exciting one as noted at many a fashion week, filled with sculptural silhouettes, feminine details, bold prints and pastel colours. But before jumping straight into short shorts and summer dresses, it’s wise to slowly transition into the new season, choosing pieces that can be worn while temperatures are still brisk. We have chosen six fresh runway items to keep an eye out for, along with fashion tips to help make the looks work for you.

The perfecto jacket
Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2012

As seen at: Louis Vuitton
Although interpreted very differently, designers Alexander Wang and Miuccia Prada borrowed themes from racing and car culture for their Spring 2012 fashion shows, but motorcycle chic turned up even at some ultra-feminine presentations like Louis Vuitton.

Fashion tips: Whether it’s the classic black, or butter yellow, year after year, the leather jacket is the first piece we tend to grab as soon as temperatures rise — a spring staple. In colder days, keep yourself warm and cozy with a chunky sweater underneath.

The pastel blazer
3.1 Phillip Lim Spring/Summer 2012

As seen at: 3.1 Phillip Lim
Sorbet-inspired shades are the talk of the spring season, with a full spectrum of soft-hued colours like mint, lavender, and cantaloupe. While these colours definitely evoke summer, there’s no reason not to get an early start.

Fashion tips:
Ditch your black blazer for a pastel one, like the breezy ones seen at the fashion shows of 3.1 Phillip Lim and Diane von Furstenberg. As well, wear it under your winter coat while transitioning fully into your warm season wardrobe.

The pleated silk skirt
Prada Spring/Summer 2012

As seen at: Prada
Having been a major theme for Spring 2011, we are looking at romantic, ballerina-inspired pleated skirts and dresses again this spring. Soft accordion and plissé pleats were prominent at the fashion shows of Chloé, Lanvin and Prada.

Fashion tip: Before it’s ready to be matched with an equally flowy and romantic silk blouse, pair it with a fluffy knit sweater for a 1960s touch, and winter boots to keep you warm.

More must-have transitional pieces that are sure to take you into the Spring 2012 season, on the next page…

The sculptural coat
Yves Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2012

As seen at: Yves Saint Laurent
Think 1950s Balenciaga couture: the beautifully draped, architectural coat, with rounded shoulders. This classic silhouette made a comeback on the fashion runway this spring, as well as an appearance at Yves Saint Laurent, Jil Sander and, on the affordable end, Joe Fresh.

Fashion tip: You can wear the coat long or short, and it works as a great alternative to the classic trench jacket (and a very fun one at that).

The floral pant
Peter Som Spring/Summer 2012

As seen at: Peter Som
Fashion designers Peter Som and Cynthia Rowley opened their Spring 2012 fashion shows with a pair of bright floral pants. While floral dresses are usually associated with summer months, floral pants can be worn with pretty much anything.

Fashion tip:
Wear them as you would wear your jeans, with flats, pumps, or a great pair of ankle boots.

The geometric print bag
Marni Spring/Summer 2012

As seen at: Marni
We saw big abstract prints at the fashion shows of Proenza Schouler, Hermès, and Marni. A throwback to the 1960s mod era, circles, squares and triangles beamed brightly head-to-toe. From circular print satchels by Marni, to beaded dots and squares clutched by Fendi, this is one accessory you will be reaching for come springtime.

Fashion tip:
Make the transition with an oversized tote that will help brighten up grey winter days.

Read more:
How to wear the transparency trend
Winter fashion essentials: 7 winter brights
The perfect transitional boot