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Houston's Summer Is Coming; Bundle Up!

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Hey Houston -- spring is here! You can tell because the air conditioning is not yet set to "Arctic." You can also tell because all of the fashion mags are in the throes of ecstasy that accompany a change of season. Did you know you need new clothes? And new shoes? And new makeup? And new perfume? At the very least, you need a new swimsuit!

And speaking of air conditioning, there is one thing no one told me I would need more than anything else come the Houston summer swelter -- and that thing is summer sweaters. 'Tis true! When I moved here in January of 2010, I purchased new swimsuits, new beach cover-ups, new shorts and skirts, and lots and lots of tank tops. Fast-forward to May 2010, and you know what? I was freezing my ass off because every building in the city -- including my apartment -- has the a/c cranked up.

I learned my lesson, so now each spring I spend a significant amount of time shopping for sweaters and wraps to help prevent freezing to death in the middle of summer. Let's take a look at some of the more interesting options out there.

Natty & Nautical

Classic nautical colors (navy, red, white/cream) and patterns (stripes, anchors) are always fashionable, but they are particularly on-trend this spring. Navy and creams make for fresh neutrals that complement spring colors, and are a nice alternative to grays, blacks and browns that we are all itching to ditch.

We love:

The Jackie Cardigan in Stripe with Anchor Buttons by J. Crew ($65.50 on sale): Color blocking and stripes and anchor buttons in gold-tone? Yes, please. • L.L. Bean Shaker Stitch Sweater, Open Cardigan Stripe ($54.50): Easy to throw on, the perfect sweater to keep over the back of your chair at the office or in the car "just in case."

Pretty in Pink

One of the hottest colors of spring/summer is pink. Not soft, baby pinks but bright, hot, neon pinks in hues from "true" pink to orange-y corals. The best part? Bright pinks and corals are universally flattering, and they work great against the other bright colors you might be wearing for spring -- yellows, greens, blues. Wait, that was two parts.

We love:

J. Crew Factory Summer Weight Cashmere Cardigan in Wild Azelea ($78): Cashmere for under $80, plus three-quarter sleeves and a summer weight that essentially makes this a three-season sweater here in Houston. • Gap Pique Academy Blazer in Fire Coral ($88): If you like something a little more structured, this cropped jacket with a notched lapel and two-button placket is perfect. The white piping and bright color are perfect for spring and summer.

That's a Wrap

You can skip a sweater and a jacket if you have the right wrap, which can also double as a chunky scarf. Added bonus: You can stash the scarf/wrap in your purse when you walk back outside.

We love:

Big Ruffle Spring Scarf from Muse Boutique ($62) in Turquoise or Orange: It's ruffly! And bright! And huge! In short, it's perfect. Muse boutique is located at 3414 Eastside Street. • Mossimo Supply Yellow Tiger Print Scarf ($15) from Target: A pretty contrast of yellow and green, and at that price you might as well purchase the Floral Woven Scarf in orange, too.

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