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Column: Spring fashion, Farmington-style

We finally beat winter. In one single week, the swirling snow of an impromptu blizzard gave way to toasty 70-degree sun. Without the constant grind of ice and slush, we suddenly have nothing to complain about.

The birds returned to the pond behind my house well before the weather turned warm. There is something very sad about seeing a duck waddling across the ice, quacking loudly as he picks up his webbed feet. Now that the water is finally open, I'm sure the ducks are thrilled to bob and float instead of waddling so awkwardly.

I felt the same sort of thrill as I shed my winter boots for a pair of sandals. Instead of waddling across the Super Target parking lot in a heavy pair of boots, I can skip lightly in my new strappy sandals. I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders, or more accurately, like a pair of ankle weights have been lifted off of my legs. It's so much more fashionable to be seen in Farming-ton sans my big boots.

Al-though I'm thrilled to free my feet, I'm drawing the line at trading my jeans for shorts just yet. In the book Naked Economics, Charles Wheelan advocates a tax on spandex. He argues his point by describing the hordes of pasty people who flock outside in skimpy clothing the first day the mercury rises above 50 degrees in Chicago. I agree with his claim that this is a scary experience for those forced to witness it, even if his tax on spandex doesn't seem very practical. If you've spent the winter indoors watching Star Trek re-runs and reading economics books like I have, maybe it's a good idea to voluntarily keep your clothes on this spring. I'm keeping my pasty calves under wraps for another week or two, just until the faux-tanning lotion starts to work.

Luckily for me, and anyone that wants to keep covered up, one of the hottest spring trends is flannel shirts. I do a lot of shopping at Fleet Farm and Menard's, so I when I first spotted this trend, I thought it was some kind of joke on Midwesterners who buy their clothes in the same store as their mulch. Yet Glamour magazine says '90s fashion is hot, and everything flannel is in.

In a cruel twist of irony, I gave away my last flannel shirt from the '90s just three weeks ago when I cleaned out the basement. Who knew I could have resurrected that plaid behemoth into a new fashion accessory? This weekend I'm making a trek to Fleet Farm to find a suitable replacement. I'm also resurrecting a pair of Converse sneakers and a Nirvana t-shirt. I have lots of spring tasks to tackle, like washing my car and repotting my houseplants, and I want to look hip rocking my new '90s outfit.

With the weather warming up, and a fresh summer ahead, there is so much to look forward to in Farmington. The ducks have returned, the days are getting longer, and we can finally heat up the grill. It's time to break out your flannel shirt and your sandals, and rock your spring fashion Farmington-style.