New Lease of Life: How to Prolong the Lifespan of Your Wardrobe
Extend the wear by date of your seasonal staples with this guide on how to wear summer clothes in winter
They say that all good things must come to an end, but while we’re starting to see subtle signs of summer coming to a close (albeit far too early), don't be fooled into thinking your current wardrobe of breezy dresses, skirts and tops has to be stowed away until next year. Far from a full reset, if you learn how to wear summer clothes in winter and brush up on the art of transitional dressing, you’ll soon find that your current wardrobe has much more (year-round) life to give. Here’s how to maximise the wearability of your…
Practically an entire outfit in one, wearing a dress during summertime requires little styling input but once we have chillier climes to contend with, consider it time to reintroduce a little layering – especially if you’re Team Mini. During this tricky in-between-season, opt for a light jumper or cardigan (nothing chunky, you don’t want to break a sweat) that feels unfussy and tonal in colour. Alternatively, if your dress is sleeveless or strapless, draught-proof your neck, shoulders and arms by wearing a t-shirt underneath, for a little 90s styling.
Read more: Discover the Best Summer Dresses
If you want to wear skirts past summer, think about proportions. For voluminous skirts that flow down to the floor, keep things short and slim-fitting above (think: a vest and tucked-in tailored shirt combo or a denim jacket that sits at hip height). Flip this rule for any form-fitting, Y2K-style skirts with short hemlines, choosing something like an oversized knit or boxy jacket – just ensure that whatever you wear above isn't longer than your skirt. To get ahead with one of the biggest incoming trends, consider wearing a skirt over a skirt, too. The trick to styling the perfect pairing: ensure the one underneath is slightly longer, different in texture and brighter to add a pop of colour.
Read more: Mini Versus Maxi: which is best?
The tops you’ve been wearing on repeat this season are probably airy, cropped and lightweight, qualities you might at first think are inappropriate for the brisker months ahead. Yet with a little strategic trans-seasonal thinking, you’ll still be able to build autumn outfits around them. Got a sheer shirt? Add depth and definition with an extra top underneath in a bold pattern of colour. Have a printed Cuban collar, short-sleeved shirt? Button it up over a tonal, pared-back dress to boost its wearability. And when it comes to your crop tops, slip into some high-rise jeans or a high-waisted skirt to cover a little more.
Read more: the Best Shirts for Women
Brighter and lighter, summer denim tends to feel different to the darker, heavyweight kind we like to wear come winter, but until then, ease yourself into the transitional period by softening your current capsule of denim with earthy, typically autumnal tones. Subtle and warming, they’re the kind of colours that’ll never feel dated and pair effortlessly with the denim washes we’re typically drawn to in summer. For a timeless look, couple a pair of white or off-white jeans with a camel jumper. As an alternative, embody French Girl chic by styling a pair of straight leg, pale blue jeans with the ultimate transitional wardrobe staple: a light brown trench coat.
Read more: How Should Jeans Fit?