Whenever the seasons shift, the vast majority of us find ourselves fumbling through our closets, plagued by doubt, unsure if we should dress for the current season, the coming season, or some bizarre hybrid of the two. Because transitional seasons are confusing. Do you dress for the weather or the season? When do you rotate the coming season’s items into your active wardrobe? How do you look chic and timely when the temperature and time of year are clashing?
I’ve covered a lot of this ground before in previous posts, but I thought I’d boil it down into a quick cheat sheet:
Two-thirds now to one-third then
In transitional seasons, I like to create outfits that have elements from the season that’s ending and the season that’s beginning. A good formula to use is two-thirds ending season, one-third coming season. So entering fall transitional, I’d do chunky sandals, a short skirt, bangles, and a tee (summer) with a cuffed-sleeve blazer and lightweight scarf (fall). A bit more from the closing season than the yet-to-arrive one.
Work those sheers
Just about the only time sheer materials WON’T be useful in making transitional outfits work is fall to winter. Any other time – summer to fall, winter to spring, spring to summer – they’re essential. Sheer hosiery, sheer blouses, sheer scarves all allow for layering and depth without bogging down your ensembles.
Mind your colors
Certain color palettes are super seasonal: Pastels are springy, earth tones are autumnal. If you’re on the shoulder headed into a season, try to keep distinctly seasonal colors to a minimum. They can certainly be in the mix, but they shouldn’t be overdone. For instance, an outfit of orange, olive green, chocolate brown, and aubergine at the end of August might look like you’re LONGING for fall. Throw some ivory or khaki into that mix to lighten it up and keep it transitionally-appropriate.
Mind your fabrics
Certain fabrics are super seasonal: Linen and cotton voile are summery, velvet and heavy wool are wintry. If you’re on the shoulder headed into a season, try to keep seasonal fabrics to a minimum. If you’re headed for spring and the snow is melting, a velvet, cashmere, shearling mix will be overkill. Throw in something sheer, a vaguely springy fabric like cotton knit or denim, and create some seasonal balance.
Don’t sweat it
Look around you. Do you see people in shorts and sweatshirts? Overcoats and flip flops? Of course you do. Seasonal transitions are confusing for everyone, and your peers are in the same boat as you. If you end up dressing too lightly or too heavily on a couple of days, believe me when I say that no one is keeping tabs. Do what you can to dress in a seasonal hybrid style, but expect some missteps. And chuckle at them.
Image via Nordstrom
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