That first ray of weak summer sun we see, peeking out from behind the grey clouds we’ve grown accustomed to over the long winter months, marks the beginning of the British summer. Banished are our opaque tights, thick jumpers and all-weather boots and out come our summer clothes. Sheer dresses, shorts, t-shirts and flimsy skirts reign supreme. Well, at least they do for about nine weeks and, as suddenly as it appeared, the summer is gone, leaving us with nothing but grey skies and memories.
Now, this yearly cycle creates quite a wardrobe dilemma. We are left with a wardrobe bursting with unsuitable summer wear and, at the risk of catching pneumonia, no appropriate weather to wear it in.
So it begs the question: how can you incorporate your summer clothes into your winter wardrobe?
The eternally stylish French call the art of this dressing ‘twix season’, which means ‘in between seasons’. It can be done! Winter fashion doesn’t have to mean baggy jumpers and hat-hair so you can cancel your one-way ticket to Hawaii and follow these tips instead to wearing your favourite summer clothes in autumn/winter.
First of all, of course you still want to wear your favourite summer dress in winter. You spent the summer wearing it every other day and to take it away from you just at the sight of some clouds would be cruel. So, the secret to wearing that summer dress in winter is layering, specifically with jumpers.
Throw on your favourite summer dress and add any winter jumper over the top – cable knit, woollen or cotton, knitted by your grandma, it really doesn’t matter. You could finish off the look by adding a skinny belt around the waist and thick tights.
Androgyny is one of the biggest trends for autumn/winter and this look creates the perfect silhouette to pull it off. Invest in lots of tights (…and socks). Whether woolly, coloured, black or patterned, tights enable us to wear the clothes we wore all summer whilst keeping warm. They are brilliant under the sheer fabric of many summer dresses and skirts. Add over-the-knee-socks or cute ankle socks and you’ve completed the look.
Pair your favourite summer shorts or skirt with woolly tights, socks peeking out from boots and a jumper, and no one will know they were the same shorts you were wearing on the beach in Spain just a few short months ago.
Plain long sleeved t-shirts and shirts are an essential in order to wear your summer wardrobe all year. Both girls and boys can layer shirts under their favourite summer tops to carry them through to winter. They are incredibly versatile and perfect worn under a vest top or t-shirt, as well as under summer dresses and tucked into skirts and shorts. Layering is always on trend for autumn/winter and boys can benefit from layering a summer t-shirt under a button-up shirt.
If the weather is still defeating you, why not layer a a zip up hoodie or cardigan over both as well. The addition of boots to any outfit updates your summer look in time for autumn/winter.
Boys, pair your boots with rolled up jeans or chinos, if you dare show a little ankle. Girls, wear your boots with summer skirts and dresses, which also has the effect of toughening up the girliness of summer patterns.
Finally, accessories. Never underestimate the importance of how you can update an outfit with additional accessories. Big knitted scarves and hats will contribute to keeping you warm even if you are only wearing a summer t-shirt. If you want to be super on-trend, you could indulge in faux fur collars and cuffs to accompany summer dresses and long sleeved t-shirts.
Follow these tips and no longer will you curse your generously stocked summer wardrobe, as you rummage for something warm to wear.
Photos: Francesca Menegaldo