As I type, the temperature is soaring, and dressing for the unprecedented summer heat is no mean feat. But all too soon, the forecast will change, and that’s why I’m drawing my attention to familiar territory: transitional dressing. The typical British outlook is wet and dreary with intermittent bursts of warmth that we are seldom prepared for, so pieces that can be worn throughout the seasons are crucial when building a hard-working wardrobe.
Ever since I started mindfully curating my own wardrobe, I honed in on key items that can be mixed and matched. That whittled down the cost-per-wear of my clothing significantly, and when it’s time for the seasonal switchover, these are some pieces that have permanent residence in my wardrobe.
Although I’m a girly dresser, a vast proportion of my wardrobe consists of simple, trans-seasonal items that may appear like basics but offer up plenty of styling options. A simple shirt, for example, can be completely reworked depending on the time of year. It can be made formal with tailoring or tucked into a miniskirt and worn with canvas trainers for an off-duty look. That same shirt can be knotted at the waist or worn open as a beach cover-up. I also consider some less typical pieces for transitional dressing—knitted dresses, high-coverage sandals like a fisherman style and linen skirts are prime examples of this. Although linen is inherently a summer fabric, I always wear it through autumn with chunky knits. And while closed-toe styles are needed during the winter, there is a sweet spot on the periphery of summer when chunky sandals and open-back loafers can be worn.
Below, I’ve chosen some of my favourite transitional pieces for the months ahead. Keep on reading to see the many ways you can style the four best transitional basics from summer to autumn.
1. Knitted Dress
Summer: Knitted Maxi With Chunky Sandals and a Basket Bag
A Baserange dress is the transitional basic of dreams. It comes in various colourways, so there’s something for all. Wear this spliced maxi dress with double-strap sandals and a large basket bag to complete a summer look. The customisable wrap element features high-leg splits that welcome the summer breeze. Both looks will work with each colourway. So pick your favourite colour, and add the rest.
Autumn: All-Black Everything With a Silky Head Wrap and Chunky Boots
Come autumn/winter, a black knitted dress is the piece we all need. Simply add a bag and jewellery, and you have the simplest but chicest of looks that you can wear any time of the day.
2. White Shirt
Summer: White Shirt and Shorts With Fisherman Sandals
The white shirt is a fabulous component of a capsule wardrobe purely because you can build so many looks around it. The addition of shorts and fisherman sandals makes this the perfect ensemble for summer days in the city. This look further highlights the transitional dressing component with the hardwearing footwear. Add a belt to tie in the brown accents.
Autumn: White Shirt, Ecru Jeans and Tan Clogs
3. Denim Midi Skirt
Summer: White Shirt and Denim Midi Skirt With Suede Mules
Tuck the white shirt into a denim midi skirt, and prop the look up with some heeled slingbacks. This is a classic Parisian style that you can always fall back on in the summer. You can also transition this look into autumn by throwing a trench coat on and a knit over your shoulder.
Autumn: Belted Blazer With a Denim Skirt, Tights and Heels
Same skirt, different season! With an oversized belted blazer, sharp-collared shirt, tights and slingbacks, Sylvie brings an '80s-workwear lilt to her classic denim skirt, and it works.
4. Linen Skirt
Summer: Cropped Tank Top With Linen Midi Skirt and Slides
Autumn: Oversized Knitwear With Linen Maxi Skirt
Monikh shows that you don’t have to leave summery textiles behind in autumn. Instead, celebrate them. Wear your chunky wool knits with netted fabrics like linen and cotton instead of burying them away.