I've Analysed It, and These 4 Basic Buys Are Completely Invaluable

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.

Best Transitional Basics: @jessicaskye wears Baserange shaw dress and Dune sandals

Photo:

@jessicaskye

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

Best Transitional Basics: @jessicaskye wears Baserange dress and Chanel 'dad' sandals

Photo:

@jessicaskye

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.

I’m the biggest advocate for Baserange. I have this version and the black one. It’s a piece you can squeeze lots of wear out of everywhere from airports to dinners and lounging at home, so it’s a sound investment.

A unique cylindrical basket bag—two trends in one piece!

Thanks to Chanel, chunky double-strap sandals have become a firm favourite. Pair them with sundresses and knitwear right until the rainy season commences.

Autumn: All-Black Everything With a Silky Head Wrap and Chunky Boots

Best Transitional Basics: @femmeblk wears Dior saddle handbag with black knitted dress

Photo:

@femmeblk

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.

This dress blows all transitional items out of the water. Wear it with anything from trainers to chunky boots to heeled pumps.

I never thought I was a chunky-footwear girl until I purchased a pair last autumn. Now, they’ve become a key piece in my wardrobe.

Wear the stars close to your heart with this Grecian-inspired necklace. It’s guaranteed to bring sparkle to any outfit.

I love this scarf! Wear it as a hair tie, bag accessory or neckerchief.

Saddle bags are the shape of the year. This one is a beauty!

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.

Simple touches like the concealed buttons make this shirt look much more premium than its price point.

The A-line fit of these shorts offers more coverage if you don’t like your shorts too short.

At this rate, come Autumn, I'll have to be prised away from my basket bag.

Fisherman sandals are a transitional item on their own—0pen enough for warm weather yet closed enough for when the heavens (inevitably) open. It is the UK, after all.

Autumn: White Shirt, Ecru Jeans and Tan Clogs

Best Transitional Basics: @styleedit wears Birkinstock Boston clogs

Photo:

@styleedit

Light-wash looks work best with varied shades like this white and ecru ensemble. Paired with tan accessories and the infamous Birkenstock clogs, it turns a precious look into something a little more attainable for day-to-day wear.

The perfect boyfriend-style shirt if I do say so myself!

A throw-everything-in (whilst still looking cute) kind of bag.

Birkenstock Boston clogs are the pared-back footwear staple for 2022. This leather variation by Russell & Bromley is a weatherproof alternative for the drizzly months ahead.

3. Denim Midi Skirt

Summer: White Shirt and Denim Midi Skirt With Suede Mules

Best Transitional Basics: @sylviemus_ wears classic white shirt

Photo:

@sylviemus_

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.

No one ever regrets investing in a crisp white shirt. The wide cuff feature makes this one extra snazzy.

Mango denim is so good this season. This comes in three colourways! Keep scrolling to see how to style the black version.

Pointed mules might be hit or miss, but there's no denying how chic this Khaite pair is.

Mashu bags are as beautiful in design as they are in ethos. They’re made to last a lifetime.

Autumn: Belted Blazer With a Denim Skirt, Tights and Heels

Photo:

Getty Images

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.

This Arket blazer is universally accepted as the best tailored jacket on the high street.

Heist's tights have changed the hosiery game forever—just try them and you'll be a convert.

This longer hemline makes for a more modern silhouette than the denim skirts that were popular in the noughties.

4. Linen Skirt

Summer: Cropped Tank Top With Linen Midi Skirt and Slides

Lindsey wears the Rixo Crystal Skirt that features intricate lace trim. Paired with chunky sandals and a sleeveless cropped vest, it’s the perfect marrying of girlyness and androgyny. 

If you’re sick of bunching excess fabric into bottoms, opt for a cropped tank top for a seamless fit. Come winter, it’s an additional layer under knitwear, and you can even wear it over a shirt!

Honestly, I've never met a linen skirt I didn't like. This Dissh one ticks all of the boxes on quality and fit.

Dear Frances never puts a foot wrong. Whether I’m looking for a dainty pair of heels or grungy flatforms, it’s my first port of call for considered footwear.

Autumn: Oversized Knitwear With Linen Maxi Skirt 

Best Transitional Basics: @monikh wears Prada linen skirt and Toteme Jumper

Photo:

@monikh

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.

Oversized knitwear balances out slim-fitting skirts and jeans.

Chunky flip-flips look so chic with autumn looks if the weather permits. After the success of M&S's chunky flat last year, the brand introduced a white and tan colour this year.

The noughties clutch had a makeover: a plump, squishier variation. Wear it with or without the handle. Either way, it’ll look chic.

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