Dressing for the weather can often be a tricky one depending on where you live. In some countries’ the weather can be so extreme that clothes become more of a necessity than a statement. Luckily in the UK we rarely have extremes in weather (touch wood) but dressing for a change in the seasons can be difficult nonetheless. I often feel in a complete style rut regardless of whether it’s a change from summer to winter or vice versa. Predictably I always feel like I have nothing to wear, nothing inspires me, the clothes in the shops (in my opinion) are stocking the next seasons items far too early for anyone to consider them, I mean who wants a big winter coat in August?! I wish I was one of those people who could plan in advance and know what I want to wear in 3 months’ time and can see a statement coat in Zara in August and instantly know that THAT is going to be the ‘IT’ coat of the season, but I’m not. Maybe that’s because by the time the seasons are beginning to change in the shops I have only just got to grips with what I want to wear in the season we are actually in. Maybe I’m just slow or maybe I have been guilty of not making the necessary changes I need to make at the beginning of a new season in order to transition more fluidly. Last year the transition from Summer to Winter was an easier one for me. I can’t put my finger on why, perhaps it was something that was more on my agenda this year than transitioning into Summer 2017, or maybe because typically Autumn/Winter has always been my favourite of the seasons fashion-wise. Don’t get me wrong, summer nights spent in beer gardens with good friends or an impromptu barbeque is definitely up there on some of my favourite times of the year but style-wise I feel that my own personal style is much more suited to Autumninal dressing. Layering and dressing in a wear that is more imaginative than shorts and a vest top. This change in season I consciously made a list of things to do differently and stuck to it. So here it is:
1. Make a mood board
I’m not talking monopolizing your entire living room for an evening and getting out the craft tin and Pritt stick for a night of gluing (although don’t let me stop you if that is your forte..) even if it is just creating a board on Pinterest, creating a special folder on your Instagram Saved List or storing a collection of magazine clippings that inspire you. You might not have to know at the time why they inspire you, you might not be feeling particularly wintery at the time, but if something stands out to you or resonates with you, save it, cut it out, pin it. As discussed above, trends, brands and shops move into the next season far earlier than the rest of us so you will inevitably start seeing inspiration before you’re evening thinking about it but just make a conscious decision to save some ideas.
2. Look at your wardrobe objectively
It’s easy to not see things when you live with them everyday. A favourite piece of furniture blends into the background, you stop looking at the pictures of you and your friends in frames on your wall because they have been there for so long they’re just so familiar now. The same goes for your wardrobe. I try and rearrange my wardrobe at least once every month, even if it’s just moving some things about. It freshens it up without actually adding anything to it. When transitioning into a new season look at your wardrobe objectively, what did you buy to wear this season that is still sitting there with the tag on? What coat did you only wear once last winter but you kept because it was expensive and would definitely wear it this winter? Be ruthless!
3. Have a clear out
This links to the previous section… have a huge clear out. Be ruthless. Throw out, sell or donate the scarf that gives you a rash or the coat that is bobbly beyond wear. We are all guilty of holding memories with certain garments and it’s good to remember those memories will still remain even without the item. It’s mentally draining and drags you down having stuff around you that serves no purpose in your current life. Anything you haven’t worn in 2 months should be gone, anything that you have put on and then taken off again because you didn’t feel ‘right’ should be gone. You will feel better, trust me.
4. Make an out of season wardrobe
This is something that I only just discovered this year and it has been a godsend. Previously I didn’t believe in summer and winter wardrobes, I used to have everything in my wardrobe at once and believed that my wardrobe was so functional it can transgress seasons. Yes, to a point that is still true, there are items in my wardrobe that I wear continuously in both Summer and Winter but then there are those key items we all have that are completely just for the one season. (e.g. the big fluffy teddy bear coat or the linen jumpsuit) Having these out of season items in your wardrobe clutters the space (and your mind) and makes choosing an outfit in the morning frustrating and makes you feel like you have nothing to wear as you’re staring outside at the snow falling and all you can see is cami tops and a linen jumpsuit… At the end of a season pick out all of the key items for that season that you know you won’t wear again until the weather changes and store them. Either in vacuum-packed storage or if you are lucky like me in another wardrobe that you don’t really use. Once you have done that you are only left with wearable items and can much more clearly see what you have to play with and what you are lacking from your wardrobe.
5. Invest in staples
Once you have filtered out all the out of season items from your wardrobe it may become obvious that you are missing some staple items from your wardrobe. I’m a firm believer in a staple wardrobe and will be writing about that in further detail in future posts. Winter especially is the time for real investment pieces. Typically, items of clothing are much more expensive in winter (e.g. a good pair of winter boots or a thick winter coat) so from a financial sense if nothing else it is important to make good decisions when purchasing otherwise you’ll have an over-full wardrobe and an over-empty purse. Realistically at the beginning of winter I always make sure I have:
- 2 x long coats
- 1 x short coat
- 1 x pair of flat comfortable boots
- 1 x pair of sensible heeled boots
- A selection of good knitwear.
I tend to repurchase knitwear each season as I find that it can look tatty. If you are in a position to, I would definitely recommend investing in cashmere as it does last but sadly not all of us can afford to and that’s ok there are some great pieces on the high street.
5. Learn to layer
One thing I feel like I forget over summer is how to layer. I’m often so hot in summer I am wearing as little as possible and spending my days in linen jumpsuits and flowing culottes so when it comes to the prospect of temperatures below 5 degrees I am freaking out. Spend an evening or even just an hour or so playing about with layering, try that turtleneck under that jumper, it doesn’t work? That’s okay, try it with a different jumper. Spending a few hours re-familiarising yourself with your own wardrobe and actively trying to be experimental with what goes with what certainly gives you heaps of inspiration. So often we purchase something and have all these great ideas of what we will wear it with and how we will style it and we end up wearing it the same way each time.
7. Plan the night before
Now I know this is going to be entirely dependent on your life situation and whether you have kids to get to bed or you’re working late but I always find planning your outfit the night before is a real help. When you’re exhausted at 6am and it’s dark and cold and you’re longing for a summer holiday it’s going to be the last thing on your mind to get all enthusiastic with your wardrobe and if you’re anything like me you want to grab the nearest massive jumper and stick it on with a pair of jeans. It’s only when it get’s to 11am and you actually wake up to the real world that you regret your outfit choice, feel boring all day, vow to be different the next day and low and behold the next morning comes and it repeats again. I am my most creative on an evening definitely so this really works for me. Have a look through Pinterest and Instagram, read some magazines, get inspired, look at the weather forecast and lay out an outfit for the next day. You’ll thank yourself the next lunchtime when you’re feeling great despite robotically grabbing the clothes and not giving a sh*t at 6am!
I hope this has been helpful.