How to transition your wardrobe: 20 clever tips from street style stars
Date April 24, 2014
It’s a much-lamented fact that our most recent winter has long over stayed its welcome. But with the sun finally coming out and the snow gone for good (we hope!) it’s finally starting to feel a little bit like spring which means we can finally ditch our poor salt stained boots in favour of some cute flats. But spring dressing can be tricky—you don’t want to sweat through your parka but you also don’t want to risk getting caught in a freak wind tunnel with only a flimsy sweater to protect yourself. Welcome to the art of transition dressing.
Looking back at some of our favourite street style shots, we show you how to do transition styling beyond the ubiquitous infinity scarf or the fail-safe bulky sweater, including some unlikely springtime fabrics in unusual places. We tackle business wear, party dressing and music festival get ups because, let’s be honest, who knows what this spring is going to throw at us. Over-the-knee boots, ankle skimming leather skirts and your favourite holiday party skirt can find new life in your spring outfits—with a few clever pairings of course. Class is now in session.
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Tip: White button downs are the perfect transitional piece. Worn slouchy and loose, it can go seamlessly from colder to warmer temps in a roll of a cuff. Nothing says spring like a crisp white shirt. Bonus: it makes you look more tanned.
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Tip: Tees of all varieties are your best friend when it comes to transition gear. Layer up an oversized tee under all of your sleeveless dresses and shirts.
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Tip: Your favourite black leggings can segue nicely into warmer temps with open pumps or even strappy sandals. Go a step further and mix it up with a bold floral blouse and dark vest. Perfect for those who rock black on black even in the heat of the summer.
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Tip: It’s finally dress weather! Opt for a chic little number in a heavier fabric — think tweed, brocade or wool, in order to keep warm but still be able to bare arms.
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Tip: If you’re still not ready to going back to shaving your legs on the regular, tall over the knee boots paired with short shorts can be a quick fix. Keep the shorts and top choice fairly dark in order to avoid looking disjointed and thrown together.
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Tip: If you really can’t say no to black in warmer temps, there are ways to work around it. Think lots of skin, the contrasting hems of the skirt and vest work nicely here, and bright & playful accessories. Mirrored sunnies, bags and shoes are just the tip of the iceberg.
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Tip: Vests top our list as the best transition pieces. Try a structured vest with a streamlined silhouette, seen in this pink topper, blurs the lines between outerwear and outfit.
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Tip: Chunky knits can work just as well in warmer temps. A thrifted or an old cardigan can find new life if the sleeves are cut off and some trendy statement leather pockets are added.
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Tip: Those cocktail party skirts you invested in over the holidays can work beyond the party circuit. Pair with a slouchy sweater in a light hue as well as playful heels. For an added twist try pairing your statement skirt with a pair of off-white Chuck Taylors.
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Tip: Follow Burberry’s lead and get a head start on Fall 2014 trends by adopting the poncho blanket look early. Navajo-inspired patterns blanket wraps can double up as music festival seating.
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Tip: Moto inspired pieces don’t have to be restricted to winter months only. Try a moto vest in a light pastel hue for a sharp springtime look.
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Tip: If you can’t splurge on a pastel hued moto vest, update your black winter one through clever pairings and strategic skin baring. Low slung cropped trousers and a slightly shrunken long sleeved tee, show just enough skin for spring’s temperamental temps.
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Tip: A light hued fur stole can be your best friend and most versatile accessory. Wrap it around your neck like a scarf, sling it casually or wrap it horizontally à la Rihanna. Just keep it light and playful!
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Tip: Channel the style savvy Russian Miroslava Duma by donning a full skirt with a sleeveless tank — or try it with any old fitted tee, long sleeves or rolled short sleeves. The trick is to mix your heavy winter skirt with a lighter top in order not to overwhelm yourself.
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Tip: Jean jackets are the ubiquitous summer outerwear. Spice things up with a distressed denim vest. A cinched drawstring waist and floral skirt pairing will soften the look. Try mixing it with a men’s brown leather belt for a ‘borrowed from the boys’ look.
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Tip: The easiest way to do transition dressing is layers, layers, layers. Try layering a sleeveless peplum blouse over a fitted white tee. A strong silhouette on the top layer works seamlessly with a fitted base layer.
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Tip: For office wear, sleeveless tailored suits are just as chic as their blazer alternatives and perfect for in between temperatures. Or if your feeling a little more girly, layer up your solid colour sleeveless dresses with a bold patterned shirt underneath.
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Tip: Elettra Wiedmann shows how to work white outside of the summer season. To avoid looking too out of place, wear season appropriate pieces. Think higher necklines and longer hems. Mix your white base layer with bold statement pieces and outerwear to detract from looking too twee.
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Tip: Slouchy boyfriend jeans are a great transition piece as they can be worn just as well with suede ankle booties, ladylike pumps or gladiator sandals. Pair them with a breezy silk shirt for a sublime spring get up.
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Tip: Leather in spring? Oh yes! Leather skirts can have extended wardrobe life if done right. Pair with light pumps and a light coloured blouse or fitted knitwear for a modern feminine look.