Global Warming and the Transitional Wardrobe

September 7, 2008

It seems that paying more attention to what you wear amidst each seasonal change can no longer be postponed. In the past three or so years it has become quite evident that global warming is no longer allowing designers and the fashion conscious to identify their designs by seasons. It’s almost as if these longer seasonal transition periods have become a ‘new season’ and thereby are not only having effect on what we wear but also what we buy. It used to be that one could slide by for around three weeks wearing, in this case, summer clothes as we head into fall because the fickle weather didn’t last long. And so if we got caught wearing a summer outfit on a cold day early in the season then it was easily survived and forgotten. However, nowadays this transitional fashion grace period is becoming extinct. Consequently, more attention needs to be paid to this ‘new season’ which I refer to as the Transitional Season. Thank goodness for the Pre-Fall Collections!!!

For all of you that are struggling with the transition right now from summer to fall, here are some chic weather proof suggestions to help build or to add to your transitional wardrobe:


Style.comDiane von Furstenberg PF08

Style.comDiane von Furstenberg PF08

Diane von Furstenberg in her Pre-Fall 2008 Collection did a wonderful job here pairing a spring/summer dress with a fall/winter sweater coat and blazer. The idea of combining staple pieces from different seasons is a fundamental styling technique for a transitional wardrobe. Be sure to note that the darker color scheme and sporadic prints on the dresses have pre-fall undertones. And the open-toe platforms top off the outfit. These shoes can easily transition into fall and be worn with opaque tights. Here are some more examples of this trend. Kevin Sturman FirstViewNina Ricci PF08 Kevin Sturman FirstViewRachel Roy PF08

ADD A MIXED-SEASONAL PIECE Dan Jackson for Louis Vuitton PF08 Dan AshbyOscar de la Renta PF08

I love what Marc Jacobs did here for the Louis Vuitton Pre-Fall 2008 Collection by designing an ivory closed-toe oxford pump. One tends to typically catch sight of oxfords during the fall/winter months; however these are in a light spring/summer color. Same with this gorgeous floral brocade Oscar de la Renta coat made with a heavier fall/winter fabric. These mixed-seasonal pieces add an unexpected twist to an outfit. Again, combining seasons is key.

MERGE SEASONS FirstViewNarcisco Rodriguez PF08

Style.comBurberry Prorsum PF08

Style.comDolce & Gabbana PF08 Kevin Sturman FirstViewVera Wang PF08

The idea here is to wear spring/summer pieces on top and fall/winter ones on the bottom. Narcisco’s lovely short sleeve dress combined with dark opaque tights is an easy transitional outfit. Burberry’s Christopher Bailey shares with us a wonderful example of seasonal merges as well. As do Dolce & Gabbana and the ever so talented Vera Wang.

A TOUCH OF LIGHT GREY Dan AshbyOscar de la Renta PF08 Kevin Sturman Michael Kors PF08 Dolce & Gabbana PF08 Don Ashby Luca Luca PF08 Don Ashby Luca Luca PF08

By adding a touch of light grey to an outfit it just seems to make the overall look appear less heavy and dark. And therefore it is the perfect addition to include in your transitional wardrobe. Plus this shade of grey, especially when combined with more saturated colors looks well on most everyone.

SLIP ON SPRING/SUMMER SHOES WITH DARK OPAQUE TIGHTS Don Ashby Valentino PF08 Don Ashby Valentino PF08 Don Ashby Zac Posen PF08

SHEER TOPS Kevin Sturman Michael Kors PF08 Don Ashby Valentino PF08 Kevin Sturman FirstView Bill Blass PF08

Wearing a sheer blouse or twinset on the top half of your body while wearing dark fall/winter pieces on the bottom half is a splendid tactic for a transitional ensemble.

AUTUMNAL COLORS Kevin Sturman FirstView Nina Ricci PF08 Kevin Sturman FirstView Nina Ricci PF08 Kevin Sturman FirstView Rachel Roy PF08

Incorporating autumnal colors with existing seasonal pieces is a surefire approach to putting together a chic transitional outfit. Here are some further samples. Kevin Sturman FirstView Rachel Roy PF08 Kevin Sturman FirstView Nina Ricci PF08 Tory Burch PF08 Kevin Sturman FirstView Bill Blass PF08

Remember that a designer’s expertise in part is not only to create and to manufacture beautiful clothes and accessories but it is also an opportunity to inspire us. So, perhaps you see an outfit that you really like however, the shape doesn’t work best with your particular body type. Then look at which specific elements you are drawn to from that ensemble and try to incorporate/tweak/adjust them as necessary to get the overall desired look. A simple example might be that you like some of the dresses showcased here but they are too short for you, your professional position or the suggested samples just don’t fit into your wardrobe budget. Then try to find longer and/or lesser expensive versions with the same shape, color, print, fabric or general silhouette created by the designer. When a designer puts an inspirational outfit together – break it down to find the main reason(s) you’re attracted to it or what makes it so special and then take those attributes and make it work for you and your lifestyle. However, please note in this particular example regarding dress length, oftentimes there are adjustments made to the pieces worn on the runways so as to support a larger audience in the stores. Plus the average height of models is 5’9” so a dress hem may fall longer on you.

These were just a few suggestions to get you started when thinking about expanding your transitional wardrobe so as to thrive and be better prepared for random weather patterns however long they may last.

What are your full-proof pieces that you wear during a change in seasons? Have you noticed a difference in your approach to buying staple pieces for your wardrobe based on recent weather conditions?





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  • Just yesterday, I pulled out my boxes of fall/winter clothes that had been stored away to see if I could incorporate anything into my wardrobe now as the mornings and evenings are getting a bit chilly.
    So, I really appreciated this blog post as well as the lovely clothes you have featured! I am inspired. I decided to leave the heavier cashmere and wool sweaters stored for now, but I pulled out my long sleeve cotton and jersey tops from Velvet, Three Dot, Catherine Jane (a San Francisco designer who I adore, she has a shop on Sacramento Street in S.F. and a shop in Mill Valley and returned them to my closet. I also have some micro modal dresses by Vince that I love and can wear now as well as a long sweater coat that I bought at FIT on College Avenue last year. As much as I love the summer months and sunshine, Fall clothes are so beautiful, so I look forward to creating some new mixed summer/fall looks with your blog post as inspiration! Thank you. I will be back often.

  • The concept of transitional wardrobe is very well illustrated with pictures. I love the fact that even in Pre-Fall season some of the colorful spring/ summer dresses can be worn with an appropriate addition of a fall piece. Fall/ Winter wardrobe does not have to be only grey, black and brown.
    Kristina, your article is very informative… would revisit your fashion blog often.

  • here in Northern California we can wear transitional clothing everyday, especially when we work in San Francisco and live inland where it is warmer. I love the fashion pictures. the ey can be for young or more mature women. I’ll revisit this site again.