Dress­ing for ran­dom spring weather

With less pre­dictable weather, a good trans-sea­sonal wardrobe is fast be­com­ing a must.

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - FRONT PAGE -

Long, long ago, in a dis­tant fash­ion past, the con­cept of trans-sea­sonal dress­ing might have meant pur­chas­ing a rain­coat or an ex­tra pair of an­kle boots – but with the lines of dis­tinct fash­ion “sea­sons” blur­ring and New Zealand’s sea­sonal weather and tem­per­a­tures grow­ing equally in­dis­tinct and un­pre­dictable, a good transsea­sonal wardrobe is fast be­com­ing a must.

Trans-sea­sonal dress­ing means dif­fer­ent things to dif­fer­ent peo­ple – whether it’s more lit­eral (you need pieces that work when it’s not too hot but also not that cold), as way of fresh­en­ing up your wardrobe and get­ting your shop­ping fix be­tween main col­lec­tions, or as an op­por­tu­nity to source pieces that speak more to longevity and value than fast fash­ion.

For me, the first tac­tic to nail the “be­tween­sies” is con­sid­ered lay­er­ing – you’ll need a top­per, but also be pre­pared to take it off, or at the very least keep the layer clos­est to your skin some­thing light and cool like a T-shirt or blouse.

The sec­ond is bal­ance, to keep you at op­ti­mum tem­per­a­ture and not left look­ing ridicu­lous if the weather packs in. Longer sleeves and higher neck­lines work best with shorter hem­lines on pants and skirts, which work best with more en­closed footwear like an an­kle boot. If you’re go­ing for a midi skirt or an­kle-length trousers, pick a peep-toe or mule to let your skin breathe.

Start­ing at the top, my picks of trans-sea­sonal must-haves would be a light­weight coat (ex­tra points for wa­ter­proof­ing and breatha­bil­ity) such as a trench or duster coat, a re­laxed-fit blazer or ki­mono jacket in cot­ton or linen and a clas­sic denim jacket.

Blouses and shirts are also an es­sen­tial – if you’re heat­ing up you can undo an ex­tra but­ton at the neck or roll up the sleeves.

Vin­tage-style jeans (which I’ve re­cently sung the praises of in this col­umn) are the per­fect transsea­sonal denim, as the ver­sa­tile hue and for­giv­ing shape work with pretty much any­thing. I’ve also had great year-round wear from sim­ple dress trousers in mid-weight cot­ton, which can be cuffed on warmer days.

To fin­ish, an an­kle boot al­most al­ways works, as does a clas­sic loafer, or if there’s no sign of rain and the tem­per­a­ture is on the milder side, tap into the mule trend – win­ter smarts at the front and sum­mer cool at the back.

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