How to Wear Your Winter Wardrobe in Summer

How to Wear Your Winter Wardrobe in Summer

Summer has well and truly arrived in my home town. I live in the kind of place that does winter half-heartedly and summer with fierce conviction. So our two weeks of spring are done and summer stretches long ahead.

It feels like I just edited my wardrobe for winter and now I’m putting away coats and second-guessing jeans. But I am not ready to put all of winter away. I know I can wear so many pieces of my winter wardrobe in summer.


Here are some ways to get your wardrobe summer ready, while still getting mileage out of your winter pieces.

  1. Minimise. Let’s face it, there will be things you won’t wear between now and next March (May would probably more accurate for Brisbane). Put them away. My coats are tucked away in a downstairs cupboard, I have reduced the number of jeans on hand and my long-sleeved shirts have been culled down to a small number. Basically everything within easy reach will potentially be worn between now and next autumn.
  2. Re-think Colour. “Winter” colours tend to fall within the darker spectrum. Blacks, rich jewel tones and darker neutrals. Some of these pieces might be light-weight enough to wear into summer, but don’t “feel” particularly summery. Try combining these pieces with lighter colours. For instance, a richly coloured top will look entirely different with white jeans or pants than it would with a darker wintry option. Wide black pants can be made summery when paired with a flimsy summer top.
  3. Change up the shoes. Shoes are another great way to change the tone of an outfit. I love summery dresses with boots. It’s a good way to get more mileage out of an expensive winter item and channel a festival vibe. On the flip-side, flip-flops and sandals take jeans into summery territory. Sometimes it’s just the balance of accessories that can make a winter item work in summer.

  4. Tunics. One of my winter go-to looks is a tunic with tights. In summer, I can wear those tunics as dresses. For those that are on the short side, I either pop a slip underneath or I wear them with shorts. The beauty of investing in trans-seasonal pieces that can be layered is that they last all year.

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  5. Jeans. In my part of the world, jeans work on summer evenings with a bit of a chill in the air. Cuffing them, wearing them with cute sandals and a strappy top takes my winter staple right into summer.

  6. Jackets. Don’t put away all your jackets. The lighter-weight options are always a welcome addition on those unseasonable cool days and you can’t beat a jacket for smartening up a simple outfit. I’ll be keeping my denim jacket, a white jacket, a couple of cropped numbers and a waterfall jacket within summer’s reach. When they get too hot, they can always be tied around the waist or shoulders.

  7. Vests. I have a number of wintry vests that I don’t need to retire just yet. They look fabulous over maxi dresses and bare arms.

  8. Long-sleeved shirts. I am a complete sucker for long sleeves and bare legs. There is just something about that combination that makes me feel stylish and casually cool all at the same time. Your winter shirts combined with your summer shorts could be an absolute winner. You can also play with the length of the sleeve by cuffing or pushing them up. If you have elasticated sleeves, try pushing up to just above your elbow which will create a “bell” sleeve – a popular silhouette this season.

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  9. Scarves. The warm scarves that are actually practical in winter aren’t going to work in high summer. But the lighter weight ones can definitely keeping adding a touch of pretty to an outfit. If it’s too warm to wear one around your neck, tie it around your bag or in your hair.

Before you put your winters away, have a think about how you can creatively incorporate them into your summer wardrobe. Then cheers to an endless summer.

More budget-savvy fashion tips:

Images: Robyna May

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