Transitioning Your Wardrobe

Happy November! Here in Texas it is finally fall. Or some version of fall. I know some areas of the country are actually dealing with snow right now, and boy am I sending a bunch of good thoughts their way. But here, we are seeing low temperatures in the fifties and highs in the seventies. It’s a very transitional time of year—not quite time for snow boots and coats, but not always warm enough for short sleeves. There’s an added dimension when you throw traveling into the mix. Last week, when I left Texas it was 74, but when I arrived in Ohio it was in the low forties with highs in the low fifties.  Next week I’ll be in South Carolina and Chicago on the same trip. So what is a traveling girl to do? You don’t want to pack too much, but you have to dress for different climates. Here are my favorite strategies for coping:

  • Layers. Switching out your layers is one of the easiest ways to dress for the weather. Normally wear a camisole under something? Wear a long sleeved tee instead. One obvious layer is to throw a cardigan over your regular shirt and call it a day. But there are other ways! Layer a thin long sleeve tee under a cap sleeve top. One of my favorite winter outfits is a gray tunic from Banana Republic with a forest green long sleeve tee under it, worn with black pants and boots. But the short sleeved tunic can be worn on the same trip with a camisole and flats instead. And what about skirts and dresses? Add some tights and you will be good to go.
  • Color. To get ready for cooler weather, richen up your warm-weather wardrobe with deeper tones. It can be as simple as adding a teal sweater to a lighter turquoise blouse and slacks. Other fall colors are plum, brown, charcoal, rust, and maroon.
  • Texture. Instead of regular sleek tights, get some with a little texture in them. I love these subtle dark gray ribbed tights from Target. (And for the weekend, I am definitely getting these awesome fair isle tights.) Same goes with sweaters—use a chunkier knit, or maybe a cable. And of course, this is the time of year for my favorite, tweed! You can find tweed in everything from sweaters to coats to shoes.
  • Shoes. Boots are the warmest—we all know that. But they’re not the only warm shoe. Obviously it’s not time for my beloved peep toe flats, but regular flats (or heels, whichever you prefer) with tights can keep you pretty toasty.

My two favorite outfits that can transition easily between seasons are the one mentioned above, and my favorite Boden dress with a long brown sweater belted over it, tights and boots. Either of those can work well for cold weather, or for more moderate temperatures. The additional items needed for cold weather don’t take up a ton of room, so I can still accomplish my goals of streamlined packing. So whether you are going from summer to fall, or traveling in different climates, it’s simple to stretch your wardrobe!

Readers, how do you make your wardrobe move between the seasons? Do you have any tricks for visiting multiple climates in a single trip?


  1. Definitely layers. We travel around Australia, which like the US, is huge and has many different climates. In one week, we can be in chilly, end of winter weather to glorious warmth and sunshine.

    You’ve said it so concisely that I can do nothing but agree!

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