Spring your Wardrobe from Summer into Autumn
Amy Butterworth, Online Lifestyle Editor, offers fashion advice for transitioning between the warmer and colder months
Autumn. Fall. L’automne. It doesn’t matter what you call it, you haven’t the faintest idea how to dress for the incumbent season. As the trees shed their leaves while we don layer upon layer, let’s also rework the narrative of transition seasons being difficult to dress for – often categorized as the awkward fashion months. For au contraire; they enable us to champion items from both extremes of the weather – the heights of British heatwave all the way to the depths of the plunging mercury in our thermometers. Although, hopefully not sub-zero just yet.
Jumpers, jumpers, jumpers
Ah the jumper – thick, textured cable-knits, more sophisticated smaller knit pieces, a British wardrobe would be amiss without a hefty collection of cosy knits. And while it may have accompanied you to summer evening soirees for when the sun went down and the chill came out, it’s not quite time to fold it away only to reappear when winter comes, because layering is your friend! Picture your favourite summer outfit- an ‘in’ floral midi-dress with chunky trainers? Whack on a cosy jumper and you’re prepped for those chillier months – without having to purchase a new item. Pro-tip: pull the sleeves of your jumper over your hands to mimic that peak-noughties emo craze of RAWR XD sweater paws. You know the kind.
Dolly Alderton in the High-Low podcast spent some time musing on which is the appropriate month to say goodbye to bare legs and finally submit to wearing tights. Unfortunately, I can’t hold out for much longer – but rather than opting for complete coverage of the legs, a little thigh-action with some (ridiculously long) socks is the perfect way to style short summer pieces without catching frostbite on your legs. Knitted socks embody that faux-schoolgirl, arguably problematic aesthetic, but we’ll gladly disregard that for warm legs.
You may hear in the distance the faint melody of a certain tune by Dexy’s Midnight Runners whenever you put on the denim dungarees. And for good reason – they embody the current trend of fashion-meeting-function in utilitarian panache – rugged, practical, thrifted, worn-in. Or perhaps they’re a little more Rachel Green-esque, (our 90’s style QUEEN), as these dung’s can take you from a New York launderette all the way to the exec team at Ralph Lauren. They’re equally versatile in terms of the seasons: layer on up with a jumper or pair it with a crop-top, taking you from the chill of the Forum Auditorium lecture hall to top top TP.
While I mostly ignore fashion faux pas (wear what you want guys!) there is one rule I am indebted to: the tight on top, loose on bottom, and vice-versa. Pairing your classic Exetah flares – sure to keep those legs warm on a night out, with a riskier, more exposing top not only follows the perennial rule, but means you can wear those beach-appropriate off-shoulder tops or cropped items all year round. It’s a timeless sillhouette, one that was championed in the 50s when high-waisted trousers came into fashion, and its legacy lives on with the resurrection of the flares. Regardless, you’ll be layering over a jumper/jacket/coat/cagoule or two, so perhaps the crop top becomes slightly redundant…
The perennial discussion of sustainability beckoned me to address the topic of transitional dressing. It seems to imply the necessity of new purchases to tide you over until the more substantial seasons, but this doesn’t have to be the case. According to the Global Fashion Agenda, “by 2030 global apparel consumption is projected to rise by 63%, from 62 million tons today to 102 million tons—equivalent to more than 500 billion additional T-shirts”. The means of production is all about supply and demand – by making it apparent to the fashion conglomerates that we don’t need a jacket hallmarked as ‘perfect for transitioning’ when all other jackets suffice, then we can save the production of superfluous textiles. Thinking sustainably means following the “30 wear campaign”, supporting sustainable and ethical brands and thrifting to your heart’s content. Champion creativity and re-usability in the awkward transition months – fashion moguls and the planet alike will thank you for it.
Photography: Harry Goodwin