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In the past I’ve definitely been guilty of packing up a good majority of my summer clothes, storing them away and reserving them for next years sunny days. So often without even considering how they might fare for winter, how they might look styled slightly differently and how actually, they weren’t just made to be a one-season wonder.
It’s a combination of being fortunate enough to buy ‘seasonal’ pieces- perhaps for hot days, summer holidays weddings, but also being quite narrow minded that to me- winter wardrobes often look like knitwear, jeans and thick coats- and not floaty, short-sleeved prairie dresses. It’s a shopping privilege that affords little creativity when it comes to repurposing what you already have, and so often instead picking up ‘winter’ alternatives to fill the gaps that perhaps don’t even exist.
It’s no revelation that these favourite items can so easily be multifaceted- layered, restyled, and kept hanging for all 12 months of the year- but perhaps this year, or in the last few at least- I’ve started shopping for pieces that will see me through all manner of occasions. There will always be the tiny white linen beach dresses that will probably be a little redundant come November, but there’s something quite refreshing knowing that each season my favourite pieces take on a new lease of life and can be reimagined- just probably with some leggings and a beret in tow instead…
The basics- a good denier…
Christ- you didn’t come here for me to tell you to wear a cute dress with tights BUT HERE WE GO. But, styled with some 180 deniers and some solid leaf crunching boots- your favourite ‘70s mini can really take on a new life when things get cooler.
In the summer dresses like this for me would normally be styled with Mary-Janes or a high-top trainer- but pairing it with something a little more heavy changes the proportions and toughens up something I’d worn so differently. Plus, throw on your favourite beret and you’ve got yourself a whole new ~lewk~. Plus, if you’re working with midi lengths, nana over here also highly recommends a good pair of leggings or long Johns (I know, I know)- anything woolen or thick cotton though- to avoid static and sticking, but will keep you warm without having to whip out tights just yet.
White boots & knitwear…
When it comes to dresses I’d find myself typically pairing with trainers or a strappy sandal (because sometimes, just sometimes I fancy myself as a cool ‘90s inspired Insta girl), there’s something very cool and transformative about a seventies inspired white witchy boot as your high-top alternative.
This year I picked up this pair from Monki*, and they’ve truly breathed new life into dresses I’d typically reserve for warmer months- and let’s be honest, this dress from Franks deserves outings all year round. They add a true Stevie Nicks spin to even the most conservative or simple of outfits, and paired with a chunky cardigan over something a little more fitted, I feel very much like I’m (attempting) to channel my inner Jeanne Damas, which is never a bad thing.
The Steve Jobs turtle neck…
To me, there’s something very seventies and Christmas Top Of The Pops about a square, or round low neckline paired with a high turtle neck (or frill blouse). It’s also the easiest way of refashioning summer vintage pieces for when it gets colder too, without losing their charm or ‘period spin’. Although this dress is a little sheer (so you can see the jumper ever so slightly)- you could probably throw in some tights too, and you’d be set. Until recently, I’d always kept polo and turtle necks for thick wooly trousers or more printed mini skirts- so have (very late) discovered how brilliant they are as a sole layering piece too. The white blouse of the cold months, people!
I’d also throw on a trench over the top if you wanted to keep things relatively modern, but love how this looks with my favourite white boots, and how comfortable it is too- which makes it a solid 10 in my book.
The sweater vest…
And finally, would any summer dress this year be fully functional without the humble and newly reinvented sweater vest? 2020 has had a lot of curveballs and surprises (the nice way of putting it)- and I’m sure the resurgence of the grandpa knitted tank is up there. HIGH UP THERE. Okay, it might not be that dramatic, but it wasn’t an item I imagined spending evenings hunting down on Depop, or fawning over on Mango- but there we go.
It’s cosy, it’s warm and perhaps all along our grandparents really knew something we didn’t about these bad boys. Anyway- thrown over a pretty dress, not only will they keep you snug- but they’ll give you something fun to coordinate other pieces with, and make you feel like you’re actually a cool Danish fashion blogger, when really you’re parading around by some scaffolding on a quiet residential street in south east London, win win!