What’s a transition piece? In fashion, a transition piece is one that is interchangeable across more than one season. A good transition piece should tie in elements from both seasons and help you continue wearing the clothes you already have without spending money on a whole bunch of new pieces. I mainly design multi-season pieces because I personally don’t like putting half my wardrobe away several times a year (and let’s face it, I don’t have the storage space!) I want my clothes to get the most wear possible and for me, that means designing clothes that last through multiple seasons and can be worn in different ways to create more than one look.
When you get to about half-way through any given season, you may start to get bored of your wardrobe, but if you rush into buying a bunch of new pieces for the next season, you’ll be stuck with a bunch of stuff you can’t wear very much - especially when you live in a country like Canada, where the weather isn’t always our friend. You know I don’t like too many rules when it comes to fashion (style rules are made to be broken!) but here are three tips to help you choose the transitional pieces to get you from winter to spring with ease.
This year is a particularly interesting year when it comes to transition. Many of us have already experienced several transitions - working in an office to working from home and back again. We’ve been juggling all different things and wearing various different hats. You may have designated some wardrobe staples as transitional without really thinking about it. For instance, I would definitely call my Jeannie joggers a transitional piece for me because I can wear them as joggers (which they are) but I can dress them up to be work appropriate as well so I have no doubt that I’ll keep wearing them even when I start meeting clients again. They work well for transitioning to early spring too because though they feel cozy for cold weather, they aren’t sweaty - they’re made of breathable bamboo and cotton. This leads me to my first factor to consider in choosing your transitional pieces, whether from your own wardrobe or when shopping for something new:
1) Be ready for anything Mother Nature throws your way
The weather can be pretty bonkers up here in Ottawa, Canada. March through May are one of the weirdest times to get dressed every day. You can open your front door to a blizzard one day, to rain the next. A few days later, it’s gorgeous, sunny and the birds are singing, but don’t get too excited ‘cause another day later, the blizzard is back! The reason I love my Jeannie joggers as a transitional piece is that while they won’t work for a hot summer day, I can easily wear them in early spring as is or pull the cuffs up for a more cropped to show some skin. In fact, most cropped pants can be great transitional pieces because you can wear them with knee-socks or boots covering your ankles in cooler weather and without as the weather warms up.
Layering pieces (vests, cardigans, blazers) are another transitional staple for every wardrobe. I love to wear a lighter weight sleeveless or three-quarter layer like a Bonnie vest or Pippa shrug over a cuddly top like the fleecy Meghan top in cold weather, but over a bare shoulder top or even a tank top on warmer days.
2) Ease into seasonal colours and prints
If you’re excited to start wearing the colours of the next season, you don’t have to wait for the calendar to tell you it’s ok! Go for it, but ease into it by combining a bright spring print blouse with your favourite jeans, a wool cardigan and ankle boots. Or try mixing textures and colours like black leatherette with a bright pink jersey top or a spring colour leatherette like this one in blush pink.
3) Choose sweater or shirt dresses that work with pants, leggings, tall boots AND bare legs
I love a short dress with a tall boot and bare legs, but the weather doesn’t always permit that look. I love to pair a sweater or shirt dress with leggings or even a wide leg pant for cooler weather and go bare when it warms up. I’ve even been known to ditch my pants halfway through a wonky Canadian weather day!
4) Save money by shopping seasonless!
Find brands you love that create seasonless (or at least multi-seasonal) designs. Nowadays, many slow fashion brands aren’t as tied to set seasons as they used to be. Sure, they will use cozy fabrics for frigid northern winters and thin, breathable fabrics for sweltering hot summers, but they know that you’re coming to them for quality craftsmanship. They will often design with longevity in mind so that your hard-earned money feels worth it. They can’t compete with fast fashion brands when it comes to price (hey, those companies don’t pay their workers) so you’d better believe they want you to get lots of wear out of that one piece you chose to buy from them over the three fast fashion ones you decided against! They take time to create functional and versatile collections so they’re more likely to bring a design that works back in new colours and styles rather than reinventing the wheel several times a year. That means that your favourite multi-season piece from two years ago is probably still plenty fashionable (and likely still in good shape!)
If you have a good selection of transitional pieces in your wardrobe, you’ll never have trouble figuring out what to wear on those sort of cold, but sort of warm days when Mother Nature is confused. If you’re really dying to wear that new floral print blouse, throw it on with your cropped pants and some cute boots, and grab a light denim or leatherette jacket or vest as an extra layer.
What are your favourite transition pieces? Still feeling confused? Drop me a comment or send me a message. I’m always happy to help steer you towards your utmost style!