5 Transitional Wardrobe Staples to Wear In-Between Seasons
Summer-to-fall outfit hacks, ahead.
By Natasha Marsh
A high-style pair of kicks will carry you—and your wardrobe—through the entire year. Court styles, high-tops, slip-ons, and dad shoes are 2023’s top trends, says Caroline Maguire, Shopbop's fashion director. Their versatility, comfort, and cool factor make them indispensable to your transitional outfit lineup. “You can wear sneaks with easy skirts and dresses this time of year," Maguire adds. "And in the colder months, instead of grabbing ankle booties, you can team sneakers with denim and polished trousers.” If you’re embracing your nostalgia era (and when aren't we?), try a retro-style pair from Acne Studios.
Consider a floor-sweeping style your new go-to transitional dress—these pieces are way more than fair-weather summer dresses. “A maxi dress is a chic basic that everyone should have in their wardrobe,” Maguire tells Shopbop. “They are timeless staples that go with everything.” Similar to a midi dress, the outfit options are endless: pair a maxi with ballet flats and a belt for work, cowboy boots and a sweater or cardigan when the temps turn chilly, or fun mules for a night out. Look to STAUD and Altuzarra for everything from crisp poplin to long sleeve knit styles. For more polished vibes, a collared neckline looks great on transitional dresses, too (we love it with a cardigan draped over the shoulders or underneath a patterned trench coat). Whichever direction you go, these transitional dresses are sure to be on heavy rotation this season.
The unpredictable period that lies between summer and fall is the cause of some of the trickiest fashion emergencies. The key to getting dressed when it’s warm during the day, but cool at night? A lightweight jacket. “Aviator or dynasty-style tweed jackets are perfect for chilly nights out as they are universally flattering,” says Maguire. "Not to mention, they're perfect when you need to just grab and go." Unlike a blazer, lightweight jackets can play into casual and formal outfits. Pair one (Maguire suggests the chic, downtown renditions from Anine Bing or crafty-cool toppers from SEA) with a pleated skirt, skort, or ruffle dress, then add cute ankle socks for a modern take on uptown style.
When it comes to your transitional wardrobe, the wide-leg pant is an MVP. It works in every single season—with a few smart styling hacks. “Wide-leg trousers easily transition into the fall season,” Maguire shares. “Worn with sandals in the warmer months or sneakers when the temperature drops, all you have to do is swap out your short sleeve summer tops for cozy long sleeved knits and you’re ready for fall.” To play up the proportions, offset a baggy cut (think AGOLDE) with ribbed white tanks or a flowy blouse in the summer, then tie a sweater around the shoulders for the fall. When the weather is this unpredictable, it never hurts to be prepared.
Depending on where you live, this time of year is still really hot—and sometimes, you just want to go full-on fall with your outfit. When long sleeves feel too heavy, these prep-inspired styles are a great alternative. Dressed-up or laid-back, they nod to autumn with their classic collegiate-cool vibes. “Polo shirts pair well with pencil skirts, jeans, denim shorts, and trousers—you’ll get a lot of mileage out of this piece,” says Maguire. One of her favorite brands? KULE. With these versatile basics in your transitional wardrobe rotation, you’ll be sartorially ready for whatever the weather throws at you.