How To Wear Your Summer Clothes All Year

Shopping undoubtedly is a seasonally divided activity. Every summer you are so excited to get out of your winter clothes and you go on a shopping spree, scooping up all the newest sundresses and skirts and then every fall new trends fill the stores to the brim with new items you just have to have. And then the cycle continues, skirts and dresses and then boots and sweaters. It seems as though we live with two entirely different wardrobes. Some people go as far as to switch out their closets from one season to the next. That is simply a waste of nearly half of the clothes you own.

There are plenty of ways to make your summer clothes work for you all year round no matter what climate you live in. There are three keys to maximizing the worth of your summer clothes 1) layer 2) dark colors 3) accessorize. Follow these three simple tips and your favorite summer skirt can become a wardrobe staple 12 months a year.


The essential aspect to any good fall/winter outfit no matter what pieces you are trying to wear is to build layers. Fall, especially in Urbana-Champaign, can mean waking up to 40 degree weather and walking home from class in the afternoon in 70 degree weather so layers are an absolute must. This could mean starting with your favorite summer sun dress as your base, adding a cardigan over that and then throwing a jean jacket on top to finish it off. As the day gets warmer you can strip off the layers one by one and still be in a weather appropriate outfit. Or you might have a favorite spaghetti strap top you’ve been rocking all summer and aren’t prepared to part with just yet. Same idea applies, swap the shorts you would normally wear for jeans and build the outfit up with some seasonally appropriate layers to keep you warm and stylish.

“The combination of a feminine frock with heavier flat boots makes a summertime look feel unique” says Lauren Eggertsen contributing writer for Just remember, don’t try and combine too many pieces. Start with one summer staple and build your outfit around that using all your fall or winter pieces.  

Dark Colors:

A super easy way to make your summer pieces feel at home in your fall and winter wardrobes is to stick with pieces that are dark colors. Your white skirt looked great on in you July with your strappy sandals, but when trying to make a piece work in the cold of November it is much easier to use that black skirt you were loving instead. Darker colors seem much more natural in a fall or winter outfit and can blend together more easily with a sweater or boots than something neon pink or yellow. Another benefit of using dark pieces is that they work better with tights. The best way to weatherproof your summer skirts and dresses is to throw on a pair of tights under them. Black tights are an essential to have on hand when the cold months roll around; however, maroon, green and textured tights all add a seasonal edge to your transitional clothing.

However, a warning from the women of, “DO consider the hue. With green tights, you could risk looking Peter Pan-ish. But extra-dark ones are fab.”


The colder months bring with them darker days, colder nights and, of course, the cutest accessories. Cold weather gives you the opportunity to play up your outfit in so many ways buy using all the cold weather accessories available. I already mentioned tights but in addition to keeping your legs warm, keep your feet warm too by switching out the sandals you would normally wear with an outfit for some cute booties. You can also throw on a cute scarf, gloves or hat to complete your look. Not to mention the literally endless options of cute coats that are out there. From denim, bombers and leather jackets to the more heavy duty parkas and puffers there is no shortage of options to keep you looking good and feeling warm. Senior Maddison Wethall says she loves to incorporate her knee-high black boots into any outfit with a summer piece because they provide a versatile finishing look to any outfit. 

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