Seasons to be cheerful

Bara floral top, �99; Camu bag, �169; Cubba jeans, �79 and Iveey shoes, �65, Ted Baker (0845 130 4278/www.tedbaker.com).
Bara floral top, �99; Camu bag, �169; Cubba jeans, �79 and Iveey shoes, �65, Ted Baker (0845 130 4278/www.tedbaker.com).
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Say goodbye to summer and ease yourself gradually into a winter wardrobe... We uncover the secrets to transition dressing

Autumn is swiftly approaching and it’s fair to say we haven’t had the chance to go overboard on swimwear, shorts and sandals this summer. The high street has already started replacing flimsy fashions for winter coats and woollies.

Luckily our wardrobe change doesn’t need to be quite so swift or premature, though. You can ease yourself slowly into autumn mode with subtle changes that mix up the best of both seasons before you’re fully ready to make the shift. Survive style’s limbo land with these transitional tricks...

TRANSITION TECHNIQUES

Outfit planning in-between seasons is no easy feat. Dress ahead for autumn and you risk heat exhaustion from over-layering; stay in summer mode and get left in the cold by the fashion pack.

Makeover specialist Nicky Hambleton-Jones (www.themakeoverqueen.co.uk) says: “It’s a difficult time of the year as it’s too mild to shed your summer pieces and embrace your winter wardrobe.”

The answer to your summer to autumn fashion dilemmas? Make the switch by combining key elements from both seasons.

Hambleton-Jones recommends sticking to a transitional formula. “Try two-thirds of the finishing season and one-third of the coming season - this helps create a nice blend of pieces that’s neither summer nor autumn but a happy medium.”

Tackle the changing seasons seamlessly with Hambleton-Jones’s tips on the in-between essentials...

LAYER UP

The sheer tops, tanks and T-shirts you’ve been wearing throughout summer can easily carry through with extra layers.

“They’re ideal for layering with blouses, shirts, blazers or knitwear and will allow you to adjust if there’s a slight temperature drop without weighing down your outfit,” says Hambleton-Jones.

Lightweight jackets can also be taken into the colder months by wearing them over your winter layers. If you’re investing in a new one in the sales, try buying one size up so that the addition of a jumper underneath won’t be too snug.

TEXTURE PLAY

Leather is a key look for the upcoming autumn season. Not just reserved for jackets, leather will be fashioned into skirts, shorts, dresses and tops for autumn 2012.

Glossy leather can even be worn during summer with bare skin. Hambleton-Jones says: “Throw in a bit of on-trend leather with your summer fabrics such as lightweight denim or cotton knits to create some seasonal balance. If you want to wear your summer clothes and the weather isn’t co-operating, try pairing it with a leather bomber or biker jacket.”

GO DARK

While summer is all about light and bright shades, autumn is traditionally packed with a richer, darker palette.

Moving from sugary pastels to gothic black may be a shock to the system so start sprinkling your summer outfits with a moodier edge.

“No need to go straight for black which can look too heavy. You’re aiming for less beach, more street,” Hambleton-Jones suggests. “Dark leggings or jeans are an easy staple to help you to successfully transition for the colder months.”

CREATE CONTRASTS

Don’t keep your summer and winter wardrobes as separate entities. You might miss out on a gem of an outfit.

“A skirt and top combo reflecting both seasons makes the perfect, chic day-time look,” says Hambleton-Jones. “A navy winter skirt with a bright top left over from summer can look great.”

Avoid tribal or trinket-style jewellery reminiscent of holidays and team your clothes with glossier gold or silver statement pieces for an elegant look.

CHUNKY CHOICES

Knitwear may feel too warm right now, but once temperatures drop a jumper or cardigan will be your best transitional friend. Steer clear of high necks and full-length sleeves though.

Hambleton-Jones says: “A slouchy, chunky knit will keep you warm and cosy from the cool autumn breezes but is light enough to be worn with skirts, dresses or cute summer tees for the perfect transitional look.

“Avoid harsh black. Instead try camel, brown or cream.”

ACE ACCESSORISING

Stash your flip-flops away for your next holiday. Invest in more substantial shoes like brightly-coloured peep-toes to stride through the period before you enter winter boot territory.

“If you’re re-introducing darker colours into your clothes, bright pops of colour via accessories lifts the look,” Hambleton-Jones advises.

“Scarves are a great inexpensive way to update your wardrobe for the coming season. They make a staple accessory in unpredictable weather.”