Making That Winter Wardrobe Work For Summer…

“F**king goth,” “idiot,” “are you sh**tin’ me right now?” These are the comments and questions I’ve heard hurled at and made behind the backs of those who remain loyal to their winter wardrobes throughout the months of spring and summer. For some reason we seem to have a major need to enquire about and criticize the body temperature of others and it’s only getting weirder. Recently I’ve even come across social media accounts created and lovingly nurtured by these winter-wardrobe-in-the-summer haters. Most have been christened with really original names like “I hate people who wear winter clothes in summer!” Given that this is something we’re all so passionate about now (really guys?) I thought I had better get in on the action. But you know me; I like to shave against the grain.

While I’m not about to make a case for wearing those down filled puffy jackets you can wipe clean with a damp cloth when it’s 30 degrees out I am about to tell you there are certain winter items you can not only wear but rock in the summer…

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Boots: You who mocked the mere idea of winter wardrobes in summer are about to feel so stupid right now. Boots are typically considered winter gear yet it’s pretty hard to find a gal who hasn’t paired her favorites with a flirty skirt or dress. In fact this winter staple is proof positive that it’s not only easy but damn cute to rock your cold weather saviors on those 20 plus days! The most universally flattering way to pull this one off is to pair your most dangerous looking ankle boots with a sweet floral dress and maybe a biker for when that sun goes down. This is the perfect girlie meets edgy look and it works for everyone. Of course another way to do it is to pair your riding boots with a straight skirt a la Spencer Hastings (Girl, you’re my favorite Pretty Little Liar) but unless you’ve been blessed with long leans legs I would recommend giving this one a miss.


The Sweater: Perhaps it’s all those Michael Kors campaigns I’ve been subjected to over the years but for me there is nothing sexier than shorts, tanned legs, beachy waves and an oversized sweater. Fine knit, cable knit, Aran knit, striped knit, the choice is yours but unless you’re really going to commit to a “look” I would suggest keeping it classic i.e. pair your denim cut offs with an oversized white cable knit and some gold bling to lift your look and that tan. For those of you who are looking for something a little more high fashion simply throw a draped sweater on over a flirty dress, tuck a striped version into a polka dot skirt (I love a good power clash) or wear that cropped knit with your high waisted skirt. I can tell you now that even if you end up taking off your sweater you’ll be glad to have it once you go inside and realize that the AC is leaning toward arctic – seriously offices, grocers, clothing stores, most of them don’t have a clue how to manage that air con!

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Cropped Jackets: Let’s face it; these babies were not made with winter in mind – no matter what that sales assistant told you. I’ve spent more hours than I care to admit walking around Dublin and Boston with a freezing cold belly and I’m not about to waste another second doing so. From now on the cropped jacket is my sophisticated alternative to the jean jacket and that is it.

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The Flannel Shirt: Is there anything cozier than a flannel shirt? My favorite is a checkered blue version that I got on mega-sale at Gap. During the winter I love layering it up under mildly offensive tees for when I’m feeling slightly rebellious and cute sweaters from J.Crew when I’m going for a preppier vibe. Just as versatile in the summer you can opt for a punky look simply by pairing a tartan version with leather look shorts or take it for a walk down cutesy lane just by throwing it on over a pretty maxi dress or tucking it into a sweet skirt.

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The Scarf: Scarves in summer? I know what you’re thinking, what is this girl on? Well, besides the occasional glass of wine nothing very exciting. Seriously though, there’s no reason you have to pack your scarves away during the summer. If you have a few silk options these are obviously going to be the first you reach for and rightly so but I’m here to tell you that even cashmere and merino versions can work too. The secret is in the loose, effortless styling. Simply drape them around your neck (or your shoulders at night) for a pretty look that won’t result in a sticky neck. The cherry on top? Scarves are generally more comfortable than jewelry, especially when it comes to those statement necklaces we all love. These just feel heavy, gross and inappropriate during the summer, if you really want to add a little color stick with some delicate jewels and a right scarf.

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Words: Kerrie Mitchell Burke @

Pics via weheartit.

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