Transitioning to Your Summer Wardrobe

Parisian-Inspired Tuxedo Top with Skirt

It’s been ridiculously hot here (I’m not gonna stop telling you about it, sorry) for April, and as a transplant to Austin from the northeast, it’s taken me a few years to get the hang of this dressing for hot weather thing. When I first moved here I only had three pairs of shorts and a zillion tank tops from Old Navy. The tank tops were something I would wear in NYC under all of my sweaters and cardigans so I had a lot of them. This was my uniform for April-October. Sure I would mix in a few sundresses now and then, but for the most part, I was very comfortable and casual. You can get away with this here in Austin. However, I started to get bored. I felt like I had all of these dressier clothes from my New York years that were going to waste. I wanted to somehow integrate them into my outfits more, but kept getting discouraged by the fact that a lot of them were made from heavier, unfriendly fabrics for summer. I’ve learned a few tricks of the trade since then, and this outfit is an example of how I have learned to dress up but remain comfortable despite the rising temps. These are also items I wear all year long, and can be transitioned back into warmer-feeling outfits too!

Here’s how I transition my closet now. To some this is probably a no-brainer, but I come from a place where it’s cold all year! I move all of my pullover sweaters out of the closet. There’s just no point. I can’t see pulling off the sweater with shorts thing here in Austin, even though I think it’s super cute. I keep my cardigans around because it’s still cold inside most restaurants, movie theaters, and office buildings (Texas is air conditioned to the max). I look closely at my dresses. Why keep the wool-blends in the closet? Even the tunics are a little much if you have to layer them over jeans here. It’s just a big fat tease. I keep the dresses that are light and look cute with a blouse or, if I had one, a chambray shirt, to preserve some interesting layering ability.

I think the lack of layering ideas is what I have struggled with the most since moving here. It’s easy to make different outfits by switching out the cardigan for a jacket or layering a sweater over a dress. Get ready to witness my attempts to dress differently each day this summer without spending money on lots of new clothes. It’s gonna be interesting (I hope)…

How to Wear Winter Items in Spring

How to Wear Winter Items in Spring

Top: F21, Skirt: Anthropologie, Shoes: Clarks

How to Wear Winter Items in Spring

April 28, 2011

22 Responses to Transitioning to Your Summer Wardrobe

  1. Hilah says:

    Love this super cute outfit!

  2. Texas weather is definitely a beast of its own!

  3. Tanvi says:

    Love that top and the skirt is too cute!!! I know what you mean. It has been HOT, hasn’t it? I look people with a nasty look when they talk about layering in summers. In Texas you cannot layer. You can barely wear one layer. I cannot even wear Jeans ‘coz I feel sooo hot and miserable in them!!! 😛

    ♡ from ©
    Apothica Giveaway

  4. carrie says:

    love this outfit, laurel! its been awkward dressing here in NM lately with the sun beating down tot he tune of 85 and 90 degrees….but the crazy 45 mph winds making it necessary to wear a hoodie or a jacket. my dress was blowing ALL AROUND yesterday and my legs were kinda cold, but as soon as the wind stopped blowing and i was in the sun, i was perfect. oh, the joys of transitional dressing.

  5. Jess says:

    Layering in Austin is really hard! I always end up stripping by the end of the day. Thanks for the tips — those evil tunics have been torturing me all “summer”!

  6. Stef says:

    You look lovely and I am looking forward to all this layerless summer fun :)

    The grass is greener.. I’d love to remove sweaters and coats from my closet but I know even my “winter” coat will get the odd outing throughout the summer. .

  7. Kathryn says:

    Laurel! I’m digging on the black and white and red all over feel of this outfit. Do you actually store your winter clothes outside your closet, or just move them to the back of the closet? Inquiring minds (mine) want to know.

  8. Sarah Holman says:

    Laurel, I love your topic of choice! I too struggle with the allure of comfy shorts and Old Navy tank tops all summer long… but always feel blah (albeit comfy) in them. Here’s a question for you: I was at the Old N the other day and they have some really cute (and on clearance) skirts. They’re sort of flouncy (but not in a tutu kind of way) but they are SHORT. Not so short that if a breeze comes by I’ll be showing off my panties — more like mid-thigh length, maybe a titch shorter. I would have been all over this ten years ago (you know, you were there) but I wonder if 32 is too old for short skirts? Am I going to look like a mom trying to be a teenager? ‘Cause that ain’t cute…
    XO from the cold (but still damn hot in the summer) state of Maine!!!

    • Sarah! Thank you for your very very good question. I think the shorts you are describing sound a-ok and knowing what your lovely legs look like, I think you can pull these off no problem. But thanks for inspiring a future post topic!

  9. I seriously cant wait how you mix and match your heavier dress clothes over the summer, here in kansas it is so weird, we get so cold during winter time and so hot during summer time, so I have 2 types of clothes inside my closet and half of it stored in my basement during 4 months worth of summer and then out when fall comes in. I’m also hoping to get couple of my summer dress transition to winter dress, I spent way too muchmoney investing in my newly almost empty closet, so I would love to wear everything all year long.

    So back to the outfit post, can you believe when the first thing that I saw your picture I thought that top is from Marc Jacobs? you have such a great taste that I cant believe it is from F21??!! unbelievable!!! and I seriously in love with that flowy skirt, I just have a thng about stripe skirt and everything stripe but I cant seem to pull off flowy skirt because I’m pretty short (bummer)


  10. anna marie says:

    summer? what’s that? (i also never stop talking about the weather, but how western pennsylvania weather is horrible, and not nearly hot enough!) i do especially love your shirt!

    and i’m struggling to find myself a summer nursing home friendly wardrobe. winter was great for the dress/cardigan/tights combo. i find dress pants and a short sleeved shirt awful boring, so i’m on the hunt. i know i’ll stumble across a good look, but it’s not there yet! i luckily have a liberal business casual dress code, so anything but jeans is a go!

    anyways, send some of the hot weather my way, lady!
    xo.anna marie

  11. Ashley says:

    The adorable-ness of that top is ridiculous. I think it looks so feminine and this may seem weird to say, but I am craving femininity right now.

  12. Angel says:

    Cute outfit! Whats the tattoo??

    All the best, Angel

  13. sam says:

    omg! so cute! and your shoes are so charming!

    and i totally know what you mean by having some sort of uniform, especially if the weather is to the extremes (specifically if it’s hot), but once you get the hang of it, you make it work! :)

  14. Santina says:

    I totally know what you mean. Not having the option for layers makes it rather challenging to remix. I’m feeling exactly the same after eight months in Mexico with a tiny closet and no real shopping options. Just last night I was thinking, “hmmm, how could I make this dress look different when it’s too hot to wear anything but just the dress?” Needless to say, I skipped outfit pics! :)

    All that said, you look gorgeous in this look! The ruffles and shape of the skirt are so ladylike…and I’m a total sucker for an ultra feminine look on a girl with a boyish cut. Love it!

  15. Very cool blog, an amazing outfit, you have a great eye for fashion. We love you and we will certainly visit often. Regards: D

  16. ooh, love transitioning the wardrobe it always makes me SO happy!! And your outfit is just incredible. I love, love the detailing in the top and the black & white colour palette… as for the skirt? such a gorgeous silhouette. Happy Friday hun. xx veronika

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