The benefits of making your wardrobe work all year round
I am not sure if I have ever mentioned this before (I, like, for sure have) but San Francisco has no seasons. I mean it proceeds normally through the year, I’m not trying to say that it’s stuck in time or anything, I’m just saying that day in day out the weather doesn’t really change too much. It might be a little colder in the winter, and somewhat warmer in the summer, and there is usually a heatwave somewhere in September/October. But we are talking differences of a few degrees here: you will never need a true winter coat, or a breezy sundress.
For me clothes were always year round. And thats kinda how I like it. Even now living a place where the temps range from snowing to swimming-in-the-harbour, I hate the idea of storing half my clothes away for 6 months of the year. And to be perfectly honest, there is not too much of a difference between my winter wardrobe and my summer wardrobe.
I don’t see the need to split them into two separate concepts. I view my whole wardrobe as a single unit, and I want to see cohesion and continuity in it. There is no real difference between SummerBronwyn and WinterBronwyn, except for the fact that SummerBronwyn is probably complaining, so why should there be a difference in my wardrobe.
It sometimes seems that people are expected to dress differently in summer than in winter. I don’t just mean that the items you wear change as temps dictate, but that your actual style changes with the seasons. I don’t want to be a boho hippy girl in the summer and then a velvet wearing vamp in the winter, I want my style to exist year round. (And frankly, if I could be a velvet wearing vamp in summer I would be a million times happier!)
I’m not saying that every item I own works across the seasons, obviously some things will only work for certain times of the year, but I still have those items in my closet where I can see them. I also don’t want to own so many clothes that half of them have to go into hiding so the other half can get some wear. For me part of keeping my wardrobe manageable is keeping season-less.
I find that most things can be tweaked for different seasons. Rethinking how you layer something can get you more mileage out of it. The skirt I wore with sandals and a tank top works just as well with boots and a jumper in winter. Sweaters that were top layers in the summer become bottom or mid-layers; even dresses can take more layering than you might think.
But what really makes this work is putting in the work to really know your style and having a considered wardrobe. Once you are consistently buying things that fit your style and the existing wardrobe you have, you will increase your available options. Of course it’s impossible to have a wardrobe where each item works with everything else, but your own sense of style should be strong enough to carry you through the year.
With the exception of two massive very cold weather coats which live under the bed for a few months of the year, everything else stays. I know what I have, I know what can fit in my closet, and looking at it everyday keeps it fresh in my mind. I don’t feel like I need new wardrobe at the start of each season because I’m excited to get to wear the things that I’ve been looking at but missing wearing. It also helps keep me creative and thinking of my clothes in terms of what I have and what I can do with them, rather than what I am missing.
When shopping we should always be guided by our own styles rather than the seasons. And once you start that, you’ll see how much more wear you get out of everything over the year. Thinking of your wardrobe as a whole, rather than something divided into summer clothes, winter clothes, and a few things for spring and fall, will give you both a better grip on your own style and more power over your styling.