What a bloody wash out it's been lately hey! There's nothing like this kind of year for quite literally raining on ones parade. I always love a change in the season and find myself feeling totally inspired in most aspects of my life, particularly my wardrobe, however when it rains and rains and rains it's often hard to put any of those inspirations into play.
Mixing up my wardrobe for the colder months is something I look forward to and as I've said time and time again I feel that my personal style comes into it's own at this time of year as I feel there is so much more that you can do with winter styling. Whether it's through layers, textures, accessories and deeper colours I feel so inspired to get my wardrobe working to create some really fun looks to share with you... Now if it would only stop raining so I can shoot them...
But alas we had a rather splendid (or dry at least) day a few weeks back where I worked with the lovely Rosie to shoot some looks. This baby was one of them and I thought it was a great way to show you how you can get your wear out of your summer dresses through into autumn/winter.
In the past I've opted for super summery pieces that don't transition at all into the cold months in Manchester. However, this year and with a smarter more educated head on my shoulders, I invested well. I selected pieces that I knew I could take through into winter with me, that I could style up and down depending on the occasion and that I knew would layer well to create a different look every time. Whether that be with the pieces I bought or the pieces I was lucky enough to be gifted with, each piece had to really work within my wardrobe rather than being put away for another year.
The dress in question today was a lovely gift from the Hayley Menzies team, a brand I've lusted at from afar for many, many moons and a brand that certainly did not disappoint when it comes down to quality and fit, not to mention truly sensational designs.
I wore this dress throughout the later days of the summer; the first time at Leeds Festival and paired with a cowboy hat and boots and then with a sweatshirt thrown over the top when it got a little chillier in the evenings. I've also worn it with trainers for a really fun and relaxed weekend look. Today I'm wearing it all geared up for autumn and I must admit this is probably my favourite way in which I've styled it so far. The super feminine dress fit with full length silhouette, ruffle detailing and heart print is toughened up with buttery leathers and chunky pops of red with my trusty Gucci boots. It's these ever so slight touches that work to create a different look entirely. I just love a piece that you can make super girlie and in the same breath super masculine and badass too.
Whether your summer dress is mini or maxi, long sleeved or short, light in colour or dark there are may easy ways in which you can get your wear out of it into the colder months, you've just got to get creative.
The obvious ways are pairing your dresses with tights, the marmite piece for many of us but a piece I personally adore. For me tights add a real retro, sixties flair to a look, whether you go for a thicker pair, a sheer pair or a printed or colourful pair, I think tights are a really classic way to take your summer pieces into winter.
I'm really excited about this AW as printed tights are a huge trend for the season. I wore checked tights last year (see this post here) and I'm so excited to bring them back out for another year, not to mention the leopard print beauties I've recently purchased and will be sharing in an upcoming blog post soon. Tights are no longer the enemy nor are they a winter necessity, they're this seasons must have accessory and a piece to have some real fun with, it's merely a bonus that they keep us toasty too.
Layering is another great way to keep you looks fresh for the season. I'm enjoying pairing jumpers, sweatshirts, cardigans and hoodies over the top of my summer dresses to make them autumn appropriate. Layering your fave snuggly knitwear over your summer dress is a fun way to add a new lease of life and to create a brand new look from your trusty summer dress. Throwing on a coat or jacket over the top for extra styling points and of course extra warmth elevates the look once again and depending on the outwear piece you go for depends on whether the look is ready for a day out shopping and brunching, a day at work or ready for drinks with the girls. I just love using the same dress and simply layering it differently for all occasions.
And I guess the easiest way to transition of your summer dress into winter mode is through footwear. This dress looks incredible whichever way you style it. Whether that be with trainers for a relaxed look, ankle boots at a festival, knee boots for a date night or platform heels for dancing with the girls; each simple switch up in the footwear department makes for a completely different look and ensures that you get your moneys worth from your favourite summer dress.