Make a Winter Wardrobe out of your Summer Attire

As the old maxim goes, ‘waste not, want not.’ Here’s how you can create a new winter wardrobe from your old summer clothes. Image by:  Roberto Trm

We all know we’re living in tricky financial times. Barely a day goes by without some mention of having to tighten our belts and live within our means. And with this more parsimonious perspective in mind, it makes perfect sense to apply a more frugal, waste-not-want-not attitude to our daily wardrobe – no matter what the season!

Charity shops are back in vogue, but so is the more individual, artisan skill of creating new clothes out of old – and it makes sense that if you’ve got a jam-packed summer wardrobe you should recycle and adapt it to suit the colder, winter months.

Undeniably an essential part of any woman’s wardrobe, leggings are fantastic and diverse in that they come in a huge variety of designs, colours and styles.  For starters, how about pairing them up with your favourite skirt? Depending on the ensemble, leggings can be surprisingly toasty.  But if you do want a bit of extra flesh-coverage, match them up with long socks and boots.  

You may well have a mass of tank tops in your wardrobe, in which case you can purchase a few cardigans of varying sizes and colours – you can then wear short sleeves and spaghetti straps all year round.  Even better, you can create your bespoke outfits by mixing, matching and adapting the same few clothing items.  
For example, you could wear one shirt with a black cardigan one day, then with a white cardigan on another, thereby making it look like two completely different outfits.  And sartorially speaking, cardigans are an accessory, so you can get away with wearing them many times in one week. 

Layer It On
An ideal ways of adapting your summer wardrobe for winter is to buy long sleeve shirts in good, solid colours and wear them beneath shorter shirts. Or how about wearing sweaters and vests on top of those more flesh-revealing, skimpier summer tops?

Layering is one of the easiest and most practical ways of creating a cross-seasonal and pocket-friendly wardrobe. In other words, you’re not spending money unnecessarily.  Scarves are also a perfect and functional way of making a lighter outfit warmer, as is sticking on a stylish hat – use these accessories to your advantage.   

Capris Covering
Have a pair of well-fitting capris? Then incorporate them into your new winter designs.  Providing they’re not too short you can cover any exposed flesh with high boots, to which you can create an extra layer of warmth by wearing leggings or high socks under them. (It doesn’t matter how daft they look, they won’t be seen anyway.) 

Fantastic Fabric Coverings
Fabric coverings are brilliant for shirts that would otherwise be great for winter, were it not for a low neck line - and they cover up more of your chest so you’re not shivering from the chilly temperatures.  Furthermore fabric coverings can enhance your look if you get one that’s frilly or decorative, or one in a colour that blends well with your chosen outfit. Even better, some places sell them in packs so you can pluck out a few at a time and swap them around as the mood takes you.  

Warm Below
Thermal underwear might not be the most attractive – conceptually or visually – undergarments to wear, but there’s no denying they’re more than up to the challenge of keeping your nether regions appropriately toasty.  You can carry off thermals with your recycled summer garb; just as long as they’re not visibly poking out from your outfit, then it’s all good. 

Dual-purpose Dresses
What’s the point of throwing out or abandoning your dresses just because the chillier season’s upon us? That’s just sacrilege!  There are plenty of summer dresses that look fantastic when coupled with a good pair of trousers – occasionally they even work well with those tried, tested and endlessly versatile leggings.  

Transforming your summer garb into a winter wardrobe is all about creating a new and fresh look out of something old, and there are plenty of ways you can do it without appearing cheap or looking ridiculous.

You can even dig those summer sunglasses out of the drawer – if celebrities can pull off the winter sunnies chic then so can you; or why not invest in a pair of Oakley goggles if you’re the sportier type. 

So the bottom line is don’t throw anything out – just a little imagination and some practical application goes a long way to save you money but look great in your apparel. 

Have you got any other sartorial tips to metamorphose your summer wardrobe into a winter one? Share your ideas below.   

Susannah Perez is a fashion blogger who hates to see anything go to waste and recycles as much as she can, whenever she can.

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