“Seasons change, and so did I,” The Guess Who sings on the classic track “No Time.” The Guess Who were not singing about their clothing (at least, we assume), but they could have been, because changing what you wear with the seasons is an essential style move that everyone should master.
It doesn’t take a fashionista to know that what you wear should change with the weather, of course. When it gets cold out, you grab a coat. That’s just common sense! But the reasons to change with the seasons run deeper than this simple and practical truth. The fact is, a smart and seasonally sensitive wardrobe will help you look good.
The seasons and color
We all look good in certain colors. One of the most common ways in which we evaluate our ideal colors is to associate our own appearance with a season: seasonal color analysis pairs each of us with an ideal season and designates us as being “an autumn,” “a winter,” or another season.
It’s an apt naming convention, because seasons really do have color palettes of their own. And while you should keep in mind that some colors go better with your complexion, you should also remember that some colors go better with the world around you!
Think about a yellow dress, for instance. Does it go better with one season or another? Well, that depends on what sort of yellow it is. A bright, sunny yellow is perfect for spring or summer, but it might look a little garish in fall or winter — think goldenrod for fall, to go with the changing leaves, and a deeper gold for winter, especially around the holidays.
The seasons and fabrics
Certain fabrics make more sense in certain seasons. Lightweight, breathable fabrics are natural fits for summer; heavier, cozier fabrics are natural fits for winter.
Well, of course, right? But think about this: It’s not just that these fabrics feel more comfortable in certain seasons. It’s also that they look better in certain seasons. If you see someone in wool in summer, you feel uncomfortable on their behalf. In winter, though, you might be drawn to that person’s apparent comfort and cozy look. In winter, wool gear will make you look happy and huggable!
Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to find the right fabrics for the right seasons. But do keep the fabrics in mind! You can find slick, breathable fabrics that keep you warm these days, but those are better-suited for hiking than for your night out. Chunky coziness isn’t a liability on the trail, but don’t head to the bar like you’re climbing a mountain. Go for fabrics that look as warm as they are, and others will be more impressed by your look.
Layering and showing skin
When it gets warmer, we wear lighter fabrics; colder, and we go heavier. But there are other ways to warm up and cool off, and the most important one is layering.
Layering is one of the most important and most basic fashion moves. Everyone should know at least a little bit about pairing items up and donning them in attractive layers. Layers look hip, but they also look cozy. It’s the perfect technique for fall and winter. But don’t forget to consider fabrics! Layering lots of slick summer gear in winter may keep you warm, but it won’t make you look seasonally appropriate.
When it gets warm, we take away layers. Move to slick rain shells in brighter colors in spring, and then lose those layers in summer. You may even be able to bare some more skin in summer — though, for our guys in the audience, we have to advise against excessive tank top use.
If all of this sounds simple, it’s because changing what we wear with the seasons is the most natural thing in the world. Humans have been layering up in the cold and shedding layers in the warmth for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. And all you need to do to turn that basic instinct into a killer fashion instinct is to remember to look as seasonally appropriate as you feel. Communicate your seasonal sense with color, fabrics, and layering, and you’ll stand out and live in harmony with the seasons at the same time.