The time has come, once again, to speak of transitional dressing. It’s that situation where one day it’s 23 degrees and the next day it’s 14 (which feels much colder to your post-summer senses). I love living in a city with seasons, and this time of year is kind of the best – because now you get to wear all your clothes at once! You’re not stuck staring wistfully at fuzzy jumpers while you slowly sweat into a puddle, or gazing at short skirts while you put on two pairs of tights under your jeans. It’s ideal! All you need to do is find the things you loved from summer and work out how to wear them in ingenious ways as the mercury drops…
The inspiration for a post all about transitional dressing came to me via the First Edition collection by Witchery, which I spied in early February when I was doing a weekend jaunt around Lambton Quay. It caught my eye from the street, because it featured an item that long time readers will know I’ve been after for a while – a red leather jacket. I’ve searched high and low for a thrifted option, I’ve put countless non-leather alternatives into (and out of) online shopping carts…and then it appeared before me, in all its splendour.
That gateway jacket led me into a collection that made me extremely grabby-hands. Now, Witchery isn’t a New Zealand designer (it’s Australian), and obviously this collection isn’t thrifted or recycled, but I wanted to write about it because I think they’ve created a great collection and I realise there are plenty of women in NZ who don’t have local access to New Zealand designers (and there’s a further subset of those women who are still a bit scared to buy online). Even those of us who do have an array of awesome local options at our doorstep/fingertips still want to mix some other options in there from time to time. I’m trying to be realistic about our varying options. Not everyone has hours to spend touching old clothes. But all of us have to cover ourselves adequately in varying weather conditions!
To the clothes!
The Slip Dress
I was too young to go full nymph in a slip dress in the 90s, and perhaps that’s why I find them so alluring now. Down here in Short Town I’d be fairly unlikely to rock this dress with sneakers, but if I had even a couple of inches on my current height, I’d be breaking out my very beat up Converse sneakers immediately. The fabric on this dress is heavy – that’s the secret with satins like this, the heavier the fabric, the less lumps and bumps you will see (and the more swingy-swish you will get).
For warmer weather I’ve kept it simple and leaned into the sheen on the fabric with metallic shoes and a belt. That belt is in fact a necklace, which I’ve repurposed like the fancy fashion lady I aspire to be. I think belts can be a great option with slip dresses to create a little shape – I know it seems backward to the whole point of slip dresses, but we aren’t all built like Kate Moss. Sometimes a wee bit of waist definition can be your best mate.
We all know the dating pool heats up in summertime, and this is the perfect ensemble for a spicy night out with your beau/potential beau/best mate. You should be at your maximum summer glow by the beginning of March (preferably faux) and you may as well enjoy it before it all disappears under 4 layers and a coat. Plus, chuck a cropped jacket over this and switch to a plain black pump and you are good to go for a full day at work!
When is a dress not a dress? When I wear it in the winter with a jumper over the top. Hey presto, I have a new skirt! I’m feeling the option of wearing super chunky jumpers over my dresses this year, and this ultra fuzzy number (seriously, so unbelievably soft) didn’t itch. It’s a winter miracle! I was extremely warm in it, but when it gets For Real Cold I’d double down – long sleeve merino under the slip, jumper over the top. Bang on a pair of sleek knee-high boots and you are both warm and Boss Lady Gorgeous all at once.
I don’t know when this happened by I have a strange obsession with things that finish mid-calf. I think I feel more mature when I wear longer skirts and, currently, more Fashion when I wear cropped pants. Plus, y’know, I haven’t been to the gym in a year so the old pins are looking less toned and more…well, you can still tell they’re legs. It’s fine. I’m still young.
For summer, I wanted to feel like I could walk down a beautiful street in Rome on my way to coffee with my beautiful Italian friends, warm sunshine on my face and a ridiculous amount of confidence in my heart. So, I leaned into the oldest trick in the book – I wore three colours. Humans love things that come in threes. Here I used the navy tank to sort of bring things down a notch, then relied on the dark red tones in my belt, skirt and earrings and the pop of pale pink to keep things pretty. I’d be happy to wear this to work (sans sunglasses, I’m not Anna Wintour), but to make it even more corporate you can easily switch out the tank for a plain button down shirt. Keep the earrings though, they’re critical to your success.
The First Edition collection has been designed so that you can adopt a big runway trend from late 2017 – top to toe colour. The look book is styled in layered, single-hue looks (check more out in the slide show below), so I decided to directly rip that off and wear all red for winter. It was a powerful look, but in the end I broke it up a little to a look I’d be more likely to wear, with a graphic scarf and a favourite pair of ankle boots. I love a bit of a heel so this is legit something I’d wear on a Saturday to have brunch with my Mum and then wander around the shops/galleries etc. I just layered a basic merino underneath – roll necks are very in, and very sensible – and much like the tank from the pictures above, the sleek lines balanced beautifully with the swishy skirt.
The First Edition collection is available online, here, and in the Lambton Quay store in Wellington.
This post is not sponsored, and in what I hope is a statement of the obvious, all opinions are my own. Thanks to Witchery for letting me play dress up in all the things. Good work me for not just buying the entire lot at the end of this shoot *thumbs up*.
If you’re interested in dressing for winter on a budget, check out this post.