How to wear your summer dress in winter

Make this summer wardrobe essential work in winter

You don't need to go out and buy a new wardrobe just because the seasons have changed. Firstly, we’re pretty lucky living in South Africa with our weather being mostly moderate. Do you even own a pair of snowshoes? Have you even lost a pet or grandparent to exposure? And then, for seconds, all you need to do is winterise your existing summer gear.

Sure, there’s nothing groundbreaking about wearing scarves, sweaters, leggings and the other stuff in your wardrobe with your summer gear, but not everyone knows how to make the most of their favourite summer dress, which is why we got our favourite stylists to share their useful tips and tricks with The Way of Us.

“When looking at how to wear summer clothes in winter, one of the first things that comes to mind is layering. Stock up on knits and coats, and wear them over your favourite summer dress. A well layered outfit not only looks hot, but does well to make your summer clothes last through fall and winter.” – Tammy Tinker, Style Director at Superbalist.

"A great leather jacket may seem like a simple solution, but I think that's what makes someone truly stylish. A well-worn leather jacket – think biker, aviator or cropped – over a dress of any length is both sexy and understated." – Marco Riekstins, Caxton Magazines' Creative Strategy Manager and Man of the Cloth.

“I like to take a short summer chiffon dress and wear a thin, dark knit over it, ensuring it covers the neckline of the dress. Then I add dark opaque stockings and ankle boots, and top it off with a cape for the perfect ode to chilly winter days in the city.” – Bronwyn Day, former Fashion Director at Glamour turned freelance fashion stylist. 

“I would take a black basic shift dress from COS and wear that with black tights and either my Nike Air Force Ones or my Adidas Superstars. On top I’d add a long grey coat with either a black or navy scarf. Layer. Layer Layer. Do that and you can take the lightest, prettiest summer dress and winterise it.” – Chrisna de Bruyn has been working as a stylist for 18 years and you can see her work here

“I’m wearing a MissShape dress today from one of their summer collections. Today is a little chilly, not too cold in Joburg, so I’ve taken my old extra-long snood from Topman and belted it for an extra layer of warmth. And because it’s so long, there are so many different ways I can wear it, depending on how cold I get. I’m also wearing a pair of simple mules from River Island, but wouldn’t dare subject my toes to the torture on a colder day.” – Bee Diamondhead, creative strategist and fashion stylist who you should follow on Instagram

"My best tip for wearing a summer dress in winter is to team it up with some good-quality tights and ankle boots and add a heavy coat or cropped knitwear piece to balance the lightweight fabric." – Crystal Birch almost couldn't help us out as she was busy shooting a Tanzanian pop star's music video. Lucky for us, and you, she came through. 

“Add a polo neck to a shift dress à la Jane Birkin for a modern sixties look. But really, it’s cold in Joburg so buy a winter dress!” – Sharon Becker, fashion editor at Marie Claire