When you live in the South, it’s common to experience all four seasons in the same week. This can make getting dressed a challenge. I often hear from my style-coaching clients that the most difficult day to dress for is the chilly morning that turns into a toasty afternoon. Fickle weather and fluctuating temperatures mean wardrobe confusion. Do you wear a sweater and booties, or short sleeves and sandals? Let’s dive into how to successfully nail down that comfortable medium outfit for this time of year!

How to Dress for Transition Weather

Layer! Layer! Layer!

The number one rule for having a great transition weather wardrobe is learning how to lightly layer. This means wearing a short-sleeved tee with a lightweight long-sleeved cardigan over it, or a sleeveless silk blouse with an all-season fabric blazer over it. A scarf can also be a great technique, especially gauzy and silk scarves, to add flair to an outfit and a little warmth in the morning.

This lightweight wool scarf from J.Crew not only adds interest, but a much-needed element of warmth for chilly mornings. Image: J.Crew

This lightweight wool scarf from J.Crew not only adds pizzazz; it’s also a much-needed element of warmth for chilly mornings. Image: J.Crew

Pair a classic skinny pant and lightweight crew neck top with a cardigan that you can wrap up in or throw over your shoulders in the warmer afternoon. Image: Anthropologie

Pair a classic skinny pant and lightweight crew neck top with a cardigan that you can wrap up in or throw over your shoulders in the warmer afternoon. Image: Anthropologie

A suede jacket in classic navy with an edgy asymmetrical zipper takes these traditional basics to the next level. Image: J.McLaughlin

A classic navy suede jacket with an edgy asymmetrical zipper takes these traditional basics to the next level. Image: J.McLaughlin

A breathable lightweight romper look gets a touch of elegance and warmth with a velvet jacket. Image: Anthropologie

A breathable lightweight romper gets a touch of elegance and warmth with a velvet jacket. Image: Anthropologie

Equip Your Closet

In order to lightly layer with ease, you must stock your closet with the basics. This is the perfect time of year to snag fall/winter items on sale, so assess your closet to see what’s missing and then shop away. I suggest having a variety of third pieces — cardigans, vests, blazers and scarves — that can pull an outfit together, provide warmth in the morning and be removed when the temperature rises in the afternoon. But don’t forget you also need items that can be worn under these third pieces with ease. Short-sleeved and sleeveless tops layer nicely under most blazers and cardigans and are very practical for fluctuating temperatures.

Where I see my style-coaching clients hit a wardrobe wall is figuring out how to put all of these pieces together into polished outfits. If this is something you struggle with too, I have the perfect style guide for you! I just created a “Transition Weather Outfit Formulas” guide that includes plug-and-play outfit ideas for this time of year. I share why these go-to outfits work, visuals of what complete outfits should look like, style tips for how to recreate these looks yourself, and an entire shop section full of my hand-selected transition weather items that you can shop directly. Scroll to the bottom to find out more about this great guide.

Basics in a neutral color palette are completely transformed with a third piece like this cardigan in a fun, bold leopard print. Image: Anthropologie

Basics in a neutral color palette are completely transformed with a third piece like this cardigan in a fun, bold leopard print. Image: Anthropologie

What could be more classic and cool that this piped lightweight trench coat. Image: Anthropologie

What could be more classic and cool than this piped lightweight trench coat? Image: Anthropologie

Transition weather doesn't mean all neutrals and no color. Go bold and playful with a colorful silk scarf! Image: Anthropologie

Transition weather doesn’t mean all neutrals and no color. Go bold and playful with a colorful silk scarf! Image: Anthropologie

Monochrome basics get a tasteful touch of pattern and added warmth in this chic blazer. Image: J.McLaughlin

Monochromatic basics get a tasteful touch of pattern and added warmth in this chic blazer. Image: J.McLaughlin

Breathable is Best

Now that we’ve covered the importance of light layering, let’s discuss a few more style rules to keep you and your wardrobe season- and weather-appropriate. Breathable fabrics can seamlessly take you from late winter into early summer. I’d highly recommend finding breathable items that are long-sleeved and can be worn solo or layered with a scarf, or short-sleeved or sleeveless piece. Breathable fabric doesn’t hold in heat, so you’re less likely to sweat in the afternoon sun. Some examples of breathable materials are cotton, linen blends (nothing boxy, though), polyester, silk and lightweight wools. A good litmus test is holding your garment up to the light to see if light can pass through it. If no light can be seen through the garment, then it’s probably not breathable, and you should pass on it for this time of year. The goal is not only to transition from chilly morning to warm afternoon, but also to maximize the longevity of your clothes from late winter to early summer.

Don’t Go Too Seasonal

The last transition weather tip is to avoid wearing anything too summery or too wintery this time of year. Skip the sandals, even on days that venture into the high 60s, and skip the quilted puffer coats — unless we have the inevitable below-freezing day! Instead, opt for items that speak to this time of year. Try a lined trench coat, a thin short suede jacket in a lighter neutral, a pair of peep-toe booties or some slip-on mules as alternatives to the sandals and the puffer coat. It’s about finding practical, better and more season-appropriate wardrobe solutions for this time of year.

Implement these transition weather tips and you will no longer dread getting dressed in the morning! You’ll have some creative and stylish solutions that will ensure you look and feel your best when the weather is truly unpredictable.

To learn more about Megan LaRussa, visit her style membership site, the Style Yourself Chic Society, at meganlarussa.com. And to snag her latest ‘Transition Weather Outfit Formulas’ guide, click HERE.