5 Transitional Wardrobe Staples to Wear In-Between Seasons

Winter-to-spring outfit hacks, ahead.

By Alana Wexman

February 19, 2024

Transitional Dressing Long Sleeves Transitional Dressing Long Sleeves

Long-Sleeve Tees

Depending on where you live, it’s still cold outside—which means a collection of layerable tees is a must. On days where the weather can’t make up its mind, “Start with an easy base layer that can be worn under a knit,” suggests Shopbop Fashion Director Caroline Maguire. When you find yourself peeling off your sweater later in the day, your long-sleeve shirt will still look great on its own (especially when tucked into straight-leg denim). Opt for classic striped versions from ATM Anthony Thomas Melillo., or cool cropped styles from THE GREAT. With an armful of versatile tees in your lineup, you’ll be sartorially prepared for whatever the forecast throws at you.

Knit Beanie

When brisk temps hang around well into spring, keeping cozy from head to toe is key—and a luxe knit hat is just what you need. “A lightweight beanie is a great winter-to-spring topper for chilly evenings,” says Maguire. This cozy-cool accent doesn’t just repel the cold—it also has the power to melt a style freeze. Add a pop of color to your ensemble with a bright or pastel beanie from Acne Studios, or lean into the minimalist mood with chic neutral styles from White + Warren. The best part? These toppers are the perfect finisher for almost any look, from swingy dresses and boots to off-duty denim and vintage-y sweatshirts.

Transitional Dressing Beanies Transitional Dressing Beanies
Transitional Dressing Shearling Jacket Transitional Dressing Shearling Jacket

Shearling Jacket

The unpredictable period that lies between winter and spring is the cause of some of the trickiest fashion emergencies. We’re sharing the key to getting dressed when it’s warm during the day but cool at night: a trusty topper. From classic trench coats, to sporty bombers, and laid-back denim jackets, the layer-friendly outerwear options are endless. If you’re looking to make a statement, Maguire shares her go-to standout style: “A head-turning shearling coat is a must for every season-to-season wardrobe.” Whether worn with jeans and a lightweight sweater, or layered over a floral dress later in spring, you’ll get sartorial mileage from a versatile jacket. If your goal is to keep warm until the sun makes its debut, Maguire touts options from Lioness and STAND STUDIO as ones to add to your coat closet.

Ballet Flats

High-style flats will walk you—and your wardrobe—through just about every season. If the thought of baring any skin on late-winter days has you shivering, Maguire has a hack: “During winter, just add knit socks or tights for extra warmth—and some bonus texture.” Comfortable, timeless, and ultra-versatile, these polished shoes are indispensable to any wardrobe, any time of year. From understated neutral pairs to right-now metallics, they’ll keep all your outfits looking en pointe. For laid-back weekends, pair chic skimmers with cropped denim and a chunky sweater, or for your 9-to-5, team them with a mini dress and an oversized blazer. Maguire suggests stepping into styles from Sam Edelman and Schutz for major style points.

Transitional Dressing Ballet Flat Transitional Dressing Ballet Flat
Transitional Dressing Cardigan Transitional Dressing Cardigan

Slip Dress

Way more than fair-weather silhouettes, a minimalist midi, mini or maxi should be your new go-to transitional dress. “Wear a sleek slip over a lightweight knit with tights and boots now, then style it for spring with an easy tee,” Maguire advises. A true wardrobe chameleon, the versatile silhouette pairs well with just about everything in your closet: for example, ballet flats and a blazer for work, boots and a sweater for casual dates, or fun mules and an oversized jacket for a night out. Look to Acne Studios and Anna October for luxe, silk styles you’ll keep on heavy rotation this season.