During this time of the year, you’ll have noticed that the high street starts to get a little…confused. From about July until the end of August – after the summer sales have finished – there’s a brief period of trans-seasonality in fashion. It usually lasts until mid-September (or the official start of autumn), and is reflected in the flurry of lightweight jacket sales that accompany everyone’s final pay cheques of the summer.
Trans-seasonal clothing is all about brightening up our end-of-season wardrobes; items in this category tend to be what you’d call ‘investment pieces,’ since they’re less trend-led. Most importantly, they’re the key items that we can wear now and – with the addition/subtraction of a few layers – later too. In short, trans-seasonal fashion is the backbone of any wardrobe; print is another. So, we’ve combined the two by listing the 5 best prints you can wear now – and keep on wearing well into autumn/winter.
Unlike ditsy floral prints (which are more suited to summer), antique florals have the versatility to suit both warm or cool weather. They’re generally ‘moodier,’ which makes them ideal for all seasons. These oversized, painterly blooms are not dissimilar to those you find on chintzy wallpapers but, you know, more wearable. Look out for warm hues for true trans-seasonality; burnt oranges, brownish greys, navy blues and mustard yellow colours are equally suitable for long summer nights and breezy autumn days.
Although stripes (namely navy blue ones) have become an annual summertime classic, the seasonal wearability of striped prints shouldn’t be forgotten. It’s all about the colour; forego your nautical stripes for something more muted. Autumnal colours like brown, taupe, mustard yellow or olive green are perfect to wear come rain or shine; monochrome stripes are also a year-round must-have.
Retro Polka Dots
Unashamedly ladylike, polka dot prints have the kind of retro charm that never goes out of fashion. Ever since Christian Dior debuted the print en masse in his New Look collections during the 50s, it’s a motif that’s been associated with old-school glamour. And, thanks to a certain famous mouse (we’re looking at you Minnie), polka dots have their place in pop culture too; they’re fun, flirty and feminine all at once.
When it comes to trans-seasonal fashion, you should always go for something fun. After all, who doesn’t want to brighten their days come winter by donning their boldest prints? Monochrome polka dots are the way to go at this time of year, since you can pair them with bright, primary-coloured accessories to lift your look even more. So, whether you go couture or cartoonish, go dotty for all things spotty this season.
Paisley prints have adorned clothing and accessories for centuries, and the enduring quality of this intricate teardrop motif isn’t surprising when you think about it. From its ancient Persian and Indian roots, the print became emblematic of bohemian fashion, peaking in popularity during the 60s and 70s. It’s this connection to rock and roll – everyone from The Beatles to Bowie wore it – that’s given paisley its cool factor.
As a trans-seasonal print, it really works. During summer, paisley is a staple on the festival circuit; it’s always got a place in holiday wardrobes too. Come autumn, the print takes on a more folky (less hippie/summer of love) vibe. Paisley blouses or tunic tops are indispensable; wear them with your denim shorts over summer, then pair with your loyal skinny jeans and ankle boots when the weather takes a turn – layer over a faux fur gilet to complete your look.
One of the key prints to reoccur every autumn/winter is plaid. Whether or not it’s because a bit of red tartan gives us all a fuzzy, festive feeling, one thing’s for sure: plaid is always a good idea come autumn. But what about now?! You’re probably asking. Well, we’re not about to admit the end of summer is nigh either, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be wearing a classic check. In fact, when it comes to smart-casual clothing, plaids are ideal.
Whilst we love the charm of a gingham dress or blouse, it’s a check that you can’t get away with after August (sorry – it’s just too redolent of a picnic blanket). That’s where plaids come in; this heritage print has trans-seasonality written all over it. Opt for a paler plaid; grey or pastel hues are perfect for warm or cool weather – save your deep greens, reds and royal blue tartans for winter.