7 Transitional Wardrobe Pieces That Are Always in Style

transitional outfit ideas

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While there are closet must-haves for each of the four seasons on their own, there are also pieces you can keep in your wardrobe and use as transitional pieces when the seasons begin to change. A transitional piece can be any piece of clothing or accessory that might be used for multiple seasons as a constant in your wardrobe or simply a piece that works well with outfits as the temperature and time of year begins to shift.

leonisa shapewear
source: Leonisa.com

Transitional wardrobe pieces make it easier to shift your closet from one season to another. They’re versatile and can help you dress appropriately for any specific time of year, even if it’s an “in-between seasons” month. There are a handful of trusted items that are great to keep in your closet throughout most of the year and will help your closet flow more freely through the seasons. Here are seven transitional wardrobe pieces that are always in style.

1. Shapewear

affordable shapewear
credit: Leonisa

While this technically goes underneath your clothes and isn’t seen, your transitional outfits will look that much better on top of your favorite shapewear. The various styles and benefits of shapewear can help you feel comfortable and confident in-between seasons, especially if some of your clothing doesn’t fit quite the way it did last year. It’s a good idea to keep a few pieces of shapewear like sculpting panties, a shaper tank, and even shaper leggings in your closet to help you transition more smoothly between seasons.

2. Cotton Dress

cotton dress
credit: Elise Wilcox

Cotton is the superior material for just about any season, occasion, or temperature. In the spring and summer, cotton helps keep you comfortable and dry, even if you get sweaty. A cotton dress is perfect to keep in your closet for that time of year when it’s not quite spring but maybe doesn’t feel like summer yet. Pair it with a cute bralette and you’ve got a chic spring to summer outfit without having to pull out all of your summer clothes.

Cotton dresses are also great as part of a summer-to-fall transition outfit. A short cotton dress paired with a denim jacket is great for days that feel warm and then get chilly after dark. Keep a couple of these in your closet during transitional months as an easy go-to outfit option for almost any occasion!

3. Light Cardigan

best transitional cardigans
credit: Valentin Lacoste

Take some advice from your childhood closet and keep a light sweater handy for those days when the temperature might fluctuate depending on the time of day. While this is a traditional staple in many complete wardrobes, your choice of sweater can be anything but ordinary. You might go for a classic piece of light outerwear like a soft knit in black, white, or any neutral in between. If you’re looking to spice things up a bit with this transitional piece, go for something with a funky collar or statement detail.

4. Cropped Jeans

cropped jeans for fall
credit: Mohammed Hassan

A great pair of jeans should never be too far out of reach. Different styles of jeans, including boot cut, skinny, boyfriend, and flare, are great for adding a little something extra to your outfit. As a tried and true basic, however, a great-fitting pair of cropped jeans is a transitional piece that has stood the test of time. In addition to timelessness, cropped jeans can be worn with an array of shoe options. When transitioning between spring and summer, wear your cropped jeans with flats or heeled sandals. When it comes to a fall transition, go for booties that will pair perfectly with long sleeves or a light sweater.

5. Neutral Bag

bags for fall
credit: Martin Blanquer

Some purses just have the capability to work effortlessly despite the season. Statement bags are a fun addition to special occasion outfits, but having an all-season bag on your closet roster is a gamechanger for transitional time periods in particular. Instead of buying an everyday bag in a wintry-dark color or bold summer hue, try including a neutral bag that isn’t too light or too dark. In this case, you won’t have to change up your purse game during the transitions between seasons.

6. Black Flats

black loafers for fall
credit: David Karp

Perhaps the pinnacle of multi-season footwear is a great pair of flats. Since white shoes can get dirty quickly and are more reminiscent of summer than any other season, consider a pair of black flats that can take you from season to season without missing a beat. Whether you choose a simple black sandal for warmer weather or a pair of black loafers during cooler months, black flats are a no-brainer when it comes to stylish transitional pieces.

7. Sleeveless Tops

transitional outfits for fall
credit: Vova Krasilnikov

A key factor in wardrobe transitioning is knowing when and how to layer. You’ll be able to utilize more of your overall wardrobe throughout more of the year if you choose layering pieces like sleeveless tops wisely. Sleeveless tops are great on their own if the sun is out, but don’t throw all of them in storage once summer’s over! As temperatures drop between fall and winter, add a sleeveless top underneath your sweater or an oversized shirt to give your outfit added dimension and warmth.

Use this list as a guide when the seasons are changing and you don’t know what to wear. Having transitional pieces like these in your wardrobe will help you move seamlessly from season to season.