A wardrobe fit for all our seasons

If we learn to layer, our changeable weather needn’t mean four changes of clothes a day

Printed jacket (€69), vest (€36), skirt (€34), clutch (€31) from Next.

Printed jacket (€69), vest (€36), skirt (€34), clutch (€31) from Next.

Tue, May 28, 2013, 02:00

There’s an old adage that says, “ne’er cast a clout till May be out”. In layman’s terms, it means not to start shedding your layers until June has arrived, regardless of what season your calendar says you’re currently experiencing.

Living in Ireland, never has a seanfhocal been more laced with wisdom: we may have seen the odd glorious day of sunshine (“odd” being the operative word) over the past few weeks, but the likelihood of our being able to consign our denims and woolens to the back of the wardrobe until October is slim, at best.

So how do we handle this period of transition? When our seasons are not exactly clear-cut, with spring melting into summer and then into autumn (and so on), the divisions are not always so apparent. Not for us, the summer and winter wardrobes of our continental cousins.

The key to surviving the seasonal shifts– without catching a chill in one’s kidneys – is located in the art of layering. Never leave the house, for example, in just a T-shirt, no matter how optimistic the meteorological predictions. Always carry an umbrella. And if you’re really smart, you’ll always have a change of shoes in the car, for those days when you get caught in a rainstorm and you’re soaked through to your socks.

Lightweight outerwear such as Zara’s duck-egg blue linen coat will see you through bouts of wind and evening chill, while Stella McCartney’s sunny yellow blouse is a great colour for summer, but maintains a certain level of sense in having sleeves. At Topshop, a devoré kimono serves as an excellent cover-up without threatening to overheat you.

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