As the wheel of the year turns, our wardrobes change too. Now that summer is around the corner, why not store away the winter layers? Repress them like a bad memory and make space for the light and leisurely summer wear that celebrates the season. You’ll prolong the life of winter wear by giving it a break from hanging, dust and light damage, and you’ll enjoy more space in your closet so that linen shirtdress isn’t a mass of wrinkles the day you decide to wear it.

Traditional fashion dictates are fine to note, but needn’t follow them. “No white after Labor Day” and Grampa’s “long underwear until Memorial Day” are rigid dictates that may have made sense in Mother England, but you’re invited to make your own rules and wear what makes you feel good. We encourage you to transition to a summer wardrobe which will have you feeling your best and enjoying the season.

This shoulder season is perfect to reflect on your style and your preferences. Go through everything! If you love it but know it won’t be in rotation until fall, store it. If it no longer suits you, let it go. And if it’s perfect summer wear, give it pride of place in your no-longer-cramped closet and enjoy it for the next few months.

These decisions can be a little overwhelming, so here are some guidelines to bring structure to the process. You might want to team up with a friend and tackle everything over a weekend, or do a category at a time after work during the week. If you break it down into pants, skirts, tops, sweaters, outerwear and workout wear, that’s only six sessions!

As you evaluate what you’ve got, take note of what’s missing. Perhaps you absolutely love that pastel peach skirt, but you never wear it because you don’t have the right top. Or maybe you’ve worn your charcoal blazer to the office all summer for the last few years–not because you love it dearly, but because you didn’t have a more summery option. Make a list and expand your wardrobe with a few versatile pieces.

Consider these factors as you sort through your wardrobe with summer in mind:


Some items are easy decisions: wool coats, winter boots and heavy scarves can go in deep storage. When it comes to dresses, sweaters and blazers, you’ll want to evaluate them on a case-by-case basis. Bring those shorts and sundresses out from winter storage!


What will summer bring you? Camping, weddings, company picnics, and airplane travel place distinct demands on the wardrobe. Think about planned or potential vacations. If you’ll be canoeing in Canada or rambling through Reykjavik, you will want those wool sweaters at hand.


Weather extremes seem to be the new normal. If you have travel planned, research your destination so you’ll be prepared. Hot climates have their own built-in extremes as frigid AC forces you to layer up.

Fabric Weight

Thick wool, leather, suede and cashmere are good candidates to tuck away. Rayon, cotton and linen take center stage for the summer.


Tradition suggests that summer wardrobes emphasize white, tan, khaki, pastels and brights, while winter wardrobes favor deep, rich tones like wine, black, and brown. Evaluate what you’ll wear for the summer through the lens of your own taste.