winter outfit

How to make your summer wardrobe work in winter

I’m not a jeans person, so I’m pretty creative with making my summer clothes work all year round! Naturally, I was excited when one of my Instagram followers suggested I write a post about turning a summer outfit into a winter one.

Without further ado, here are my tried and tested tips.

Wear stockings with everything

Australian winters don’t get as cold as those in the Northern Hemisphere, so stockings are generally enough to keep me warm.

Luckily, I can wear most of my summer dresses and skirts because they look good with stockings. Therefore, I’m pretty mindful of the clothes I purchase in summer and am more inclined to buy something if I know it’ll look good with stockings.


During my honeymoon I found I wore two layers of stockings because I just didn’t want to wear tights or jeans. Surprisingly, this kept me so warm. The key to doing this is making sure the first layer you wear is the type of stocking that sticks to your skin, and the second layer is a higher denier.

winter outfit

Me at the picturesque Wanaka Lavender Farm in May 2019. I wore two layers of stockings, as well as a singlet and thermals underneath my white knit. Surprisingly, this kept me warm!

Add a jumper or cardigan

You can add extra warmth when you wear a skirt by teaming it with a jumper or blouse.

Dresses are a little more limited, but they sometimes work with a jumper or cardigan. Sometimes when you wear a jumper with a dress, it can actually look like you’re wearing a skirt.

A black cardigan pretty much goes with everything, but you can always experiment with tones that compliment the majority of your wardrobe. For example, burgundy goes really well with greens, navy, beiges, mustard yellows, pale pinks, as well as the usual staples: black, white and grey.

Summer outfit

I bought this skirt in summer and wore it with t-shirts and singlets during the warmer months.

make a summer outfit work in winter

I made this skirt work in winter by teaming it with stockings, a long sleeve top and a faux fur vest for added warmth.

Add a fitted singlet

I have a confession to make: I only started wearing a singlet underneath my winter outfits 2 years ago. Now this isn’t rocket science, but I was just never taught to do it (yes, very shocking considering Croatians are usually very pedantic about that stuff lol).

You can pretty much wear a singlet underneath most things, and they provide an extra layer of warmth to your winter outfits. That’s why I prefer to buy ones that are scoop or v-neck so they don’t peek through.

Big W has affordable singlets in black, white and neutral. I buy 5 or 6 of these at the beginning of winter and wear them all season long! Stretchy material works best here as it clings to your skin and insulates you.

Below are the singlets I like to buy from Big W  in white and black, $5 each. The whites work well under lighter tops and the black under darker tops.

Big W singlet

Wear thermals

Another thing I started doing last year was wearing thermals on top of my singlets and underneath my winter tops. This happened by accident: I needed thermals for my honey moon and ended up wearing them all winter!

Unlike singlets, you do need to put a bit of thought into what you wear thermals with. Thermals work best with tops or dresses that don’t show your chest, so it’s best to avoid wearing them with a cuts like a v-neck. There are some options with a v-neck, but I find that can still be too obvious. One work around is wearing a scarf to cover the thermals.

Below are some tops you can wear a singlet and thermals with. I recommend sizing up if it’s a slim fit.

uniqlo knit top
Sportsgirl rib jumper
Petal and Pup Jemima Knit

UNIQLO Extra Fine Merino Crew Neck Sweater in pink $49.90 | Sportsgirl Rib Mock Neck Jumper in dusty pink $49.95 (on sale) | Petal and Pup Jemima Knit in Burgundy $59.95

Layer Up!


I’ve already touched on wearing a scarf to cover unsightly thermals. Thermals or no thermals on show, scarves are a great way to add extra warmth when wearing your summer clothes in winter.


Cardigans are also a great way to add another layer of warmth.

Coats or parkas

It’s normal to wear a lot of layers in winter and I feel I wear a lot more than the average person because I just feel cold all the freaking time (lol). Speaking from experience, I highly recommend sizing up with coats or parkas so your shoulders and arms have room to move. There’s one item I wish I had sized up with: my black Zara coat that, despite fitting well everywhere else, is just way too tight on my shoulders when I wear a lot of layers.

Faux Fur Vest

I’ve found these are perfect for keeping my upper body warm!

I hope you enjoyed these tips and would like to know: do you make your summer wardrobe work in winter?

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