Taking a summer dress into winter

Shopping in my thirties has been very different to that in my twenties. As the number of years lived grows higher, the hemlines get lower, and jeans are no longer a second skin but are more relaxed with a high waist instead of a mid or low rise. I favour a streamlined, structured, figure-skimming silhouette these days, and I avoid polyester at all costs.

It’s not just the style that’s changed – the way I shop has changed too. I’m not as impulsive. Yes, I still fall head over heels for certain pieces, but I’ve learned some self-restraint and I try to wait at least a week before making a purchase, usually longer, in an attempt to be sure that I really did fall in love with that bag or those shoes or that knit. Probably influencing this is the fact that most of my clothes are a bit more expensive than they used to be, so it’s more noticeable when I’m spending. (But, equally, my wardrobe is more invested in).

Another major factor in my purchasing process is versatility. These days I try to buy things that can be worn in different ways or for different occasions. Take this Zara shirt dress as an example. I bought it in the summer of 2018 when I was around six month pregnant because I needed something to make me feel gorgeous – it didn’t do up over my bump, but I wore it open like a kimono or coat over black maternity jeans and a stretchy top. It served a purpose at the time, but I knew that by the following summer I’d be able to close it again and it did – I wore it with sandals and baskets, the collar left open. I even styled it for a summer wedding.

Fast forward a few months. The temperatures dropped but I was still wearing the dress. All winter I’ve had it on with a vest, tights and boots, the collar done right up to the final button for added warmth. With my best-buy-ever duvet coat thrown over it, it’s instantly winter-ready and dressed down a bit. It would look great with a jumper layered over it too, collar poking out at the top.

This is a dress that transforms completely from one season to the next, easily worn for a day out with the kids or to a fancy garden party. That’s the kind of shopping I like to do now. Fall in love, spend some time enjoying the honeymoon period that is courting my latest crush, before committing to the longer-term.

Dress, Zara (old but they do maxi shirt dresses every season)
Coat, Zara
oots, Office


Location: Broughty Ferry, Dundee.

Images: Kris Miller.


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