Yesterday, Nicole and I showed you our individual takes on the lightweight fall jacket. Today, it’s time for another fall favourite: the transitional piece. The possibilities are endless considerable, but it all comes down to dresses for me. I love and wear dresses a lot, and I always try to stretch our their “season” as long as possible. For this post, I chose a dress that is a true wardrobe workhorse: my colourful shirt dress.

Yes, it’s loud. And it’s pretty memorable. You probably can’t wear it (or something like it) every day without people eventually immediately noticing. But you can still wear it often, for different occasions, and – yes – different seasons. It’s very easy to dress up, or down, and even easier to accessorize. Here is how I wore it this summer:

Katherine Barclay shirt dress; pixelated floral dress
Dress, Katherine Barclay; shoes, Old Navy; bag MbMJ (via eBay)
Katherine Barclay shirt dress; pixelated floral dress
Sandals … sigh

And this is how I would wear it to work, now, with temperatures still relatively mild. (Obviously, a shirt dress won’t be work-appropriate in very conservative offices, but it can pass muster everywhere else.) A solid-colour cardigan adds warmth and, in this case, helps to “tone down” the colourful print. I chose flats over heels, because the dress is about an inch or so too short for heels (based on my office and my personal comfort level).

Katherine Barclay shirt dress; pixelated floral dress
Cardigan, J. Crew Factory; shoes, Ferragamo
Katherine Barclay shirt dress; pixelated floral dress
Future Thursday-at-the-office outfit

Come October (or November, if you don’t live in the frozen north like me), it will be time to turn up the layering another notch – throw on a sweater, tights, and a scarf, and you’ve got a hella cute date night outfit. (I wouldn’t wear this to work because, with the addition of the sweater, the dress rides up a few crucial inches. Even with tights added into the mix, it would still be on the short side for me.)

Katherine Barclay shirt dress; pixelated floral dress
Sweater & belt, J. Crew Factory; scarf, Winners; shoes, Ralph Lauren
Katherine Barclay shirt dress; pixelated floral dress
teal 4evah

Now, I’m not going to tell you that you can wear a cotton dress all year round. Not if you live in a city whose motto might as well be “Winter is coming. Very soon. Oh look, it’s here.” But you can get a lot of wear out of a cute summer dress even after the geese fly south.

Katherine Barclay shirt dress; pixelated floral dress
Transitional dress in action

Curious to see Nicole’s take on the transitional piece? Well, head on over to her blog right now! And don’t forget to check back tomorrow for the last post in our series. Here’s a hint: it’s all about the details.

13 Comments on Fall Favourites: The Transitional Piece

  1. Ah dresses. I remember dresses. Those gorgeous one-stop outfits you can’t nurse in unless it has buttons… Le sigh. Anyway this is exactly how I’d transition my dresses too as I can wear most of them all year. I think your winter one is my favourite here – I like the scarf with it picking out the colours in the dress πŸ™‚

    • Oh man, I was SO happy to be done with breastfeeding and get reunited with all my regular clothes. Although, I do get a bit nostalgic about those early days. Hope baby Felix (and his mum) is doing well!

  2. three outfits for the price of one! i was so ready for the second look to be my favorite, but i am dying over how cute the third is. i have a sweater dress that is too tight now, but i wonder if i could salvage it with a contrasting sweater over it. hm. dress for thought.

    can we get a scarf tutorial from you? i feel like you are an expert, and i have no idea what you did to tie that scarf up there.

    • Well, you’ll see … I’ll make up for it in tomorrow’s post by being extra lazy πŸ˜‰

      And, dude – I can barely tie my own scarves. I just keep futzing with them until I manage to tangle them up real good. Ta da! #scarfexpert #notreally

  3. I love that dress! It’s super cute. I wear dresses year round, even in the frozen wasteland of the midwest, by wearing them with fleece-lined tights. And on really cold days, I wear two pair of fleece-lined tights. They are my favorite things EVER.

    • I discovered fleece lined tights last year, and they are the best thing ever. The only problem is that they seem to get baggy/lose shape easily. Do you have a particular brand you’d recommend?

      • I don’t know the brand, but I got mine at TJ Maxx. They did not get baggy or lose shape, though they do get a bit pilly after a season of wearing them constantly.

        I would also put them on under jeans for the super coldest days. I have a long walk each way and I need warmth!

  4. I have a cute polka-dot shirt dress and I’ve worn it by itself and with a cardigan, but I never thought about putting a sweater over it! I will have to try it out. It’s a little short, so it might be a better weekend option. πŸ™‚

    • Yes, putting a sweater over it definitely “eats up” another inch or two of length. Not a big deal if you’re saving it for the weekend. I love layering sweaters over my dresses – it’s like getting a new skirt πŸ˜‰