A Fashion Pro’s Guide on Wearing Summer Clothes in Winter

Wearing Summer Clothes in Winter

If your eyes have popped out wondering how someone could be wearing summer clothes in winter, you’re not to be blamed. Things may not go typically as always when it comes to fashion.

Fashion is highly subjective in the modern era. Our contemporary society comprising numerous fashion pundits, internet influencers, and big brands spending hefty sums of money on advertising whatever clothing they prefer marketing, makes for a versatile category of “trend” and what’s “out of date.”

As far as modern fashion goes, common sense would tell you that summer clothes should be worn in summer and winter clothes should be worn in winter. But then again, that mindset is also out of date since fashion has evolved to be all about perspective.

No unspoken rule or social stigma is befalling you for wearing an off-season attire as long as it’s not a hideous assortment of random stuff. You must avoid wearing an attire that’s inappropriate for wearing and doesn’t give you any shelter from the environment outside your humble abode.

What I’m saying is that with a bit of willingness, knowledge, and active experimentation with your wardrobe, you won’t even need to put these ‘summer’/’winter’ labels on your clothes anymore.

Why change your preferences to fit the fashion when you can change the fashion to fit your preferences instead?

Why Would You Want to Use Summer Clothes in Winter?

Wearing Summer Clothes in Winter
Why Would You Want to Use Summer Clothes in Winter

Apart from an aesthetically pleasing sight, why would you even want to wear lightweight summer clothing in winter when it’s cold outside? Where is the logic in that?

The question itself here seems rhetorical, a misconception which can be easily cleared by another question: “Who’s stopping you from wearing summer clothes in winter?” or “Why label them as summer/winter clothes in the first place?”

Put on a lightweight T-shirt and layer it with a full-sleeved open-buttoned shirt on top. If it’s a V-neck, use a scarf that either matches the shirt’s color or accentuates the shirt by contrasting with it.

If it’s too cold outside, you could replace the dress shirt with a cardigan, a blazer, or an open hoodie. The possibilities are endless, but I beg to differ.

The premise is that you can mix-match summer and winter clothing or use different sets of summer clothing together to protect you from the cold. Thus, you can have a stylish set of clothes ready for the day to boot.

You can use both complementing and contrasting types of clothes and colors to your advantage with enough imagination. You can not only save your money by restraining yourself from going on a heavy winter shopping spree but keep yourself from neglecting your summer clothing altogether for the entire fall/winter season.

The only side-effect is that fewer moths and critters would feast on your innocent summer wardrobe during the winter.

How Can You Even Ensure Comfort While Wearing Summer Clothes in Winter?

Wearing Summer Clothes in Winter
How Can You Even Ensure Comfort While Wearing Summer Clothes in Winter

This question is interesting as it challenges your “Why” from the above question head-on with a “How.” Contrary to the rocket science-like logic this question poses to your entire resolve of wearing summer clothes in winter, this entire dispute can be easily closed with one word: “Layering.”

Wear anything in winter, keeping your layer right. This is where go-to winterwear like turtlenecks, oversized sweaters, a sharp-looking blazer, a simple hoodie, and even shearling coats can accentuate your summer clothes inside.

But that doesn’t mean everything goes with everything else, though. As I said, fashion is subjective, and this is where your preferences come in.

Want to look sharp? Wear a dress shirt along with a dark blazer. Want to look cute and fluffy? Wear a T-shirt with a scarf on your neck, or a tight turtleneck, layered with a fur coat, a wooly sweater, or a fur-necked hoodie on top.

Or maybe you want to look cool and refreshing; in which case, classic denim jean jackets make heavenly combinations with any light-colored underlayer as long as it doesn’t contrast with the jacket itself. Dark-colored track pants or jeans can be worn as a contrast here instead. 

The top complementing your look, and the bottom contrasting it, cool as the winter breeze and warm as the summer sun at the same time– Lovely!

As long as you matter in what you wear inside and what accentuates the layering on top with two main factors: “Complement” and “Contrast”; and diligently experiment a little bit with your clothing, you can ensure comfort and maintain your preferred style without conforming to what’s ‘in style’ at the moment.

What Aspects Do You Need to Consider When Using Combinations of Different Clothes in Winter?

Wearing Summer Clothes in Winter
What Aspects Do You Need to Consider When Using Combinations of Different Clothes in Winter

The clothes we wear have a great amount of science in them. Garment factories craft materials for specific purposes, including staying warm or cool, staving off the wind, etc. But clothes themselves don’t keep us warm.

The things we wear are to enhance the body’s natural ability to keep warm and stave off heat from escaping. Nevertheless, here are the things you need to consider apart from the layering above to keep your outer experience from turning from a fun outdoor adventure to a frigid nightmare.


Probably the most common misconception about warm dressing is that the layers should be tight. Clothes themselves don’t necessarily keep us warm themselves, but enhances our body’s natural ability to keep our body heat from escaping.

Consider a clothing layer as the interface between you and the elements outside, and check how a tight shirt or dress is only putting your skin closer to the cold wind on the outside.

That’s why space will keep you warm, contrary to what you might think. A good-fitting wool sweater, for example, creates a thin layer of air between your skin and outside.

Your body heat warms the boundary layer, and the sweater will prevent the layer from being blown away from your body.

Staying Dry

Moisture becomes the death-kiss on a cold day, whether from rain or sweat. When your skin is wet due to sweat or anything, it starts evaporation or, in other words, a cooling process, irritating as it might be.

You can avoid getting wet by putting on a base layer that can put sweat at bay, e.g., polyester or silk. The dress’s outer layer should be waterproof like a rain-jacket. It should also have vents or breathable fabric so your perspiration can evaporate off the interior layers.

Blocking Wind Drafts

Even if the temperature isn’t that freezing, the cold wind can make your time outside just as miserable.

Our warm bodies heat a little layer of air around us, which helps insulate our skin from the cold. Wind can and will blow the warm layer away if you are careless.

The best winter-wind tackling strategy is wearing a windproof fabric to keep the warm air next to our skin, where it should be. This is where the Middle Layer of layered clothing comes in to play.


Talking about accessories, things such as rings, earrings, and whatnot may come to mind, but what I’m talking about here are mittens, scarves, socks, and hats.

Woolen ones are the best option here. Cotton absorbs moisture and traps it next to your skin, which for winter, is very ill-advised.

Speaking of wool mittens, a mitten and hat combination that complement each other can give you a very cute look when contrasting your skin color.

Lighter colors for darker skin and darker colors for lighter skin will give you a very fluffy and mild appearance that both other guys and girls will very likely appreciate.

Protect your extremities by wearing a hat to cover your ears, along with waterproof gloves and wool socks. If you have beautiful and thick hair, you can get away with earmuffs or a winter headband.

The idea that your body heat is lost mostly through your skull is a myth. Your body’s exposed parts mostly shaft the body heat, be it head, hair, or skin. Stay covered, and you’ll stay warm.

What Clothing Materials Are Best Suited for Winter While Wearing Summer Clothes?

Wearing Summer Clothes in Winter
What Clothing Materials Are Best Suited for Winter While Wearing Summer Clothes?

Big-name clothing brands aren’t big just for aesthetics. Not all people in this big apple who buy their products choose clothes just considering what’s in fashion and not.

Why is that? Simple really.

It’s the research put into the product itself even before its manufacture. Different materials are manufactured, and different clothing pieces are crafted for specific purposes, especially to ensure quality, such as staying warm or cool and staving off the wind.

I’ll elucidate briefly which are good and which are ill-advised to wear as winterwear in the following points:

Polyester or Polypropylene

This material is fine, woven strands of plastic, which sounds horrible to wear, but it actually can give the clothing a softness.

Fleece is made of polyester. Polyester and polypropylene fabrics draw sweat away from the skin. They make great cold-weather clothing.


Silk is costlier than many other textile materials. Silk is a suitable material for a base layer because it’s natural and wicks moisture like polyester.


Wool is an essential cold-weather fabric when paired with polyester layers. A woolen sweater makes a great middle-layer.

It absorbs moisture, which is uncomfortable, but keeps it warm even when it’s soaked. Wool’s best quality is its ability to trap that warm-air layer next to your skin. It also makes good hats and socks.


Nylon is suitable in outer-layers because it doesn’t absorb much moisture. It makes for a good rain jacket, poncho, etc.

Gore-Tex, Sympatex, or Similar

These are patented and waterproof fabric materials. They’re windproof and breathable. They make great outer-layer jackets for winter.


Cotton attire isn’t advisable for cold weather. It soaks in moisture while trapping it next to your skin. Cotton works best in summer when you might want a little extra moisture to keep you cool.

How Can You Remain Fashionable in Winter While Donning Summer Clothing?

Wearing Summer Clothes in Winter
How Can You Remain Fashionable in Winter While Donning Summer Clothing

Fashion, as a word, is hilariously subjective, as I mentioned before, where it can be as specific as “she looks pretty” to as vague as “her choices in apparel certainly accentuates her personality.”

Nevertheless, here are some clothing combinations I took from a survey of 100 people as to what combinations of summer clothing can make or break your winter look.

Combinations to Try

Skirt over pants will sharpen up your outfit while creating an interesting silhouette. Frilly skirts can go well depending on your height in this case.

Chunky Knit over A Shirt

Follow one of our new favorite celebrity style icons and add a crisp collar to ramp up a neutral crewneck sweater. It’ll create an incredible backdrop to a typical shift-dress. You can mix prints with a graphic sweatshirt, sweater, or cardigan. The prints are the new black!

Convert a summer dress into a winter skirt by adding a cute sweatshirt on top. A full-sleeved sweater or a turtleneck will do the same trick. Be sure to put on some leggings, though. Your lovely legs aren’t going to protect themselves.

Try a turtleneck under a shift dress. Trust me; a fitting black turtleneck will be your trusted buddy through the shivering cold days. You could put on a sweater and coat over it, layer it under a cute dress, or try it solo-and-tucked into a maxi skirt for a formal occasion.

Skirt with Knit

Considering the British rainy and bone-chilling winter, no wonder the people there are such experts at layering. Perhaps that’s the reason why Alexa Chung has this easy essential in her closet: a pretty and flirty-flared skirt. She wore a black turtleneck and a rocker-style moto jacket. Here, the outfit alternatives are so many. Pair a chunky-cropped sweater with the skirt, delicate knit cardigan set, boxy blazer, tailored blouse, or even a crop top.

A long sleeve top-under overalls and jumpsuits make them more practical in winter. You can pair this attire with both jeans or shorts and leggings.

Buy a nice pair of opaque tights to wear undershorts or skirts. Frilly skirts with white and another bright color palette go well with these tights in winter. If it’s snowing outside, the skirt’s frilly hem, along with the tights, will blend in beautifully with the environment.

Add boots and a jacket to your favorite summer maxi skirt. Brown boots go great with a light-colored jacket.

Wearing Multiple Outer Layers

Try a denim jacket with a coat. Make sure the coat doesn’t completely contrast with the Denim’s blue, though.

Personal Preferences

Wearing Summer Clothes in Winter
Personal Preferences

I’d rather not suggest any given ‘style’ or ‘fashion’ for wearing summer clothes in winter, because my body-type and preferences can differ vastly from other women. But then again, an article with a touch of the writer’s preference may add to the solutions.

Here are some of my takes on wearing summer clothes in winter:

  1. I prefer wearing tight air dresses when the weather is windy. Layered with a denim jacket or a hoodie, it makes for a simple yet effective solution for going outside, whether for a hangout with friends or just taking my pet out for a walk.
  2. For me, winter clothes aren’t the only concern I strictly follow to keep me warm. Gloves, socks, and a nice light scarf are my companions, often than not, whenever I have to go outside.
  3. I mostly keep my hair open during winter. With the cold weather and wind, styling or dying, my hair would give a high chance of both hair fall and scalp irritation.

Whenever I feel my ears or head becoming a bit too cold, I wrap my scarf into a makeshift hijab (headscarf) or bring a hat along. White berets are one of my favorites, although it’s a bit troublesome when I want to keep my hair open without any disturbance.

  1. Since the winter wind is infamous for sucking up all the moisture from your hair, I ignore styling or tying up my hair. It can be more troublesome than you might think to undo the hair when you come back home.
  1. I ignore waxing in winter to keep my body hair as it naturally insulates my body from the cold. Again, this depends heavily on your body type, whether you should follow this or not. Since I don’t grow much hair on my arms and legs, this doesn’t concern me much.
  2. Uncomfortable summer clothes are comfortable in winter. I’m not worried about sweat, or heavy fabric, so anything that looks decent but keeps me warm is perfectly fine.

In Essence

Beauty is the way you perceive it. Take my suggestion, wear what fits, and emphasizes your personality.

If you’re talkative and extroverted, make yourself look warm and approachable. Wear frilly dresses, mittens, and skirts with leggings and whatever you feel comfortable to wear. Wear a bright beret, and it’ll most definitely accentuate your bright personality.

If you’re cool, calm, and collected, go for a sharper look. Wear a dress shirt, with a blazer on top.

If you’re going out to exercise, try track pants with a sports jersey and a complementing jacket or tracksuit on top.

The possibilities and combinations are limitless, and the only thing limiting you is how far you’re willing to let your imagination take you.

Sofia Kamal

Sofia Kamal is lively, spontaneous, and pleasant as a person who loves to write, travel, eat, and hang out. She is a published author of two books and looking forward to publishing her next one soon. By education, she’s a major in Management Information System, who’s aiming at being a professional business analyst.

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