Spring, summer, autumn, winter: Wardrobe essentials for every season
For each season there will be different clothes that you rely on for keeping comfortable. Whether you need something light to help you stay cool, or something chunky for extra warmth, there are plenty of options to see you through the year.
Light jersey tops are very versatile, worn either as your main garment on your top half or as one of many layers. For daytime, a simple t-shirt will feel totally comfortable, whereas you can upgrade to something more embellished for an evening event.
Cardigans are also year-round basics: perfect for covering your arms on a summer evening or as an extra layer under your winter coat. Cotton is lightweight enough for warmer weather, but will also keep you warm when combined with other layers.
A great pair of jeans is essential too. Whether worn with chunky knits or vests, they'll see you through every season. Available in many fits and fabrics, there are some to suit every body shape.
Jeans work for various occasions - with a t-shirt for the trip to the shops or a blouse for lunch with your friends. They are the go-to option for many people when it comes to smart casual, and they are an easy garment to take you from dawn 'til dusk.
Investing in the right clothes and shoes will keep you warm throughout winter. Coats are hugely important, and will look great while protecting you against the elements - pick something that's comfortable, so when you have a few layers on you won't look bulky under all your clothes. Faux fur and quilted fabrics will keep you insulated in the coldest weather, and fleece jackets are great as something to fit underneath.
A fur collar or trim will add a little luxury and protect your neck. Gloves and scarves will also do the trick - leather gloves in particular will keep you warm.
For days indoors, you can keep comfortable in soft loungewear. There are lots of options available, so you can find something perfect, even if you want to look reasonably smart - ideal if you’ve got friends over for lunch!
Cotton tops with roll-necks will keep you really warm underneath a tweed jumper or cardigan. Cord is an alternative to denim for winter jeans and looks great with chunky knitwear. Keep your feet snug, too, in a pair of boots or suede slip-ons.
Since spring can be unpredictable, layers are key. T-shirts will keep you cool in the sun, but be prepared with a cardigan and brolly in case of a drizzle. Cropped trousers are perfect, showing some skin while keeping you covered, and will look great with pumps or wedges.
Full-length maxis can keep you warm in cooler weather - if the temperature drops, you can stick a pair of tights on, but if it's mild then your legs are still completely covered. Try wearing them with long-sleeved jersey tops, vests or high-necked t-shirts. If your skirt is patterned (floral prints are lovely in springtime), choose a plain top for balance, and add a belt around your waist to create structure.
Lightweight trench coats are great for staying warm in spring. They flatter almost every body type, but they're less bulky than winter coats. Waterproof ones are perfect in case of a downpour!
Simplicity is key in summer; the fewer layers you wear, the cooler you will be. Lightweight fabrics like linen are best, preventing you from overheating if you do plan on layering up.
Vests and t-shirts come in such a variety of styles, patterns, and fabrics that you are sure to find something to match your trousers, skirt or shorts. In the evening when it’s colder, you can don a lightweight cardigan and still feel cool. For something a bit smarter - like a garden party - a voile blouse will look gorgeous paired with chinos or a mid-length skirt.
For holidays, invest in versatile garments. In daytime you can pop on some shorts and a sleeveless vest, and in the evenings try a printed tunic, lightweight trousers and some wedges. Look out for wrinkle-free items too, so you’re not worried about clothes getting creased in your suitcase!
Where swimwear is concerned, you want something that you feel completely comfortable wearing. Nowadays, there are options for every body shape, so you needn't feel self-conscious.
As an alternative to bikinis and one-piece swimsuits, tankinis show a little bit of skin but still keep you covered. Many have in-built tummy control, and designs with contrasting side panels will create a really flattering silhouette.
Check out Cotton Traders' full range of swimwear here
Must-haves for autumn
In autumn, the trick is to layer it up. Blazers and other jackets will be really useful, especially when paired with scarves and cardigans. At times, it may be warm enough for only one or two layers, but always ensure you have a cardigan in case the weather changes.
Reflect the rich colours outside by picking hues of oranges, reds, yellows, browns and purples. If you want to find out more about which colours suit you, take a look at our colour guide here
Lightweight knits or fleeces are ideal for mild evenings, keeping you looking glamorous while you're out and about. Alternatively, you can opt for a patterned waterproof which will be both practical and attractive. Underneath, long-sleeved jersey tops will keep you comfortable without feeling bulky, helping you make the most of the warmer weather before winter arrives.
Longer skirts and jeans will be go-to items for everyday wear, and boots will keep you warm while still feeling comfortable; perfect for long walks in the countryside!
Staying comfortable all year round is easy when you invest in the right clothes. Whether you’re layering up or staying cool, keep in mind which fabrics will help you stay the right temperature and always have a cardigan handy, just in case!