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Clothes for specific weather

Four outfits for between seasons

Four outfits for between seasons

Dressing is tough enough when you know exactly which season you're in. But it's the days of transition that pose the biggest challenges. You could be facing frost, rain or an unexpected heatwave, sometimes all in one day. Which means that you need to be prepared for whatever the elements might throw at you.

"Staying at the right temperature is tricky between seasons," says Thread stylist Millie Rich. "Particularly because, even if you know it's going to be cold outside all day, air con and central heating can still make you uncomfortable." The solution, however, is simple: layers. "But keep them lightweight. A thick jumper under an overcoat may be great in the morning, but by lunch if the sun is back out you'll be too hot if you keep it on, but might be too cold if you take it off." Instead, think less of more – multiple layers, all light enough to nudge your temperature up or down by a few degrees.

Below, Millie suggests four looks that will have you prepared for even the most peculiar conditions, and explains the key pieces that you should invest in. Because the best weapon against unexpected weather is a wardrobe that's prepared for anything.

For a smart office

Smart autumn outfit

Photographed: Paul Smith camel double-breasted mac (£855); Paul Smith tailored-fit wool suit (£760); Reiss knitted silk tie (£60); Research Garments shirt (£49); Selected Derby shoes (£75)

Trench coat: “If you wear a suit everyday, a trench coat is the smartest way to stay dry. It’s also lighter than a wool overcoat, which makes it perfect before winter proper arrives. Although if you buy one roomy enough, there’s no reason why you can't just add layers – like a wool sweater and a gilet – when the chill does arrive.

White shirt: “White won’t show sweat, so it’s the best choice when you’re bundling up as you step out of the front door, but boiling by the time you reach your desk. Look for breathable fabrics like cotton – particularly if you’re wearing a suit all day – which won’t show any marks if the sun does come out.”

For a casual office

Casual office autumn outfit

Photographed: Selected Vince Bubble jumper (£45); A.P.C. chambray shirt (£145); MVP Watney chinos (£30); Church's brogue boots (£359); Anderson's woven textile belt (£79); Filson briefcase (£315)

Lightweight wool jumper: “You want something that’s simple to throw on and off as the weather changes. Which is why it’s also wise to carry a bag, so you’ve got somewhere to put it when things get warm. It’s also a chance to add some colour and fight away the grey skies; shades like burgundy and forest green are easy to wear. If you’re particularly colour-averse, look for a textured knit to add a bit more detail.”

Dark chinos: “Chinos work all year, but when you might get caught in a shower, you want something that can withstand the weather without looking splotchy. Dark colours like navy will hide rain marks, so you don’t need to keep a spare pair under your desk.”

On the weekend

Weekend between seasons outfit

Photographed: Reiss padded gilet (£185); MVP Harding hoodie (£30); MVP Arbour t-shirt (£14); Jigsaw leather trainers (£98); Illesteva sunglasses (£165)

Gilet: “If it’s not cold enough for an overcoat, a gilet is a practical way to stay warm, but not too warm. If you can find one in light down, it will even pack into a bag. Just be careful to avoid anything too outdoorsy – think neutral colours, not neon orange – and style with knitwear or a hoodie to keep the look casual. The best versions are warm but slim enough to wear under an overcoat in winter. Bulky versions can make you look, well, bulky.”

Dark leather trainers: “Leather looks good, wipes clean and won’t let in water, which makes it perfect for winter. Because there are few things sadder than squelching around town in soaked canvas trainers or suede desert boots. Just make sure to keep some wet wipes in your bag for any touch-ups, in case you do end up in a puddle.”

On a night out

Autumn night out outfit

Photographed: Paul Smith tailored-fit unlined blazer (£600); Reiss long-sleeved polo shirt (£90); MVP Watney chinos (£30); Reiss reversible leather belt (£50); Church's brogue boots (£359); Wood Wood scarf (£59)

Textured technical blazer: “A technical blazer combines the fit and formality of a blazer with weatherproof fabric, so you look sharp and stay dry. It should be light enough to layer, so look for versions without much structure. They tend to have more of a relaxed fit, so are better for smart-casual occasions. If you need to be more formal, carry an umbrella. Odds are that if you’re going somewhere smart, there’ll be somewhere safe to store it."

Long-sleeve polo: “On a night out, it’s often warm when you meet your mates, but freezing when you’re on your way home. A long-sleeve polo is lighter and more breathable than a jumper, but warmer than a summer polo. The sleeves also make it look smarter, but the collar lends a casual air to blazers. So you’re the right side of the dress code wherever you end up.”