It’s important to create a wardrobe that works with your climate. That way you’ll reduce closet orphans, save money, and actually wear what’s in your closet. With a practical approach to your wardrobe, you’ll also feel appropriately dressed and comfortable each day, which goes a long way towards owning your look

Sometimes it’s hard to be practical about adapting our wardrobes to the climate, and it’s not uncommon to be in denial about the whole thing. This happens when you love certain wardrobe items so you keep on buying them, but you hardly wear them because the weather is uncooperative. For example, you might adore wool coats and tall boots, yet you live in Hawaii or Singapore where the weather is hot and humid. Unless you regularly travel to a much colder part of the world, you will have little need for these items.

That’s why I suggest shopping (mostly) for your dominant season. For example, if you live in Austin, TX – Summer is the dominant season. If you live in Alaska, Winter is the dominant season. If you live in a place that doesn’t really have a dominant season, make sure that your clothing, footwear and accessories reflect all the seasons in relatively equal proportions. Also, take into account your temperature tolerance levels. For example, you might live in a relatively cool climate, but not really feel the cold. So on days where I’m wearing woolly knitwear, you might be more comfortable in a long sleeved blouse. 

I have lived in different climates all over the world, from tropical Hong Kong, to seaside Cape Town, Western Europe and Seattle. I’ve had to readapt my wardrobe each time we moved to accommodate the climate changes, and for sure I’ve made costly mistakes along the way.

When we first moved to Seattle, I didn’t know that the Summers were short and generally not that warm. On top of that, I feel cold at the drop of a hat. But I love wearing soft skirts, and sleeveless blouses and dresses, and for the first couple of years of living here I stocked up on them in the hopes that we would have a gloriously warm Spring and hot Summer. Well, I learned the hard way. My warm weather stuff was orphaned. Now I know better. You have to put the brakes on warm weather wardrobe items when you live in Seattle. But you can go to town adding items like sleeved tops, jackets, trench coats, coats, knitwear, jeans, trousers, heavier weight skirts, scarves and all sorts of boots. These items are my wardrobe workhorses and money well spent. 

Does your wardrobe reflect your dominant season(s)? Have you made mistakes along the way? Do you purchase items for an imaginary climate?