Almost all my clothes are out all the time. Only outerwear that lives in the shared hall closet and rotates to the closet in the basement seasonally isn't out. Same seasons as TG (I'm 100 km east of Toronto) but feel like I live in paradise after 26 years in Timmins, Ontario where the seasons are winter and the 1st of July! I got rid of my heavy Sorels, puffy pants, and other heavy winter kit in the big October purge last year!

I usually get blindsided by hot weather vs. cold. I'll start to think about it when we book a getaway vacation (for February or March) but it can be hard to find shorts, sundresses, swimsuits, and sandals at that time of year. I seem to be doing things other than shopping when high summer stuff is at peak availability, and for some reason never stock up (I own 2 pair of shorts) then it is hit or miss whether I find stuff in the stores or not. It is like I don't believe summer will come, and when it does arrive, that it will last!

Living in Seattle, I concur with Angie! I love wearing my summer skirts, dresses, and footwear but it always seems like the timeframe for doing so is crammed into approximately 8 weeks. I'm hoping for a warm, pleasant September and a little more time for summer clothing.

Helena - such a great and timely question!

I too struggle with this. I noticed last year that I do a big closet change over in October to see me through to end of March. The problem is that I get bored around January and start buying a ton of cozy knits because I am so cold (which I don't need: I am just bored of the ones in my closet).

Because I am a feelings-driven shopper, This year I tried to take note of the outfit formulas I gravitate to each season so that I can see what I actually wear each season and I don't end up buying too many of an item that I usually wear in a shoulder season.

And what I will try to do for this upcoming winter is use Joy's method - keep aside a group of clothes that I can then pull out in January that feel fresh for me through the dog days of winter.

I'll do a separate post on this to see what others' approaches are...thanks for getting the wheels turning, Helena

We have four seasons, but it feels like two, because spring and fall are so short. Summer is too hot, and winter is too cold, dry and windy. I don’t switch my wardrobe - everything is squished in the closet all the time. I don’t know anyone who switches their closet. Every year I have to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. I can’t remember what I wore in those temperatures.

Well here in Wales we have winter running from November to March then we have the monsoon season.l believe prior to climate change it used to be called summer.My clothing for the monsoon season is lighter in weight and colour to my winter stuff but just as waterproof.l generally swap things over end of April and end of September not because the weathers much different then but because I need the change and am fed up looking at the same stuff.

Jules makes a great point about different silhouettes for different seasons. I wear a lot of long over lean with tall boots in fall and winter. Weather conditions are still appropriate for that in spring but I noticed this past year that by March I am Just. D.O.N.E. with tall boots. Looking for something with a lower shaft but that I can still tuck skinnies into in order to change things up. I think the most difficult part of all this can be balancing practical requirements with the psychology of it all. (Yes, first world problem, but I think if one can really pinpoint what one is craving at a certain time of year, one has a better chance of fulfilling that in an efficient way rather than a lot of mindless "retail therapy")

if one can really pinpoint what one is craving at a certain time of year, one has a better chance of fulfilling that in an efficient way rather than a lot of mindless "retail therapy"

SarahDB, I so agree. And it's not as easy as you'd think it would be. The 6 season breakdown (or 7, with holiday season) does help a bit. But I still make the mistake Roxanna mentioned -- rushing off to buy new knits in January/ February simply because I'm sick of what I have (not because of genuine need). I really need to get a handle on it.

Oh yes. "One" was doing a lot of work in that sentence. Sort of signifying "ideally me, but totally not me in practice yet." :-p

My work clothes are basically 2 seasons, current one being from April until September. Since my office has AC that I can’t control, there is no need for high summer clothes. I will switch to my fall winter clothes end of September and the biggest difference is that it is based on black as main neutral while spring summer has lots of navy and no black at all. My casual wardrobe has high summer/vacation capsule which is different than spring because I can’t wear jeans during the hottest 3 months June through August. Don’t think there is much difference between my fall and winter clothes except outerwear and shoes.

I did a clothing tracking "thing" last year, and used colours to identify what clothes I wore in what season. So it's easy to see what happened here last year, and thanks for the excuse to actually look at it somewhat analytically!
The conclusion: I have six clothing seasons, with sub-seasons, defined by footwear (which indirectly includes amount of skin I can show) and attitude.

Summer: Open toes, Short sleeved tops, sweaters, toppers may be worn/needed in AC or evenings (esp denim jackets). In the middle of this is "hot summer", when the sandals are more open, sleeveless tops, as little fabric touching as
possible. Lots of dresses (July/Aug) (mid June to mid Sept)
Late summer/early fall: Time to put the toes away, still ok to bare skin (ankles), toppers worn outside esp in the morning and late afternoon (mid Sept to mid Oct)
Fall: Long sleeves, socks, booties, light coats. No snow. (mid Oct-mid Nov). I love dressing for fall, and am so sad it's apparently only a month long. I could start dressing fall-like earlier, but my toes object strongly to being put away when they don't have to be. This is a very funny season here, you'll see a massive variation in what people will wear on the same day. I'll be in sandal booties while my neighbour is in high boots.
Winter. Sigh, here it is. Snow time. Warm boots, coats, lots of long over lean so my lean can be tucked into boots. I break this up by trying to wear "festive" clothing the 2-3 weeks leading up to Christmas. (mid Nov to early April). In the middle of this I stick:
Deep Winter: My heaviest sweaters, lots of black and navy (Jan to early March)
Spring: early April to mid June: Snow is gone, out comes the booties again, morphing into oxfords, loafers. Socks get shed, ankles get bared. I love 3/4 sleeve sweaters at this time. I used to get caught with "nothing to wear" in spring because I always discounted it, but eventually got smart when I realized there was actually a couple of months when I wanted to dress like spring despite the weather. I will wear some of the same things in fall and spring, but really, by spring I want lighter colours and fabrics so even if the fall things are right for the temps, I am looking for something different.

In terms of storage, I pack away my winter clothes/footwear and my summer clothes/footwear. The rest tends to stay out, as there is always a random hot day or cool evening when you want something out of "season".

if one can really pinpoint what one is craving at a certain time of
year, one has a better chance of fulfilling that in an efficient way
rather than a lot of mindless "retail therapy"

Ha, I know exactly what I am craving, and fulfilling it would involve much more vacation time and money than I currently have

Since I moved to Texas, my winters are much shorter, thankfully. I had to adjust from having a mostly cold weather wardrobe to a more even split. Texas summers can be brutal but it’s really nice to start dressing for spring in March, and it’s nice to be able to comfortably wear dresses through October - I run cold.

I don’t have a huge wardrobe, but I do move the completely off-season stuff to a second closet in March and in October. My core wardrobe is nearly all-season with button-downs and pants.

Like others with small-moderate wardrobes, I generally keep all my clothes out all year, and rotate things to the front and back accordingly. HOWEVER, I ran into some moth issues, so now I put my wool into some cedar-lined storage bags for the summer. And, since they're there, I rotate linen items into the same bags come winter.

As far as planning goes, I (currently) live in a four-season climate, but only really think about two seasons, with layering. I suppose that's the reason I don't have many truly transitional items in my closet. I haven't really needed them when our daily temperature swings make layering so much more practical and cost-effective. Moving to more of a two-season climate, I'll probably end up transitioning out most of the deep winter things and move to a wardrobe catering to hot/mild. To stave off boredom, I might have to do as Joy does, and denote subtle variations with color differences.

I am fortunate to have a personal closet that can hold all seasons at once without crowding, so I don't bother changing things out when the seasons change.

I move my deep-winter outerwear (parkas and snow boots) to a remote closet around May or June; otherwise, all my stuff stays where it is.

Ugh I'm in Nova Scotia and the past two years have been so weird. It feels like fall at night but days are still sweltering. Spring was long and cold and we've had maybe a month and a half of summer. I think it'll be all downhill from September on.

Because I buy the majority of my stuff used and a few pieces new, on off season discounts, I plan months ahead of the season. I have two massive closets so I just switch off season stuff to the messy closet and in season stuff to my nice organized one. I've already moved all my fall/winter stuff and have mostly finished accumulating any necessary purchases.

I had to come back to say that I so relate to what you said about working to “accept winter.” I had to do the same thing with summer, and last year, I really invested in building a summer wardrobe I felt great about. I still don’t love it, but I maybe don’t hate it quite as much.

I was born and raised, and continue to live, in the American south (Georgia, Louisiana, now Texas). I've only ever known relatively mild winters that seem to be getting milder. We honestly had a January in the ArkLaTex that didn't see temps go below 60 for even one day, with overnight lows in the upper 30s or even the 40s.

These days, my wardrobe is overly reliant on tank tops because it starts heating up in April and remains rather hot until Halloween or so. I've been sunburned in November and sweated my arse off on Christmas day. I've learned not to keep a lot of heavy sweaters; us folks here in the American south are meat popsicles whenever the temperatures drop below 60, and we believe in cranking the heat up like whoa in winter. I may be comfortable OUTDOORS in a heavy sweater, but I will quickly become a hot sweaty mess the moment I enter ANY building.

Because my wardrobe is so tank top heavy, there is very little to changeover when it gets cool. I do keep my sweaters tucked behind my jeans and shorts and such; when it starts getting cool, I move the sweaters to the front of the shelf and move the shorts to the back of the shelf.

I'm so sick of hot weather, and we still have MONTHS of it to go

Hey Cindy, you use the term often, but what do you exactly mean by a “meat popsicle”? Do you mean you are melting? Or freezing? I don’t understand.

** deleted comment; wrong thread sorry!!**

Once I worked out my own versions of seasons, I found getting dressed so much easier!
I used to live in Sydney where there were four reasonably defined seasons. When I moved to Brisbane, it appeared to have "hot, very hot, warm but not hot"!
Having been here a few years, I've worked out I have the following:

- a very long, and very hot, very humid summer. I call this "high summer" in my head. There are a 3-4 months where most normal items of clothing - jeans, anything with a waistband - become uncomfortable. I had to develop a wardrobe that had great items for this long very warm and humid season. Everything has to be washed even after a short wear, so there needs to be quite a lot of clothing in this season! This is the most challenging season as I like to look polished and professional for work, and loose floaty layers are not either of these!

- Then there is the rest of "summer" - which includes spring and autumn - where I need warm weather clothes, short sleeves or sleeveless but can bring in some more fabrics and light weight 3/4 jeans are manageable.
I pretty much no longer worry about spring or autumn - they just need summer clothes with a denim jacket on top lol.

- Then, there is 2 months of what it termed winter, but is really a very mild, less hot less humid season. I am fine in light long (or 3/4) sleeves but really there is no need for a jumper in the day. Canadians would mock us for grumbling!
I have learned to keep a small number of winter clothes as well - for the 1 or 2 days when it drops under 20 degrees C (68 in fahrenheit!) but really more for when I travel to Sydney or Melbourne!
So once I realised I was shopping for veery very distinct seasons - just unlike "real" seasons, I found I was much happier with my wardrobe.

Jenny, I use the term "meat popsicle" when i am super cold.

I stole it from a line Bruce Willis delivered with an absolutely straight face as Corbin Dallas in "The Fifth Element". The guards were going door-to-door checking for a fugitive; when they asked if the occupant of the apartment was human, that was the answer he gave: "I'm a meat popsicle". I have no idea if it was actually supposed to MEAN anything, but I suspect it was merely some of the greatest snark of all time LOL

Hey thanks Cindy. I know of Bruce Willis but not of that movie. Will know what you mean now!

My wardrobe manages itself by playing cricket in the summer and footie in the winter.

...What ?

Here is something I do to stave off colour boredom during any given season : I like to do the opposite of what is expected , and find it really works for me . Pale pink , pale blue or pale grey coat , knitwear , nails etc in mid winter ; black silk tops, black dresses etc in summer (looks better on me than in the winter when I’m paler and not showing as much skin ) .