Transitional Style Tips From A Woman In The Know
Transitional Style Tips From A Woman In The Know

Transitional Style Tips From A Woman In The Know

Anna Zlobenko is the Berlin-based stylist you might know as Ann-Á-Porter on Instagram. From playing with colour to giving clogs a chance, these are her style rules for the tricky period of transitional dressing we currently find ourselves in…
By Sapna Rao

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DO Start With A Tonal Base 

One of the questions I get asked most frequently is about what to wear when you don’t know what to wear. My answer is to go for a tonal matchy-matchy look – it literally always works as an easy and chic way to throw something together. For example, a white knit paired with white relaxed trousers, or a head-to-toe black look. Once you’ve got this base sorted, the simple next step would be throwing on your favourite coat – preferably in a contrasting or complementary colour – to complete the look. 

DO Re-Inspire Yourself 

If you’re in a style rut, there are a few go-to tactics I’d always recommend to re-inspire your style. First, go through your existing wardrobe and be honest with yourself. Select clothes you no longer wear then sell or donate them, so you only have pieces that you’re excited to wear. You can also make a moodboard of what inspires you and what you like. Just remember that what you like on others you might not like on yourself – and that’s totally fine. 

DON’T Go Shopping Unprepared

Once you’ve created your moodboard, go through your wardrobe and compare it with the outfits from the board. Do you have similar pieces you can use to help recreate the combos you’re drawn to? Once you know what you have, make a list of what you’re missing, so next time you shop you’ll be doing it with the purpose of finding those key items. When you eventually do find those missing pieces, come home and style them with your existing pieces. If they work within your wardrobe, keep them and love them. If they’re not quite working, return them and set them free. Most importantly throughout all of this, trust yourself. You will find what suits you best. 

DO Upgrade Your Basic Combos

I’m a self-proclaimed pro at this… My favourite way to give basic looks a cooler edge is the simple act of accessorising. I opt for unusual bags, statement shoes and, of course, mega sunglasses. Scarves and earrings also do the trick. I actually always add a white scarf to one of my favourite all-black outfits, to deliberately uplift the colour. I’ll then add my favourite Comme Des Garçons bag for retro vibes and some knee-high boots from ARKET

I opt for unusual bags, statement shoes and, of course, mega sunglasses to GIVE BASIC LOOKS A COOLER EDGE.


DO Choose White Sunnies Over Black

This is such an easy way to upgrade your basic outfits, because white sunnies always make a look pop and freshen things up. This is especially true during this transitional period when you can get away with wearing your winter pieces in new ways. I’ve been wearing Huma Eyewear Sunglasses for years and especially love 'Blue' & 'Cami' styles for this Spring & Summer. Just add an oversized blazer – my favourite brand for these is Litkovska – a belt, some light denim jeans and a silk neck scarf. 

DO Give Clogs A Chance

At least when it’s not raining, one of my favourite items to reach for during this transitional period are clogs – specifically the incredible Proenza Schouler ones. I love that they’re not super basic or boring, yet still feel quite casual and versatile. I usually wear mine with a fun Acne knit and black skirt.

A lot of people only layer in the winter for warmth, but LAYERING IS REALLY FUN when you THINK ABOUT THE WAYS YOU CAN MANIPULATE AND TEAM COLOURS.

DO Play With Layers & Colour 

A lot of people only layer in the winter for warmth, but layering is really fun when you think about the ways you can manipulate and team colours. I love adding fun contrasting colours to jazz looks up. For example, if you’re wearing denim on denim, a grey blazer and a dark grey or brown coat will add some depth. Layering can also be really functional, as you can easily remove a layer – like a sweater – if you’re too hot and just throw it over your shoulders for an effortless look. Speaking of denim, vintage denim tends to be the best. I once I found vintage Armani pair with the most flattering fit. I've also recently discovered and been loving 7 for all Mankind from LA for their use of sustainable fabrics like eco-cotton. 

DO Shop High & Low

I’m very much into ARKET at the moment because it has a really great selection of staple heroes, from jeans with cool cuts to sweaters and puffers. Elsewhere, I’m really loving Ami Amalia, an amazing knitwear brand with impeccable quality. I own a sweater called the Vilna that was designed to raise money to support Ukraine. Spanish shoe brand Hereu is a favourite of mine for loafers. I love its combination of classic craftsmanship with some modern design twists. 

DON’T Be Afraid Of Going Oversized 

While I don’t overdo it, I appreciate the fact that the style gives this effortlessly relaxed vibe that is so hard to achieve otherwise. Sometimes I even go one size bigger than I should with trousers to give an extra spaciousness and lean into the style even more. My one rule here is that if I’m wearing an oversized top half, I’ll always team it with a straight-cut bottom. Proportions are everything. 


DON'T Forget To Add Colour To Your Capsule Wardrobe 

There is so much emphasis on creating a versatile capsule wardrobe. However, the majority of capsules I see somehow end up being quite plain with basics like a white shirt, a trench, jeans and a sneaker. While it’s great to downsize and have pieces you can mix and match with, they don’t have to be boring. To make your capsule vibrant, pick a colour you feel comfortable in and add a couple pieces to it in that colour. Taking it further, add a couple of bolder accessories like silk scarves and bags of interesting unusual shapes. Finally, be sure you incorporate a variety of textures to ensure your capsule outfits have enough depth.

DON’T Get Hung Up On Trends 

I don’t really follow them – genuinely. They are sexy, but trends don’t last. I might get inspired by some, but I do not recreate them in my own style. Well, except for ultra mini skirts – that I had to try. I think it’s useful to look at trends as ideas you can get inspired by, rather than ready-made combinations to copy. If you see something you love, always go and actually try it on, and think about how well it’ll serve you next season. 

DO Learn How To Look Great On A Budget 

It’s not as complicated as people may think. The key is to take really good care of your clothes – no wrinkles, keep them clean and fresh, and preferably steamed. Also, pay attention to your fabrics: 100% silk will instantly elevate your look and make it look more expensive, as opposed to some shiny polyester fabric. Opt for this where you can – it doesn't have to cost the earth, plus you can focus on the number of wears you’ll get out of it and judge its value that way. Another tip would be to consider your fits. Swapping out a slim leg for a wide leg can feel far more modern, as does an oversized fit and strong shoulders. 

DO Dress For Your Mood 

When I get dressed I think about how I want to feel. This is especially handy for eveningwear. If I want to feel classy at a dinner or night out, I’d go with a sleek dress from Joseph, say, and team it with nice bold earrings. When I want to feel sexier, I’d opt for a mini skirt and knee-high boots with a blouse or a sweater. Finally, if I’m feeling bold, I might wear a Rococo-inspired blouse with embroidery from Sézane, and pair it with vintage pearl earrings and my favourite Valentino Rosso lipstick. 

DO Figure Out What Empowers You 

Learn which pieces make you feel your best self and this way you will truly learn your style. Clothes are all about a feeling, so it's always better to wear what makes you feel amazing rather than trying to recreate what you think is on trend. I love that iconic phrase from Diana Vreeland, “The eye has to travel,” and like to apply it to personal style. It’s important to keep your eyes open and let them travel, discover old and new, experiment, and get inspired. 

For more style advice, follow @IAmAnnAPorter on Instagram


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