Take the lead and wake-up for the switch over

Take the lead: Love Label printed mini skirt, �30; boxy pocket cardigan, �30; blouse, �28 and peep-toe Mary Jane shoes, �44, Very (www.very.co.uk).

Take the lead: Love Label printed mini skirt, �30; boxy pocket cardigan, �30; blouse, �28 and peep-toe Mary Jane shoes, �44, Very (www.very.co.uk).

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Although the sun’s still shining, the high street is already bursting with wintry fashions. Sex And The City stylist Patricia Field explains how to make your summer wardrobe last longer.

We’re officially in season swap-over - that time of year that leaves us hanging in fashion limbo land.

One step ahead: Boyfriend cardigan, �16 and cosmic print belted dress, �28, Matalan (0845 330 3330/www.matalan.co.uk).

One step ahead: Boyfriend cardigan, �16 and cosmic print belted dress, �28, Matalan (0845 330 3330/www.matalan.co.uk).

While our focus is still on summer afternoons lazing in the park and basking on the beach, the shops are offering winter coats and woolly knits.

But Sex And The City fashion guru Patricia Field believes surviving the switch-over period can be a cinch if you concentrate on breathing new life into humdrum clothes.

Sarah Jessica Parker, aka Sex And The City’s Carrie Bradshaw, doesn’t call Field ‘the Wizard’ for nothing. She has an inherent ability to conjure up new looks.

“It’s not about what you don’t have but making the most of what you already own,” urges the top U.S. stylist.

Learn the art of transition dressing and greet the new season in style, with Field’s expert advice...

PRE-SEASON SURVIVAL

If you want to stay one step ahead of the fashion pack, utilise your autumn/winter wardrobe right now.

“Transitional clothing is defined as clothing that anticipates the coming season, but is in the weight and fabric of the current season,” explains Field, ambassador for Lenor Infusions’ Awaken Your Wardrobe campaign.

“In September, you feel like you’re in autumn but it’s far too warm to wear heavy wool. In that instance, you can deepen the colours you’re wearing but fabrics can still be light, like cotton.”

Summer’s block colour trend is one you can extend to next season by either wearing more muted autumnal shades or toning it down.

“Wear bold brights and neons as accents only, working them with darker autumn/winter colours that you’re comfortable with,” Field suggests.

TRANSITION TRICKS

You don’t have to blow the budget on up-coming trends for a brand new look.

Give your seasonal look a head start with some wardrobe experimentation.

“Mix it up,” Field advises. “Old and new, expensive and inexpensive. Co-ordinate pieces you haven’t put together before. You can combine something fancy with something simple and plain. It’s like eating comfort food along with your caviar.”

Similarly, now is the elusive period when you can mix up key winter trends (like polka dot prints) with summer staples (such as sheer shirts) so they still look season-appropriate.

“Another way to update your clothing is through customising, which I call deconstruction,” she adds. “For example, taking a plain T-shirt you’ve over-worn and slashing it to change the look.”

VERSATILE STAPLES

Transitional pieces help summer meet autumn in style. When it comes to the staples you love, don’t bin them, spin them into a new season look. Here’s the easy way to ‘winterise’ your favourite clothing:

JEANS

Field names jeans as her top transitional piece: “They have no season and you wear them all the time,” she explains.

Freshen up your look by replacing casual summer tops with bright cable knits or long-line tunics. Try wearing your jeans cropped or rolled up and teamed with ankle boots.

LONG SKIRT

Whether you love floor-sweepers or the new calf-hitting length, longer skirts are here to stay.

Swap flip-flops for ankle boots or boyish brogues to toughen them up. You can still team your skirt with a flattering T-shirt, but add a statement scarf or cardigan for cooler days.

PRINT DRESS

Statement prints are big news for next season. If you’ve been wearing your favourite frock with bare legs, skinny belt and elegant flats this summer, warm up the look by adding a chunky knit cardigan or jumper over the top.

Dark tights will instantly take your dress into winter season territory, too.

BLAZER

If your smart blazer is looking more nautical chic than winter sleek, tweak it. Change the buttons or add a statement accessory, like a gothic brooch, so it ties in with all your autumnal looks.

Team with fitted trousers and build up layers like long-sleeve Tees, shirts and jumpers to stay one step ahead of the weather.

Stylist Patricia Field has teamed up with Lenor Infusions for their Awaken Your Wardrobe campaign.

To view tips and win a wardrobe makeover, visit www.awakenyourwardrobe.com