Ingrained in what makes humans human is the concept of choice. Science acknowledges that in the most primordial, animalistic parts of our brain, we function based on two choices: fight or flight. Us humans, we can’t help it. It is in our nature to stand for something.
But with this comes heated debates on political beliefs, the effectiveness of vaccines, and whether David Benioff and D.B. Weiss royally screwed up the final season of Game of Thrones.
It can be exhausting. Wouldn’t it be nice to not pick a side for a change?
This is where transitional pieces—clothing and items that work in both rainy and sunny weather—come in. They are designed to withstand the fickleness of the weather. The sweltering heat is not a problem. A sudden downpour? Life goes on.
Start with your outerwear.
Transitional clothing is associated with layering for good reason. As the weather changes, you simply add or subtract pieces to suit the temperature.
The general rule in layering is you go from slim to wide. Choose a more voluminous jacket to give space for the inner garments. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a lumpy silhouette rather than a neat, layered look.
Its blouson shape is reminiscent of the bomber jackets popularized after World War II. The shape allows the jacket to be roomy without adding extra heft.
This jacket is made from polyester, a fabric that is usually of bad repute in fashion. But, in the case of transitional fashion, this material is perfect because it is lightweight and water-repellent.
Consider the fabric.
Seersucker is for more than just showcasing the vintage vibe that has been dominating menswear for the past couple of seasons. There is a practical reason why it works well in various weather conditions. It is all about its distinct surface.
During the weaving process of seersucker, some of the yarn is pulled more tightly to create a textured effect. Known as the “pucker,” these creases act as a wick to draw moisture out. They also help with air circulation because the texture holds some parts of the fabric away from the body.
Seersucker suits were popularized in the 1920s among the preppy, Ivy League crowd.
Avoid looking like a period piece by choosing modern details like the drawstring waist in this pair of Officine Generale pants.
Seersucker should be made from 100% cotton material, like this blazer from Officine Generale. Otherwise, you won’t get the distinct puckering texture.
Two things distinguish a Cuban collar shirt from other styles: its boxy shape and its lapel-like collar. When worn over a T-shirt, it makes for a classic, casual look.
Keep it practical with your activewear.
Getting the balance right in activewear is tricky business. Rely too much on performance and you might miss out on good design. On the other hand, the clothing must perform its purpose, which is to provide comfort and protection during athletic activities.
For activewear to work as a transitional item of fashion, look for lightweight materials like cotton. Not only will it absorb moisture from humidity and perspiration, but it is also easy to clean.
Details like the color-blocked panels and exaggerated slope of the shoulders give this cotton sweatshirt a modern edge.
The expected design elements, such as the collar and the short sleeves of the polo shirt, are present. However, the button placket of the classic polo shirt is updated by using a half-zip closure instead.
Introduce variety in your sweaters.
Sweaters might not be top of mind in a tropical country, but they can work depending on the material used. Wool might be a little too thick, but cotton and cotton blends can provide ample warmth during a rainy day.
Fit is particularly important when it comes to styling sweaters. There should be some slack around the body, but it shouldn’t look too loose.
Whale prints in candy colors? If Thom Browne says so, then it works. The print manages to still look grown-up because of its graphic, minimalist quality.
A collared sweater does not have to look basic when it comes in a bold hue, like this garment from Palace.
Pay attention to your footwear.
Footwear bears the brunt of the work in an ensemble. Logically, they need to be sturdy and waterproof, since nothing can ruin a day quite like wet socks.
When it comes to finding a pair of shoes to take you from rain to shine, it is not about the style of shoes. Rather, it is about the material. Rubber is a standard, but the repertoire does not have to be limited to that. Leather, when high-quality and enhanced by tight, even stitching, can be just as effective.
The rubber soles make these trainers from Acne Studios a practical choice. The suede paneling gives a grown-up sophistication – just make sure to treat it with a waterproof coating to keep the suede rain-ready.
These Hender Scheme sneakers are a bit of an illusion. They look like running shoes, but they are made from a surprising material: leather.
Smell good even during a heat wave.
Vacillating temperatures can be a challenge for the olfactory senses. An increase in temperature and humidity can leave you feeling like you are in a sauna. Damp air also makes it harder for clothes to properly dry, leading to a musky smell.
Typically, floral or fruity fragrances work during the summer months while heavier scents are preferred during the winter. Transitional weather means that you can straddle both worlds with ease.
This perfume uses base notes of balsam firm absolute, coconut musk, and ambergris for an unapologetically masculine scent.
If you are looking for something lighter, Byredo Gypsy Water has the spiciness of bergamot, pepper, and juniper berries mixed with a vanilla base.
Care for your everyday life.
Sit back and relax while the weather decides what to do with itself. Self-care can keep you from getting sick even amid the fluctuating temperatures.
Established in 1864, F. Hammann is a heritage brand for leather goods. Any drink feels like a gentleman’s drink when you use this flask.
Raw, compressed honey from New York gives you an antioxidant boost.
These vitamins contain vitamins and minerals like Zinc and Chromium to encourage recovery time after exercise as well as reduce fatigue.
Giancarla Aritao, Mantle's style correspondent, is wife to Lawrence and mom to Hannah, 7, and Rafael, 4. She’s a homeschooler and works as a writer.