Time for the Truly Transitional Dress


by Camilla Ridley

A new style of sustainable inter-seasonal dressing is emerging amidst grey skies and warmer autumn temperatures, and it's changing fashion. 


Ridley London's latest autumn collection has been designed for transitional seasonal dressing and features versatile, wearable pieces that can be worn across multiple seasons. (From left to right) a new Layla dress in the black and gold Wisely floral cotton print and a printed floral silk Debroah maxi skirt teamed with a new handknit from Virginia Wool

I do hope the first week of September is going well for you and hasn’t been too much of a shock to the system. Looking outside, have you noticed how the weather has suddenly changed? The skies are greyer, the light cooler, the grass greener and everything somehow muddier. The whole colour palette of life is noticeably different. Likewise the retailers windows and fashion pages are full of autumn and winter looks in richer textures and warmer hues. Those bright summer dresses that felt so right, even a week or so ago, now feel lost and out of place. Yet temperatures for September are forecast to remain in the high teens and early twenties, so it’s hardly the time to reach for a jumper, let alone the winter looks on offer. Case in point, I was out on Monday night in a cotton dress, and very comfortable, despite the theatrical thunderstorms. And this is nothing new. According to the met office average temperatures in September have consistently risen, with 2021 being the second warmest on record. And the fashion Industry is now starting to respond to this new meteorological trend. UK Vogue first highlighted the idea of ‘transitional dressing’ back in 2020 and the “extra tricky challenge of dressing in unpredictable times like these when the weather forecast is flux.” We all want to transition away from those bright summer prints and materials, to reflect the changing landscape around us, but still need lightweight fabrics to deal with warmer days. We are all now used to adopting layering strategies to deal with sudden temperature changes. So is a new style of dedicated autumn wardrobe the answer?


This season's Ridley London collection is built on high quality, sustainable fabrics in eye-catching colours and prints that can be easily accessorized and translated across different seasons. (Clockwise from top left) a new Orla dress in the popular Flourish emerald green floral print cotton, a versatile Serena maxi dress in the junglemania cotton print, a new Carina shirt dress in the stunning Adelphi Voyage floral print silk can be easily dressed up for cooler conditions

Absolutely not. With sustainability, wearing targets and value high on everyones list, this would be ridiculous. The pressures of modern life now demand our clothes work harder for us. The idea of 24 hour transitional dressing is already proven with a boom in accessories and clever capsule wardrobes which promise to take you seamlessly from day into evening. Swipe through the hottest fashion TikTokers and you’ll notice the prevalence of this ‘integrated layering’ strategy, whatever their individual style. Fundamental to this is approach is one or two ‘hero’ garments that everything else hangs off of. And if you’re after real comfort in variable temperatures and maximum flattery, you can’t beat a silk or cotton maxi dress. One of the key seasonal catwalk trends we highlighted in our recent trends report…coincidence? And if it really is a hero transitional dress you’re after, surely it should offer you a little bit more than just 24 hour versatility?


Dress up dress down, dress warm, dress cool in two more of our versatile transitional styles for autumn 2022. (Top) a Manon dress in the chameleon like Tumbling Wilde geometric silk print, (bottom) the popular Isla dress has been updated for this season seen here in the fuschia Tudor fields floral silk print

Here at Ridley London, we’re on a mission to maximise wearability. Dresses should make you look and feel fantastic, be incredibly durable, and (with some simple styling and layering) see you through multiple occasions, environments and seasons. So we’ve created a new transitional capsule collection with exactly this in mind. We’ve analysed and subtly adapted some of our most popular and easy styles from spring and summer. We’ve tweaked sleeve, hem lengths, collar, and neckline details for these more temperate conditions. And we've eased waistlines and added belts for even greater versatility and comfort. We’ve sourced versatile new prints and fabrics in chameleon like colours which will work seamlessly across multiple seasons, flatter an array of individual colourings and complexions, and can be easily colour matched to accessories to create a number of wearable looks across multiple seasons. Finally, we’ve also developed several versatile on-trend new styles. And like every Ridley collection, every dress will be individually made to order so it can be customised to flatter in your choice of colours and prints. We’ve also adapted our customised collection of on-trend blazers, bikers and knitwear to respond to this. I really believe that we’re all completely individual, and if you have a dress that really works for you, flatters and feels great, you’ll wear it time and time again. You'll feel confident and most importantly freer to focus on the things that really matter. And together we’ll all be more sustainable. Which is why true transitional dressing makes sense, and I think is here to stay.


Ridley London's new Autumn collection of made to measure statement dresses, skirts, tops, jackets and knitwear is available to purchase online and in Ridley's Barnes store. Celebrate your individuality this season with a unique piece that's  individually crafted to flatter from your choice of any of our stunning new printed floral or solid silks or cottons. Or call us to arrange a virtual fitting: 

Ridley London, 82 Church Road, Barnes, London SW13 0DQ T: 01730 823097

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