Tim Gunn Has the Secret to Winter/Spring Transitional Dressing

Tim Gunn, Project Runway mentor and fashion guru, is solving all your style conundrums.

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Q: Every spring I find it hard to transition from my winter wardrobe. Are there any pieces that can work for both seasons? —Tara, Chicago

Light cotton and linen are for warmer weather, and heavy wools are for winter. Every other textile, however, can accommodate all seasons. There are plenty of key pieces that work any time of year. A classic trench coat with a removable lining is a wardrobe must-have. Cardigans in two-ply cashmere are great staples (cashmere is affordable these days and doesn't pill). Denim is season-neutral, as are jersey knits—think dress pants and wrap dresses. Of course, layering is the best way to address seasonal shifts: Jackets, sweaters, and scarves are essential.

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1. TRENCH COAT $795, DKNY at Bloomingdale's; (212) 705-2000. 2. JEANS $118, Big Starbigstardenim.com (opens in new tab). 3. BAG $775, Dooney & Bourkedooney.com (opens in new tab). 4. SANDALS $425, Longchamplongchamp.com (opens in new tab).

Q: I'm a petite 31-year-old who is constantly mistaken for 18. It used to be flattering, but I want to be taken seriously! Any wardrobe tips to look my age? —Larsen, Boston

To look grown-up, you need grown-up clothes: proper dress pants, a great day dress, skirts that hit no higher than the top of your kneecap, and a good blazer. Pay attention to proportions. Think of yourself as a series of thirds from shoulders to toes: A dress is one-third on bottom and two-thirds on top; a top with pants or a skirt equals two-thirds on bottom and one-third on top. Never cut yourself in half. To further escape the "junior" trap, avoid pastels and tiny prints. 

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1. JACKET $40, H&Mhm.com (opens in new tab). 2. SKIRT $99, Bebebebe.com (opens in new tab). 3. SHOES $925, Jimmy Choojimmychoo.com (opens in new tab).

This article appears in the March 2015 issue of Marie Claire, on newsstands now.

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