Every spring, I happily scour the racks of my favorite stores looking for a few patterned sundresses to transition from office to beer garden, a handful of high-waisted pastel skirts to tuck tanks into, and an array of tailored shorts and embellished tees that properly complement each of my summer plans. In my mind, summer is around the corner, and I can already smell the nostalgic mix of Coppertone, saltwater, and caramel corn (eau de Rehoboth).
As September slowly passes and I scan my closet, some purchases still hang untouched with tags in tow, gentle reminders that most of my summer days are spent in bathing suits, cover-ups, and a few of my favorite pieces now threadbare, but still in rotation.
It’s not quite time to pull out the wool hats and mittens, but the sun’s intensity has faded and nights have become crisp. However, don’t pull out your summer storage bins just yet.
Now is the perfect time to make use of your summer wardrobe as you slowly transition into and make purchases for the fall:
1. Layer Up. Sundresses are the perfect item to pair with a military or denim jacket, lightweight knit sweater, or darker chambray button-up, especially when you are uncertain what the weather will be like. Have fun with the color combos as you incorporate fall’s darker signature shades of black, mocha, burgundy, mustard, olive and navy.
2. Tights. Tights. Tights. When layering and still hanging on to that cotton dress or skirt, opaque and patterned tights can dress up your outfit while keeping you warm in colder weather. And what better way to upgrade your sleeveless black swing dress than with a pair of lacy maroon tights and vintage t-strap heels?
3. Use Light/Pastel Pieces for Accent Colors. Fall brings a variety of beautifully patterned tops, dresses, and scarves. A great way to blend these patterned pieces with some lighter options from your summer arsenal is to match the pale yellows, pinks, greens, and lavenders found within the pattern to pieces you already own. Love that new violet floral top? Match your blush tank or accessory to the accent color found within the print.
4. Top it off with a Hat. Still in love with your worn-in black v-neck and fitted girlfriend jeans? Can’t part with your eyelet dress just yet? An easy way to lightly layer and begin dressing for fall weather without fully committing is choosing the perfect felt hat, wool fedora, or lightweight knitted hat to complete the cardigan you throw over top of either outfit.
5. Don’t Throw Your Sandals Out Just Yet. One of the worst mistakes I often make in transition weather is fully committing to wearing socks and boots on what turns out to be a rather hot day. Keep your leather black, brown, tan, and olive sandals out for warmer days and when you want to dress down a nicer dress or pair of fitted pants.
6. Mix in Different Textures. Light cottons and silks from summer mix well with fall’s heavier staple knits, chunky wools, tweed, velvet, and corduroy. Combining differently textured items into your outfit can add a feminine or masculine edge to your look such pairing a velvet sash with a cotton dress or a thickly woven sweater with a satin tank.
7. Add a Scarf. One of the easiest ways to dress up any outfit is to add a scarf. When transitioning into fall that could mean adding a linen infinity scarf to a fitted top and pair of cords or wearing a knitted wraparound with a basic tee.
8. Keep Neon, Mixed-Medium and Statement Jewelry Out. Jewelry knows no season, and that hot pink paneled necklace gives your black cashmere set the right amount of personality no matter the time of year. Don’t be afraid to use your acquired jewels for the use they were named for: a statement.
9. Switch Out Your Makeup Palette. Pinks, corals, beiges, and pearlized anything adorn the faces of every tanned goddess in the summer months. Moving into the fall, embrace thicker kohl liners, berry lips, and flushed cheeks (pack away your bronzer for a bit). Bonus points for attempting a navy smoky eye.
10. Bring out the Boots, Oxfords, and Suede Shoes. As the temperature drops, ankle booties, patent leather oxfords, and suede footwear ease your summer style into autumn while adding contrast to your look. Feel free to bring out the riding boots – but make certain the temperature is cool enough to keep you comfortable!