Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tips and Trends: How to Transition Your Closet - Summer to Fall

You can feel the change in the air, and you notice that the days are starting to get shorter, but you still aren't ready to completely transition into your fall wardrobe yet. Plus, it's not quite cold enough to break out the cashmere sweaters, thicker tights and heavy wool suits. Here are five tips on how to slowly transition your work wardrobe into fall, while still leaving in a few of your summer pieces:

1. Don't banish all the summer clothes!
Yes, it is after Labor Day and so your white clothing should probably be on its way out. But, that does depend somewhat on the weather - if it's still quite warm in the first couple weeks of September, you're fine still wearing that white pencil skirt. Summer florals can also be worn into the later weeks of September, particularly if you start pairing them with darker colored skirts and pants. Jackets with 3/4 or short sleeves can also be worn for as long as the weather cooperates. So don't go stuffing all of your summer clothes away just because it's now September! You'll have plenty of time to wear your fall and winter clothing for the next 6 months!

2. Think Textures
Texture is the easiest way to introduce fall into your wardrobe. Just a single piece in a thicker, warmer texture such as a knit or a tweed will instantly give you that autumn look, even if the rest of your outfit is still more summery. Pair a tweed pencil skirt with a summery floral top, or add a thicker cardigan over a silk work blouse.

3. Warm Fall Colors
If the seasons have changed but your weather hasn't yet caught up, the easiest way to transition to fall is simply by switching your color palatte. This is particularly useful if you live further south, where fall may not arrive until late October. Store generally begin carrying basics in fall colors even if the weather has not yet changed, and you can easily find lightweight pencil skirts and normal-weight blazers in burgundy, brown, dark green and other autumn hues. Mixing in a couple of these pieces will give your wardrobe a seasonal look without being too heavy. 

4. Wrap Up Lightly
Tossing on light-weight sweaters over sheath and wrap dresses adds a fall flavor to your look. While you may have worn the dress without a jacket or cardigan throughout the summer, adding one now that it's turned fall will allow you to take that dress forward into another season. I recommend going for a cardigan in a fall color (see the color discussion above).

5. Boots and Tights!
Everyone's favorite way to make an outfit fall-appropriate - pair it with boots and tights! Maybe hold off on the tights if you are quite far south, as they might make you too hot, but cute ankle boots can definitely be broken out right after Labor Day. If your climate is still quite warm, look for peep-toe boots (assuming peep-toes are appropriate for your office). If it's already starting to cool down, dive right into an assortment of office-appropriate boots in brown, black, burgundy and every other color you'd want to imagine!


  1. This is helpful... I've been giving my summer pieces one more wear before putting them away - pairing a white linen shirt with darker pants, for example, or my linen pants with a jacket (one summer piece with the rest of the outfit more fall-appropriate). The shoes, however, are a different story. I don't like wearing boots, so I'm going to wear my open sandals and Birkenstocks for as long as I can! (I work in a less formal environment than you do, obviously)

    1. That's awesome that you can wear open-toed shoes! I definitely like trying to get as much mileage from spring and summer clothes as possible - it's my way of trying to hold off winter for as long as possible :-)


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