As I write this, I feel a little sadder. It’s with much sorrow that I regret to inform you that summer has come to an end. It won’t be long before the evenings are too cool for sleeveless tops and shorts, the leaves begin to turn orangey-red, and pumpkin-flavored everything hits retail shelves.
At least we have cozy fall fashion to look forward to, right? But before you drop money on an entirely new wardrobe, know that there are plenty of ways to make the most of what you already have in your closet—yep I am referring to those summer styles. There are many creative ways to let your warm-weather clothes work double duty this fall, and know this can also apply to the kiddies’ school wardrobes too!
A great cardi (or a few, in different colors) is perfect for transitioning those light tank tops and airy summer dresses into colder weather. Darker colored cardigans can tone down your summer colored clothes, and you can wear a variety of cuts: a long loose cardigan, a structured fit, even a tailored version with a belt over the waist. The possibilities are endless for how many of your favorite summer outfits cardigans can take into winter.
This is the obvious way to wear and re-wear your summer clothes all year long. But although you can layer up your tank tops and dresses with sweaters and jackets, you can also layer under with long sleeves. I’m not referring to the grungy thermal undershirt trend of the 90s here; you can layer “under” with a collared long sleeve shirt under a strapless dress, a silky button down under a crop top… you catch my drift. These will allow you to wear anything sleeveless throughout the cold weather season.
This is important because most cold weather clothes tend to have more shape/structure, so some things you just can’t transition. For example, although your babydoll summer bubble dress would likely look super weird with a trench coat, leggings and boots, your white-on-white looks, summer blazers, A-line dresses and even chambray shirts can be transitioned with ease. Use your discretion to figure out which items in your closet are better left only for summer months, knowing that most of the time it’s the fabrics and constructions without much structure that won’t make the cut.
Tights and Leggings are a Girl’s Best Friend.
This is self-explanatory: warm leggings and tights will allow you to wear your summer tunics, dresses and skirts without freezing your bum off. Experiment with colors, patterns and textures to give your bright dresses a darker, autumn vibe.
This is a perfect example for why I always shop neutral or the ‘color trinity’. Traditionally summer colors such as pastels and neons just don’t transition so well throughout all seasons. But keeping your pallete neutral will allow you to utilize more of your clothes year-round.
Accessorize with Scarves. Hat. Boots.
Just swapping out your accessories is enough to transition an entire outfit. Scarves cover your open summer necklines, boots cover cropped pants (don’t forget the warm socks underneath!) and hats/gloves automatically accent your outerwear while keeping you warm. But look beyond your typical knits. Picture your favorite summer look that involves flip flops, a dress and straw panama hat. Now swap that beach hat out for a darker colored wool hat and trade in the sandals for a pair of warm boots. Catch my drift?
Maxis are Where it’s At.
This is why maxi skirts and long dresses rock. They are airy and light in the summer and warm and cozy in the winter. You can never have too many maxi skirts, and they can be paired with chunky sweaters, cardigans, blazers, and (my personal fav) cropped leather moto jackets. I think they are the PERFECT alternative to sweatpants. Just as comfy, you can wear them with your warmest and funkiest socks underneath (no one will see them!) and you automatically look put-together and dressed up.
This is perhaps one of the most important factors for fall and winter. Cold months are all about warm, chunky, thick fabrics and textures. Think leathers, furs (these can be faux), wools, knits, velvets and suedes. Trade in your linen pants, straw hats and canvas beach bags for their cold-weather counterparts– they will help make your wardrobe appropriate for the fall and still serve their purpose.
Keep these tips in mind before packing away your summer clothes. I hope they help you to keep at least a few pieces around throughout the cold-weather season, and (hopefully) it will be summer again in no time.