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Transitioning From Summer to Fall Fashion

The easiest way to make your summer pieces more fall appropriate isn’t to ditch them altogether, but to cook up new ways to wear them. Here are some of the simplest ways to stretch your wardrobe and make all your old favorites work until winter.

1. Keep Your Maxi Dresses

Maxis are easy and cool for those hot summer nights. But before you push them to the back of your closet, refashion them by wearing them with long sleeves. Whether it’s a belted blazer, a chunky-knit sweater, or even a knotted chambray shirt, the trick to wearing a maxi dress in the fall is to layer up and then define your waist to offer added structure. The end result is a beautiful fall casual outfit.

2. Layer Up

Layered looks aren’t only fashion-forward – they’re also completely functional. As you layer up your summer clothes, you create new looks that will actually keep you warm in a brisk breeze.

But how do you know which looks to layer? Try this rule: Layer long over lean. This means matching up longer-length tops (think tunics or boyfriend cardigans) over leaner bottoms, such as tights or skinny jeans. This can help you extend some of your summer favorites, such as a long tank top.

The “long over lean” rule helps to avoid the bulkiness that can sometimes be a result of overenthusiastic layering. Then, just add a sweater or jacket, a light scarf, and a pair of boots to finish your perfect fall outfit.

3. Add Deeper Colors

I love the deeper colors that come with the changing of the leaves. The pastels and neons of the spring and summer give way to rich jewel and earth tones. But don’t worry if your closet isn’t already stocked with turquoise, plum, and ocher. You can add a couple of pieces to extend the life of your lighter summer clothes.

Take a lavender dress, for instance. It was perfect for that summer garden wedding you attended, but do you have to put it away for fall? If you add some heavier textures and jewel tones, you’ll be able to keep wearing it. Consider pairing it with a plum cardigan and a sleek pair of booties. Suddenly, the addition of a deeper color tones down the brightness of the lavender, resulting in a more cohesive and fall-appropriate outfit.

4. Ignore the Rules

Feel free to wear white after Labor Day (a chic, yellow-toned winter white looks perfect with jewel tones), or wear your favorite open-toed booties with a pop of colored tights. Don’t spend too much time thinking about whether or not an outfit is fall-appropriate, but that it’s weather-appropriate and makes you feel great, regardless of the rules.

5. Buy Boots

Try a summer dress worn with knee-high boots and a leather jacket. Or, be daring and treat your beloved lace short-shorts like a skirt: Add over-the-knee boots and chunky sweater for a “city look.” You can even buy booties on the cheap and wear them with your favorite skirt and cardigan combo. Boots are an ideal item to stretch your wardrobe, so allocate some of your fall fashion budget on scoring a couple of pairs in different heights.

The turning of the leaves doesn’t have to mean buying a completely new wardrobe. By adding darker colors, richer textures, and a little added warmth, your summer clothes get to stick around for another season while you save money to splurge on functional winter clothes.

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