How to Take Your Summer Wardrobe Into Fall


View as:


Autumn is a time to cozy up in sweaters, flannels, pea coats, and boots. But you don't have to say goodbye to favorite summer items or buy a whole new wardrobe for the season. If you know how to wear them and pair them, bright and breezy summer classics can liven up outfits all the way through New Year's.


Lightweight items such as silk blouses and flowing sundresses look on-trend for fall when paired with more structured, tailored items such as blazers or leather boots. Play up the contrast between feminine, floaty items and the sturdy fabrics and structured silhouettes of fall -- the effect is both hard and soft and very fashion-forward. Similarly, tight, form-fitting items such as a bodycon dresses can be worn with cozy fall staples such as chunky, belted sweaters and booties.


Balance summery fabrics such as linen, silk, and sheer cotton with rich textures and cool-weather fabrics including wool, tweed, leather, corduroy, and cable knits. An embossed leather handbag or even a pop of fur can add the necessary visual weight to make a summer ensemble look appropriate for fall.


Bright summer colors and floral patterns can be toned down with neutral solids such as black, gray, navy, brown, and olive. A tailored black blazer or long-sleeve, collared white or navy shirt is a key piece that works to winterize summer clothing.


Don't be afraid to use a summer item in a totally different, creative way for fall. A dress layered under a top turns into a skirt, and a beach sarong becomes a scarf. One of the best ways to get maximum use out of clothes is knowing how to wear them multiple ways, and many summer trends can transition easily into fall with the right ensemble.


Crop tops were everywhere this summer. They're playful, youthful, fun, and look great for fall when paired with high-waisted pants and skirts. A tailored crop top with high-waisted dress pants and a blazer makes for a trendy professional look. For a more casual vibe, wear one with high-waisted, dark-wash jeans and a comfy cardigan. A form-fitting bodycon crop top paired with a pencil skirt or other high-waisted skirt reads as a sleek dress.


Summery sandals and wedges can step right into autumn when worn with opaque tights in a rich autumn hue such as eggplant, navy, or mustard. The pop of color is fun and suitable for fall styles. This works best with dark-colored sandals such as black or brown.


From the red carpet to nightclubs to Sunday brunch, we couldn't get enough of black jumpsuits this summer. For a show-stopping fall look, cover a dressier jumpsuit with a jacket or blazer that features an interesting texture such as glitter or fur. For something more casual, layer a cropped tee over a jumpsuit. It'll look just like wide-legged pants, which are on-trend for fall. Or layer a fitted crewneck sweater underneath the jumpsuit for a look that's grown-up, covered-up, and fun.


Shorts are a summertime staple, but they don't have be retired come September. Hot pants were this summer's go-to item. Worn with a matching blazer, they transform into a suit. A long-sleeve silk blouse can make tailored shorts look business casual.


Wear a dress with closed-toe pumps instead of sandals to make the look more appropriate for fall. Pair a feminine sundress with an edgy leather jacket to keep warm, and the mix of hard and soft looks rocker chic.


Pants in bright colors add a whimsical pop to any summer ensemble. To wear them into fall, pair with tailored, professional items in neutral colors -- try a crisp white shirt and a black blazer.


Ballet flats aren't a summer-specific style -- they look just right with fall outfits such as skinny jeans and wide-legged pants. But naked feet can catch a chill in the dropping temperatures. Snag a pair of no-show socks to keep toes toasty and continue wearing flats as long as possible.


A loose-fitting, lightweight top breathes life into a structured, professional look. To add pop to a tailored suit, wear summery blouses in bright colors, feminine prints such as florals and polka dots, and summer fabrics such as linen, silk, and sheer cotton.


A sheer, flowy beach cover-up transforms into a tunic top when paired with pants and a cardigan or jacket. Wear a cover-up with flared jeans and a long duster.


Cut-off shorts have a strong connection to summer, but there's no reason not to include them in your fall wardrobe. The beauty and utility of denim is that it can hold its own with heavy fall fabrics and textures. Try pairing cut-offs with sturdy shapes such as a blazer and leather booties. Add opaque, textured tights if you need extra warmth.