Now & later: Summer-to-fall transition fashion
Top layers: Sweater dresses
Don’t banish those body-baring summer clothes just yet. As another fabulously fashionable fall heads our way, we’ve got some clever ideas on how to mix your summer staples with a few key cold-weather pieces. — Shannon McCarthy
Bing | Sweater dresses
Sweater dresses that span the seasons weave their style spell in midweight knits that are neither too sheer nor too nubby, offer up a bare décolleté and knee-length hem, and feature cap sleeves or no sleeves at all. Skip neons, citrus or other summery hues, and choose more sophisticated jewel tones or black-and-white prints.
Top layers: Cardigan sweaters
Bing | Cardigan sweaters
Trendanistas know that layering is so very now, but it’s also a no-brainer for nailing transitional dressing. Keep your basic tanks, tees and sleeveless summer blouses in rotation by topping them with that essential wardrobe workhorse: a lightweight cardigan. When the temps drop even further you can layer cardigans under blazers, trenches and coats.
Top layers: Cropped jean jackets
Bing | Cropped jean jackets
Only have room for one key purchase in your pre-fall budget? Make it a little denim jacket. It’s both a versatile classic and a hot trend for cooler weather. Whether faded and distressed or darker and more polished, it’ll make a great topper layered over your favorite warm-weather cami or sleeveless tank.
Top layers: Moto style jackets
Bing | Moto style jackets
Leather for this weather? Motorcycle-style jackets are a trend that’s been building for a few years now, and it’s hitting its peak this fall. Lightweight summer leather (or faux leather, which looks as good and costs less) means you can toss one of these punk-chic numbers over your most gossamer maxi right now.
Bottom layers: Skinny jeans
Bing | Skinny jeans
For a perfect bottom layer that’s not too light (like shorts) and not too heavy (we’re looking at you, wool trousers), don a pair of denim skinnies. Choose autumn-appropriate jewel tones or darkly grounded floral or abstract prints, then toss on a tunic-length top and a pair of booties for just-cozy-enough style.
Bottom layers: Leggings
Bing | Leggings
Rock body-con bravado and shield gams from chilly autumn gusts with lightweight lower layers. Leggings are layering champs -- and such a fashion mainstay now that you can nab ‘em in weights from whisper-light to heavy, and in colors that range from summer brights to superchic maroon, navy blue or other deep fall-perfect tints.
Bottom layers: Maxi skirts
Bing | Maxi skirts
While maxi dresses glide through summer, long and luscious maxi skirts can be more easily layered with myriad tops depending on your mood -- and the weather’s. Midweight maxi skirts span seasons: Layer them with graphic tees and flats until the chilly winds begin to blow; after, match that maxi with tights and an open-weave slouchy sweater.
Bottom layers: Plaid knee-length skirts
Bing | Plaid knee-length skirts
Want to stretch your leg-baring time as far as possible into the fall? Choose a skirt that’ll look cute with bare legs and flat sandals now and perfectly polished layered over midweight tights and suede booties later. Knee-length plaid skirts can lean punk or professional depending on how you style the rest of your outfit.
Footwear: Ankle booties
Bing | Ankle booties
All the shoe buzz points to the bootie. It’s ankle-high, usually softly sueded, with block or stiletto heels. Ankle boots will be the kicks to pick until next spring, so wear a pair now with fluttery fit-n-flare frocks, tank dresses or shorts, and keep ‘em on all fall and winter, too.
Footwear: Pointed toe flats
Bing | Pointed toe flats
Easy-wearing flats are where it’s at. But for a pair to take you all the way through the end of autumn, pass on the super-bare strappy styles and choose a pair that’ll work during office hours, on the weekends and even on date nights. Choose a pointed toe for a fresh shape update, with metallic or jeweled accents for show.