Transition to Fall: A Guide to Women’s Fall Clothing

It’s that confusing time of year again. The calendar says it is early fall, but the temperature says it’s still summer. You can’t decide whether or not to put away your summer clothes for the season. As if that isn’t bad enough, the weather starts to fluctuate between cooler and warmer.

Transitioning your wardrobe to fall is easier than you think. Keep your summer favorites on hand and pair them with the right fall accessories, such as a dark hat, a cardigan in jewel tones, or a pair of boots. Even the right scarf can transform a summery top into a great fall look. Below are some guidelines for transitioning your wardrobe from summer to fall.

Build Around Foundation Pieces

The key to transitioning smoothly from summer to fall is to start with a few basic items such as a classic white T-shirt or button-down, well-made jeans, basic black pants, and a cardigan in a rich color or neutral. Even a structured A-line dress can later go over a long sleeved turtleneck.

Floral Dresses with Tights

Not ready to part with your favorite summer dresses? Add a pair of tights with those pretty floral dresses and maybe a denim jacket for a completely different look. If tights aren’t your thing, you could go with leggings. The whole effect is stylish and different.

Maxi Dress

The same goes for those long, flowing maxi dresses that you wore to the beach, shopping, or brunch. Add a fitted blazer in a fall color or a chunky sweater to take you into fall.

Use Layers

Layers not only create a fashion-forward look, but they are also practical and versatile. Wearing a classic button-down shirt over a tank can take you through daytime. If the temperature climbs, you can simply remove the tank or the shirt. Throw on a sweater or jacket when it suddenly turns chilly. A long sleeved or three-quarter sleeve can go under a basic sleeveless dress. Try not to overdo the layers or you could end up adding bulk. A simple rule to remember is “long over lean.” In other words, a long sweater or tunic over skinny jeans or leggings, with a scarf and boots can take your look fashionably into fall.

Seasonless Pieces

Related to building around foundation items, it is always a good idea to keep certain items in your wardrobe that work all year around. In addition to well cut jeans and basic white shirts, simple tops in neutral and basic colors such as red, true green, and navy will stretch your wardrobe (as well as save you money). A tan trench coat can function in all seasons and exudes timeless style


Nothing says Autumn like a pair of boots. Whether they reach the knee or the ankle, paired with leggings or a dress, boots add warmth both visually and literally (to keep those toes toasty). The contrast of a floral dress worn with suede ankle boots create a look that is both fresh and bold.


Along with the above-mentioned boots, the right accessories can also take a summer favorite and transform it into a fall look. A scarf is one of the easiest ways to transform an outfit. The choices in color, texture, and weight are endless. Hats are also a great accessory for transitioning your wardrobe. Try switching a light straw sun hat with a darker wool beret or wide-brimmed hat. Even the right jewelry can change the look of an outfit. Trade in that delicate bracelet or necklace for a bolder, chunkier piece.


You don’t need to put away those sandals just yet! It still tends to be hot in September and even into October. A sandal in a sturdy material such as leather still looks great with layered clothing. Just make sure it’s not a flip-flop or something flimsy. If the sandal is in a rich neutral or dark color, so much the better! Don’t be afraid to wear tights with your sandals, either.

Last Word

The above are mostly guidelines rather than rules. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. If wearing white after Labor Day makes you feel good, then go for it! Mixing brown and black? Why not? No one needs to be limited by so-called “rules” when it comes to fashion. It’s whatever works for you.

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