5 Easy Ways to Transition Your Outfits From Summer To Fall

Hello Monday! Today is the first day of school for most of the public schools around here, and I have to pinch myself to believe that summer is coming to an end.

Yes, transition season is here, and the question I get asked most this time of year is how to dress for fall when it’s still warm outside. I get it, we’re tired of our sundresses and flip-flops and anxious to bring out our sweaters and booties, but Mother Nature never got the memo that Labor Day is the unofficial start of fall.

There are no “rules” per se these days (don’t put away those white jeans!) but I do try to straddle that warm/cold line by wearing outfits look intentionally Fall but also accommodate the weather.

dress // boots // jacket // bag // necklace

Here are some tips and ideas for how to transition your outfits from Summer to Fall, especially when it’s still warm outside.

How to Transition Your Outfits From Summer To Fall

#1. Wear darker, richer colors. This is not to say that you can’t wear brights or pastels in the fall, but they are no longer my go-to as they are in summertime. Start opting for darker colors in lightweight fabrics and styles that will keep you comfortable but still look like fall.

For example, I wore this burgundy halter top with black jeans and leopard pumps to go on a dinner date with my husband one warm evening last September. The rich, deep color palette says fall, but I was comfortable in the sleeveless top.

similar top // black skinnies // similar pumps

A casual example is this plum colored tee with jeans and grey Converse that I wore to a school event last weekend. Again, it’s perfectly acceptable for summer, but I probably wouldn’t have put this exact outfit together a month ago. It looks more like fall to me.

similar tee // jeans // sneakers // necklace

#2. Throw a cardigan on it! Take any of your favorite shorts-and-t-shirt outfits and add a cardigan, denim jacket, or utility vest. If it’s still hot enough for sandals, stick with brown or something that looks more like fall. Or you can always wear booties for a fun, sassy look.

I wore this outfit one day last fall, and it was fun, but I admit I felt a little over-the-top with the booties. I’m usually more comfortable in sandals or Converse with this look.

cardigan (size down) // tee // similar shorts // similar booties

Here’s one I wore back in July with sandals, but it will actually work just as well in September. I do continue wearing these sand patent sandals into fall, but usually I’ll opt for a darker brown leather like my Lucky Brand Adinis sandals.

cardigan // tee (size up) // similar shorts // sandals

Another option is to throw a denim jacket over shorts and a t-shirt. Swap out your usual sandals for ballet flats to complete the transition look.

similar jacket // similar tee // shorts // leopard flats

And that leads us to #3!

#3. Bring out your booties, ballet flats, and loafers.

I usually put my espadrilles and summery sandals away after Labor Day and bring out my ankle boots and ballet flats. I may still occasionally wear wedge sandals with leather wrapped heels and block heel sandals — especially if they are grey or brown, but I usually opt for more foot coverage. This year’s loafer trend is perfect for in-between weather, especially the ones that are open in the back.

For example, I wore this knit tank dress with sandals last August, but in September I paired it with ankle boots for more of a fall look. Also note how the color says fall, while the sleeveless silhouette is cool and comfortable for warmer fall weather. This would also be cute with a long cardigan or denim jacket on top for cooler fall days.

Here are a few other transitional styling ideas with another sleeveless knit dress. (I clearly have a thing for green dresses!) I love these grey block heel lace-up sandals for a transitional shoe. They’re super comfy too.

tank dress // cardigan // gold sandals // white denim jacket // grey sandals // initial pendant

I posted this look a few weeks ago, and I think it’s a great transitional look. A t-shirt and jeans with espadrilles or strappy sandals says summer, but a t-shirt and jeans with ankle boots says fall!

grey tee // jeans // booties (RESTOCKED!)

And of course, those are colored jeans, but I do this with blue jeans and colored t-shirts as well. I usually opt for a rich fall tone on top like burgundy or plum (see #1) but olive, grey, or white works too.

#4. Switch to darker nail polish. Yes, even changing your nail polish can make your outfits look more like fall. I’m a huge fan of dark blue and burgundy in the fall, but greys and browns are nice too.

This outfit is a good example. I wear this top with light wash jeans all summer long, but simply wearing a darker nail polish on my toes makes it look a little more fall-appropriate. The gold sandals work fine for fall as well, but I might opt for a suede mule next time.

similar top // jeans // similar sandals // tote // sunnies c/o // nail polish

#5. Wear white jeans with fall tops. This is for when weather gets colder, but I love pairing white jeans with earth tones or chunky sweaters and boots once there’s a chill in the air. Take a look at a few of my favorite fall looks with white jeans. In fact, I have a whole post on how to wear white jeans after Labor Day.

sweater // white jeans (option) // plaid scarf // OTK boots

pullover // white jeans (option) // similar satchel // booties c/o Payless // necklace

grey tee // white jeans (option) // similar jacket // booties c/o The Walking Co.

Okay, I know I said 5 tips, but one other thing to consider is your handbag. I have some bags that I carry year ’round and others that I put away for fall and winter. Simply swapping out accessories such as nail colors, shoes, and handbags can take many a summer outfit right into fall without any other adjustments.

I’ll be sharing a lot of fun fall transitional looks in my upcoming 26 Days of Fall Fashion style series where I partner up with Cyndi Spivey over at Grace + Beauty and we each style a new fall outfit every day during the month of September, so stay tuned for that! We start on September 1st.

Before I go, I want to encourage everyone to consider making a donation to Hurricane Harvey relief. I’ve been watching the news out of Texas with a heavy heart. We’ve been having such glorious weather here that it’s hard to imagine how so much flooding and devastation can be happening in other parts of the country, but it’s very real, and many have lost everything. The worst part is, it’s not even over yet.

I like to donate with Samaritan’s Purse, but there are tons of organizations that offer relief for people effected by natural disasters such as this, so pick your favorite and consider what you can give because they’re going to need all the help they can get. No donation is too small; it all adds up.

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