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Transitional Dresses I’ll Be Wearing This Fall

** This post is sponsored by Nordstrom and Collective Voice.

School started in our area this week, and I’m getting excited to start transitioning my wardrobe from summer to fall. I’ve already started moving the lighter fabrics to the back of my closet and bringing in more seasonal colors.

With so many people heading back to the office and more events than we’ve had the past few seasons, I’m getting lots of requests for transitional dresses this year! I found a bunch of great options at Nordstrom.

Eliza J dress (8) // Marc Fisher pumps (8) // Saint Laurent shopper tote (option/option) // Jenny Bird earrings // Lagos bracelets one & two // similar watch

This first dress is one I picked up at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale back in July. It was one of the first items I tried on in the dressing room on that first shopping day, and I knew immediately it was coming home with me.

For one thing, it’s hard to find a dress with sleeves, even in the fall. I especially love that it has 3/4-length sleeves, as they are typically more flattering than full-length sleeves. I also really like the tonal plaid texture in the jacquard knit.

This dress is highly versatile because you can wear it now with pumps or transitional sandals, and then in the winter with tights and knee boots.

I went for a pair of taupe suede pumps for this post, and I carried a classic tote in a similar hue.

These two-tone “door knocker” earrings are in keeping with the classic style of the dress and pumps. I’ve been wearing them a lot lately!

This dress is full lined, except for the sleeves, and it runs true to size.

My next option is a little more wintry, but you can certainly start wearing it as soon as the weather turns cold where you live.

I always have a sweater dress or two in my fall/winter wardrobe, and this one is under $100!

Open Edit midi dress (M) // Marc Fisher booties (8) // AllSaints bag // Jenny Bird earrings // sunnies (option)

Due to the ribbed texture, I was afraid it would be too clingy, but it actually skims the body easily without highlighting every imperfection.

The wide ribbed knit provides textural interest, and the fabric is soft and comfortable. It also comes in grey and navy.

I went with a medium because I’m between sizes right now, and I didn’t want it too tight. It still fits well in the shoulders, and doesn’t bulge around the arms or bustline, so I believe this is the right size.

I also love the button detail down the one side. You can unbutton a few, to your comfort level, but I left mine as-is for more of an office-appropriate look.

I styled this dress with black ankle boots to keep it modern and fun. I felt like pumps would be too stodgy, but an open toe bootie, knee boot, or chunky sandal would look good too.

These Mark Fisher booties have a classic silhouette, with a 3″ block heel and on-trend pointed toe, and they run true to size. They’re comfortable to walk in, and they also look great under flares or wide leg jeans.

This time I carried a croc embossed shoulder bag, in a black leather to coordinate with my boots. I kept the same understated earrings, and I added chic black sunglasses to complete the look.

My final outfit features a short-sleeve sweater dress with a funnel neck and raised pintucks at the waist in the front and back, which create such flattering lines.

Eliza J sweater dress (L) // Sam Edelman boots (8) // AllSaints tote // Jenny Bird earrings // Lagos bracelets one & two // similar watch

This fabric has a little more structure than a typical sweater dress, and it’s the perfect above-the-knee length.

It has an exposed gold zipper detail on the back, and I just love this shade of green for fall. It pairs perfectly with these caramel suede knee boots.

These boots are super comfortable, and the quality is on point. The suede is soft and supple, and they have a stable wood grain block heel with an almond-shaped toe.

The zip-up design makes them easy to get on and off, and I’m wearing my regular size 8.

I carried a coordinating leather tote in a similar shade of beige, with contrasting black handles for another fun detail. I like how the warm brown tones contrast with the vibrant green dress.

For size reference, I’m wearing a large in this dress, even though I think the medium is probably the right size.

The medium fit very snug to the body, and I find the large more comfortable. All that to say, you may want to size up if you run between sizes.

As always, when you shop at Nordstrom, you get their free shipping and free returns. And don’t forget about their BOPUS (Buy Online Pick Up in Store) and contactless curbside pickup options. And if you aren’t already a Nordy Club member, be sure to sign up so you can start earning points toward Nordstrom Notes when you shop!

Shop more transitional dresses from Nordstrom below:

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photos: Alison Cornell

Join The Conversation

18 Responses

  1. I’m glad to see you featuring so many dresses! I got away from wearing them for a while but have been wearing them more often the past year.

  2. Cute dresses especially the magenta sweater one and green one. I love the tall boots but the shaft is too high for my short legs. It’s almost impossible to find tall boots for short and skinny legs.

  3. Can I ask which undergarments are you wearing under the burgundy sweater dress? (I know you’ve recommended a few different ones – so curious what you wore under a sweater dress like that).

  4. The blue outfit is really all-around on point and sophisticated (without even looking like you’d have to fuss accessorizing it). I love it! That sweater dress though, to me (and, again: another thing with too many buttons, lol!), has an awkward body-con/”mermaid” drape which almost seems too long or like it thinks it can double as some kind of gown(!). The color is lovely, anyway (that shade maroon is always in my stable of sweater dresses — next to: grey and camel).

  5. I like all these dresses in this order – magenta, green, blue. They cover all the bases and look fabulous on you. Like one of the other responders, I’d like to know what undergarment(if any you wore under the magenta dress.

  6. I love sweater dresses and the way you’ve styled yours in this post! It’s nice to have options with the booties for when it does get colder! Is there a rule as to how much leg should show between the hem of the dress and the top of the booties?.

    1. No rule, per se. I just eye it up, and I find this combo pleasing to the eye. It shows enough leg to look intentional but not so much that it looks awkward or chops up the look.

  7. Any of the long-line, bike short-style bodysuits (whether: Spanx for, I suppose, a really firming “elite level” support; or one by Flexees as a lesser-expensive option) would work under that magenta sweater dress. A shaper with standard-style, swimsuit-type cutout legs would probably show through in the hip area (something you, obviously, WOULDN’T want).

  8. I bought the Eliza J green dress. I am a solid 6 so ordered the M, because that’s what the size chart indicated. It was too small, even in the shoulders, which is odd for me.So I sent it back and reordered the L, which is MUCH better.

  9. Love the navy dress! Especially the slight A-line, which is super-flattering on folks like me who are more pear shaped. I jumped on this recommendation during the Anniversary sale and it’s perfect for an upcoming work event.

    Do you think this could also work with a necklace or is that look aging/passé? If so, any thoughts on chunky vs more delicate?

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