Once again its that time of year. Time to put away the lightweight cotton dresses, tank tops, shorts and other pieces in our wardrobe that won’t help ward off the chill of fall. Or is it? With a few simple tricks, and the right layering pieces, those fashion favorites of the summer season can make the transition to take you into the brisk days of fall.
If there’s any one rule in fashion that always bears repeating, it’s layer, layer, layer! A lot of people tell me that they’re not quite sure what to pair with what, and how to get a look that doesn’t seem bulky, or like they’re trying too hard. Understanding the weight of the fabrics in your wardrobe will help when transitioning summer pieces. The great thing is that lightweight pieces are always the best for layering over more substantial pieces.
For example, take a look at this image I took at New York Fashion Week just after Labor Day. This gal was wearing a cute black and white slip dress with booties and a bright neon purse. Perfectly appropriate for the 90-plus degree day. But, if she wanted to wear this into fall she could easily swap out the ankle socks for some knit tights and slip on a cardigan sweater, or over-sized pullover sweater. Switch the neon bag for a distressed leather bucket bag that’s all the rage, and she’d be looking good as the leaves start to fall. It’s all about having the right pieces to bridge the gap in the weather.
Here’s a few items you’ll need to look for in your own closet or at Goodwill:
Tights are a no brainer when it comes to adding warmth and style to summer items. They can be worn under shorts, or under dresses like the one shown here. Having a variety of neutral colors, and textures is key to making the most out of the layering trend.
Tops, such as slouchy sweaters, including cardigans and pullovers, as well as denim shirts and jackets will become the perfect toppers for toughening up those summer go-to items. They’ll look fashion forward when thrown on over dresses, skirts, tank tops and shorts, and just about everything else.
Another way to add some punch to your summer items is to swap out your accessories. Now’s the time to look for boots, from the popular bootie style to those that go over the knee. When swapped out for your flip flops and flats, they make the transition into fall seem effortless. And, let’s not forget about handbags too. Ditching the light colors for tan, brown, and black bags add gravity and signal the change of seasons as well. Other accessories might include scarves, knit hats and chunky jewelry made of wood, leather and burnished metals. They’ll lend the right tone to those favorite seasonal pieces and allow you to get a few more weeks, or possibly months, of wear out of them depending on where you live!
To illustrate the point, here’s a couple of layered looks from Noon by Noor from their A/W 2014 Collection. On the first picture notice the rolled slacks worn with a high-heeled lace up shoe. Next she has a white button down that could have been for summer, and tied around her waist is a sweater that she could easily top it off with. She’s also sporting the darker lipstick trend that is reminiscent of the 90’s revival that is definitely in the air!
On the second shot, the model wears a lightweight summery yellow blouse under a slouchy pullover sweater and her boyfriend slacks that look like vintage menswear. So you see, the lightweight item has been grounded by the sweater and the print slacks.
The other pictures illustrate the use of layering fall pieces over summer items such as the wool plaid coat worn over the floral dress from Trina Turk (shown at top), and the burgundy wool jacket worn with a short wrap skirt.
As always, Goodwill is a great place to fill in the gaps when it comes to your wardrobe. Conveniently organized by color and size, you’ll be able to score some great items at a fraction of the price of retail, and help someone less fortunate transition into employment - and that’s the best transition of all!