Published October 04, 2012
The change in seasons doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to buy a new wardrobe. Budget- conscious fashionistas don’t have to look any further than their summer wardrobe to dress for the fall.
While some rules still apply--stay away from linen and white shoes after Labor Day--there are key summer pieces that can easily be carried into the colder months.
“The fall is a funny time of year in terms of weather,” says Stephanie Dickison, a lifestyle blogger. “One day it's sweltering, the next day it’s chilly. So there are a number of weeks that you can extend your summer pieces into the fall successfully.”
Shopping smart for clothes all year round will extend the life and versatility of a wardrobe.
Although you may be drawn to the trendy pieces, its best to purchase staple items in fabrics that can be worn all year round.
“As enticing as a pair of white linen pants are, does it makes sense to buy a piece that you can only wear for three months?” questions Kelly Downing, operator of TinySophisticate.com. “Instead, opt for white jeans that can be worn into fall when matched with a chunky sweater and boots.
While everyone’s style is different, Mary Lou Andre, founder and president of Organization By Design and author of “Ready to Wear: An Expert’s Guide to Choosing and Using Your Wardrobe” says two of the biggest wardrobe extenders for women are leggings and dark rinse jeans.
Leggings can be worn in warmer months with tank tops and flip flops and under skirts, shorts, tunics and boots when fall arrives. Dark rinse jeans are a staple when going out during the summer, but are great to wear any time during the fall the months. “Dark jeans are a little more appropriate for the season. They say fall,” says Andre.
Don’t pack away tanks and sleeveless shirts and dresses when the thermostat dips below 70, they can be worn into the fall as long as you embrace the idea of layering. “Even a pink light, flowy strapless summer sundress can be worn into fall. Layer a cardigan or jacket over the top,” suggests Downing. Layering can even get more life out of your children’s clothes, she adds. Put a long-sleeve onesie or shirt under a T-shirt to get a new look from the same pieces and keep the kid warm.
Jackets are key pieces to have in a wardrobe to easily extend the wear of summer clothing. While fashion experts point to blazers, leather jackets and denim jackets as wardrobe extenders, even a suit jacket can work. “If you have a favorite suit jacket that you wear to work, try pairing it over a tank and skinny jeans...or over a dress,” says Downing. “You'll get extra use out of the jacket while also making your summer favorites wearable.”
The type of fabrics you choose to buy will also determine what can be carried from summer to the fall. According to Dickison, merino wool can be worn in the summer and fall. Another: light-weight cashmere.
“Pastel-colored wool tops, particularly in cashmere, can be handy wardrobe transition pieces now and in the spring when paired with such things as jeans, leather and light-weight wool,” says Andre. Even khakis can be a fall staple when done right by pairing them with a dark shirt and flats. “A black polo with kakis is definitely more of a fall look,” says Andre.