Transitioning from a Summer to Fall Wardrobe – Tips from an Un-Fashionista

“Transition” season is what I call it.  It’s the unpredictable time between seasons (generally Summer to Fall and Winter to Spring) that requires almost 2 separate wardrobes.  Right now where I live, the weather can be a hot 85 degrees one day and a cool and windy 50 the next, or all in one day.  And so it continues for the first several weeks of autumn.  This is the “season” for layered shirts, light sweaters and cardigans – things you can easily take off or put on as the weather cools or warms throughout the day and week.

Though I am a stay-at-home mom – whether I am running errands, meeting a playgroup or just staying home – I love to look nice (yet comfortable) every day.  Why?  Because it makes me feel better about myself, gives me something to look forward to each day, makes me prepared for anything the day challenges me with (including unexpected visitors and outings), and it makes my husband feel special.  However, I’m not the friend you come to for wardrobe advice.  I do know some basic no-no’s (which apparently have almost become obsolete these days), but I could not coordinate a stylish outfit (you know, like the ones on Pinterest?) to save my life.  I love them and own several (unworn until now), but belts, scarves, boots, bold colors and statement necklaces and shoes scare me to death! I never know how or when to wear them and feel awkward in them (like I’m trying too hard), so I generally avoid them. Luckily, my fashionably cool sister was in town last week to lure me out of my oversized maternity clothes and my fears, and into looking cute but functional and practical for different occasions (a lunch date with a friend, church services, running errands, or playing with the kids).  I’d thought I’d share her few tips with all of you.

At the end of one season and the beginning of another is when you can find several clearance items.  We were able to score many super clearance summer deals (most were between $3 and $10) that could easily be worn next summer or coupled with some layers for the fall.  Oh, how I love the double season wardrobe – that means more for your money!  Some of these things I already had in my closet and just revamp’ed the style with a few new additions.  Here’s what we came up with (and by “we” I really mean her).

You’ll notice that I did not include purses or bags with each of these photos. It’s because I still have 3 little ones, and use a diaper bag. I am also not the best at taking or editing photos, but you can get the general gist of things…

A flattering skirt with a ruffled top you can wear right into the fall. On warmer days, wear with the open-toed wedges. On cooler days, pair it with boots and possibly a cardigan and leggings. Two styles of earrings are shown, brown wooden ones and turquoise ones, both from Loft. The skirt and shirt were both under $10 each at Coldwater Creek, the belt was $15 (Target), the wedges were $20 at Dillards and the boots $25 at JcPenny’s.



Denim is apparently in this year. Dress at Target for under $30, same belt and boots as shown above.  Earrings shown are turquoise from Cavender’s.

 Sorry about the bad lighting – the skirt is tan and not yellow-ish.  I love cute shoes, but I also love comfort.  Here I have some cute brown flats from Dillards or the aforementioned boots, both comfortable after hours of usage.  Cream cardigan and 3/4 length sleeved shirt from Gap, skirt from Coldwater Creek for under $10.  Two styles of necklace/earrings, one from Sam Moon and another from Coldwater Creek.

One of the most flattering skirts I have ever seen – usable by most body types!  The knee-length A-line pleated skirt comes with skinny belt for $23 on Amazon (and in different colors, too!).  Cowl neck shirt from Banana Republic. Red heels from Dillards for $13. Shown with elegant black earrings.

Here is another very flattering skirt from Coldwater Creek.  I paired it here with two different 3/4 sleeve shirts, one from Michael Stars (black striped shirt) and one from Banana Republic. Black shoes from Dillards.

In case you can’t wear the bold “statement” necklace from Sam Moon (or fear looking like a bumble bee), you can wear this shirt with a more subtle yellow long accent necklace (from Buckle) or big yellow earrings (from New York & Co).

I love summery shirts like these, and I love that I can extend their usage into fall with cardigans or layered under-shirts.  This shirt I got from Forever 21 for $3.  Jeans and scarf from Buckle, cream cardigan from Gap, and brown flats from Dillards.  Wear it with a scarf, dangly earrings (from Sam Moon), or a mint-colored “statement” necklace (not pictured).

Bring out your inner cowgirl!  I love plaid shirts, but never wear them because I like looking more feminine.  So when I saw this ruffled verssion from the Gap, I fell in love!  Jeans from Buckle, boots from JcPenny’s, belt from Target, and earrings from Loft.

Navy Kenneth Cole shirt with a long and drapey cardigan from Nordstrom Rack, Buckle jeans and earrings from New York & Co.

Here’s is another long, drapey cardigan from Nordstrom Rack.  The baby doll shirt is from Forever 21 ($11), shoes from Dillards, Buckle jeans.  Shown with 3 pairs of simple dangly earrings.

Here are a few more shirt staples to have in your wardrobe.  Top row of “dressier” shirts:  a feminine tailored shirt (Banana Republic), a ruffled short sleeve (Target $9), an eyelet in a fall-ish color (American Eagle), a bejeweled baby doll.  Bottom row of more everyday shirts: V-necks, crew necks, scoop necks and boyfriend tees (all $5-10 each from Target).  Depending on the weather and my mood, I wear these with jeans (full length or cropped) of various washes and colors, capris in various colors, lengths and styles or bermuda shorts and a cardigan.  You can also dress the tee-shirts up with jewelry, a scarf, a cardigan and/or a belt.

Everyone needs an assortment of cardigans for the fall.  Cardigans not only keep you warm on cooler days, but depending on the style, they can also define or hide a waistline or a troublesome hips/buttocks area.  These may very well be my weakness, as I have TONS of them in various shapes, lengths and colors, but here are a few that I think are a must.  I love having one romantic ruffled cardigan (from Romeo and Juliet Couture at Amazon) in my wardrobe.  I can wear a simple t-shirt and jeans, and then throw on the ruffled cardigan and it looks dressy, classy and feminine (I get oodles of compliments when wearing it).  That’s maximum benefit with low effort!  Other faves are a cropped 3/4 sleeve cardigan, a vintage-style belted knit cardigan (in cream, brown, gray or tan) and a few short to mid-length plain cardigans (tailored or straight) in basic colors (red, black, white, cream, gray, navy, etc.).

What are some of your favorite “transition” season staples?

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