It’s that time of year—the horrible-no-good-very-bad summer to fall transition. You can’t pack away your summer dresses and just the thought of throwing on a sweater makes you hot. The days are still warm, the nights are getting cool, and your local Saks is featuring leather pants that you know will go great with the green silk blazer you bought last winter. But you can’t wear them yet; it’s too warm and black leather is pretty harsh for the last few weeks of summer. However, there are fun pieces you can wear now and restyle to wear later; and while I wish it was always winter (I have an unhealthy obsession with tights and coats), you can get started a little early while still staying cool.
Cropped Blazers: Find something that hits right at, or slightly above the waist in a thin, neutral colored material. Wearing it now will be easy; it gives structure to billowy summer dresses and keeps you warm as the nights start to get chilly. Roll up the sleeves if it gets hot or add a scarf if the wind begins to blow. Pair it later with pants and textured sweaters or over a sparkly dress for a touch of wintery sophistication. This Jil Sanders open blazer is a perfect blended-cotton blazer to wear year-round. Jil Sanders Open Blazer is available at Farfetch.com and is priced at $1,430.
Leather Tote: You know you’re going to get a leather bag this fall, so why not indulge your itch to shop and grab one you can use all the way through spring? Opt for basic colors; blends of neutrals work best and can be worn with both your black motorcycle boots and your cognac sandals. Depending on your love of hardware, simple is better; but if you love the bells and whistles than by all means, go for the bag with the most bling. If you don’t love it, then you won’t carry it. We adore the two-tone awesomeness that is this 3.1 Phillip Lim tote with a zip and fold top. 3.1 Phillip Lim 31 Hour Leather Tote is available at Nordstrom and is priced at $795.
Berry Shoes: Anything with richer berry tones can be paired now with pastels and later with deep dark colors. For the warm season, these shoes will be a rich burst of color that you can pair with floral or for work and a night out. Come winter, the berry tone will break up all the monochromatic black you’ll be sporting. And these colors never go out of fashion for fall, you’ll be wearing these pumps season after season. We love these Alice + Olivia Suede pumps in sapphire with a 4 1/2 inch heel. Alice + Olivia Diana Serrated Suede Pumps are available at Neiman Marcus and priced at $295.
Lace Dresses: It’s the new closet staple; every woman needs a lace dress. A shorter dress can be worn during the remainder of the summer with flat sandals and delicate jewelry, while still leaving you cool—it’s lace; for the most part it’s a pretty breathable fabric. After the fall hits, pair it with your snazzy new cropped blazer and tights for a polished (and much warmer) outfit. When holiday parties come around, spice it up with metallic shoes and a glitzy necklace. Valentino’s dress has the perfect pair of pastel pink and texture. Plus it has pockets—what woman doesn’t love a dress with hidden pockets? Valentino Short Sleeve Floral Lace Dress is available at Neiman Marcus and is priced at $3,980.
Scarves: This should be the biggest no-brainer in your closet. The fun thing about this outfit-altering accessory is all the prints, colors and textures that are available. For chilly late-summer evenings or extra windy days, pop on a scarf to keep warm and help transition that sweet summer dress into a fall frock. When the winter hits you’ll have more scarves to choose from, and multiple options to pair with your coats and heavy sweaters. We love this Marc by Marc Jacobs scarf; nothing makes you look fiercer than animal print. Marc by Marc Jacobs Animal Print Square Scarf is available at Nordstrom and priced at $168.
The key to an easy transitional outfit is layering and colors. Wearing summer dresses with layers of sweaters and tights later in the season lets you keep your favorite clothes in your closet longer. Wearing darker and fall hues in summer gives you something new to wear now and allows you to stock your closet for fall and winter. Unless you buy a brand new wardrobe every season (which sounds like a brilliant idea), you’ll want to mix and match pieces together to create new looks. Since there’s not really any set rules for this transitional period — aside from the outdated no-white-after-labor-day notion — you can have fun with your clothes. Take the time to experiment and see what works when you blend the seasons together. Besides, you may as well get the most out of your sun-kissed tan before you cover your legs up with those killer leather pants.