Break out the Boots: Transitioning Your Wardrobe from Summer to Fall

by Rowanne Dean and Danielle Owen

You too can look this effortlessly chic!

The leaves are still a vibrant, lively green, the air lacks even the slightest cardigan-appropriate chill, and I’m almost positive I woke up sweating in my Brooks double this morning. Regardless, the arrival of pumpkin spice lattés signifies that it’s time to begin swapping out your flip-flops and denim shorts for boots, scarves, and cardigans.

Rowanne’s Seasonal Style Guide

Tights and Shorts
Tights are, quite simply, the best things ever. They’re comfortable, they keep you warm, and they come in cute patterns and colors. They’re also handy for letting you keep your summer shorts in your repertoire for another season. This trick is fun because the color, fabric, and pattern opportunities are endless, allowing you to easily express your personal style.

Socks and sandals done right.

Sandals and Socks
I know what you’re thinking: aren’t sandals and socks a fashion faux-pas? These days, I think the rules of fashion are pretty arbitrary, so why stop wearing open-toed shoes in the fall? With socks or tights, even the beachiest of sandals can make appearances year-round.

Thigh-High Socks
Like tights, long socks are useful if you don’t want to part with your shorts, dresses, and skirts the minute temperatures dip below 70 degrees. If it’s really cold you can wear them over tights for extra leg-coziness (and the Arctic Monkeys wrote a song about them, which pretty
much guarantees that they’re sexy).

Revamp Summer Dresses
Summer dresses are great because they’re easy to wear when you don’t want to think too hard about your outfit. Their carefree attitude translates perfectly into the fall, with the help of everyone’s favorite cold weather essential: the giant sweater. Boom! Bonus: now your dresses can double as skirts, so it’s like having two pieces of clothing in one.

There is no such thing as too many layers.

When all else fails and the temperature’s dropping, you can start to literally pile every piece of clothing you own onto your body. Jackets over sweaters over t-shirts over tank tops etc. Not only is the final result warm, but it’s also really fun to create.

Danielle’s Fall Fashion Tips

  1. Get all of the mileage you can out of your favorite sundresses. Add black, brown, or navy tights underneath and add a cardigan or a fluffy scarf.
  2. Layer cable knit sweaters over skirts or shorts.
  3. Wear your maxi skirt paired with a long-sleeved blouse and a light jacket or cardigan.
  4. Pair skirts with knitted tights and knee-high boots.
  5. Casual, button-down blouses are layering essentials.
  6. Satchels and tote bags are perfect with jeans and skirts.
  7. Ditch the cardigan every now and then and add a blazer instead.
  8. You can still wear shorts! Pair them with tights and ankle boots.
  9. The moratorium on wearing leggings as pants has ended. Go forth and feel no shame.
  10. It’s time to put the flip-flops away—however, sandals are still appropriate.
  12. Pair neutrals and whites with pops of marigold, mustard, burgundy, orange, and red.
  13. Check out inspiration boards for more summer-to-fall fashion! 

Fall is basically the best season ever: changing leaves, apple cider, pumpkin patches, Halloween, and a nice chill crisp in the air. But when you’re a college student with limited college space and an even more limited budget, finding an entirely new wardrobe to protect you from the cooling climate is next to impossible. Luckily, there are ways to utilize your summer wardrobe into the cooler months. And for added bonus, here’s a playlist to get you extra pumped for autumn.

Rowanne Dean and Danielle Owen are first-years at Barnard and staff writers for The Nine Ways of Knowing.

Images courtesy of Color Me Nana,, and The Man Repeller.


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