Layering 101: Transitioning Summer Pieces to Fall

Posted September 4, 2014 by in Lifestyle

Happy September, friends! Let’s not even talk about where the summer months have flown to because I’ll tailspin into a spell of mourning. Instead, let’s just march forward and keep our eyes on the prize: pumpkin spice lattes. Or, for those of you more style-minded folk: layers.

We’re about to enter that time where we’re reluctant to say goodbye to our summer pieces, but we’re starting to sneak in a few sweaters and tights into drawers while nobody’s looking. Today I’ll show you how to navigate that tricky dance and help you move those summer pieces into a very fall state of mind.

Ready? Let’s go!

1. Summer Prints

While we all have ideas on how to transition a summer dress into fall, a summer print can be a tad trickier. It’s all about the colors and coaxing them into a darker spectrum. Take this scooter dress for example. Can’t you see yourself wearing this during the Fourth of July, waving sparklers with one hand and requesting another red-white-and-blue sangria with the other?

Now slip a chambray shirt underneath, add a camel colored vest, and pair it with some black leather gloves and bootie sandals, and you can just as easily see yourself sitting outside on a cafe patio, sipping your first hot apple cider of the season.


  • Scooter Dress: $36 via Etsy
  • Chambray Shirt: $60 via Mango
  • Vest: $129 via Mango
  • Gloves: $24.95 via H&M
  • Booties: $18 via Target

2. Summer Skirts

The secret to summer skirts in the fall is texture. The skirt below would look great paired with a chambray shirt and a straw Panama hat, and it’d be just the right look for picnicking on the beach or wandering through a farmer’s market. Now add a long chunky knit (those uneven proportions will look amazing) with a turtleneck underneath.

Continuing to play with the different proportions, pair the look with tall riding boots. Then, accent the different textures by adding a beanie.


3. Summer Dresses

I know we’re all very well versed on how to move those summer dresses over into the next season, but my favorite option goes as follows: loose, baggy crop top sweater + chunky booties + knee-high socks. I have been loving asymmetrical crop top sweaters lately, especially since they go so well with short and long dresses alike. The bagginess adds a casual, laid back vibe to the outfit, and then the chunky booties and structured backpack anchor the look back down to a trendier, more polished space.


4. Summer Shorts

Okay, I have been dying to try out an outfit like this in real life. The key to moving your shorts to nippier weather is to play with textures and proportions in the outfit. I cozied up the shorts by pairing them with a thick, cable knit sweater. Then I took it a step further by popping a ruffled top underneath that sweater.

Pair the look with some oxblood booties, a metallic purse and brown tinted glasses, and your dark color scheme moved the shorts from summer crop tops to pumpkin patch dates.


How do you transition your favorite summer pieces? Let us know in the comments below!

*This post originally appeared on Marlen’s blog, Messages on a Napkin

  • Broke & Chic October 16, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    Me too!