It is technically about to be Autumn, but if the climate where you live is anything like mine, most days the forecast is still looking like Summer. You want to wear those new fall fashions, but you'd legit melt. Despite the temps, I'm anxious to swap my closet from summer to fall. But jumping straight to flannels and cords just isn't practical. This is my guide to transitioning your closet if you're in the same boat. What to Take Out The easiest items to pull are those that scream "summer" with their prints. I just can't bring myself to wear my wild hibiscus shorts by late September. It's just not right. I also grab any graphic tees that reference summer and anything with a palm tree on it. Same goes for lemons or strawberries - basically anything that's not in season should be put away for next season.
Sometimes items literally feel like summer because it's the texture or fabric that makes them so perfect for warm weather. By late September, I'm ready to retire my linen pants, anything seersucker, and my favorite eyelet pieces. The items may work based on the forecast, but they work so much better with an umbrella drink in your hand than a harvest-flavored latte.
Layering is a great way to get more life out of your summer pieces as the weather transitions, but not all items play that well with others. Tees and tanks with great embellishment or details like pleats, peplums, tassels, ruffles, etc are best on their own and therefore may not work in cooler weather.
Finally, I take a look at what's left and see if there are any items that just feel like summer to me. It may be the color or just the overall feel, but as I see an item among what's left I can usually tell that it will never be the first shirt, dress, or skirt I reach for until the weather warms up again. For example, I just thrifted a bright pink J. Crew Factory sidewalk skirt (the best) and haven't worn it yet, but I know it's gotta go away until Spring. Not that I'm opposed to wearing pink in cooler weather, but a bubblegum linen-blend skirt is never going to beat out it's navy sister or it's wool cousins hanging on the bar. (Yes I have a little sidewalk skirt family.)
What to Add
This time of year often presents pretty wide temperature ranges from morning to midday so it's helpful to have great layering pieces available. Cargo vests, denim jackets, chambray button downs, knit moto jackets, and open cardigans are all good options for adding an extra layer in the morning to a look that will keep you cool later in the day.
I mentioned before that it may be a little early for flannels, but that doesn't mean you can't bust out the plaids. Or other fall-friendly patterns and color combos. Pair button downs with shorts on the warmest days or jeans and sandals on cooler ones. If you put away several flirty summer tops because they don't layer well, replace them with beautiful blouses. A few pretty, long-sleeve tops work well with skirts and bare legs or a great pair of denim for work or a night out. Dark florals, harvest and jewel hues, or even leopard give just the right autumnal vibe.
Finally, while no one's ready for tights and sweater weather, your long-sleeved dresses can make their way into the rotation paired with bare legs. For example, I swapped out my white eyelet shirt dress for my emerald and black plaid one. Fun flats and booties will make these dresses work as the temps drop. The Shoes I'm not ready to give up ALL my sandals and open toe options yet, but just like my hibiscus shorts, my rainbow-stripe sandals and striped espadrilles just don't feel like fall. Pull your most summery footwear options and add in a few of your closed toe favorites.
My shoe palette generally gets much darker and richer feeling for fall, but a fun pop of color or an animal print can really make your look come together. Booties also offer a great transitional option, but no one needs UGGs yet. Right?!
Whether you live in a place that's taking it's good old time to get cool or it never really gets cold, these tips for flipping your closet will help you achieve more fall-like vibes regardless of the forecast. This is also a great time to evaluate what you never wore this summer (and find those items a good new home) and to review what your cold-weather wardrobe already contains so you're not tempted by a sale and end up with duplicates. Even if you have room in your closet to fit your entire wardrobe, it's always nice to have a little extra space between the hangers. Having only the options in front of you that apply to the current season also free up mental space as you decide each day what to wear.
How often do you rotate your closet?