Don't pack your maxi dresses and tank tops away too quickly. Even as temperatures dip, summer essentials can still be incorporated into a fall-appropriate outfit by adding layers, textures and accessories.
Kathy Martens, owner of Dresology, whose business promotes the idea “Same clothes, new outfits,” advocates using a belted sweater, a pair of textured leggings or a vest over summer clothing to create a fall look.
“If you have a cute summer dress, add a lightweight sweater and belt it open rather than buttoned up,” said Martens. All belt sizes are acceptable. Martens says there has been a big interest in the Western-inspired belt. “That big Western belt buckle is coming back and mainly what they're showing off is the buckle. Whether it's turquoise, textured brass or vintage, buckles are big right now.”
Instead of adding tights, which are generally too thin to add warmth, use a legging or a textured tight. “Use a legging that has a cable knit design,” said Marten.
Lindsey Rogers, manager of Rescue Moderne Consignment in Bend, says the only thing fall means for her is that it's time to add more sweaters and tights to her mainstay of cut-off shorts. “I wear tights with my cut-off shorts and everything with a beanie.”
In general, Rogers says when transitioning an outfit from summer to fall, try to incorporate a bit of irony. “Go for a little bit of an ironic opposite twist .... It's about mixing the different patterns. So you can wear your summery skirt with a chunky, cozy cardigan.”
Martens recommended a similar idea of pairing seemingly uncoordinated items to create a more interesting outfit. Martens says the matchy-matchy look is out. Instead, pair opposite patterns with a shared color palette. Stripes paired with polka dots and florals with stripes are acceptable. The colors just need to “be along the same party lines,” said Martens. “The key to mixing patterns is to make sure the colors correspond. So if you have a pink, blue and white floral dress that you're going to add a striped T-shirt to, make sure (the stripes) have some pink or blue or whites of the same shade.”
One of Martens' favorite combinations is a short-waisted denim jacket over a summer dress. “You can wear (a denim jacket) all day. Roll the sleeves up a couple times and add a rhinestone pin.”
Rogers listed a few items that are easiest to convert into fall, like floral dresses and mid- to floor-length maxi dresses. “I'm always a fan of a cute summer dress with a big, chunky boyfriend cardigan, (a) beanie and harness boots.”
The fall color palette showcases multiple shades of brown, from honey-gold to chocolate, and a few standout colors, including brilliant blue, tangerine, lilac, soft pink and a chartreuse green. “There is a lot of blue coming in ... they're calling it Olympian blue, and it's not a navy blue, it's a bright ocean blue,” said Martens, who watches the Pantone fashion color report to stay up-to-date on the color palette of the season.
Rogers named a few fall essentials, such as gauzy scarves, leg warmers, brightly colored tights or leggings with a patterned dress and all types of boots, from combat to cowboy to over-the-knee ruched leather.
Martens recommends keeping a balanced skin-to-clothing ratio in mind for fall. “Maybe instead of baring your arms and your legs, you bare one or the other. So if you're baring your legs then wear a long-sleeved shirt.” One example would be to wear shorts over bare legs with a sweater and boots.
Another up-and-coming trend is tweed, according to Martens. “Tweed is going to be big,” she said. “You could add a tweed vest to a denim skirt with a T-shirt and boots.”
Martens noted that it's also back in style to wear an ankle sock with a low-cut boot to show off the top of the sock. “One thing a lot of the younger kids are doing is to add an ankle sock with their open-toed shoe ... that used to be so faux paus. It's so funny that what's considered fashion now is considered no rules .... Expressing your personality should always be your ultimate goal.”