Fall’s biggest fashion challenge comes in the form of unpredictable weather. A crisp, chilly morning transforms into a sunny afternoon with a hint of summer still in the air…and suddenly you’re regretting that cable knit sweater and knee-high boots combination. To make the most of autumn without breaking a sweat, consider adding some practical, transitional items to your wardrobe. These pieces are perfect for layering and can bring a bit of extra flair to any outfit—all while keeping you comfortable throughout the season. Read on for our checklist of transitional fall essentials.
A Cozy Vest: When you’re ready for jacket season but the weather isn’t cooperating, complete your outfit with a vest instead. This fall staple is at the top of our list when it comes to versatility, making the ideal accent piece for everything from post-yoga athleisure to your favorite dress. Try out the trend in a few different ways: a cozy faux fur vest layered over a lightweight sweater, edgy leather or suede styles atop a soft shift dress, or a classic quilted vest with a flannel and leggings for a day at the farmer’s market. Bonus: vests are less bulky than a standard jacket, so you can always tuck them into your tote if the day gets warmer than expected. You can also layer them under a coat for extra warmth when winter days arrive.
The Perfect Poncho: Much like a vest, a super-soft poncho is a great alternative layer when you’re not ready for jacket weather. We especially love ponchos for their elegant shape and movement, which add lots of interest to even the simplest outfit. When wearing a poncho, keep the rest of your look streamlined to balance the flowy fabric; try a fringed poncho with dark skinny jeans and a pair of structured leather boots. You can also get extra mileage out of summer tees and tanks by layering them under a poncho as the weather cools. For frequent travelers, ponchos offer one more benefit: they serve as a built-in blanket so you can get comfortable on long flights!
An Oversized Blanket Scarf: One of our favorite accessory trends from recent seasons is the blanket scarf. These scarves are a far cry from the scratchy wool number your aunt made you for Christmas a few years ago—this season’s styles are made from soft fabrics that drape easily to create fashion-forward looks. When picking out a blanket scarf, consider two key elements: size and pattern. You want to select a scarf that’s extra-voluminous, so it can serve as a cozy statement piece. Next, choose a seasonal pattern—like a multi-colored plaid inspired by your favorite flannel shirt. These transitional toppers are superstars when it comes to multi-tasking. Drape a blanket scarf over your shoulders to create an impromptu wrap if temperatures dip, or slip it off and spread it out on the grass if the opportunity for a picnic pops up.
Layering-Ready Legwarmers: When the first chill is felt in the air, we’re all eager to break out our favorite fall dresses—and boots to match, of course. But many fall days don’t call for the addition of tights to your favorite dress-and-boots combo. Enter the trusty legwarmer. In a chunky, sweater-inspired knit or even faux fur, legwarmers dress up your boots while letting your legs keep their cool. Try pairing boots and legwarmers with a breezy ¾-sleeve swing dress for the perfect transitional look.
An Extra-Long Cardigan: Last but certainly not least on our list of transitional staples is a time-tested classic: the cardigan. Just a little bit lighter than your fall jacket, a cardigan is the perfect layer for days when the weather is unpredictable. This fall, we’re especially enamored with extra-long cardigans that create a streamlined silhouette when layered over jeans or a fitted dress. Like ponchos, cardigans are a great way to extend the life of your sleeveless summer favorites for a few more weeks. This fall, we’re especially loving long cardigans in eye-catching florals to dress up your wardrobe basics.
What’s at the top of your must-have list for fall? Leave us a comment and let us know which new arrivals are headed to your closet!