The end of summer can be emotional as kids return to school, vacations come and go, and the days get shorter and shorter. But, you don’t have to say goodbye to everything that you love about the summer. You can extend the life of your summer dresses by adding in some fall staples (cardigans, boots, and more) to keep you warm on even the coldest of fall days. You’ll give yourself a few more months to rock that super-flattering summer maxi dress while also letting yourself celebrate your summer wardrobe beyond the end of the season.
Here’s how to transform your summer dresses into dresses ideal for the fall weather.
Bare legs are a summer thing, so to make your summer dresses feel more ready for fall, wear them with a pair of tights to keep your legs protected from fall breezes. Depending on the color of the dress, you can find yourself a pair of tights that fit the look. For a black dress, go with black tights. For a fun striped jersey dress, get yourself a pair of nude tights to wear with the more casual look.
Few things say fall more than your collection of women’s cardigans. Whether chunky knit cardigans or streamlined cashmere options, your cardigan is one of the essential pieces to bring your wardrobe from sunny summer to fall. Layer a cardigan over that go-to summer dress, and you’ll be all set to enjoy the crisp fall weather, whether you’re hanging out at a winery with friends or cozied up on your porch with a good book and some throw blankets.
If the weather isn’t quite cold enough for a sweater, you can pair your favorite summer dresses with some cute scarves. Depending on the weather, you can rock a gauzy cotton scarf (if it’s a warm fall day) or a cotton blanket scarf that can double as a wrap if the temperature starts to drop. Plus, not only does a scarf keep you warm on an autumn day, but it also provides some nice variety for your outfits.
Do you have a certain maxi dress that your friends have seen you wear dozens of times? By adding a scarf to your look you can add some new life to that dress.
Boots keep your legs warm even on the coldest of days, which makes them a great item to balance out a not-so-warm summer dress during the fall season. Depending on the weather, you can wear a pair of knee-high boots, short leather booties, or (on the coldest of days) over-the-knee suede or leather boots. While boots wouldn’t be the choice for all summer dresses (don’t try to wear them with a dress that doubles as a summer coverup), they do look great with shirt dresses, maxi dresses, and a-line dresses.
Your brightest floral summer dress may not be the best item to transform into a fall dress. Instead, pick out your dresses that match the color scheme of fall, which according to WikiHow include “dark colors, such as burgundies, navies, and plums,” in addition to “neutral colors,” “earth tones,” and “warm colors based on the fall leaves.” These colors are likely going to pair better with your fall boots and cold-weather cardigans, too. So, it’s a win-win.
But, if you find yourself really missing your bright-colored summer dress, you can still wear it. Just wear it on a bright, sunny, and warm fall day.
One of the best things about fall is the return of light jackets. You missed that barn coat, right? And that corduroy jacket, too? Now’s the time to break them out of the closet and wear them with your beloved summer dresses. Try putting a denim jacket or corduroy jacket on over a shirt dress. Wear a barn coat over a structured summer dress for a classic, preppy look.
Keep in mind that you won’t want to break out your fall jackets on the first day of fall—you’ll probably be too warm. Instead, save this look for mid-fall... you know, peak pumpkin picking time.
So, you don’t need to say goodbye to your go-to summer dresses just because fall has arrived. Instead, you can add thoughtful accessories and pairings to turn them into items that are warm enough for a fall day.