How To Transition Summer Dresses Into Fall: 5 Easy Styling Tricks

Meghan Blalock

One of the saddest things about transitioning from summer to fall is the loss of the flirty, lightweight dresses that we basically lived in during the warmest months of the year. Lately, we’ve been finding ourselves rummaging through our closets, pausing to remember the days of bare legs and unsleeved arms, only to move on to sweaters and leather jackets.

MORE: Fall Bags on a Budget: 12 Chic Styles That Won’t Break the Bank

And yet, all hope is not lost! There is a way to rock your favorite spring and summer dresses in the cooler months. The trick (no surprise here) is layering; it’s a matter of combining the short, sleeveless, lightweight dresses from the summer with the heavier pieces you need during fall. Below, find 5 chic tricks to turn your favorite warm-weather dresses into stylish cool-weather staples!

sweater over dress C.Fellt

Photo via Fellt

1. Layer them under a sweater.

The quickest way to turn your summer dresses into Fall essentials: throw a sweater on top. There are several ways to go about this: like above, you can put on a slightly larger sweater so that only a small section of the dress peeks out at the bottom. You can opt for a cropped sweater that hits at your waist, which is a good option for fuller skirts. Or you can go classic and wear a summery dress underneath a cardigan.

dress over sweater pink peonies

Photo via Pink Peonies

2. Layer them over a sweater.

The opposite approach is also a viable one: wear your sleeveless dress on top of your sweater. This is particularly successful with fitted thin turtlenecks—you want to stick with sweaters that aren’t too bulky, because otherwise the smaller dress will look bulgy and wrinkly.

3. Throw on a big scarf and tall boots.

Using your accessories to add warmth and a touch of chic fall style is great on days that are brisk but not freezing. If you have any summer dresses in lightweight fabrics that have sleeves—like this cute chambray design—they’re perfect for the scarf-and-boot combo. A brave girl will try this with thigh-high boots; but your standard knee-high riding boots will suffice.

4. Tights, tights, tights!

Another idea for days that aren’t cripplingly chilly: break out your tights and boots of choice. As far as we’re concerned, tights (and boots, for that matter) instantly turn any dress into a fall-appropriate wardrobe choice.

5. Keep your jacket draped at all times.

If you’re having a busy day that requires you to run around town, it doesn’t matter how cool it is, you can warm up quickly and stay that way. A jacket might be a fall wardrobe essential, but the idea of wearing one when you’re overheated isn’t that savory. The middle ground? Drape it across your shoulders to say, “Yes, I know it’s fall,” despite the fact that you don’t need the arm coverage just yet.