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HOW TO WEAR SUMMER DRESSES IN FALL
My favorite time of year is upon us. The leaves are turning brilliant shades of red and orange, the sky is blanketed with clouds, and the smell of pumpkin spice is in the air. It’s time to take your knee high boots and comfy coats out of storage, but don’t pack away your favorite summer dresses just yet! Fall is all about layering, and with the right pieces, you can keep wearing short, sleeveless, even strapless dresses through the seasons and right into the new year. Here are some ideas on how to make your lovely summer favorites more seasonally appropriate, and stay cozy and chic.
BLOUSES AND TOPS
Layer a blouse or close-fitting knit top under your sleeveless summer dresses. For dresses with a low or rounded neck, a collared blouse or turtleneck adds warmth and polish. For dresses with a higher neckline, opt for a scoop or v-neck undershirt, to avoid uncomfortable bulk near your neck. You can choose any sleeve length depending on weather-appropriateness, or whether you are going to spend most of the day indoors.
SWEATERS AND CARDIGANS
Keep cozy by adding a cardigan or pullover sweater for fall. To keep the definition of your waistline, choose something close fitting. Cropped sweaters that hit at your natural waistline are a great option for adding warmth without masking your figure. But don’t limit yourself – long, loose, or chunky sweaters can be cinched at the waist with a belt to accentuate or create the illusion of curves. My personal favorites are the Charter School Cardigan and the Dream Of The Crop Cardigan from Modcloth – I’m stocked up on both in several colors to go with any outfit!
I love scarves! They’re an easy way to add a secondary pattern, or to keep the colors that look best on you close to your face. Have a dress or top that you adore, but isn’t quite in your color palette? Add a not-too-bulky scarf (my favorite are infinity scarves) in a complimentary color that looks amazing on you. And of course it will add a bit of cozy coverage.
TIGHTS AND LEGGINGS
Tights and leggings are a year-round wardrobe staple in my house. They can add a pop of color and make too-short skirts more modest. In the cooler months, they provide much needed warmth – especially leggings and thick tights. Look for tights labeled “opaque” or with a denier higher than 40. Denier refers to the weight and thickness of the tights. The higher the labeled denier, the thicker and warmer they will be. Forever 21 has a huge collection of leggings for under $10, and ModCloth carries tights in a variety of colors and patterns!
SOCKS, SHOES, AND BOOTS
Socks and closed-toed shoes make any dress more ready for fall. Over-the-knee socks are popular right now and can be worn over tights with a variety of shoes, boots, and booties. Chunky boot socks keep your feet warm in colder months, and are great inside rubber or other non-leather boots, which aren’t typically as well-insulated. I like to buy boots a half-size too big so that I can wear thick socks, or double up on socks in the winter without squishing my toes.
And of course, if you’re still a bit chilly, moving into the cooler months, top off your outfit with a cute coat, hat or gloves. Removable layers are key to any cool climate where you’ll be moving in and out of warm buildings. I like coats that are tailored to nip in a bit at the waist, or have a tie or drawstring to cinch.
If you feel like your summer dress is too brightly colored or pastel for the season, you can always tone it down a bit with more subdued versions of the same color, like in the example below. A darker, more “fall-ish” navy blue is layered over the light and summery blue of the dress. Add in a secondary fall color, like mustard and some neutral white and charcoal to tie it together. And don’t be afraid of pattern mixing. Put it all together and there’s some super cuteness in store for you this season!
I hope this helped give you some ideas to bulk up your fall wardrobe without exiling your favorite summer pieces. If you’re still not confident about your styling abilities, or don’t have time to shop, let me do it for you! Email me kelsibsides at gmail.com with a picture of you, your dress, and some notes about what types of colors and pieces you like, and your budget. I’ll email you back with two full outfit ideas, complete with shopping links. My styling services are free of charge through the end of December 2016!
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