ave you noticed that it’s getting chilly outside recently? Are the leaves starting to turn various shades of yellow, orange, and brown? If that's the case then fall is right around the corner and your closet is probably in desperate need of a revamp. It feels like you finally got your closet the way you want for summer when fall comes knocking at the door. 

The majority of us dread the changing seasons because we have to completely swap out our wardrobes. Transitioning your closet can sometimes take an entire weekend depending on if your old clothes don’t fit anymore, or maybe your style has completely changed. No matter the circumstances, we can make the process easier by implementing a gradual closet transformation. 

Instead of tossing all of your summer clothes in a tote and forgetting about them for months, we want to create a wardrobe that can be universal throughout the seasons. We want to slowly remove too-thin pieces by replacing them with thicker material or by layering thicker pieces with thin ones. 

The options are limitless. In this article, we’ll be covering:

  • How to shop your closet and understand your color palette
  • Ways to get the most out of articles you already own
  • Transition your closet for fall with a few simple tips!

Shop your closet

Before you transition your closet, you want to find out what items you already have that can be transitional pieces versus which ones need to be put away. When going through summer clothes that make great transitional items, you want to look for clothes that have these six qualities: 

  • Slightly thicker outerwear that can be used for layering 
  • Warm-toned dresses or skirts 
  • Bodysuits of solid color 
  • Leggings 
  • Jeans 
  • Denim pieces, i.e. jackets, skirts 

These transitional pieces will become important later on. 

Understand your color palette 

Two girls standing while leaves fall around them. 
When you understand your color palette you’re able to make even a yellow jumpsuit work in the fall. 

When transitioning from summer to fall, it's easy to fall into the habit of completely gutting your closet. The pastel colors of summer feel too bright for the warm tones of the fall season. However, that might not be the case. Establishing a consistent color palette throughout your entire wardrobe could save you several shopping trips throughout the year. Another tip would be to have an established style

Understanding what colors look best on you and limiting your color palette not only makes transitioning your closet easier, but it allows you to have staple pieces that can be mixed and matched to create a combination of outfits.  Once you have established a color palette with the clothes you have, you need to begin to think about whether your clothes are warm or cooled-toned. The fall is inherently warmed-toned as previously mentioned. If you love pink but feel it's too light to wear in the fall mix it with a patterned cardigan that incorporates a darker, warmer pink, like mauve, which could be a great option. 

Colors exist on a spectrum so mixing some of the cooler summer pieces with warmer colors in the same color family is a great way to get extra uses out of your summer clothes. 

Establish your basics  

When transitioning your wardrobe from any season, it’s important that you have universal pieces that can be layered with statement options. Solid-colored shirts or bodysuits are wonderful pieces for your clothes because you can layer over them with a cardigan and they can easily be paired with patterns. 

When picking our basics, you need to know if you’re a fun shirt or fun pants person. People who wear fun shirts love graphic tees and sweatshirts with images on them. However, pattern pants are a new fashion trend that a lot of people have taken to. If you wear patterned pants, you want to prioritize having more neutral tops or graphic tees that have similar colors as your fun pants. 

Layering is a necessity

In the summertime, you might not wear a lot of outerwear if at all. However, a few common pieces are shawls, lightweight cardigans, crochet lace kimonos, and denim jackets.  These pieces aren’t too far off from what you’ll want to wear in the fall. 

Denim jackets are perfect for the fall weather especially if they’re oversized. Instead of lace kimonos, swap those out for flannels or a lightweight sweater. In recent years, vests have been making a comeback and they are great for layering and keeping the cold at bay.

Women in a blazer and sweater standing. 
Pulling together understanding your color palette, layering techniques, and accessorizing allows for a more elevated style. 

There are several different laying combinations to consider whether you want to imitate recent trends or you get cold easily. Some timeless layering arrangements are as follows: 

  1. A flannel over a hoodie 
  2. Leather jackets are a plus if it's lined with fur 
  3. Denim paired with a button-up 
  4. Cardigans paired with anything make stylish combinations 

A good rule to live by is a flannel paired with anything will always enhance an outfit. They are also lightweight enough that you can wear them throughout the fall by increasing and decreasing the number of layers as needed. This is true with several items like hoodies and sweatshirts.

If you’re trying to dress business casual during this time of year, a trench coat or cropped blazer is a wonderful touch that easily elevates an outfit, while providing a bit of added warmth. 

When we’re prepping our wardrobe for a seasonal transition, layering allows us to maximize the amount of time we have remaining before we completely swap out our closeting.

Next time you are trying to figure out what to wear in the fall, take a moment to repurpose some items before packing them away. If you aren’t quite ready to go through the process of taking down your summer clothes, consider laying a sweater over a summer dress, wearing denim on denim, or grabbing a flannel from your fall storage bin and pairing it with an outfit. The options are limitless but it might take a bit of creative thinking.  

Don’t be afraid to accessorize 

Before our closets are taken over by sweaters, jackets, and jeans we can use accessories to elevate some items we already have in a closet left over from the summertime. The first fall accessory I would recommend bringing out is a lightweight scarf. You don’t want it to be too thick because it won't be cold yet and thick scarfs are winter staples. 

Infinity scarves or lightweight blanket scarves are amazing to have. Blankets come in different colors and patterns so there's one out there that can fit the style of anyone. There has also been a rise in crochet items since they are trendy at the moment. Incorporating a crochet scarf is also something to consider.  

It is time to pack up the sun hats and bring out the beanies, cabby hats, and fedoras. Hats add a level of coziness to an outfit which embodies the essence of the fall season. Baseball hats are also a year-round accessory that you never have to worry about putting away assuming that’s your style. 

An overlooked accessory that can elevate an outfit if you're looking for style as well as practically would be pairing a dress or skirt with tights. The evolution of tights has come a long way. They sell sheer tights with leggings underneath to imitate skin, as well as tights that come in a variety of colors. Tights, whether sheer or legging, can be kept in the closet year-round to pair with different kinds of outfits making the transition between seasons slightly easier. If layering and accessorizing seem overwhelming looking at style inspiration photos is great for generating ideas. 

Bring out the boots

One of the hardest closet transitions to make is deciding when to bring out your boots and pack away the sandals and white sneakers. A good rule of thumb is to start with low-cut boots first and gradually go from there. One of the first boots people start wearing is booties. A black boot no matter the length should always remain in your closet regardless of what time of year it is. Slowly start integrating Ugg boots/Tasman, Bearpaw, Sperry's, etc. as the weather gets colder. There are several styles of boots and one or two are bound to fit your style!

Woman sitting on a tree stump dressed in fall attire.
A low-rise bootie adds the final touches to a perfectly crafted outfit. When picking out pieces don’t together to think about how each individual item adds to the whole aesthetic. 

The most important thing to remember when transitioning your closet is that it isn’t a direct science. Style is subjective and we can wear what we want when we want to. The goal of our wardrobe is to make us feel good in it. If you want to wear a sundress in October there isn’t anything making that wrong. Your style is an extension of yourself and there shouldn’t be any limitation restricting that. Be as creative and inventive as you want with your fashion or play it safe if that's your preference. These tips are meant to give you a starting point to help you on your journey.

When the wind picks up and the leaves start falling again, I hope you are excited about the new season and the new outfit combinations. Your closet should be a complete expression of yourself because that is what's most important!

Sep 15, 2023