Fashionista Gal

by Jennifer Ortakales / Beacon Correspondent • September 6, 2012

People store away their summer clothing with the passing of Labor Day to make room for their fall wardrobes, but I believe there are no colors or styles that are season-exclusive. 

While certain colors dominate the runways each season, the rule against wearing pastels in the winter or earth tones in the summer is one to be broken. The same idea applies to prints, fabrics, and silhouettes. Summer clothing—bright patterns or a favorite tank—can be repurposed for the fall. It’s all in the way one assembles an outfit.

It is easy to take many pieces from warmer months to cooler months by adding layers. Having a good selection of blazers, sweaters, jackets, and tights is essential for providing flexibility to experiment with summer clothes. A man’s best layer is a blazer because it allows him to make any look more sophisticated, whether it’s shorts and a tee or a button-down with jeans. Denim cut-offs with tights in cold weather isn’t a new idea, but try switching things up with an exciting pattern. Tribal and floral prints on legwear bring energy to otherwise dull, black tights. Thick, knit, knee-high socks are an alternative to tights and look great with an oversized sweater. Even during the shift between summer and fall, one or two light layers can be worn with summer clothes to ease the transition to the colder weather. Guys could wear their summer shorts with a flannel and a cardigan, and girls could pair a strapless dress with a blazer.

A change in temperature means adapting to not only the weather, but the general theme of the season. Summer is relaxed, more skin is exposed, and clothes reflect a lighthearted state of mind because school is out. When fall approaches, it’s back to class and busy schedules, so it is necessary to become a bit more serious; clothes are more professional and styles more structured.

An epidemic of black clothing has the tendency to break out in cooler weather, but there’s no reason to avoid bright summer hues — just accompany them with something more toned down. Toughening up vivid colors with leather pants or a studded, denim jacket makes ensembles agreeable with the season without sacrificing boldness.

While new trends dictate much of the next season, there’s no problem with keeping up with a trend from a season or two ago. Cropped pants were huge in the spring, but they can still be worn in the fall with a sleek pair of ankle boots. Show off quirky, patterned socks to make this look fresh and interesting.

To go with the cropped pants, match up your summer staple tops. Vibrant blouses that are worn with shorts in the summer can be paired with new staples for fall, like a high-waisted skirt for girls and colored denim for guys. Add any necessary layers for warmth, like a cardigan, scarf, and boots, and there’s no need to buy additional shirts just for the new season.

Dresses may provide a harder transition. Note that not all sundresses have to be for humid days. Sweaters make almost any dress season-proof. With a chunky knit or belted “chambray” denim button-down, a maxi dress can be worn through the winter. Some strapless dress styles are held up with an elastic band, creating easy, two-way garments. Wear one as a skirt, and it becomes a fall piece. Lighter fabrics that are typical of summer garments like silk, jersey, or lace work best for this idea because they will be more universally flattering.

 So, what should you wear this fall? For girls, go with a favorite summer dress, a vest or light sweater, and ankle boots. For guys, layer a summer shirt with a cardigan or blazer, nice slacks, and streamlined sneakers. Always think about a few fall pieces that can be added to something worn in the summer, and add accessories to make a complete outfit.