The Fall Remix: Make Pieces Transition Through the Seasons

Who’s Your Go-To Shopping Buddy? Your Roommate? Your Mom? Try Taking Some Tips From Mother Nature this Season


Model: Erin Depew; Photo Illustrations by Jonathan Armenti/The Observer

Published: October 8, 2009

Are you tired of making trips to Manhattan Mini Storage every time the weather changes? Are you starting to think that swapping your usual brown Uggs with a black pair is an exciting change? Do you wish that your gorgeous sundress saw the light of day more than once a year?

Apparently that’s what designers were thinking during the spring and summer 2010 shows, because for a warm weather season there was a surprising abundance of longer sleeves, layering pieces, black and even suede and leather. Designers such as Alexander Wang and Jason Wu showed pieces that, although meant for spring and summer, can easily be worn now for fall.  This flexibility makes them versatile investment pieces, which is an important part of any wardrobe, especially when your budget is college-student tight.

For college girls who aren’t going to be running out to get the latest Alexander Wang dress, there is a less expensive way to get the most from your wardrobe.


“Seasonless” Fabrics

“Seasonless” means that the fabric will keep you cool in the heat and warm when it’s chilly. If you find that you’re sweating like a pig in August and can’t feel your feet all January, it might be time to look to Mother Nature for help when making additions to your closet. The best rule of thumb is to look for natural fabrics because they tend to breathe, meaning stay away from synthetics (There is no such thing as herds of polyesters or acetate trees). A good place to start is cotton, silk, cashmere and jersey. Having a wardrobe made mainly of these fabrics will allow you to wear the majority of your clothes in all sorts of weather.

Add Heavier Pieces

A general guideline to extending the shelf life of your summer outfits is to surround them with heavier and darker winter pieces in order to ground them, and (let’s be practical for a moment) to keep yourself warm. A good pair of thick leggings (stirrup and printed leggings are a great alternative to basic black) and a cozy cardigan (a bright funky color is fresh this season) are essential for any winter wardrobe. Just throw these two items on with whatever summer clothes you have, and voila, instant fall chic.

Putting the Rules to Work in Your Closet

  • Let’s start with the airy summer dress, for example. It’s a staple during the summer and nothing is easier or more chic to just throw on for a lazy August day. However, put through the no-stress formula of leggings + cardigan + winter shoes, it can easily be worn until Christmas. Just remember to play with the proportions and styles to make it work for you.
  • Another option is to layer it with a long-sleeved shirt, a scarf and a pair of adorable oxfords, or switch out the casual flats for a pair of super trendy over-the-knee boots (which are everywhere this fall). Just remember that if your boots are knee-high, keep the rest of your outfit somewhat conservative so you look haute, not hooker.
  • Next is the basic cut-off shorts, another easy summer staple. Yet paired with leggings (sensing a pattern?) and closed-toe flats, it transitions well into fall. Adding a blazer or cardigan keeps the look pulled together and polished.
  • Don’t forget your strappy summer shoes. Normally those open-toed shoes should be put away during cold weather (frost bite is not cute), but tights with open toed shoes is a continuing trend this year. Also, try wearing knee-high socks with a knee-length skirt or dress (open-toed shoes not required). For the more daring, ankle socks as seen on the 2008 and 2009 Burberry Prorsum runways are also very chic. The key to this look is to stay far away from plaids (too sexy school girl) and stick to darker colored socks to keep this look cheeky instead of childish.