5 Ways to Make Your Summer Pieces Work for Fall, Too

Zara cardigan
Photo: Courtesy

Who says you have to toss out your summer favorites once fall rolls around? Instead of dropping Benjamins on overhauling your current wardrobe, we’ve scouted five key items that can extend the life of your hot-weather pieces. For example, the sweet peek-a-boo lace dress you wore as the temperatures rose can easily transition into fall -- just top it off with a leather jacket to add a tough edge. Additionally, sleeveless leather dresses can get a cozy touch when paired with a chunky knit. Talk about double-duty! Click through to see more tips on how you can stretch your summer items right into fall.

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Summer Trend: Peek-a-Boo Lace

Peek-a-Boo Lace and Leather Jacket
Imaxtree; Getty Images for Vogue Eyewear; Courtesy

Your Transitional Helper: A Leather Jacket

Toughen up the sweet candy-colored fabric, as seen on Carven and Eva Mendes, with a leather topper. Zip up in a warm caramel hue or keep cool with straight-up classic black. From cropped bombers to moto styles, they deliver the right dose of downtown chic while covering up off-season cutouts.

Coach, leather, $798;


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Georgie leather jacket

Polyester and spandex, $318; intermixonline.com.

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Topshop leather jacket

Polyurethane, $85; topshop.com.

04 of 15

Summer Trend: Leather Dresses

Leather Dresses and Knitted Cardigans
Imaxtree; Michael Simon/startraksphoto.com; Courtesy

Your Transitional Helper: A Knitted Cover-Up

There’s no question that warm-weather leather is a summer statement (see: Proenza Schouler and Emmy Rossum), but don’t let your investment piece stay confined to three months of the year. Introduce a textured piece, like a cozy cardigan, to juxtapose the all-over leather. For a more formal approach, pick a structured blazer in a similar soft material.

Helmut Lang, acrylic, wool and nylon, $240;


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By Malene Birger

By Malene Birger cardigan

Viscose, polyester and metallic fiber, $267; mytheresa.com.

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Milla Schon Concept

Milla Schon Concept blazer

Wool, acrylic, silk and cotton, $289; yoox.com.

07 of 15

Summer Trend: Cropped tops

Cropped Tops and High Waisted Pants
Imaxtree; Invision for Lionsgate/AP Images; Courtesy

Your Transitional Helper: High-Waisted Pants

Midriff seemed to be theme of the summer, from the runway (Balenciaga) to the red carpet (Elizabeth Banks). You can rest easy-your belly-grazing top isn’t up for retirement just yet. Pair it with tailored high-waisted trousers in darker hues, wintry fabrics (like jacquard) and moodier prints.

Isola Marras, viscose and polyamide, $389;


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O'2nd pants

Polyester, wool and cotton, $295; farfetch.com.

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River Island

River Island pants

Viscose, $70; riverisland.com.

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Summer Trend: Backless dresses

Backless Dresses and Long Vests
Getty Images (2); Lia Toby/Wenn.com; Courtesy

Your Transitional Helper: A Long Vest

Backless dresses are great because they’re demure from the front and surprisingly sexy from the back, like on the Azzaro runway and on Kate Mara. Since skin exposure in the fall (and winter) is generally a no go, keep your back under wraps with a lengthy vest. Treat it like an accessory: Experiment with colors, fabrics and styles. Try belting it or layering it under a jacket.

Alexander Wang, lamb skin, polyester and triacetate, $595;


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2nd Day

2nd Day vest

Mohair, acrylic and polyester, $360; stylebop.com.

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Viparo vest

Lambskin, $260; viparo.com.

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Summer Trend: Pastels

Pastels and Jeweled Tones
Imaxtree; Ken Katz/startraksphoto.com; Courtesy

Your Transitional Helper: Jeweled Tones

In the summer, pretty pale shades pair perfectly with other pastels (Nina Ricci) or even bright, bold colors (Maggie Gyllenhaal). To prep your wardrobe for fall, partner your usual lights with a rich, jeweled palette. Got a blush-colored top? Team it with an emerald skirt. Button up a navy wrap over a lilac dress or pull on an oxblood-red top to complement a lemon-hued maxi.

Modcloth, polyester and spandex, $40;


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Zero + Maria Cornejo

Zero + Maria Cornejo top

Polyester-blend, $625; net-a-porter.com.

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Zara cardigan

Cotton, polyester, $50; zara.com.

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