How to Make Your Favorite Summer Staples Work for the Fall

These tips will help you take the season's hottest trends into the cooler weather.

Summer Fall Staples
Photo: Getty Images

Glance at a calendar and it's clear: Fall is coming. But just because autumn officially begins on September 22, doesn't mean weather forecasts will reflect the change in season overnight. More often than not, sweater weather feels a lot like shorts and tank top weather for a few weeks (especially on the east coast), so it's helpful to know how to make your summer staples work for the fall when you're up against unpredictable conditions.

The beginning of autumn is riddled with cool mornings and stuffy, warm afternoons. One hour, you're sipping on a piping hot PSL to fight the chill, the next you're shedding layers and gulping down ice water. The answer to staying comfortable through this confusing transition isn't through your drink order; rather, it's to transition your summer staples into fall outfits via layering techniques and conscientious pairings.

Take a white tank top, for example. The classic wardrobe staple became *the* basic top of the summer in 2022, and according to Stitch Fix stylist Molly Roe, can be easily transitioned to fall with the right layering pieces, like a vegan leather blazer. The goal is to create looks that are polished, yet flexible, so you can feel comfortable under any circumstance. This can be done with virtually any warm weather wardrobe essential or trend through careful planning, and we asked Roe to break down her best tips to making summer clothes work for early fall as they relate to the hottest trends of summer 2022.

01 of 05

Tennis Skirts

Summer Clothes to Wear for Fall
Getty Images

With tenniscore having dominated summer trends in 2022, Roe tells InStyle she often found herself styling clients in skirts from EleVen by Venus Williams. Heading into fall, Roe says anyone looking to keep their tennis skirts in play (pun fully intended) should reach for things like cropped graphic hoodies and denim jackets to make them more seasonally appropriate. Plus, she adds, you can always add or remove layers "depending on the temperature."

RELATED: Preppy Athleisure Is the Expensive Aesthetic Taking Over Everyone's Feeds — Here's How to Shop the Trend

02 of 05

Pops of Pink

Street Style - Day 2 - Copenhagen Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2023

OK, so pink probably isn't the first color that comes to mind when you think of autumn, but according to Roe, vibrant magenta (the shade Stitch Fix predicted would be this year's hottest hue at the onset of 2022) and any other color under the Barbiecore umbrella can still make a statement in the brisker season.

"While fall is typically associated with more muted tones, there's no need to put your pink dresses away just yet," Roe tells InStyle. "Style a classic black turtleneck under a pink mini dress for a mod, Twiggy-inspired fall look or layer an edgy moto jacket over a blush slip dress to help carry you through the autumn season."

03 of 05

Mini and Micro-Mini Skirts

Summer Clothes to Wear for Fall
Getty Images

As temperatures start to drop, you might assume skirt hems should get longer, not shorter, but there's a place for mini and even micro-mini skirts in your fall wardrobe. Roe's best tip for transitioning this summer staple into your fall wardrobe is to pair the skin-baring bottom with cozy knitwear, like a neutral-toned tie-dye sweater. For a fall mini skirt look that has a preppier flare, Roe instructs InStyle to "take summer's pleated skirt trend into the next season by topping it with a textured collared sweater" and finish off the look "with a pair of neutral-colored lug sole boots."

RELATED: 11 Dr. Martens Outfits That Prove These Chunky Boots Are Just as Versatile as Your Favorite Sneakers

04 of 05

Crop Tops and Baby Tees

Summer Clothes to Wear for Fall

Another micro-moment you can incorporate into your fall wardrobe: crop tops and baby tees. These beloved Y2K staples actually make great summer to fall transitional items, and to get the most wear out of your favorites during the cooler season, Roe suggests finding the perfect pair of high-waisted denim.

"Go-to brands that I often like to style my clients in are Good American, Levi's, and Madewell," the stylist tells InStyle via email. "For cooler days, pair your crop tops and tube tops with fall staples that feature an unexpected twist, like a boldly colored denim jacket or vibrant oversized blazer."

05 of 05

Coastal Grandma Flair

Summer Clothes to Wear for Fall

The results of a Stitch Fix survey showed that more than half of respondents (55%) were most eager to try the Coastal Grandmother trend this summer, and Roe suspects those who did will want to keep these items in their autumn rotations. "To do so, I recommend splurging on a classic trench coat," Roe tells InStyle. "This fall staple will pair well with items that reflect the quintessential Coastal Grandmother aesthetic, such as cashmere knits and linen pants."

RELATED: If the Coastal Grandmother Trend Isn't for You, How About Its Alternative, Fancy Grandma?

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles