How to Wear Your Summer Dress Well Into Fall

If you sort your wardrobe by season, you might feel compelled to hang up your breezy, billowy summer dresses once the days begin to turn. However, if you think about it, there’s really no need to limit yourself to jeans and trousers throughout the colder months. With a few smart styling and layering decisions, you could be wearing your favorite dresses well into autumn.

There are plenty of benefits to keeping your summer clothes in rotation long after the season itself has run its course. Using the same clothes for multiple seasons will make your wardrobe more versatile and allow you to get the most out of each piece of clothing you buy. Try these helpful tips on styling summer dresses for fall:

Pair Dresses with Tights

Many people opt to forgo skirts and dresses during the autumn and winter months because they’re worried about getting too cold. Combining dresses with tights is a quick, easy, and highly fashionable solution to this problem. For instance, a pair of black opaque tights under a short dress has a classic, sophisticated look that’s perfect for fall. Plain tights are especially great for showing off dresses with bright colors and pretty patterns.

If you’d like to change it up from traditional black or nude-colored tights, or if you’d like to elevate the look of a simple, solid-colored dress, patterned tights may be the way to go. Try polka-dotted tights for a fun vibe that’s also not too cutesy. They’ll pair well with most dresses and would thus make a great addition to your fall wardrobe.

Layer Up

Experimenting with layers is one of the best strategies for carrying your summer clothes seamlessly into fall. Since the colder days will naturally require you to bundle up, take this opportunity to mix and match your dresses with your favorite outerwear. For one, leather and denim jackets can add a cool, edgy dimension to a flirty floral number. If you’d like a softer, more relaxed look, meanwhile, try pulling on an oversized sweater or a cardigan. 

Of course, there are many more ways to experiment with layers than simply throwing on a jacket and calling it a day. One neat trick you can try is converting your dresses into skirts by layering button-down shirts or knitted pullovers on top. This look tends to work best when your upper layer has some volume to it and the dress underneath has a relatively simple silhouette, like a slip or a sheath dress.  

Adopt a More Vintage Aesthetic

So much of popular culture these days is about being nostalgic for or curious about the past. In keeping with this spirit, you may find it fun to lean all the way into the retro aesthetic for the fall season, as autumnal colors like beige, burgundy, and burnt orange lend especially well to vintage looks. For example, a dark russet or wine-colored dress paired with white boots will make you look like you stepped straight out of the 60s in the best possible way. Tartan, plaid, and checkered dresses also give off an unfailingly vintage aura that’s perfect for fall. 

Bust Out the Boots

Boots and dresses are always a winning combination, and long boots in particular have come back into fashion in recent years. Thigh-high or knee-high boots look especially chic with mini or midi dresses, especially if you opt for a pair with a bit of heel. Choose a pair of boots in a classic, versatile color like chocolate brown or black, and you’ll have the perfect footwear to take all your favorite autumn ensembles from day to night. Best of all, your feet and legs will have all the warmth, coverage, and protection they need to get through even the most biting autumn days.

If high boots just aren’t your thing, don’t despair. Ankle-high booties never go out of style, and for good reason. They offer the perfect blend of fashion and function, with most of the protective properties of taller boots but an overall more minimalist, streamlined look. Match a pair of black ankle boots with some dark tights and a short dress and your legs will look like they go on forever.

Try Monochrome

The vibrant, ever-changing foliage you can see all around you in the fall is one of the highlights of the season, and it seems a waste not to incorporate those fiery colors into your fall wardrobe as well. Fall is the perfect time to bust out vivid reds, oranges, and yellows, along with more subdued hues like earthy browns and dark greens. 

Consider embracing the spirit of the season by dressing in your favorite autumnal hue. Simply find a dress in your chosen color and pick shoes and accessories to match. Not only will you be embodying fall from head to toe, but a no-nonsense, monochromatic outfit will also save you time and energy on busy days.

At the end of the day, styling summer dresses for fall is about much more than just getting the most bang for your buck. Finding clever and creative ways to style light clothing for colder temperatures can also be a fun test for the imagination. You may just end up with outfit combinations you never imagined before.