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Simple ways to transition into fall fashion

Micaela Erlanger

For a number of reasons, early September is my favorite time of year. The temperature is just right and the touch of crispness in the air is a reminder that the season is turning. With that comes the changing of the seasonal wardrobe – which can be cause for anticipation and excitement… or not!

Rachel Bilson wearing orange scarf

For many of us, the idea of a wardrobe changeover is a rather daunting and dreaded task; however, it need not be. Labor Day does mark the end of summer whites and brightly hued fabrics. But beyond that, the wardrobe switch does not have to happen overnight. Just as the seasons transition over time, so can our wardrobe.

How, you ask? Well, between now and Oct. 1, gradually introduce more of those lovely autumnal earth tones and bold colors, while still dressing appropriately for the weather. Make Oct. 1 your goal date for completing the transition in your closet, and follow these simple tips to help you through the process!

Designate a time and a friend

Set up a time frame and give yourself a schedule. A day, an afternoon, a weekend. Whatever it is, make it realistic. Choose a friend who will give you honest feedback and can make the time commitment. In turn, you can help her with her wardrobe. It is more fun and productive when you have a friend who will keep you company and on track.

Divide and conquer

Keep it simple. Pull everything out of your closet and divide up your belongings by fabric, color and style.


Put away: All strictly summer weight materials (linens, open weave knits and light cottons, seersucker, eyelet, poplin)

Weaves worth keeping: Cashmere, boucle, woolens, heavier knits, fleece, silk, cotton, denim and leather

Colors and prints

Put away: Shades that scream “summer” like pastels, neon, tropical or floral prints, bright whites, and any prints or colors that obviously have a summer shelf life (e.g. Coral, salmon, butter yellow, baby blue, madras print, polka-dots, tie-dye, liberty prints, etc.)

Classic colors and patterns stay current: Jewel tones, neutrals,  warm autumnal shades, mustard, oranges, red and burgundy, plum and eggplant purples, teal, navy, black, cream, brown, camel, tartan plaids, stripes, tweeds, etc.


Put away: Summer dresses, rompers, shorts, cropped or capri pants, strapless or backless tops, sandals, espadrilles and open toe shoes, rattan fabric belts, shoes and handbags

Still in season and in style: Jeans, trousers, knit dresses, blazers, cardigans, long skirts and pretty tanks tops, tees, items you can layer, maxi dresses, jumpsuits, lace and feminine details, leather accessories

Damage control

Twice a year, I like to send things out for a final cleaning and repair. Do this right before you pack things up for storage.

Love the drycleaner

Defuzz your knits and clean your garments to avoid the setting of stains. Have your cleaners box your items and wrap them in tissue as opposed to hanging things on wire. Storing things flat means items will keep their shape and help prevent wrinkles. Place moth-repellent sachets (like cedar chips) to protect the stored items and just like that, your clothes will be ready for next season!


If you really want to keep things organized, an easy trick is to take a quick photo of what is being boxed. Tape the snapshot to the outside of the box or suitcase. This helps you in locating things for that impromptu winter getaway to a warmer climate, not to mention making that switch back to a summer wardrobe an absolute breeze!

More fall fashion

Shop the trend: Shades of green
5 Ways to wear a scarf
6 Accessories to complete your fall wardrobe

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