Fall holds so many joys. The brutal heat of summer has let up, and the brilliant hues of the season are starting to show up on trees, bushes, and clothing. But for the working woman, the return of autumn can lead to questions.
Is it time to pack away all the lightweight skirts and tank tops? If it’s 50 degrees at 8 a.m. and 80 degrees at 3 p.m., what to wear?
Fashion expert Sharon Haver has the answers. Visit her site, focusonstyle.com, for specific picks and information, but in general, the fashion guru says don’t pack away your summer wardrobe too early.
“You can stretch out your summery skirts,” she says. “If there’s a bit of black in them, wear tights and ankle boots.”
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The right footwear is essential to making the season work, she says. Knee-high boots look pretty with a silk dress. Put away those strappy sandals, but don’t turn to the heavy boots yet.
“Whatever you do, don’t wear those opaque tights with sandals,” she says. “With the tights, wear stacked heels or a wedge.”
If you’re still in love with silky short-sleeved or sleeveless blouses, no need to retire them. It seems obvious, but a sweater will carry you gracefully through the season.
“And scarves are great for this time of year,” she says. “If it’s too cold inside or hot outside, try a big scarf you can wrap around you. Find one in a rayon blend or a lightweight silk, and that will keep you warm.”
South Florida stylist Nikole Powers (nikolepowers.com) agrees that a scarf is one of the essential transitional items of clothing this time of year.
“It’s easy to throw on, and can be stored easily in a purse or bag during the day,” she says.
Powers also is a fan of ankle boots, which she says can be paired with dresses or skirts. And don’t be afraid to be adventurous when it comes to lengths of skirts, she says.
“A mid-calf length is good on most,” Powers says, adding that harem pants in light fabrics are great for hot days and chilly nights. “They’re loose-fitting to avoid trapping heat.”
• Apt. 9 Twill Pashmina Wrap ($20, kohls.com). The versatile wrap comes in an array of colors. It will ensure you look stylish but warm when the weather cools down.
• Designer Grey and Black Soft Pants ($34.99, marshallsonline.com). The secret to transitioning on a casual day is simple. Pair this wardrobe essential with a lightweight sweater on a cool day, or a lightweight blouse on a warmer day.
• Jennifer Lopez Open-Front Cardigan ($64, kohls.com). Layers create a cascading, flyaway design that’s perfect for fall. This piece comes in black, gray or cream.
• Open-Front Cardis ($36.94, oldnavy.gap.com). Pockets are always useful, especially if your fingers get chilly. This cotton-blend sweater comes in moss or black.
• Jennifer Lopez Ankle Boots ($89.99, kohls.com). For autumn, these are the go-to style for footwear.
• Merona Pencil Skirts in Navy Floral Print and Black Diamond Print ($24.99, target.com). A just-at or below-the-knee skirt is perfect for autumn, paired with ankle boots.
• Faux Leather Pencil Skirt ($29.94, oldnavy.gap.com). The pencil skirt is the perfect transitional piece as we move from summer to fall, style gurus say.
• LC Lauren Conrad Ponte Blazer ($70, kohls.com). A simple blazer goes a long way this time of year. “Menswear-inspired looks continue this fall,” says Kohl’s Department Store’s vice president of trend, Sofia Wacksman. “Reinvent a traditional look with unexpected color combinations, cropped silhouettes and clean layering.”