The 5 Key Pieces for Transitional Dressing

Add these essentials to your wardrobe for easy summer-to-fall fashion.

Listen: We are aware that it is still a million degrees out—and humid, too. But as the long-awaited September issues start showing up in mailboxes, it’s almost impossible not to begin fantasizing about fab fall fashion. Though it’s still way too early to deck yourself in leather and layer to your stylish heart’s desire, there are some key tricks to making it feel like you’re getting in on the fall fashion action while remaining weather-appropriate. Technique number one? An arsenal of pieces that lend your look that fall vibe via silhouette, detailing, or print but are lightweight and airy enough to don while the warmth is still waning. Read on for the five transitional items you’ll want to add to your wardrobe ASAP.

The Cutout (or Lace-Up, or Peep-Toe) Bootie
Trade your barely there sandals for a bootie—the shape lends the illusion of fall, while cutout, lace-up, and peep-toe styles keep you cool. This swoonworthy take involves a two-toned palette, a trendy pointed toe, and stingray texturing. Rebecca Minkoff Derea bootie, $395 at Shopbop.

Also try: Schutz’s camel leather lace-up ($195), Steven’s sleek cutout booties ($139), or Paul Andrew Pegasus peep-toe booties ($1,045).

The Vest
It adds some fall-ready structure sans too much weight (or
warmth). Pick one that features crisp tailoring or interesting texture,
like this knit Zara version. Combined waistcoat with zip detailing,
$89.90 at Zara.

Also try: Madewell’s ivory tux vest ($138) or Gryphon’s beaded-shoulder twill vest ($290)

The Leather-Trimmed Top
it may be too hot for full-force leather, get in on the look with
breezy tees finished with leather sleeves or detailing. We love that
this one combines a nautical (and über-versatile) stripe pattern with
luxe leather sleeves. Leather-sleeve striped top, $148 at J.Crew.

Also try: J.Crew’s leather-front tee with jersey back ($345) or Potter’s Pot color-blocked vegan leather tank ($69).

The Lightweight Army Jacket
A canvas or twill utilitarian jacket is
just the right level for some early-fall layering. Bonus points for the
on-trend camo print of this one. Aqua army jacket, $148 at

Also try: H&M’s cotton canvas jacket ($49.95) or Forever 21’s camo utility jacket ($34.80).

The Summery Top (in a Fall Fabric)
traditionally summery silhouette (think peplum, tank, or tee) becomes
instantly transitional when reworked in tweed, houndstooth, or other
fabric typically reserved for chilly temps. This Tibi peplum is cotton
and sleeveless, but spotlights a menswear-inspired print. Tibi Jazz
Stripe peplum, $265 at Net-a-Porter.

Also try: J.Crew’s tweed-front tee ($75), Milly’s bouclé peplum top ($295), or Club Monaco’s textured cashmere tee ($249).