All The Transition Pieces You Need To Go From Summer To Fall

With the summer nights winding down and the gentle breeze of fall just around the corner, everyone is preparing for changes. Among the many transitions that come during this time of year is the dreaded wardrobe switch–over. After all, what are you supposed to wear in that weird transition period between summer and fall? From a styling perspective, the vibe of summer clothing and fall fashion couldn't be more different. However, with a few smart choices and transition pieces, you can get double the wear out of your wardrobe and all the pieces you don't want to pack up just yet. As fashion blogger Jessica Camerata of An Indigo Day explains, a transition piece is an item of clothing that helps extend your summer outfits into those cooler nights without totally switching over your closet. 

Thankfully, switching over your personal wardrobe to something more unified doesn't have to be a headache. You don't need a lot of clothing items to create variety in your looks, just an understanding of your personal style and a plan. Experts like New-York based stylist Allison Bornstein are leading the charge with their unique approach to sustainable style. Recently, Bornstein has gained popularity on TikTok for her "three-word wardrobe method" — a simple strategy designed to help you define your personal style. Using strategies like these, you can fill your closet with chic statement pieces that you can wear from summer to fall and beyond. Here's a look at five closet must-haves you'll want to snag.

Oversized button-ups

Like many other trends on this list, the oversized button–up shirt never really fell out of style. It has, however, recently become a new go-to for celebrities and influencers alike. "We're seeing an upward trend of customers opting for comfort while looking stylish," designer and stylist Christina Abayomi told The Zoe Report, "Oversized designs are the new modern-day uniform."

"It's a fresh reminder of a '90s classic style that's chic and effortless — a forever wardrobe staple," Abayomi adds. What makes this piece a must-have for your wardrobe is that it's versatile and timeless. Not to mention, it can be used to completely change the vibe of an entire look.

"A crisp white men's style shirt can be dressed up or down and layered under a jacket if it's cool outside or worn on its own if it's still warm enough," Hollywood designer Natalie Bronfman tells Today. Once you've chosen your favorite button-up, there are innumerable ways to style your look. There are dozens of popular tutorials online, we're partial to a coastal grandmother-inspired TikTok tutorial from artist and content creator Brittany Wilder. In the summer, this versatile top can be worn over a swimsuit or paired with your favorite exercise dress. And in the fall, it looks great with flare jeans and a t-shirt or paired with a dress and your favorite pair of long boots.

Faux leather jackets

This one is an old classic, so it should come as no surprise that stylists and fashion trend forecasters predict that head-to-toe-leather looks are set to dominate fall fashion trends this year, making a faux leather jacket the perfect everyday look for both summer mornings and crisp autumn evenings (via Women's Wear Daily). A leather jacket (or faux, in this case) is one of the easiest ways to layer your outfits through summer and fall. Not only does this style go with quite literally everything but faux leather is also much more durable and easier to maintain than real leather, meaning you'll get more bang for your buck choosing this option. 

The fashion editors at StyleCaster suggest styling your leather jacket with unexpected girly elements to add some edge to your look. Feminine midi–skirts and soft floral sundresses in the summer offer a perfect contrast. During the colder months, try styling your jacket with something more sophisticated like a turtleneck or wide-leg pants. Still not convinced? No worries, this jacket is more versatile than you might think. As Country Living points out, not everyone loves the moto-style leather jacket, and some people prefer something more casual. In that case, an open-front street jacket in tan might suit your style more. It gives all the same functionality as the faux leather biker jacket but with more of a clean preppy vibe. 

Clogs and Crocs

Yes, you heard correctly. According to fashion trends and social media buzz, Crocs are back in a big way. "We have seen Gen Z in particular embrace Crocs, with a number of influencers wearing and promoting them, along with a viral trend on TikTok," Viviana Attard, the global curation lead at Depop, tells The Guardian. Every so often, the fashion industry is surprised by the sudden resurgence of a retro fashion favorite, and Crocs are having a renaissance right now thanks to Gen Z and its growing love of ironically ugly shoes, per Self.

So, if you're looking for the best way to style your crocs for summer and fall, here's what you'll want to do: grab yourself a nap dress or a matching workout set during the summer and embrace the heat with some colorful crocs. And when the air starts to pick up a chill, try pairing your crocs with some funky printed paints and an off-the-shoulder top. And don't forget to deck out your favorite Crocs with some stylish Jibbitz shoe charms to add a twist to your own personal style (via TikTok). 

Maxi skirts

Maxi skirts are possibly the most flattering and versatile pieces for your wardrobe. These long, flowy skirts go well with plenty of pieces and can easily be worn in the summer heat, as well as the chill of autumn. There are many factors to consider when choosing the perfect transitional maxi skirt, the most important being the fabric of your skirt. If you're looking for something breathable you'll want to opt for a cotton or linen blend. If you're more interested in versatility, a jean skirt gives you the best of fashion and function (via Oprah Daily). Whatever style you choose, these breathable bottoms allow you to layer up or down depending on the weather, so you can keep it cute throughout the season change.

According to L'Officiel, the maxi skirt styles that are currently topping summer trends include pairing your maxi with a matching top, embracing your wild side with a vibrant nature print, or keeping things simple with a neutral corduroy. Sure, fall has some of the chicest and most comfortable outfits of the entire year, but what if you're still hoping to get a few wears out of your favorite maxi skirt? Try adding a pair of comfortable tights layered with slouchy socks and combat boots, and top it off with a sweater to keep you nice and warm.

Ballet flats

As fashion writer and trend forecaster Mandy Lee explained in a TikTok, ballet flats never really left the scene. However, the newly updated variety of flats offers a more fashion-forward approach to this closet staple. According to Lee, the most popular variations of this style include the platform ballerina shoe, flats featuring block heels, and flats featuring unusual prints or design elements.

For a breezy summer look, pair your ballet flats with a sundress and a light cardigan, or grab your favorite cut–off jean shorts and tank top for a more casual look. "I love vintage fashion, so I like to pair ballet flats with '50s-inspired pieces like cigarette pants and A-line dresses,” designer Sarah Flint tells Harper's Bazaar. She also adds that suede ballet flats pair best with more casual looks, while a sophisticated ballet with laces pairs best with floating skirts and mini dresses. And once the weather turns cooler, you can swap out your shorts for some skinny jeans or a maxi–skirt before grabbing a chunky sweater for a cute and cozy style.