Transitioning to a Fall Wardrobe Starts With Neutrals

This summer, it’s been color, color and more color.

I’m not necessarily complaining, as I’ve been known to be brightly attired. The boyfriend and I go to the same gym, and when I text him to say, “I’m here; come find me,” he inevitably writes back something along the lines of “I know you’re here. I always just look for the brightest person in the gym.”

But as the season winds down, those bright hues and prints will start to fall by the wayside. They won’t feel quite right as fashion switches to back-to-school and fall styles, even if the weather hasn’t yet. What’s more, you’ll get tired of wearing them.

For the transition from summer to fall, when it’s not quite time for deep fall colors, the best course of action is to stock up on some neutral staples. Here are my tips for creating the perfect neutral outfit.

1. You can never have enough denim.

Whether it’s a denim shirtdress or the perfect pair of skinny jeans, denim is always your ally for in-between seasons. You’ve likely been pairing your favorite jeans with fuchsia and lemon — unless you’re a frequenter of music festivals like Lollapalooza, in which case you’ve been pairing your favorite elastic waist jorts with both fuchsia and highlighter yellow in the same outfit.

For the transition to fall, switch it up a little and pair white, nude and camel with your denim. Take the look from Jennifer Lopez’s collection for Kohl’s, which looks seasonally appropriate and effortless while incorporating pieces that will work well with tons of things in your closet. As a bonus, each item used in this look costs less than $100. Side note: Usually I’m not into clothes that have been designed by singers or reality stars, but I’ve decided to ease up on that rule and now, effectively, have a panel of “American Idol” judges hanging in my closet.

One fun thing about the transition to fall clothes is branching out of the jeans styles you’ve been wearing. All the pieces pictured would also be great with wide-leg, dark denim jeans. This is also a great way to keep your wedges working through fall — they’re not as conspicuously summery if you can’t see them.

2. Rock the nude pumps.

I continue to wear peep-toes until the beginning of October, and you can, too, if they’re a neutral color. I’m a huge advocate of nude pumps, but you can also go with nude flats. As long as they’re leather, you can wear them in any season. They’ll either enhance your all-neutral look or give you a great solution for an outfit that doesn’t have an obvious shoe color pairing.

3. Go heavier with your bags.

During the summer, you don’t want to bog yourself down with a bunch of huge, luggage-like bags. But as temperatures get cooler, you can go with more of a statement bag. Stash cotton totes and small cross-body purses, and go with a high-capacity bag. I love the style pictured, and as with shoes, a tan color is always chic. Darker camel is also great because that shade of leather ages well.

4. Breezy button-downs are the top of choice.

The Jennifer Lopez for Kohl’s style happens to be white, but I say to stock up on popovers and silk blouses in a variety of neutrals, like blush, tan, navy and light gray. The more sheer or lightweight it is, the sooner you can begin wearing it. Be sure to wear a camisole underneath — even the model is doing it, and she probably doesn’t even have a dress code. Similar to the silk or light cotton blouse, I love the oxford shirt look for summer to fall.


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