Style Panel: 11 easy ways to transition your wardrobe into fall without saying goodbye to summer just yet

Love it or hate it, fall is quickly approaching and it will soon be time, once again, to break out the sweaters, jackets and closed-toe shoes. So, what’s a summer-dress loving girl to do? We turned to the ladies of Style Panel, which now includes Cara McLeay of A Fashion Love Affair, for their unique approaches to wardrobe transitioning.

Question 14: How do you transition your summer wardrobe into fall while it’s still warm outside? Read the answers now! »


Cara McLeay, 28
Vancouver | A Fashion Love Affair

My favourite time of the year is the summer, so I try to wear my summer dresses as long as I can. I transition into the cooler season by layering, starting with a basic dress and adding on until I have an appropriate fall look.

Cara’s wearing: Dress, Muubaa. Sweatshirt T-shirt, American Eagle. Jacket, Aritzia. Heels, Pour La Victoire. Necklace, J.Crew. Clutch, Alexander Wang.

Gabrielle Lacasse, 23
Montreal | Dentelle et Fleurs

Leather skirts are making a big come back this fall and it is one of my favourite trends. I think it is a very chic alternative to summer shorts and a easy transitional piece that you can work with. I paired mine with one of my favourite T-shirt to dress it down a bit since it is not the time to wear cardigans and knits yet. You can still wear open-toe shoes if the weather is a warm and black is always a great colour to switch from summer to fall. Accessorize with a pop of colour and you are fall ready.

Vickie Laliotis, 28
Edmonton | Adventures in Fashion

For me, the best way to bridge the seasonal gap is by starting to work light blazers or jackets into my look, which can be a non-committal way to psychologically prepare for the cooler months ahead. Tights are another great transitional item, but as they can quickly become a fall staple, there’s no need to hurry into that trend. It will be cold and dreary soon enough!

Vickie’s wearing: Blazer, Zara. Dress, Loft 82. Bag, vintage. Necklace, Forever 21. Belt and pumps, Zara.

Alex Grant, 25
Toronto via Vancouver | To Vogue or Bust

Until I can manage a move to Maui and can get away with wearing bikinis year-round, I usually deal with the environmental mood-swings by keeping one element of my look summer-apropo (my floral-speckled shorts, in this case) and working warmer, easy-to-layer pieces around it. Booties and a loosely knitted sweater help shield me from the chill, while my olive Marc by Marc Jacobs bag gives a healthy dose of autumnal colour.

Alex’s wearing: Shorts and sweater, Splendid. Bag, Marc by Marc Jacobs. Booties and sunglasses, H&M. Rings, necklace and cuff, Lia Sophia.

Jen Tam, 23
Vancouver | Her Waise Choice

I think the challenge of dressing for the changing seasons is to ease in to the season that’s coming without looking like you’ve taken the leap too quickly out of the one that’s going. To prevent this from happening, I like to incorporate a bit of each season into my transitional wardrobe. In this particular look for example, the neon and floral are completely summer-appropriate, while the trousers and jacket as well as the use of cobalt blue hints at what’s to come. Another outfit possibility I love? Wearing warm weather pieces in rich fall hues.

Jen’s wearing: Top and jacket, H&M. Pants, Aritzia. Shoes, Zara.

Élodie Parthenay, 26
Montreal | Hello Elo

A little (emphasis on little) temp drop is nothing a good dose of layering can’t beat, and it’s also a great opportunity to show some creativity. Your summer clothes don’t need to get back to storage just yet; they just need an update and some new friends. This tank top and that lightweight denim shirt are summery staples of mine, and I hold on to them as much as I refuse to let go of the long days and blazing sun. Worn together and with my favourite varsity jacket thrown over, they look more now than ever. I just swapped my light skirts for a pair of jeans. Sandals have to go too, but the fresh shade of my Dr. Martens boots keeps the gloom away.

Elodie’s wearing: Varsity jacket, Criminal Damage Clothing. Shirt, Topshop. Tank top, H&M. Jeans, Gap. Boots, Dr. Martens. Necklace, Uranium.

Kristin MacDonald, 27
Fredericton | Doll Parade

Where I am, 5-degree mornings will transition into 25-degree afternoons, and often I will need a way to keep warm on a beautiful but crisp day in late summer. I just love this oversized camel blazer, and it seemed to fit in with this floral dress made up of some slightly darker hues. What else am I daydreaming about? Pairing some rich florals with military jackets, as well as some printed pants with oversized, cozy sweaters. And though I kept my legs bare in this photo, when autumn hits us in it’s full force, it will be time for one of my very favourite accessories: opaque black tights.

Mo Handahu, 29
Halifax | Curvy Geekery

My favourite way to transition into fall is diving into my blazer collection. Being that I refuse to compromise on my love affair with colour regardless of the season, my blazers are just as colourful and riddled with great prints just like everything else in my closet.

Photography by Lewis Mirrett

As much as it pains me to even acknowledge, the weather has taken a turn towards the chilly-ish. There’s something nice about bringing a lightly-hued summer outfit back to Canadian reality with a classic leather jacket and suede boots. The contrast works sartorially as well as efficiently in the end of summer.

Wearing: Shirt, jacket and pants, Zara. Top, vintage. Boots, Dolce Vita boots. Bag, Proenza Schouler.

Isabel Slone, 22
Toronto | Hipster Musings

Always the early bird, I’ve already done most of my fall shopping. I went to Common Sort on the weekend and spent a whole lot of dollars on new trouser pants and this lovely dress. I’m aiming for a more pared-down, minimalist vibe this season, which I will most certainly be channelling in this vintage Breton stripe dress. It’s sleek, structured and totally reminds me of nineties-era Calvin Klein and Jil Sander.

Kassandra Camponi, 26
Edmonton | Kastles

As much as I adore summer, the beautiful jewel tone colours and cozy layers of fall are calling my name. Two other top trends I have my eye on this fall are leather (or more likely pleather for the budget friendly shopper like me) and cobalt blue. One way I have been transitioning into fall trends is with this trusty little cobalt blue dress. I can throw my vest on over it for when it gets cooler in the evenings and leave it off for the warm sunshine in the daytime.

Kassandra’s wearing: Dress and vest, Forever 21. Sandals, Sam Edelman. Belt, Vintage. Necklace, Kate Spade.