Summer to Fall Transitional Dressing

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Summer to Fall Transitional Dressing

Summer-to-fall transition outfits can be tricky to master. One minute you’re sweating in a tank top and shorts, and the next you’re shivering in the same clothes. But fear not, the key to nailing this confusing time of year is layering. Opt for lightweight fabrics that can easily be added or removed to adjust to the changing temperatures. For example, pair tank tops with button-down shirts with long sleeves worn open. This will add an extra layer of warmth when necessary but can be easily removed when it warms up.

Another idea is to pair your summer dresses with a denim or leather jacket for an instant fall style update. With these outfit ideas, you'll be able to transition smoothly from summer to fall without sacrificing comfort or style.

cream cableknit cotton sweater from L.L.Bean

Summer to Fall Transitional Dressing

Cable Knit Sweater

I've had this L.L. Bean cotton cable knit sweater for almost as long as my 14-year-old daughter. It has been bleached and put in the dryer and still looks great. This is a size large; they still have the same sweater. It comes in 8 colors, regular, petite, tall, and plus sizes, and is less than $70.

Summer to Fall Transitional Dressing

The collegiate trend with cableknit sweaters is on trend this fall. Even my 9th grader is seeking a “Rory Gilmore sweater” which is a cream or white cableknit crewneck. But considering how old this sweater is (and it's not my first one from L.L. Bean), it's not like it's a trendy piece that will look dated this time next year.

Since it's cotton, it's more of a transition piece than my wool sweaters; I've worn it with my black Universal Standard overalls, with jeans, with denim shorts, with wool trousers, and on this weird not hot/not cold day with an old pair of J. Crew pants. Since they're no longer available, I have linked to a few similar styles below in the carousel:


Cream cable knit sweater and cream cotton pants on Wardrobe Oxygen

Chino Pants

Who would have thought I'd become a chino gal? Since getting these pants I got last year's version of these pants, and after seeing these pants tried on by another attendee of a Universal Standard trunk show, they're also on my list. Chinos really fit with the fall collegiate trend, the still lingering “coastal chic” trend, the minimalism trend, as well as the preppy and “quiet luxury” trends. The key is to have them a bit relaxed, bit slouchy, more an “oh this old thing” than freshly starched and creased.

Summer to Fall Transitional Dressing

The creams don't match exactly, my brown leathers don't match exactly, and this is okay. You'll see this fall a lot of similar but not exact colors mixed together and I don't think the difference is jarring in person. While I am not usually one to wear warm neutrals, this time of year I love all the creams, tans, camels, and browns with my leftover highlights and tan from the summer.

Summer to fall neutral outfit


The belt is old from cabi (gift from the brand), the flats are from ALLY (read my ALLY flats review and find a promo code to save on an order). I really love these flats; they're not cheap but they are supportive and well-constructed. I don't like flats, but I like these! I went up half a size, chose the wide width, super happy with the fit.

SC103 links leather tote

The bag is no longer in my possession. This shoot was its first and last time I carried it; I came home and carefully packed it up and sent it back. I don't know what I was thinking buying an open weave bag. Actually, I do, I was thinking I have a pouch I thought would fit inside and I could just move the pouch from bag to bag this fall. And the pouch doesn't fit in this bag.

fall neutral fashion

So I put my purse basics in it for the shoot and almost lost my keys during the session. It's also smaller than I thought it would be. But if I was the kind who could rock an open weave bag, this one smells amazing, looks great, and is beautifully constructed.

Gen X fashion blogger Alison Gary of Wardrobe Oxygen

The cigar ring is from this Etsy seller; FYI I usually wear a size 9 on my right ring finger and got an 11. It fits on my right ring finger but no other finger except my thumb. It may fit on one of my middle fingers this winter (fingers are a bit smaller in cold weather) but I wanted to give you the heads up in case you're considering buying it. I really like the finish and quality. I asked the Etsy seller if they do larger sizes and they do not.

The sunglasses are from ROKA, the earrings are from Baublebar, the chain is from Rellery (gift from the brand last year), and the date necklace is from Etsy.

ORIGINAL POST: 09/21/2021

UPDATED: 09/03/2023

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. I read this today while also wearing an outfit totally composed of cognac and cream pieces, including wide-legged jeans inspired by one of your posts earlier this summer – oh, and a US Tee Rex that I never would have bought had you not recommended them so highly. I even got a random compliment from a young person earlier.

  2. Love it! This is the year that I realized that slightly cropped khakis/chinos, white tie Keds, and a white top is one of my favorite looks. I don’t know why it just clicked for me all of a sudden. I feel completely like myself. Looking forward to wearing them with a navy or cream cable sweater this fall, too!

  3. Just ordered a similar but larger bag from Anthropologie, excited to try it. I think I need that sweater in a darker color. I just can’t wear light colors, it never fails that I spill or stain them somehow

    1. I would love to see these tips as well! I tried to tuck a sweater this morning inspired by this post and it looked…not good.

  4. I triple love this outfit! I’m one who -does- wear warm neutrals, usually in deeper colors, but there is nothing more elegant than cream and caramel paired together. It suits you more than you realize. The first thing I thought when I saw it was what a gorgeous bag. The second thing I thought was, it has no lining! Function is first. Maybe a tan bucket bag would work.

  5. I love the sweater! Thank you for the heads up as I am not a L. L. Bean shopper but I know the quality is amazing.
    As always you look great and you rock! Cute bag but there is no way I could carry an open weave bag.

  6. I know you said the bag is open weave but looks wise I love it! So different and unique! Too bad they didn’t make it with a lining inside.

  7. I love this kind of column of color dressing, for me its easy and simple, yet looks pulled together and intentional. And good for you for realizing the bag would not work for you and sending it back…i find bags, like shoes, really need a good try on to insure that they actually work. Just holding my stuff isn’t enough, will i be able to get my sunglasses out quickly, will it bang on my side etc….

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