Recycle Your Summer Wardrobe with These Fall Dress Outfits

October 12th, 2018 at 5:00pm

You can almost feel the excitement for fall fashion in the air once the calendar flips to October. Although I’m more than ready to wear big comfy sweaters for the foreseeable future, the thought of having to plan a trip home to switch out my summer wardrobe for my cold weather clothes is a little daunting. Usually, I don’t want to commit to not wearing dresses until the spring, especially when the weather gets unpredictable. But don’t start packing your breezy summer dresses away for the fall just yet. Think about incorporating them into fall dress outfits first. With some clever styling, even the most floral, flowy sundress can be at home in your fall closet. From adding accessories to new layering ideas, read on for inspiration from our community members for bringing a little bit of summer into the new season.

PHOTO: Geordon Wollner, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Layer a Cozy Turtleneck under a Swingy Maxi Dress

Making a sleeveless dress fall-appropriate by throwing a long sleeve shirt underneath is a classic move. This particular version has a little something special though with the added detail of bell sleeves on the turtleneck.

Get the look: J.Crew Balloon-sleeve turtleneck sweater ($98), Forever 21 Cami Halter Maxi Dress ($58), Unisa Myllo Bootie ($50)

PHOTO: Jordyn Wissert, Iowa State University

Add a Textured, On-Trend Hat

If it doesn’t quite feel cool outside where you live, wearing a baker boy hat with a summer dress will satisfy your fall feelings—even if the hot weather says otherwise. Bonus points for using classic autumnal plaid and mustard yellow.

Get the look: Urban Outfitters Plaid Baker Boy Hat ($22), Influence tier skirt dress ($17), Gap Modern Backpack ($60), Unisa Myllo Bootie ($50)

PHOTO: Jordyn Wissert, Iowa State University

Try Layering an Unbuttoned Maxi over Jeans

This trend seems to be popping up everywhere lately, and the novelty still hasn’t worn off for me. While wearing a dress over pants might seem like you’re breaking some sort of unspoken rule, adding a fun beret and bright white boots pulls the outfit together.

Get the look: ASOS button through maxi dress ($67), H&M Felted Wool Beret ($13), Uniqlo Ezy Tweed Ankle-Length Pants ($40), Apt. 9 Century Ankle Boots ($50)

PHOTO: Niharika Chandar, New York University

Pile on the Layers for an Athleisure Look

For those mornings where you just want to be cozy in class, but still let your classmates know you’re trendy, play with oversized layers. This combination of chunky white sneakers and two types of outerwear with a fun mini skirt is an eye-catching mix of proportions.

Get the look: Levi’s Ex-Boyfriend Trucker Jacket ($90), Forever 21 Side-Striped Mini Skirt ($16), H&M Hooded Sweatshirt ($15), Adidas Stan Smith Shoes ($90)

PHOTO: Lucie Shelley, University of Southern California

Contrast Edgy Leather with a Girly Dress

A sweet and simple pink maxi dress pairs perfectly with a tough pleather jacket. It’s the easiest outfit ever. The addition of white sneakers and sunglasses make this a perfect option for running errands or exploring your city.

Get the look: BLANKNYC Faux Leather Fitted Moto Jacket ($60), LuLu’s Evolve Wrap Maxi Dress ($68), Urban Outfitters Dyllon Metal Round Sunglasses ($16), Keds Ace Leather sneakers ($45)

PHOTO: Niharika Chandar, New York University

Give yourself a lift with chunky platform boots

A substantial platform and a thick heel keep these booties comfortable. Pairing them with a ruffled white dress like the one above adds a feminine vibe to the outfit. Top it all off with a classic denim jacket so you can adjust to the quickly changing fall weather.

Get the look: Levi’s Baggy Trucker Jacket ($70), Boohoo Off The Shoulder Ruffle Skater Dress ($24), Dolls Kill Dangerous Platform Booties ($48)

PHOTO: Bailey Cerise, Kent State University

Add Some Sass with Thigh-High Boots

Thigh-highs basically count as wearing pants, right? Pair some with a cute overall dress and a long sleeve shirt or turtleneck. This’ll keep it from looking too club-y for the classroom.

Get the look: H&M Corduroy Bib Overall Dress ($35), Trouvé Layering Tee ($49), Nasty Gal Get Over It Over-the-Knee Boot ($80)

PHOTO: Maia Rose, Fashion Institute of Technology

Go Wild in Animal Print and Faux Fur

Take a summery leopard mini dress and top it with a fluffy faux fur jacket for a full animal-inspired look. Sheer tights and ankle booties make this outfit even more fall-appropriate.

Get the look: Jagger & Stone The Pammy Dress ($78), Boohoo Oversized Fleece Puffer Jacket ($90), Uniqlo Heattech Tights ($10), Nasty Gal Simple Faux Leather Ankle Bootie ($60)


Opening image by @emilyciavattaa

How are you planning on styling a fall dress outfit? Tag us in your pics @cfashionista!