Professional Pieces for the Summer to Fall Transition

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From Left, Otte NY Momo Blouse ($281) // Tibi Jacquard Skirt ($136) // Classiques Entier Sabrina Pump ($110) // Coach Colorblock Trench ($548) // Valentino Ponte Dress ($440) // Short Striated Bib Necklace ($40)

First Column.  There is nothing like a long-sleeve, silky blouse for transitional days.  This split-neck blouson top is amazing (I own it in two colors), but if you’re looking for something less expensive, try this Ann Taylor blouse instead.  I also like tie neck blouse (v-necks are better than high necks for most women) and silk t-shirts.

I tuck these tops into pencil skirts and add a necklace or wear them with denim and flats on casual Friday.  Next to dresses, these blouses are the workhorse of my wardrobe.

Pieces with texture are big for fall.  This Jacquard skirt is a summer piece that could easily transition to the fall.  I also like this navy floral jacquard skirt from Ann Taylor and this Anne Klein skirt in metallic (lovely with an ivory sweater).  Plus size: Try this Coldwater Creek skirt.  Petite: The Ann Taylor skirt also comes in petite.

Second Column.  I’ve posted these shoes before, and I think their mix of dark and light will be perfect for the fall transition.  I plan to wear them with my solid sheath dresses and black pencil skirts until the snow flies.

How incredible is this trench coat?  If you already have a basic khaki trench (I like the J.Crew Icon), then why not add one with a pop of color?  This DKNY trench has cobalt and black colorblocking.  I also like this red Cole Haan trench and this green Calvin Klein.

Third Column.  Ponte dresses are a great choice for the transitional weather.  They are the perfect mid-weight and you can easily layer scarves, jackets or sweaters over them.  The color of this Valentino grabbed me instantly, but if you’re looking for something less expensive, try this $15 from Mossimo at Target.  Boden also has a great selection of dresses like this simple shift dress or this 3/4 sleeve v-neck with a more forgiving a-line skirt.

Plus-size ladies should look at Land’s End, they have a number of good dresses, but I like this v-neck the best.  Petite ladies and tall ladies should try Boden, as they offer most of their dresses in varying lengths.

I don’t wear much jewelry in the summer.  Mostly because it all feels heavier in the heat.  But once things cool down, I am an accessorizing fool.  Statement necklaces can lift simple blouses and dresses and make something that could be boring a bit more interesting.  I like this mixed green necklace from Pim + Larkin and this knotted gold necklace from Adia Kibur.  But my favorite has to be this grey, sliced stone necklace from BCBG.

Lastly, in my haste to finish this post last night (my pillow was calling my name), I forgot the most critical of early fall essentials: the blazer.  I subscribe to the TABOI (throw a blazer over it) for almost all of my spring and summer dresses when September rolls around.  My go to blazers, however, are not the basic pieces that go with my suits.

I like an ivory tweed blazer, a shawl collar blazer and a mandarin collar blazer to add a little interest to my basic skirts and dresses.  I also keep a knit or faux-leather moto jacket for casual Fridays or adding something extra to tie-neck blouses.

So what are your workhorse pieces for the mild weather of early fall?  Anything you can’t live without?



  1. Heather says:

    I love that trench. Unfortunately for me, a removeable lining is a necessity! I’m thinking of the Lands End Trench in teal or red.

    July 31, 2013/Reply
  2. GoGoGo says:

    The trench is just too good. I kind of want to just like frame a picture of it and sigh about how totally slick I would look in it.

    August 1, 2013/Reply
  3. Tamara says:

    Any tips on what style blazer to wear with what kind of neckline dress? I love wrap dresses but never know if I should go with a mandarin collar or a more traditional blazer?

    August 4, 2013/Reply