Fall Is Here—What to Keep Out and What to Put Away

Now that fall is actually here and it’s starting to really feel like it (at least in NYC), we thought it would be a fitting time for a fall overhaul of sorts to help you prepare for the upcoming change both in temperature and day-to-day style. By this, we mean storing the items you won’t be using anytime soon or possibly selling or donating those trendy pieces you’re kind of over to make space for this season’s essentials as well as some possible new trend purchases at the forefront of your closet. After all, why waste good real estate on clothes and accessories you don’t plan to wear?

Since I understand that discerning which pieces go into which category can be at times less obvious, today I'm here to make it almost too easy. All you need to do is continue on to read about which items you can put away for now and what to wear in their place for the coming months and, of course, to shop my picks of each fall must-have in case you're in the mood to upgrade your wardrobe.

Put away: pastels

What to wear instead: wild prints

I can relate to not wanting to let go of your light-colored clothing just yet and fully making those pieces work for fall through layering and smart styling. However, if your closet is full of summer-ready pastels at the moment, you might want to edit out at least some of the ones that are the least versatile in order to make room for this season's trending zebra, snake, and other animal prints. 


(Image credit: Szymon Brzóska/The Style Stalker)


Put away: flat slides

What to wear instead: heeled mules

Even where the weather permits slide sandals year-round (hello, L.A.), the shoes can look a bit out of place when the leaves start to turn. While I'm sad to put my beloved Chanel sandals away, I'm equally as excited to wear heeled mules all season. Whether they are open-toe or closed, a slight heel makes everything feel more ready for fall. 


(Image credit: Szymon Brzóska/The Style Stalker)


Put away: denim shorts

What to wear instead: long jeans

Sorry, jorts, but it's time to go. Luckily, there's a new and even more exciting denim trend in town, and it's long-ish jeans. Read more on the shift in cool denim, and shop the 23 best pairs here.


(Image credit: Szymon Brzóska/The Style Stalker)


Put away: straw totes

What to wear instead: top-handle bags 

While functional (and cute), straw totes are just one of those things that look out of place in the colder seasons. Plus, I know firsthand that they take up a lot of room in your closet, so if you're tight on space, they're a no-brainer choice to go into storage until next summer. On the flip side, polished top-handle bags are not only trending right now but perfectly pull together a fall outfit.


(Image credit: Szymon Brzóska/The Style Stalker)


Put away: linen

What to wear instead: leather 

Much like a straw tote, linen just screams summer. Plus, when the temperatures actually start to drop more significantly, the material doesn't really do much to keep you warm. Leather, on the other hand, is trending at the moment, looks ready for fall, and will keep you warm well through winter. Sold? 


(Image credit: Szymon Brzóska/The Style Stalker)


Put away: one-shoulder tanks

What to wear instead: cardigans

Tanks were trending hard this summer, but unlike the racer-front style that can look good layered in the fall, one-shoulder styles don't really make sense under a jacket or jumpsuit. Instead, opt for a cool cardigan to make all your outfits look autumn-ready.


(Image credit: Szymon Brzóska/The Style Stalker)


Put away: hair clips

What to wear instead: headbands

Sure, hair clips don't take up that much space, but if your hair accessory real estate is limited, every little item counts. While clips stole the show in spring and summer, for fall, headbands are taking priority. 


(Image credit: Szymon Brzóska/The Style Stalker)


Put away: florals

What to wear instead: heritage prints

While I love a floral—and, better yet, a micro-floral—print as much as anyone, they do, in most pieces, feel more for a summer soirée than they do for a brisk fall day. For now, you can put those items away and opt for classic and trendy heritage prints such as checks, houndstooth, and plaid.


(Image credit: Szymon Brzóska/The Style Stalker)


Put away: sporty sandals

What to wear instead: boots

Saved the best (and easiest) for last! Sporty sandals were the go-to comfortable and casual shoe of spring and summer, but it's time to tuck those under the bed until your next tropical vacation or, of course, March 2020. It might be sad for a second, but just remember that you're making room for the best category of shoes ever: boots. 


(Image credit: Szymon Brzóska/The Style Stalker)


Up next? Ten things I wish I could buy—and the affordable dupes I might get instead.


Since starting as an intern back in 2013, Nicole Akhtarzad Eshaghpour has held several roles here at Who What Wear, and she is currently Editor-at-Large. It was a less expected route, seeing as she was graduating from business school at USC when this all began, but it has turned out to be the best one for her. Fast-forward to 2024, and she's moved to NYC from her hometown of Beverly Hills and spends her workdays a little differently from when she was an intern starting out. Currently, she focuses on a weekly mélange of shopping content. As far as her personal style goes, she's largely drawn to classic pieces and neutral basics but will always make an exception for something colorful, printed, or bejeweled as long as it's deemed worthy enough. After all, the only thing she loves more than a good party is dressing up for one. On weekdays, she can usually be found at home eating something delicious for dinner and trying to force her husband to watch Summer House.