Yesterday when I walked out of my apartment for a morning coffee run, it was a blissful and bright 80-degree day. By the time I returned home later that night, I had acquired two more impromptu layers due to the evening chill—a long-sleeve tee and a leather blazer. If this situation perfectly illustrates what you're going through right now, you'll want to bookmark this article and give this transitional checklist your full attention.
Right now, we're at the crossroads of summer and fall, and besides wondering whether to order a cold brew or cappuccino, the great debate centers around the right time to retire all those linen dresses and finally break out an autumnal knit. It's a tricky predicament, but it doesn't have to be so complicated if you have the appropriate pieces at the ready. Presenting: the transitional-wardrobe checklist. From cozy-yet-not-too-warm knit tops to airy maxi dresses, I've compiled a list of everything you need to breeze through the late summer/early fall phase effortlessly—all under $40. Keep scrolling to check out everything and to see how to style them for the season.
At a certain point, in order to get through the day without completely freezing or burning up, a comprise needs to be made between hem and sleeve length. This dress keeps you breezy on top yet toasty on the bottom.
And if you're all about streamlining your closet, getting it in black is always a wise choice.
This toasty caramel is right on tone with chilly fall days. To keep your legs even warmer, add a pair of knee-high printed boots.
The type of top that can work with denim shorts or leather pants.
The shoulder design elevates this beyond its $33 price tag. I can already tell this will be a go-to sweater in my lineup.
I'm already thinking about pairing this with my favorite pair of chunky lug-soled Dr. Martens. But until it's full-fledged boot weather, minimalist sandals will do.
This isn't just any T-shirt. It's a cool T-shirt complete with a dramatic puff sleeve.
This colorway really pops against darker denim washes.
When the temps cool down, faux-leather trousers are a must.
It may feel a little overzealous to dive deep into oversize sweaters in August, so here's a cute knit cardigan to help you out.
Wear this off-white version with cutoff Bermuda shorts and boots for a low-key transitional fit.
This shade of green is also coincidentally trending right now.
Since the tailored look is always in, a pair of polished pants like these are a sound investment.
Another delicate-meets-grunge dress I'll be wearing until infinity.
If you're returning to the office this fall, you'll need a versatile pair of work pants. Yup, these are them.
On the topic of compromising hems with sleeve length, it's still possible to pull off minidresses in early fall—just stick with long sleeves and darker prints to make it work.
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Indya Brown is a fashion editor, stylist, and writer living in Los Angeles. While going to school at Columbia University in New York City, she got her feet wet in the fashion industry interning at Elle magazine, Harper's Bazaar, and New York magazine's The Cut. After graduating in 2016, she joined The Cut as a fashion assistant, eventually working her way up to fashion editor. There, she worked on a multitude of projects, including styling inbook feature stories for New York magazine's print issue, writing and pitching market stories for The Cut, and serving as fashion lead for The Cut's branded content. While New York has been her home for over 10 years, she moved to Los Angeles in the midst of the pandemic in 2020 for a new chapter. Now she is a fashion market editor for Who What Wear, focusing on emerging designers, rising trends on and off the internet, interior design, and BIPOC creatives and brands. Aside from her duties as a fashion market editor, Brown is also a freelance stylist and writer, working on national print and video commercial campaigns for Sephora, The Independent, and Cadillac. Her bylines also include Harper's Bazaar, Vox, and The New York Times. But once the computer goes down and the emails turn off, she's likely eating her way through Koreatown, hunting down vintage furniture, scoping out new outrageous nail designs to try, or taking a hot cycling class.
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