How to transition your summer wardrobe to Autumn

Often seen as the hardest of the wardrobe shifts, is the transition from summer to autumn. New collections dominate the high street and with so many trends, it’s tempting to think, I don’t have that and I really don’t want to miss out. There is a sense of urgency to spend, especially when the shelf life of a garment these days is so brief. Blink and it’s gone.

This is not a great way to build on an existing wardrobe. Consider instead working with what you already have. A smart and cost effective approach is to look at your summer staples and weave in your autumn basics to create easy, transitional looks. It’s about focusing on the style you have developed instead of feeling like you have to start all over again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Image: Zara A/W2022

Most of us will have a buttoned-down dress in our wardrobe. Why not extend its wear by swapping sandals for knee high boots. This will give the dress more solidity. Add a T-shirt or roll neck as an under layer. If it’s chilly, throw over a long sleeveless gilet or a coat of similar length and you’re good to go.

Michelle Infusino

Currently everywhere and a classic autumn staple, is the trench coat. It is one of the best transitional pieces to invest in. Light weight, it provides the ideal mid-season layer. There are many colours on the high street to choose from (everything from charcoal to olive green) but this neutral stone is a timeless and easily workable shade. I’d add a wool scarf in a similar hue to this outfit. Scarves are often underrated but provide style and warmth without going full on winter. 

Michelle Infusino

An alternative to a knee high boot is an ankle boot. They look great with a midi skirt. The addition of a cropped sweater will lengthen your legs whatever your height. You can obtain the same look over a midi dress.

Veronica Beard

Denim works hard throughout the year but tends to be worn either or. Denim on denim is a winning partnership. Throw on over your favourite denim shirt a tweed jacket and it will instantly elevate and winterise the look. 

Emmanuellek Instagram

So many of us live in white jeans in the summer but there’s no reason to stop wearing them once the nights draw in. The knitted vest is one of this season’s easier trends and makes a great layering piece over a blouse. A flat loafer in the same colour is stylish and grounds the outfit while allowing you the comfort to skip through the day.

Lydia Tomlinson

A simple layering trick is to add a cable knit tied at the neck over a blazer. A more tailored trouser helps to take the look into the new season. Plenty of warmth without making the outfit look too heavy. If you’re aiming for timeless, keep the colour palette tonal.

Hoskelsa - Instagram

You might wear your striped button-down shirt only as a beach cover up or with shorts but let it also carry you through the autumn months. Layer it loose over a T-shirt or cami, or tuck it in. Add texture and interest by introducing knitwear in autumnal colours.

Le Chic Street

Another way to wear a buttoned down shirt. Add warmth by having your knitwear as the under layer and finish off with a relaxed blazer. Parisian chic.

Linda Tol_

Black is the default colour for a leather jacket but why not reach for that softer, warmer hue of brown (everywhere this season). Lovely with denim. Simple and elegant with some well chosen shoes.


Balance the femininity of a summer blouse with the more structured lines of a blazer (you won’t go wrong with navy). If too much contrast doesn’t suit you, go for a French navy and a lighter denim for a more blended effect.

7 thoughts on “How to transition your summer wardrobe to Autumn”

  1. Great advice, Emma. Love all the looks! Not sure if I’ve got all the necessary pieces in my wardrobe but you’ve inspired me to have a play around with what’s there, before going into an ordering frenzy! Xxx

    • Then my goal has been achieved, Christine, as the aim is to encourage the playing and experimenting with the wardrobe pieces we already have. We all tend to stick with the same old styles (me included) but it’s amazing how many new looks can be achieved with some visual suggestions. I appreciate your lovely comment.

  2. Hi Emma, some lovely ideas. I think we sometimes feel there’s not much more to learn about how we wear our pieces of clothing together; but you always prove us wrong by more great and stunning ideas! I can’t wait to experiment tomorrow for a zoom interview!

  3. Lots of great ideas, Emma.
    I feel more confident to wear my summer dresses with boots and just adding a jacket or cashmere for example. In these times, one needs to shop wisely and as you always say, concentrate on the basics.
    Thank you

  4. So many great ideas, Emma – thank you! I love the tonal outfits suggestion – just don’t know why I haven’t thought of it earlier, but then that’s why we all need an Emma! I seem to have lots of clothes in shades of one colour so putting them together is perfect for me. I also love the dress with boots.


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