9 Ways to Style a Dress for Fall

Don’t think that just because summer is over you need to call it quits with your dresses. That time of year when it’s not too cold to function, but you can add a few layers without sweating through your clothes, is actually my favorite time of the year to wear a dress. Dresses are great transitional pieces, and with a few easy styling tips, you can have your dresses fall-ready in a flash. 

Whether you’re starting at a closet full of dresses or looking to give your fall wardrobe a new feel, here are my tips on how to style a dress for fall.

How to Style a Dress for Fall

Wearing a dress in the fall is all about adding layers, embracing seasonal colors and cozy materials, and updating your footwear and accessories.

Although you can certainly try these tips on your own, I personally like to utilize a few of them at the same time for the ultimate fall dress outfit.

Embrace Fall Tones 

First things first: when you’re looking to wear any summer piece in the fall – not just a dress – lean into fall colors and tones. Although different fall seasons may spark certain trends (neon, hot pink, pastel, etc), you can never go wrong with classic fall colors like these:

  • Warm browns (chocolate brown, dark tan, light latte)
  • Rust or terracotta
  • Mustard yellow
  • Deep red or burgundy
  • Hunter or olive green
  • The usual suspects: navy, dark gray, and black

I like to use color as my starting point when styling a dress in the fall. Look for dresses that have any of the above colors in them, even if it’s just a little bit! To get that color to stand out, wear other pieces in the same color family to draw that color out of your dress.

How to Style a Dress for Fall

Think About Fabrics

Other than color, the other big thing to think about as you style your dress for fall is fabric. 

Summer dresses will obviously be lighter weight than their fall counter parts (denim, corduroy, sweater), and that’s totally okay. But as you make your way through your putting together your fall dress outfit, you want to think about opposition. If you have a lightweight summer dress, I recommend that other pieces in you add to your look are heavier fabrics. This will help offset a flowy summer dress, and make your look more seasonally appropriate. 

If you’re purchasing a new dress for fall, lean into thicker materials like velvet, corduroy, denim, and sweater knits.

Experiment with Outerwear

Pair a Leather Jacket with Your Dress

One of easiest ways to layer a dress in the fall is to add a jacket. My personal go-to is always a classic black leather jacket. Leather is a cool-weather staple, and because it’s a heavier material (see above), it can help “fallify” most outfits in a flash.

Whether you’re wearing a solid dress, something printed, or even a feminine dress, a black leather jacket provides structure and an edgy touch.

Real leather jackets are an investment, but they’re super sturdy, and unless you outgrow yours, you’ll have it forever. If real leather isn’t in your budget, many brands make great quality faux leather options.

Be sure to subscribe to the Charmed by Camille newsletter to grab my FREE fall closet essentials guide.



Pair a leather jacket with a dress

Add a Denim Jacket

If you’re not a leather jacket girl, then grab another closet classic to go over your dress: a denim jacket.

Today’s denim jackets are slightly oversized, so look for a boxier cut instead of something fitted.

Try a Blazer

If you want a more fashion-forward look, try a blazer over your dress

While I have yet to try this, I LOVE a maxi dress with a blazer. Dress it up with a sleek slip dress and heels, or for a more street style vibe, pair with chunky sneakers.




Layer, Layer, Layer

If you live in a cold climate where a dress and a jacket just won’t suffice, it’s time to add in more layers. 

Layer a Turtleneck Under Your Dress

I am a big fan of layering a turtleneck under my dresses in the fall. It adds that perfect extra layer of warmth without adding bulk.

Look for snug-fitting silhouettes, so that the fabric doesn’t bunch up under your dress (this is a huge, uncomfortable pet peeve of mine). Splendid makes great layering turtlenecks, and if you need something that provided even more warmth, this Commando bodysuit always keeps me toasty. 



Add a Sweater

A sweater over a dress is always a cozy look for fall. I get cold quickly, so I always look for chunky style or something with a turtleneck to keep me warm. 

Wear Tights 

Keep your legs warm by adding tights. And tights aren’t just for short dresses; wear them under a long dress for an added layer when it’s extra crisp outside this fall.

pull-on boots outfit for fall

Update Your Footwear

Don’t forget about the right footwear when you’re wearing a dress in the fall. 

Some of my footwear choices to wear with dresses are:

  • Classic white sneakers like these or these
  • Combat or lug sole boots (I have these pull-on boots in two colors, worn above)
  • Ankle boots (look for styles that hug your ankle for a sleeker, chicer look)

Like I mentioned above, fall is my favorite time to wear a dress because you can add in some fabulous layers that you just can’t do in summer. If you try out any of these ideas, be sure to let me know! Can’t wait to see how fabulous you look.

Camille

Nice to Meet You

Hi, I'm Camille! I'm a bi-coastal blogger splitting my time between LA and NYC. I left the corporate world of fashion and beauty to share all of my favorite things on the Internet. When I have nothing to wear my go-to outfit is jeans, a t-shirt, and a leather jacket. My hair is usually a little messy but I love it best like that.

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