Here is your wardrobe cheat sheet for navigating the move from summer to fall.
Sept 7, 2020
The sun is starting to rise and set just a little bit later. Leaves are beginning to fall from the trees in certain hemispheres. That chill in the air—the one nipping at your nose and biting at your face—that wasn’t around last week, was it? Well, for those of us above the equator, those last delicious days of summer are quickly approaching. And, because it’s impossible to restock your closet with all of the new essentials every time the seasons change, so too is the time for transitional dressing. You know, that in-between style we have to navigate before winter actually sets in? Like many transitional stages though, this type of dressing can be kind of tough and, let's face it, annoying. I mean, seriously, is it hot or is it cold? Is it actually going to rain or do those clouds only look ominous? Do you have to grab a jacket when leaving the house, or could you take the risk?
Well, worry not, dear readers because we’ve put together a list of all the items you’re going to need to navigate those uncertain days that fall between now and Winter.
Photo: Pleated Yellow Duster Jacket. Courtesy of Kahindo
It’s still too warm to break out the big guns when it comes to jackets (we’re not quite ready for winter coats just yet) so your best bet right now is reaching for pieces that are lightweight enough for everyday wear while still being able to ward off any kind of chill in the air. Hold on tight to that summer feeling and turn to pieces that utilise a cheerily bright color palette: Kahindo’s bright yellow duster jacket and Studio 189’s green double breasted blazer provide an intensely hued, striking coverage, while styles by Emmy Kasbit and Awa Meité offer chic all day comfort that’s a little more subdued in color but boasts distinctive smart, artisanal tailoring.
Photo: Barah Jumpsuit. Courtesy of Kiko Romeo
There’s a very good reason that we love jumpsuits as much as we do: simply put, they’re simple, convenient, and your best bet for navigating the tricky transition into fall. Just step inside it, button or zip it up, et voilà! You’re dressed! Add the fact that today’s jumpsuit is available in an array of different styles, colors and prices, and the garment really does appear to hold its own as the ultimate wardrobe solution. It’s a kind of wardrobe hero: versatile and able to tackle any weather condition. Add a denim jacket and classic combat and you’re all ready to cooly embrace the chill—or soak up the final drops of sun by mixing your jumpsuit with a simple sandal and an oversized slouchy cardigan. The utilitarian jumpsuits by well-loved Kenyan brand Kiko Romeo are a popular and practical choice that feature internal elastic so you can adjust the silhouette as you please, but if these styles doesn't speak to you, perhaps the unapologetically feminine flair of Diarrablu’s Umy Jumpsuit will. Available in Salmon Pink and White, the one-piece is figure-elongating, completely adjustable and can be worn in over nineteen—yes, we said NINETEEN—different ways. Combine it with a classic trench coat and a pair of barely-there stiletto sandals or ankle boots for a look that will take you wherever you need to go, whether that’s a day at the office, a dinner with friends, or a night on the town.
A solid fall look starts from the bottom up, and though it’s just about time to pack away those summer shorts, we think you should hold onto the skirt—whether it’s a mini, midi or maxi. A wardrobe superstar in summer, spring, winter or fall, black stockings will help minis remain wearable when temperatures drop, while midis and maxis are long enough to withstand the elements. The Green Aggie Alicia Skirt by Studio 189 is also a great option if you like your skirts long and flowing; with its feminine silhouette, rich green and blues colouring and abstract, almost tropical print, it’ll have you channeling summer even when those clouds come out. Pair the skirt with a simple sandal and a plain white tee to make the consummate summer ensemble; add an oversized knit and chunky sneaker and you’ve got the chicest of winter uniforms. Trousers more your vibe? Orange Culture’s Rume Printed Pants and Lisa Folawiyo’s Antique Baroque Leggings and Wide Leg Pants are the lightweight options that will carry you right through this transitional phase, their cotton and silk forms providing the most delicate of coverage. If simplicity is more your lane, then turn to another hit from Studio 189: the Monochrome Andy Pant. Made from a breathable cotton textile and rendered in classic black and white, these slim-fitting pants are the kind of elevated basic you’ll come to depend on.
Photo: Pouf Sleeve Shirt Dress. Courtesy of Studio 189
What makes the perfect transitional dress? Neutral tones, the potential for layering and comfort, a matchless versatility: all of these are important. We suggest you turn to crisp white frocks like the Knot-A-Lot Dress by NKWO and the Pouf Sleeve Shirt Dress by Studio 189. Great for keeping you warm under frigid AC vents, but light enough not to weigh you down on warmer days, these snowy garments are easily mixed with anything you own, regardless of the weather. Though their color renders them a kind of blank canvas, the unexpected touches of these dresses (including knotted tie embellishments, shoulder cut-out details, and gently puffy sleeves) are bold and confident. Another dress that will see you through fall is Nigerian ready-to-wear designer, Andreah Iyamah’s Takwa dress. Its deep forest green shade is a rich, dreamy hue, one that feels just right heading into those chillier days. And, while the days still allow for it, we suggest wearing the dress on its own so you get a chance to show off its cinched-in waist and exaggerated sleeves. Once summer officially ends though, you’re going to want to bundle up a bit: layer on a warmer jacket of your choosing and a trusty pair of lace-up leather brogues and you're all set for Autumn’s arrival.
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