dressing for fall in a warm climate

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Question—-is there anyone out there that doesn’t love fall fashion? Maybe I’m biased but I swear, everyone I talk to gets so excited come September 1st for sweaters, boots, and scarves. But if you live in the South like me or another climate that’s warm year-round, it can be hard to see all of the cute fall outfits on Instagram when you’re still stuck wearing shorts and tank tops in ninety plus degree weather!

I love fall fashion so much that, during college, I often wore sweaters even during the sweltering hot summers. Granted, they were “beach sweaters” made of lighter materials but they were sweaters nonetheless. I got together with a college friend recently and she reminded me of this one time I was wearing a sweater in sweltering August and actually said out loud, “I don’t know why, but I just got really hot all of the sudden” as if wearing a sweater couldn’t possibly be the reason.

Since then, I’ve managed to find a balance! You can totally take part in the fun of fall outfits without killing yourself in a heavy sweater. Here are some of the ideas I’ve found that work.

Heavier textures like embroidery
Wool sweaters and corduroy are still a no-go, but you can transition into the fall months with embroidered pieces. Try an embroidered mini-skirt that’s not super heavy, so it feels okay in the heat but the embroidery makes it feel like a piece that’s well-suited for cooler weather.

Lightweight dresses in warm colors
Some simple t-shirt dresses and caftans can work for fall if you choose the right colors. Try cinnamon, burnt orange, burgundy, and even emerald green then pair with ankle boots.

Cardigans and kimonos for layering
For those living in warm climates, kimonos are a godsend! They allow you to layer up while still keeping very cool. Pick one with fall colors and patterns to layer over tank tops, t-shirts, and shorts. You can also try a lightweight, cotton cardigan that looks cozy but doesn’t suffocate.

T-shirts with fall motifs
This is a super easy way to incorporate the fall vibe into your outfits while still wearing short sleeves. I recommend checking out Etsy because there are so many sellers that offer cute, fall-themed pieces. Anything that says “grateful” works too.

Warm toned makeup
Swap out light summer colors with warm colors for fall. Try eyeshadows in gold, rust, and brown as well as burgundy lipsticks and nail polishes.

Swap sandals for ankle boots
Many summer outfits you wear with sandals can be made instantly more autumnal by switching into ankle boots. An easy combination is ankle boots, denim shorts, white t-shirt, and lightweight cardigan or kimono.

Sleeveless trench coats and sweater
Since you probably won’t be wearing an actual jacket for awhile still (December through February, maybe), why not try a sleeveless jacket? It’s a great layering piece that dresses up any simple outfit without causing you to overheat.