Changing Your Clothes

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In Transition Encore: Fall into a Summer Dress

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As promised, here is another trio of transitional fall outfits, each based on the same summery dress shown here. This is a cotton jersey knit, so it’s basically a long sleeveless T-shirt, to be honest. (Actually, I made this dress with the same pattern, Vogue 1234, as the printed one in my Santa Fe wardrobe; the only difference is that this one doesn’t have the cap sleeves. They look really different, don’t they?) I love the tie-dye print in these bright, rich oranges, which incidentally is a great color for fall.

Cotton jersey knit summer dress; the interesting draping at the sides makes the hemline nearly ankle-length at its longest point, which bodes well for making it work for fall.

Outfit #1:

Cotton Jersey Knit Outfit #1

Cotton jersey knit dress outfit #1, with a hand-knitted capelet and tall striped boots.

Perhaps for those Indian Summer evenings that are just a bit chilly, I’ve thrown a Bohemian capelet over the dress and added funky striped over-the-knee boots.  (I designed and hand-knitted the capelet.) But then, if it’s cool enough for a capelet and wool-and-leather boots, wouldn’t I want my arms to be covered too? Hence…

Outfit #2:

Cotton Jersey Knit Dress Outfit #2

Cotton jersey knit dress outfit #2, with long fingerless gloves added to the capelet and boots.

Ah yes, that’s much better with those lusciously long fingerless gloves! (I knitted these too, from a pattern in the first Jane Austen Knits magazine, issued in fall 2011 by Interweave Press. This pattern is called Kensington Mitts.) But what if there’s a sudden cold snap? Maybe I’ll try…

…Outfit #3:

Cotton Jersey Knit Dress Outfit #3

Cotton jersey knit dress outfit #3, with a wool jacket/cape, striped boots, wool fingerless gloves, and hand-knitted scarf.

For this it’s-definitely-fall ensemble, I’ve buttoned on my favorite tweedy wool topper, a kind of hybrid jacket and cape; it’s fitted around the body, with the cape flowing all the way around the back, and no sleeves (hence the return of the hand-knitted wool fingerless gloves). I designed and hand-knitted the multi-hued entrelac scarf (it’s one of my favorites too).

It’s hard to see in this photo, but the dark brown tweed has bright orange and gold flecks in it, so it really looks great with the color of the dress. And of course, the same boots, with the striped-wool legs and leather feet, are quite warm. Which makes me wonder— won’t my legs be cold with just that cotton knit over them? I think it might be acceptable to wear a pair of  fine-gauge leggings under this dress, or perhaps just some extra-thick tights; that should make a perfectly cozy outfit.

Outfit #4:

Cotton Jersey Knit Dress Outfit #4

Cotton jersey knit dressoutfit #4: a deep berry wool jacket goes over the dress, with my hand-knitted scarf, tights, and dark red booties.

For this last outfit, I wanted to go a little more elegant, or maybe more elegant Bohemian (a balance I try to strike), so I chose this felted-wool jacket in the most beautiful shade, somewhere between fuchsia, brick, and deep rose. (It’s a curious thing, but I’ve noticed that the colors I tend to like best are the ones that are usually hardest to name.) I’m using the same hand-knitted scarf as Outfit #3, but switched the boots for espresso-brown opaque tights and deep red booties. Since the jacket is made of a single layer of felted wool, it’s fairly flexible (and warm); it fits close to the body when buttoned. And yes, I know it looks like it’s buttoned wrong— it’s supposed to! That’s why I like it. Well, that and the big dramatic collar.

As I mentioned in the notes at the end of my first In Transition post, the key to making a successful transition with a summer garment into a fall outfit is layering; specifically, layering with at least one piece in a weight similar to your summer item. Think of it as thin (summer piece + something in a compatible weight), thicker (mainly accessories, thickest (sweater, capelet, jacket, wrap). This should result in an outfit that looks perfectly balanced for dressing well into fall.

P.S. It’s just occurred to me that you might want more information about the clothes and accessories I’m showing you, so here are some details.

Boots: I got these fabulous over-the-knee striped boots from Anthropologie about 7 years ago. (Perhaps fittingly, they were called “Drama Queen Boots”!)

Jacket/cape: I bought this wool tweed, fully lined cape at H & M in Chicago, I think probably over 5 years ago (and incidentally, paid $49.99 for it). Still one of my favorite things!

Felted wool jacket: Also from Anthropologie, and I’ve had it since 2005. (Wow, I must be getting better at picking things out if I’m keeping them—and loving them— for this long!)

Dark red booties: These, believe it or not, are from Aerosoles. I found them at DSW in early 2012 for under $50.00.

There. Hope that helps! And feel free to ask me about anything from previous posts too.

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Author: colormusing

I'm a writer, color palette creator, and designer of fashion, costumes, graphics, knitwear patterns, and yarn.

9 thoughts on “In Transition Encore: Fall into a Summer Dress

  1. Pingback: In Transition: A Postscript « Changing Your Clothes

  2. (Love the light-to-heavy transition down the page, by the way). All excellent ideas; now what do I do if I want to take a jacket off indoors, without annoying people saying “aren’t you cold?”? 🙂

  3. Gah! I have been searching for those boot for years now! Love them so much! Can you tell me the company/designer? Searching for “drama queen boots” doesn’t help a whole lot. Love the outfit combos!

  4. Great idea to transition summer clothes – something I don’t really think of doing, as I have clothes for each season – will have to try doing this!

    • Even in Nice, there must be times when you need to, par exemple, throw on a cardi over your summer dress, non? The general concept also applies to travel wardrobes, I would think especially in your case– how often do you travel somewhere with a completely different climate?

      • You’re right that here in Nice the evenings are now cooler, so a coverup is needed, but days are still warm. I don’t travel often to a totally different climate, so your transition idea will work well for me – thanks again.

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