What are the rules for transitioning your wardrobe from summer to fall? Hint: It’s not no white after Labor Day

Finding the right kind of clothes and accessories to wear between seasons can be tough. Heavy sweaters and flimsy flip flops can both be unseasonal, depending on what kind of whimsical fall temperatures we’re having.

So, what to wear? And what’s the deal about wearing white after Labor Day anyway? Here are the rules you need to know.

Every week on Wednesday, the stylish ladies of Smart magazine will answer beauty and fashion questions. Have a question? Email eclare@ydr.com.


April Trotter

April Trotter: In general, wearing white scares me. I am an accident-prone lady who lives in constant fear of spills.

I own exactly one pair of white pants, which I usually break out a few times in the summer months. I wouldn’t wear them after Labor Day only because they’re practically linen and just look silly with closed-toed shoes or a sweater.

I’ve never been much of a fashion rule follower — except the whole not wearing white to a wedding thing. If you like to break the rules, too, check out this whole winter white trend (see examples here and here). If you never go anywhere without a Tide Pen, it’s a classy look to pull off well after Labor Day.

And remember: Just because the season’s changing, you don’t need a new wardrobe. Layering is key for transitioning your summer staples into autumn. Wear your favorite tanks under cardigans or over long-sleeved shirts. You can still wear your sandals with a pair of skinny jeans on a warm fall day or pair them with a skirt and tights.


Ashley May

Ashley May: The saying “Don’t wear white after Labor Day” is completely outdated. Last fall, top fashion designers sent many bright white post-Labor Day outfits down the runway and I’m sure we will see more this season.

While I’m against outlawing white in any season, I do have a few style suggestions as we transition from summer to fall fashion.

1. If it’s below 60 degrees, ditch the sandals and shorts. Any outfit that doesn’t match the weather is a fashion fail. As a previous college student in Ithaca, I can tell you that nothing looks more ridiculous than ladies wearing flip flops through the snow.

2. Keep warm with color. Don’t think that your wardrobe should go drab as the days darken earlier. While we will might say goodbye to bright summer shades like aqua and highlighter yellow, we should welcome rich shades like plum and emerald. As your skin loses the summer bronze, choosing the right colors will keep you looking healthy and vibrant.

3. Bring a jacket. Make sure you have a jacket or sweater staple this fall, because layering is what the season is all about.


Emileigh Clare

Emileigh Clare: Growing up in Texas, I used to think that actresses were so cute in their heavy scarves and boots whenever I watched TV. Even gloves were the most adorable things ever because I never had to wear such things. My fashion staples– year round– were flip flops and jeans. Well, times have changed as I’ve lived in York for three years (and I’ve also expanded in my fashion tastes).

When I transition my clothing for fall, I’m never quite ready to say goodbye to all my sundresses. Everyone should be able to hang on to their florals a little longer, but it’s always good to have a few cardigans and patterned hose handy for chilly day.

The biggest rule for transitioning to fall fashion is to avoid beach wear or things that you bought specially for a summer vacation. Straw tote bags, wide-brim hats can wait till next year or you can break them out if you are making a trip to Mexico in December. Also, don’t over layer! For instance, a cropped sweater and tank combo is fine with a skirt and stockings, but you don’t need to throw on a scarf and heavy boots too, unless it is actually that cold outside. Minimize layers whenever possible to keep your look and figure sleek.


April Trotter is the editor of Smart. She owns way too many cardigans and ballet flats. She gravitates toward the color mustard whenever possible. Most of her wardrobe comes from Target, TJ Maxx and outlet stores. She loves coupons for clothing discounts. Follow her on Twitter @AprilTrotter.

Ashley May is a Smart Magazine fashion writer and photographer. She has an eclectic wardrobe and loves mixing boutique-vintage with modern styles or experimenting with new color combinations. See more of Ashley’s fashion-forward tips on SmartMagPA.com every Wednesday. Follow her on Twitter @VisitAshley.

Emileigh Clare likes to keep it classy by mixing old-Hollywood style glamor with a playful pin-up style. She has also been known to pause movies like “Inception” and “Vertigo” just to look at the pretty clothes. Follow her on Twitter @MissEClare.

Emileigh Clare

Multimedia copy editor at the York Daily Record/Sunday News

You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. September 1, 2012

    [...] Wondering if white after Labor Day is a no-no? Our fashion squad chimes in with tips on transitioning your wardrobe into fall. [...]

  2. September 3, 2012

    [...] are surely sporting the last signs of white in their wardrobe before fall and winter set [...]

Leave a Reply