As the warm summer breeze fades to cool, you’ll be ready to switch out your summer closet for your fall and winter apparel. But don’t pack away all your warm-weather treasures just yet! You can easily work your wardrobe backward by adding key summer styles to your autumn attire. Salvaging summer standouts is not only a great way to cut costs, it will also help you get a jump start on your fall wardrobe. In fact, you’ll be surprised at how many of summer’s best pieces are poised to transition into fall as seamlessly as the leaves on the trees.
Though summer flowers may be wilting away, florals are still in full bloom when it comes to fashion! While this trend has traditionally been reserved for spring and summer, it will still be going strong all fall and winter, so take advantage of the blossoming pieces already inside your closet. A pretty blouse or flowy skirt can still be seasonally appropriate when paired with a cozy sweater or cropped jacket and a pair of boots. This look is all about layering your lighter pieces, so think in terms of adding accents such as vests, belts and oversized bags to create texture and warmth. (Floral print A-line skirt, $49, Newport-news.com; Tweed blazer, $39.99, Loehmanns.com)
Winter fabrics and darker colors can result in a heavier feel for fall, but summer accessories can help lighten up your look. Organic jewelry like wooden bangles and shell necklaces adds an element of softness and creates contrast against a stark style. You can also consider a canvas tote or a nude shoe on a fall day, to give any outfit a casual, easygoing feel. Wearing textured hosiery with a peep-toe pump or chunky sandal is another way to incorporate summer accessories into your fall wardrobe. While those who haven’t jumped on the heavy footwear trend may be too timid to try the open-toe look with tights, a few sale items might inspire you to experiment. Forever 21 has amazing footwear bargains ranging from $9-$14, like the Tassel Wedge and Chance Buckle Wedge, that are the perfect pairs of shoes to put with tights this fall! (Outback red sweater, $49.50, TheLimited.com; Pencil skirt, $34.95; Shell necklace, $19.95, Nyandcompany.com; Shell pendant necklace, $24.99, Filenesbasement.com; Wooden bangle, $18, Jcpenney.com; Lacy net tights, $12.50, Hue.com)
Keep your carefree khakis this fall — just dress them up! Start by rolling the bottoms, then add a fun, feminine pump or boot, and finish off with a blazer and a warm scarf to wrap up in. Add a little sparkle with an earring or necklace, and you’re set to go — no one will even realize these are the same pants you paired with flip-flops and a tank top all summer long! Other neutral items, like the ivory button-down you wore in place of a cardigan on a crisp summer night, also make for fabulous pieces to help you transition into fall. (St. John’s Bay cord blazer, $44, Jcpenney.com; Broken-in Scout chino, $69.50, Jcrew.com; Classic crew-neck tee, $10, VictoriasSecret.com; Collection 18 plaid scarf, $28, Dillards.com)
There’s no need to be restricted to your little black dress during the cooler months: The “little bright dress” you’ve worn with your favorite sandals for a night out or to a BBQ with friends can instantly be turned into a cold-weather staple! The key is to keep it sleek, and use the contrast of black to bring out a sharp feel for fall. Bright, bold colors are going to be hot all through the winter, so try pairing your favorite summer frock with black tights and a black shoe. This city-chic look is sure to brighten up even the gloomiest winter day! (Shortcake dress, $28, FrancescasCollections.com; Buckle stretch belt, $34.50, Express.com; Suede black pumps $49.95, Hm.com; Assets black tights, $14, Target.com)
© 2013 NBCNews.com Reprints