The 1 thing you need to transform summer dresses into fall staples

Wear your summer favorites well into winter!
Beautiful girl on the background of spring bush
Beautiful girl on the background of spring bushGetty Images stock

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/ Source: TODAY
By Taylor Davies

As much as we love summer sundresses, it can be frustrating to invest in one that you love, only to store it away for nine months of the year. To get more out of summer favorites, we've finally found the solution: bodysuits!

Bodysuits have become a major trend. Not only do they help achieve a slimming look, they are also perfect for pairing with pants, high-waisted skirts and, yes, floaty summer dresses. They'll provide a warm layer as fall approaches.

We love how different sleeve lengths and necklines can totally transform a dress from your summer standby to a new staple, so we got suggestions from TODAY Style contributor Bobbie Thomas for how to wear summer dresses even as the weather cools down.

The Long-Sleeve Turtleneck Bodysuit

  • Perfect pairings: slip dresses, dark floral dresses, denim dresses, sleeveless shifts

Free People That Girl classic bodysuit, $40 (normally $48), Zappos

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Also available at Revolve for $48.

"A black turtleneck bodysuit is the foundation for so many great fall looks," said Today Style editor Bobbie Thomas. "Under your summer dresses, it looks sophisticated and can smooth frustrating spots like upper arms and the tummy." Thomas recommends styling a turtleneck under silky slip dresses for date night, or sleeveless shifts at the office. "For an extra mod look, add opaque tights, too," she noted.

Japanese GoWeave Long Slip Dress, $88, Everlane

A light summer dress can look great when contrasted with black. This pretty pink slip dress from Everlane becomes perfect for a fall workday when you later it with a black turtleneck.

Sleeveless mockneck denim shift dress, $56 (normally $70), GAP

"Denim dresses are so popular in the summer, but they really work all year long," says Thomas. This mockneck shift from Gap becomes a fall staple when you layer it with a long-sleeve turtleneck. Just add some stacked-heel ankle boots and you're set!

The Long-Sleeve Crewneck Bodysuit

  • Perfect pairings: lace dresses, floaty floral dresses, denim dresses

Long-sleeve thong bodysuit, $78, Amazon

Also available at Yummie.

A classic ballet-style bodysuit is the ideal slimming layer to wear under all those 90s-inspired summer dresses or even a more formal lace number. A simple white crewneck bodysuit like this one will smooth and flatter under flowing dresses and can make a stiff denim dress more comfortable to wear into the fall.

Plus, a thong bodysuit can eliminate the risk for any visible panty lines.

Lost Ink Asymmetric Midi Dress, $54 (normally 67), ASOS

This ultra-feminine dress can be grounded for early fall with a long-sleeve white bodysuit underneath. For a finishing touch, wear this combo with your favorite sneakers and a denim jacket.

Madewell raw hem seamed midi dress, $138, Nordstrom

A soft cotton bodysuit with plenty of Lyrca or Spandex can do wonders to help a stiff and stylish denim dress like this hit your body in all the right places.

The Printed Bodysuit

  • Perfect pairings: simple slip dresses, denim dresses, button-front dresses

Cotton Emporium stripe square neck bodysuit, $32, Nordstrom

Bib overall dress, $35, H&M

A button-front mini dress like this would go perfectly over a bodysuit with some texture or pattern to it. The combination of blue and white stripes with this deep red is a stylish summer-into-fall combo, and the nipped-in waist adds to the slimming effect.

Vero Moda pleated slip dress, $44 (originally $75), Lord & Taylor

A beach-y midi dress becomes worthy of a fall day when you layer it over a striped or floral bodysuit. The linen fabric helps flatter the body, plus you can add a belt for more of a waist-defining look.

The Lace Bodysuit

  • Perfect pairings: pinafore dresses, floral dresses, wrap dresses

Plunging lace bodysuit, $65, & Other Stories

"We sometimes forget that fall isn't cool in every part of the country," says Thomas. "In places like Arizona, Texas and Southern California, it's still nice and warm. So I'd modify this trick with a feminine lace bodysuit that won't cover you up or trap heat. Wear it under a wrap dress or your favorite summer florals for a bohemian (and slimming!) effect."

80s floral pinafore dress, $100, Topshop

The pinafore dress made a comeback this summer, but the revealing sides make it tough to wear in certain situations. Add a bit of coverage without sacrificing the silhouette by layering it with a pretty lace bodysuit.

14th Place leopard print wrap slip dress, $30 (normally $55), Nordstrom Rack

For a layered date night look in a place that doesn't cool down in the fall, try your lace bodysuit under a printed slip dress.

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