This can be a tricky time of year to get dressed as we break free from our simple summer favorites and transition into a season filled with new trends and layers.
TODAY Style Editor and Bobbie.com's Bobbie Thomas helps you add some fresh extras that are as fashionable as they are functional.
Chic and casual capesFall is my favorite season for style since there are dozens of ways to express yourself: from hats and handbags right down to your hosiery and boots.
When it comes to pulling it all together, a cape can be your new best friend. Not only are they very en vogue at the moment with every cut and color imaginable, they also make a practical addition to your wardrobe, topping off a variety of looks for both day or night. I urge you to try them if you fear an unflattering fit. Although they can appear tent-like, many are angled to help lengthen your frame.
Because capes will add a little volume — I prefer to think "flow" — to your upper half, keep it fit and sleek on the bottom. Tailored shift dresses, pencil skirts, slim-cut jeans or leggings tucked into boots will help elongate.
When it comes to color, keeping it monochromatic underneath is a safe bet. But it's not always necessary.
And experiment with belting your cape. For example, try leaving the back free to hang by only cinching in the front panels. Or perhaps tuck only one side, letting the other be free. Watch my segment to see how this works.
This instant update can help you show off your shape without feeling too constricted. Lastly, neutral or classic capes can be worn like light jacket over most ensembles — don’t think of it as a one-time wear. (Printed Blanket Cape $19, hm.com for stores; Bright Tartan Cape $44, Asos.com; Fringe Cape $80, Zara.com; The Black Cape or Shirred Cape $90, NYandCompany.com.)
Circle scarves, infinity scarves, snoods, scoods, hoods — whatever you call them, these versatile accents are one of fall's best buys.
Essentially a large tube or ring of fabric, you can double wrap the piece around your neck, stretch it over your shoulders for a shrug effect or even pull it up over your head on a cold — or bad hair — day. Also be on the lookout for fun, generously cut "snoods," like those from American Apparel.
You can create tops, skirts, ponchos, dresses and more all by simply belting, tucking or tying the garment in place. (Circle Scarves $28 to $40, AmericanApparel.com; Eternity Scarf $29, UrbanOutfitters.com; Zig Zag Snood $32, TopShop.com.)
Another fall favorite? Sweater tights. We've heard about textured tights before such as lace and fishnets, but now these inexpensive accessories are performing double-duty. While there are many quirky and colorful styles in stores, you can also find classic herringbone and argyle prints and sophisticated shades that will look smart and sleek without adding bulk. (Argyle & Nordic Fairisle Tights $20, Hue.com; Knit, Cable, Rib, & Space Dye Tights $22 CapezioNewYork.com.)
Heeled hiker booties and beyond
Don't let the phrase "hiker booties" throw you off track! Just like we crave comfy wedges come spring, this season's most stylish shoes are wearable, walkable and chic.
From lace-up booties to brogues and brightly colored loafers, menswear inspired designs are a great investment. Not only are they comfortable because they offer a bit more support, but they’re a great way to dress down or add a little edge to some of your more feminine pieces.
A recent celeb favorite, "heeled hikers" can actually look office-appropriate and polished when paired with tights and a dress or skirt, and for weekends, they're perfect paired with cozy corduroy pants or jeans and a sweater.
For fans of flats, you can update your flip flops or ballet flats to a loafer or oxford — two masculine styles which feel particularly fresh when worn with the season's trendy tie-neck blouses and soft, painterly prints. (Blowfish, DV by Dolce Vita, Lucky Brand, Nine West, Mia booties $69 to $159, Piperlime.com; Nu Day Loafers $29 to 69, Aerosoles.com; Alltop Bootie $70, CallItSpring.com.)