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Taking Summer Style into Fall

Top fashion pieces for the transition to a new season By Taylor Shillam

Living in a region with all four of the seasons inspires the need for strategic seasonal shopping. As the heat of the Pacific Northwest summer begins to fade into shorter, cooler days, key transitional pieces will become wardrobe essentials.

Light pieces that carry well into fall’s early days are a great way to extend your summer wardrobe while staying seasonally chic. This month, shop your local boutiques for summery items with staying power. Here, you’ll find shopping inspiration through a selection of items to look for as you shop the Northwest’s seasonal styles.

Sweater vests. One of the season’s easiest ways to add a layer is the sweater vest! You’ll notice sweater vests and sleeveless knits back in style as we come closer to fall. They’re perfect as easy pieces to wear on their own as a sleeveless sweater, or to layer over a crisp white button-down as the temperatures drop. White button-down shirts. If you don’t have that crisp white button-down in your wardrobe yet, now is the time to add one, as it’s sure to be a staple in the coming months. Light enough to wear on its own or to layer under a cardigan, jacket, sweater vest or suit jacket, the crisp white shirt is one of the most versatile pieces you’ll pick up this season. While temperatures stay hot, mix and match the top with your favorite shorts and skirts to stay cool.

Crop tops. Don’t put away your summer crop tops just yet! These hot-weather staples can keep you stylish in the transition to autumn. Keep them to spice up a night out, as they are easily covered under a jacket in the cooler evening temperatures, or keep them peeking through light layers for a fun weekend look. Bonus style points for crop tops in fun fabrics and leathers.

Neutral maxis. Maxi dresses made their comeback this year, and they are here to stay through the autumn. Keep your neutral-toned maxi dresses for the fall—think cream-colored shirt dresses paired with knee-high boots, or military-inspired greens with ankle boots. Maxi dresses are an easy way to add a feminine touch to your autumn days.

Jumpsuits. Similar to the maxi dresses, jumpsuits are an easy way to quickly pull together a chic outfit. An excellent combination of fashionable and functional, jumpsuits carry well into fall festivities. From satin jumpsuits to dress up a night out, to military-style jumpsuits making a statement in the daytime, you can easily layer them over a long-sleeve shirt or underneath a wool coat on a cooler day.

White baby tees. That little white tee in your closet might be of bigger value than you realize. Cropped tops have been in style all year, and that doesn’t stop at T-shirts. Keep your fitted white “baby tee” as the ultimate base layer, then build an outfit around it based on your plans. White tees are easily paired with just about everything: this season’s carpenter pants, trousers, destroyed jeans and maxi skirts, with additional warmth brought by cardigans, denim, leather, or suit jackets.

Cropped sweatshirts. Those cropped sweaters you kept around for the late nights coming home from the beach, lingering around a bonfire, or the occasional rainy day, are going to be one of the best pieces to keep around for autumn. Cropped sweatshirts can range from a simple, solid color, to a retro-inspired statement piece. Get creative with your layers, and keep them in stock as a go-to piece this season.

Slouchy jeans. The comfort promised by “boyfriend” jeans and “mom” jeans alike has been deservedly embraced. These flattering, yet flexible, jeans are on the slouchier side, making them easy for the transition not only between seasons, but between day to night and work to weekend. As they fit well with just about any selection of shoe, they’re easily taken from sandal weather into boot weather.

Floral prints. Flowers will continue to color and brighten our wardrobes well into the upcoming months. Keep your light, summery florals to add a burst of romantic energy to your fall outfits. You’ll see florals stay on boutique shelves in the form of patterned mini dresses, accessories, printed suits and more.

Extra-strappy sandals. Keep your most fun, dramatic sandals in the rotation this month, as they’re poised to become a fall evening essential. Dressier sandals with far-reaching straps are set to take you into autumn soirees, events and dinner parties.

Where to Shop Pacific Northwest shoppers have a wide selection of local boutiques to choose from, from Gig Harbor to Tacoma, and everywhere in between.

Coastal Washington shoppers can visit Gig Harbor’s Dolly Mama Boutique, “a boutique with a heart,” inspiring joy in women through quality items that are a selection of every woman’s favorite things. There’s also Dolly Mama Too, its sister store.

Additional boutiques not to miss in the Western Washington area include Frankie Boutique and Tacoma’s Purpose Boutique.

The transition to cooler days doesn’t have to be complicated, especially when it comes to keeping up with seasonal fashion. With a few key pieces from the best of local boutiques, your move into autumn will be seamless and stylish.

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