As the leaves change and the air turns crisp, it can only mean one thing–it’s time to break out the warmer clothes. But that doesn’t mean that you should have to sacrifice your favorite summer dresses. In fact, a timeless dress is one of the easiest, most versatile pieces to wear all year round. Whether it's a sundress, a maxi, or a mini, dresses can be effortlessly incorporated into your autumn attire with the right layering pieces. Not sure how? We’ve got you covered!
What to Wear Over a Dress in the Fall/Winter
Cardigans are a wardrobe staple that will never go out of style. The open-front, buttoned, or zip-up knitted layer piece comes in various styles, lengths, and materials, making them a must-have for any closet. We’d also argue that they’re one of the easiest pieces of clothing to pair with a dress. Not sure how? Here are a few tips we recommend:
- Maxi dresses and long cardigans – Maxi dresses are perfect for those extra chilly days since they give you extra protection from the cold weather. To keep the warmth going up top, pair your favorite maxi dress with long, chunky cardigans for an effortless look. If this feels too baggy for your liking, pair it with a cinched belt, which will help define your waist and add structure to the outfit.
- Midi dresses and cropped cardigans – For midi dresses, choose a cropped cardigan that stops at the smallest part of your waist. This helps accentuate your curves in a flattering way while also still allowing the dress to be the focal point.
- Mini dresses – One of the best things about mini dresses is that they can be worn with virtually any cardigan under the sun. Make them a fall favorite by pairing them with oversized cardigans and knee-high boots. If you want a more feminine look, opt for a dainty cropped cardigan and tights.
- Monochromatic magic – Create a sleek and polished look by matching the color of your cardigan with your dress. Not only will this make you look taller, but it’s also extremely chic.
Kimonos gained popularity thanks to their breezy, boho vibes. These lightweight, open-front garments often feature fun patterns and flowy fabrics, making them the perfect choice for layering over dresses in the fall.
- Floral prints – Floral kimonos paired with solid-colored dresses create a beautiful contrast. Although floral kimonos may scream spring and summer, you'll fit right into the autumnal palette if you opt for deep hues like burgundy, olive green, or mustard.
- Fringe and tassels – There’s something about fringe and tassels that takes us back to the 70s, and if there’s one thing we know, it’s that the 70s era in fashion is one of the most influential (even today). Pair these kimonos with dresses for music festivals, outdoor gatherings, or simply when you feel like looking a little rock n’ roll.
- Belted kimonos – To give your dress a more structured look, consider belting your kimono at the waist. This cinches your silhouette and adds a touch of sophistication to what is typically a more laid-back look.
Fall (and winter, for that matter) is all about layers, and what better way to achieve that than by pairing your dresses with sweaters? Sweaters come in a wide range of styles, from chunky knits to lightweight pullovers, allowing you to mix and match your look depending on the temp and occasion.
- Chunky knits with mini dresses – Pair chunky knit sweaters (that are shorter in length) with mini dresses to create a cozy contrast in textures. Add a pair of opaque tights, and you’ve got an outfit you’ll want to rewear all fall long.
- Turtleneck sweaters – Turtleneck sweaters are the epitome of classy. When you want to look sophisticated, throw a turtleneck over a midi or maxi dress. To avoid losing your shape completely, wear a sleek belt that emphasizes your waistline. If you don’t want to see the belt but still want that cinched look, add a belt to the smallest part of your waist and tuck the sweater into it so you can’t see it.
- Off-the-shoulder sweaters – Off-the-shoulder sweaters are a playful choice for layering over dresses. Let one shoulder peek out for a flirty and fashion-forward look while also staying (relatively) warm. This looks probably best for the days when it’s not too cold out.
Layering for Fall and Winter
Fall and winter fashion is all about embracing the changing seasons with style and comfort. Dresses are not just for summer. With the right layering pieces like cardigans, kimonos, and sweaters, you can continue to rock your favorite dresses all year round. If you want to add new layering pieces to your closet this season, check out the Hometown Heritage Boutique to find some of your new favorite closet staples!