It’s that awkward time of year again when the weather goes from 40 degrees Fahrenheit to 70 degrees between your 8 a.m. and 11 a.m classes. How exactly can you avoid the embarrassing moment when you turn up to your next class red-faced and sweaty or shivering and drenched because you didn’t dress for the weather?
The tried-and-true answer is to dress in layers, but this doesn’t necessarily mean sticking to the Horse Girl Autumn aesthetic of long sweaters, infinity scarves, riding boots and long socks. An easier, more stylish alternative is to wear a shirt made of lightweight material like cotton and then throw on a denim jacket or a stylish windbreaker.
Layering can be trendy and functional. One of fall 2019’s hottest trends is the blazer, which pairs perfectly with shorts, jeans or pants. My take on the blazer trend included a thrifted blazer, basic white tank and denim shorts. The outfit is also perfect for chillier days if you just switch the shorts out for jeans.
You should also allow your upper or lower body to breathe. Easy ways to do this include wearing a tank top — you can throw on a denim jacket or cardigan if it’s colder — and pants. A long sleeve and a skirt would work for breathing room as well. One of my go-to outfits for when I want to look just a tiny bit more presentable is a super-soft, super-light long-sleeve shirt, a plaid skirt and my Doc Martens. Even on windy days, you’ll only feel the cold on half your body.
Don’t put away your crop tops just yet, either. They pair well with outerwear, especially lightweight puffers and denim jackets, without making you sweat. One of my favorite ways to execute this is to wear a puffer, plain white crop top, rolled-up jeans, a belt and sneakers. Moreover, cropped sweaters look super cute with high-waisted jeans or patterned skirts and are not as heavy and sweat-inducing as chunky winter sweaters.
Buttons are your best friend during fall too. It’s simple: when it’s so windy your hair is sticking to your lip gloss, button up. When the sun is blinding your field of view, unbutton. Cropped sweaters basically tick all of the fall wardrobe boxes: cropped, button-up and super cozy when you need them to be.
However, one part of your summer wardrobe that can get shipped back home is open-toed shoes. These aren’t ideal for fall weathe, simply because you never know when it’s going to start dpouring. One of the worst feelings in the world is accidentally stepping into a puddle and having cold, dirty feet for the rest of the walk back to your dorm. During fall, go for classic — albeit slightly VSCO girl-ish — sneakers like the Nike Air Force 1 or Chelsea boots from Doc Martens.
It’s not necessary to ship your entire summer wardrobe back home. Crop tops, ankle jeans and skirts all still have a place during fall. By dressing for the daily weather rather than the idea of fall, you’ll be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws your way and still feel like it’s pumpkin spice latte season.
A version of this article appears in the Monday, Oct. 15, 2019, print edition. Email Gaby Baldovino at [email protected]