Transition To Fall Tips

Your questions and comments often influence what I share. Thank you to Emily B., who asked, “Now that the summer is coming to a close in a few weeks, have you any suggestions for what to wear in autumn? Do you forecast any predictions with the fashion look for the coming weeks and how to layer during changeable weather?”

When the cooler mornings and evenings arrive, layers become a priority. Adding a cotton sweater over a lacey shell and a pair of jeans allows me to be comfortable for a full day of activities in changing temperatures. Our September temperatures may be in the high fifties in the morning and mid-eighties by the afternoon.

The sweater can be draped over my shoulders or remain in the car as the temperatures rise.

Closed-toe shoes and bags in tan or cognac always seem appropriate for autumn. I’ve stored the straw bags and espadrille sandals away and recently spent a rainy day editing my summer wardrobe. Parting with things that no longer fit my evolving style is the easiest before the seasonal closet switchover. I tried on each garment and considered the fit, style, and condition before donating or storing it. I will move the lightweight summer tops into the storage unit in a few weeks and return the cashmere and cotton sweaters to my closet.

None of the items shown today are new, so I’ll share links to the site where I purchased them. The bag and pearl earrings are from T.J. Maxx. The jeans are from J. Crew. The Tory Burch navy cotton sweater is from Saks Off 5th. The lace/applique shell is from Chico’s. The shoes are still available here.

While I don’t follow fads, I notice more lasting trends, such as flare-leg jeans instead of skinny styles. When a trend appeals to me, I take advantage of the item’s popularity to stock up. I will continue to wear the items for a long time, not because they are of the moment, but because they appeal to my style sensibilities.

The trends for fall/winter 2023 include the color red – leather or faux leather jackets, skirts, pants, and vests – ’90s minimalism – power dressing (think jackets with strong shoulders) – touches of sheer – midi or maxi skirts – large tote bags – quiet elegance (the absence of logos and loud colors). These are a few trends from runway shows, Instagram, and Pinterest, as well as from noting the newest items on shopping sites. Rather than going with head-to-toe trends, I prefer a subtle nod to a trend mixed with the classic basics I wear year-round. That means I will wear my silk scarves with cashmere sweaters and jeans again this year, but those jeans will have flare legs.

Thank you for being part of this amazing community of positive, supportive, incredible women (and a few gentlemen). Recent looks are summarized here. As always, some of the shopping links on this site may allow me to earn a small commission without cost to you.

  1. I am currently working on my closet switchover to fall clothes as well. Do you store your woven handbags in cloth bags off season? I’m wondering if if they collect dust easily in storage due to the texture. This is my first year storing mine and wondering if I should get them bags.

  2. It’s time to think about the wardrobe change. It’s still pretty hot here in Central Indiana so layering it is! Your outfit is well balanced and interesting with textures. You look fabulous!

  3. Thank you for these tips. I need a few new items to freshen up my wardrobe. What would you suggest.
    Sending prayers and positive thoughts.

  4. I am so ready to bring out the sweaters and quiet elegance items like cashmere. And one of the ladies I follow says maybe hosiery might make a come back – hallelujah!! I just cannot get used to wearing a nice dress and no hose. Im keeping my fingers crossed. Thank you for all the good suggestions im your post!!

  5. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on fall. I have been contemplating purchasing a couple of cardigans to throw over sleeveless tops or nice tees. I have a collection of crewneck sweaters, but have avoided cardigans as I don’t like how they flop open and get in the way ( does that make sense?). I am going to try one with buttons so that I can button one or two buttons and see how that works. I am looking forward to more fall posts this week! Hope you and Mickey have a great holiday.

  6. Oh boy! Fall is not my season to shop! My coloring is like yours, and the stores and on line shopping are chock full of browns and golds. Do you just wait until winter to buy the items in the right color?

  7. It’s great to see a new post from you; always such great advice explained so well!

    I hope that both you and Mr. Mickey are doing well and that you’ll be able to get out in his little car to enjoy the fall foliage together.

  8. Thank you for always being such an inspiration even as you face adversity. You look beautiful. I too would enjoy seeing the items you cull from your closet and why you chose to eliminate them. When you are able would you please share the link to your skin care and makeup recommendations? Also, what do you do to tone the upper back and arms? Praying for your full recovery.

  9. I always enjoy reading your suggestions! Thank you for taking the time to post this. Hope you are doing well and prayers will continue as you go through this journey of getting well. God Bless you and Mr Micky.

  10. It’s so nice to see you looking so well! You are as beautiful as ever! I like the idea of adding a trend to my classic wardrobe. I am a petite (5’4”) so the wider legs or flares will not work for me. What trends would you suggest?

    1. Choose straight-leg jeans or pants that end at the top of your foot. If your jacket or top and pants are in the same tone and you wear a similar color of shoes, the eye will travel from top to toe, and you will look taller.

  11. Hi Susan,
    Always great to see your posts, so glad you are doing well now and hope that continues, for both you and Mr. Mickey. That is a darling top you have on. I can’t wait to pull my sweaters out, but here in San Diego area we always went back to school in shorts as September can be our hottest month. Back then I always longed for cold weather so I could wear my new Fall sweaters, but that never happened, ha.
    I liked your info with trends and tips. The quiet luxury appeals to me, with classic pieces. I’d like to find more red pieces too. Now I’m going to go back and read everything again!
    I was a cancer survivor this year too, uterine sarcoma tumor in February. Turned out a regular fibroid was not so regular. All is well so far. It’s been quite a year!
    Take care,

  12. You look so pretty and elegant. Thank you for the tips. Summer/fall transition can be so hard the first few weeks. Thank you for the inspiration!

  13. As ever, Susan, you have such a quiet beautiful elegance.
    That little white top is beautiful and I’m with you on cardigans. I love them. I also take heart from the fact you opt for navy and grey staples. Red is an option for me but it has to be the right kind of red which is very difficult to find.
    I opt for an orange-red which seems to suit my white hair.

    You look so well – long may it continue for you and for Mr. Mickey.

  14. Dear Susan, just keep being your resilient, positive and beautiful self and “this too” shall pass. Wishing you a peaceful and complete recovery. Happy trails from AZ, Peggy R

  15. You always look so chic. I believe you could style a paper sack! Just started wearing straight leg jeans and have ordered a pair of flare leg that I have to have hemmed. I hope you do well with your treatments. Please keep us updated on your and Mr Mickey’s health. Thank you writing your blog. Really enjoy it

  16. Love the white shell, you look great! Hoping all is going well with you and Mr. Mickey ❤ Thank you for sharing some fall transition tips! Have a good week!

  17. Susan, do you consider these jeans you have on here “flare” leg jeans? I’m not sure what those are. What immediately comes to mind are the way oversized leg opening with lots of fabric. On my petite height and stature, I’m afraid those would swallow me up. . . the oversized leg opening. I bought some non skinny jeans last spring and the leg opening is very much larger than skinny jeans but not oversized with all this baggy extra fabric at the leg opening. Yours jeans in this photo are lovely on you.

  18. I have been following you for years & you always look so beautiful & elegant! This outfit is one of my favorites!
    Best wishes for a full recovery to both you & Mr. Mickey. You are an inspiration to many!

  19. Hi Susan,

    You look beautiful.
    You share not only clothing advice but inspiration in how to enjoy life more.
    It is a real treasure to me. I work with much younger people who do not seem to attend to how they dress beyond things being newly purchased.
    I am pleased to say I am more often choosing to dress with pleasure and confidence, while being true to myself – all thanks to you!!


  20. Here in South Africa we are preparing for our Summer so I read everything going in reverse (hahaha) I have kept your posts to refer to at the appropriate time.

    I so often want to “Like” your outfit (and wish there was a little box to do so)

    You are looking well and as gorgeous as ever, although in this post you are not filling your jeans. Please be well.
    All the best, kind regards,
    Colleen Viljoen

    1. I’ve lost a few pounds since I purchased those jeans earlier this year, so they fit differently no, but I’ll likely return to my normal weight in the future.

      Enjoy your summer!

  21. Always so good to see you and receive your exceptional advice. You are an inspiration in so many ways. May you be blessed many times over for the positivity you share with the world. Many prayers for you and Mr. Mickey to be healed and to continue on your delightful adventures. You are always a bright spot in my day!❤️

  22. Susan, so glad you are doing well. Sending prayers and strength for your continued recovery.
    Would you do a post on how to pick the perfect flare jeans, please? I have tried some on and they look like bell bottoms. Not very flattering on me at all.
    Thank you.

  23. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your very clear synthesis of upcoming trends. This is really very helpful to those like me who just lack the ability to see/understand these things! So nice to see you posting again and looking well.

  24. I am also in the process of transitioning to my fall wardrobe. I love the look and feel of my cashmere and merino wool cardigans and shells. What do you suggest is the best way to store sweaters?

  25. I too look forward to how to wear the different style legs on jeans, what to cull from the wardrobe and why.
    Sometimes it’s overwhelming to think about. Sometimes I understand why people wear the same things day in and day out ( think Steve Jobs, jeans and a black turtleneck everyday ). Seems like it would be less stressful. The more choices, the more stress !?
    Thanks for your posts. Blessings to you and Mr. Mickey.

  26. I would love to know where you had the pictures taken. For some reason it reminds me of Blowing Rock, which has been a favorite vacation spot for us since the 90’s.

    Love the post and full of wonderful ideas!

  27. So glad to see your e-mail today & praying that you are doing well.
    In past post, you have shown 501 slacks. Where can they be found?
    Thank you for the fashion advice for going into Fall 2023.

  28. You look wonderful! Hope both of you are doing well. One question, the link to the white Lacey shell isn’t working for Chico’s.

  29. Hi Susan,
    Glad to see you looking great.Is there a difference between flare bottoms and bell bottoms?

    Also, i looked (again) at the make-up video and envy the natural state of your eyebrows, i.e. pre-makeup and wonder do you trim them. Mine are white and wiry which makes adding coloring to them very difficult.

    1. The fullness of bell bottoms starts well below the knee and is more exaggerated. Flares should fit well at the waist and hips with a subtle flare that begins above the knee.
      If an occasional brow hair gets too long and dark, I trim it.

  30. Always a class act, Susan! I wish you could come into my closet & help me edit. Your posts always remind me that classic style endures. Thank you!

  31. Susan-
    Hope this note finds you and MM in his spirits & recovering.
    I’m looking for advice on how and what to pack. We will be traveling to Europe during the month of October. At the thought of packing to go anywhere my anxiety level goes way up. Our son & his wife live in Switzerland so that will be our home base, but they have booked short getaways to Rome, Florence, Prague and Budapest. . Help!
    TY & take care,
    Deborah Garrison

    1. I suggest using a pallet of no more than three colors and ensuring all three colors mix and match (black, white, and gray, for example). Take three types of shoes, sightseeing (lots of walking), city sightseeing (museums, cathedrals, and such), and out-to-dinner, as examples. Look for simple pieces that you can dress up or down with accessories. I’ll give another example: a simple black crepe tank dress can be worn with a denim jacket and sneakers for sightseeing. It can also be worn with a pretty silk shawl, a clutch, and pumps to go to dinner. The same tank dress can be used as a swim cover worn with strappy flat sandals and a straw tote bag. Make each piece you pack work in several ways for you. Ensure you can layer to stay comfortable in various temperatures and weather conditions. I hope you have a wonderful trip!

  32. Je suis très contente de vous voir si rayonnante et j’espère que M Mickey est dans le même état d’esprit que vous . En Provence ‘il fait encore très chaud et les températures tournent autour des 35 degrés .
    Mais je suis entrée dans mon dressing pour éliminer tout ce que je ne porte plus et aérer mes pulls overs . Je vais suivre vos conseils et acheter des cardigans .C’est effectivement plus élégant de les porter sur un chemisier ou un débardeur court . En France il est difficile de trouver des hauts courts et c’est pourtant ce que je préfère .
    Les couleurs d’automne jouent davantage sur tous les tons de vert ,du vert anis au vert mousse et sur du brun orangé. Nous portons davantage des pantalons légèrement larges mais droits ,il y a peu de pantalons évasés.
    Les jeunes sont dans l’excès et portent des pantalons trop grands…
    Mais les tons blancs , bleus , rouges et gris sont intemporels .
    Vos chaussures pointues m’étonnent et me font penser aux chaussures du Moyen Âge.
    En France nous revenons aux bouts plus ronds tant pour les escarpins ,pour les richelieus que les bottines .
    Ma petite fille fait des études de commerce pour travailler dans le monde du luxe.Apres des stages chez Chanel et Vuitton ,elle termine sa dernière année chez Hermès .
    Elle m’a offert un foulard Chanel pour mon anniversaire Pour Noël c’était une broche en perles de la même maison .
    Je ne sais pas du tout comment la porter !!!!
    Portez vous bien !

  33. Je constate avec beaucoup de déception que je ne peux rien acheter sur les sites que vous proposez. Pas d’exportation sur la France ! Quel dommage ! Je trouve vos débardeurs ,tops et chemisiers très jolis .

  34. Susan,
    The temperatures here vary as much as 20-plus degrees in a day. I look forward to the beautiful fall colors but not the winter snow. Your reminder to layer clothing is most helpful. The white crop top is a nice piece to have and I have two that I love but they wrinkle after washing. I have to iron them and wondered if a steamer might be easier. I may buy one if it will reduce my ironing!
    The high-waisted jeans are wonderful and so are the wider leg styles. I find they elongate the body and flatter the stomach area. I’m 5’5 and for me the hem length at the top of the foot and heels as you wisely recommend is perfect. Short gals are shown on Pinterest often by women of all ages.
    I recently went to the Macy’s Labor Day sale and bought neutral loafers to go with my TJ Maxx handbag. Great deal on the bag. Beautiful Italian leather (medium) bag with lining zippered compartments and an additional strap. Now I have a use for old pillowcases to store my non-seasonal…. thanks to you.

    Many thanks

    to you!

  35. Hi Susan, I’m always so happy to see a post from you in my mailbox! You look wonderful as usual. Hope you are feeling good. That Chico’s top and your bag are so cute! I love how you dress. It’s youthful, simple, on trend and sophisticated.

    My weight keeps fluctuating (from my own doing), so I struggled this summer with having too many clothing items that just didn’t fit. It’s so hard to edit, when you know you are going to lose weight (gonna work on it) and will want to keep and wear them eventually, I think?
    What would be your suggestion on editing?

    I have at least 4 large boxes/bins of summer pants, crops, and tops that don’t fit me at the weight I am right now, thus I didn’t wear them this season. I don’t know what to do with them! I feel that I have too many clothes, but feel the ones that don’t fit will still be in style should I lose weight and be able to fit into them. It’s so frustrating!

    1. Put those boxes of summer clothes away in a closet or the attic for now, and don’t think about them until next summer. I’m working on a post about the edit, so stay tuned for that in a day or so. It may be helpful.

  36. I followed your advice to go for a lower Lycra content in jeans and voila! I have the best fitting jeans I’ve had in years.
    I’m pleased to hear red is in for this autumn (fall) as I plenty of that I can wear.
    You are looking as elegant as always Susan and I hope your medical care and treatment are going well. Best wishes to Mr Mickey too from a very warm and humid England ( summer has finally arrived in September!)

  37. You look lovely as usual. It is good to hear from you and I hope you both continue to take steps toward full health. I think your look is always elevated and I am trying to figure out the “formula” that would work for my very different shape, height, and coloring. So here goes: regular jeans that are on trend but not trendy, a nice top, a “third piece” (like a jacket or sweater or wrap) and really nice jewelry, handbag, and (what I call dressy ) shoes. I think it is the bag, jewelry, and especially the shoes that take it that last step. Of course, a great smile is another wonderful accessory!

  38. Such a great and simple outfit. I love the length of the shell. I am 5’ 8” but still find most tops too long, hitting me at an unflattering point on my hips. I do buy petite sizes and that helps but you have to size up and they become boxy. Do you have this problem?

    1. I do have the same problem! Now that a few options in slightly cropped lengths are showing up in stores, I am getting them while I can. Long tops often bring attention to rather than hide our tummies and hips.

  39. Looking good Susan. Hope you are feeling well. Hope Mr. Mickey is feeling great too. Thank you for the ideas as always.
    Patty V

  40. Susan,
    I always love your posts and advise. Thank you!
    I hope you continue to heal and I pray for Gods love and healing power for you during your treatments.

    Be Blessed

  41. I love the pretty white shell, Susan! The link takes you to the Chico website, not directly to the shell, and I can’t find it! The Saks link is the same.

    Many thanks!


    1. Since I bought the items earlier and they are now sold out, I just linked to were I bought the items. Perhaps they will have something similar or you might be able to find the same item on a resale site such as Depop.

  42. Love your style tips. Purging my clothes to remove things I don’t like, that don’t fit, and especially the things I brought but never liked is so uplifting. While I love a classical style I can be lured by trendy and colorful. Wish I could still wear high heels but age, knee, and back issues mean I have to move on. Would you consider doing a post on lower heel shoes and how to pair them for a classical look? Thank you

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.