Tips for Transitioning Your Wardrobe to Fall and Winter

Ready to pull out the sweaters & boots to dress for cooler days? Check out these 5 tips for transitioning your wardrobe to fall and winter in a few easy steps.

6 Tips for Transitioning Your Closet to Fall & Winter

Ah! Do you smell that crisp, fall air that is starting to settle?

The weather is slowly starting to change, the temperatures are starting to drop and my friends I have an exciting announcement… according to my calendar, the first official day of fall is almost here!

I can just hear the cheers from so many of you who also love the fall season just as much as I do. If you are a summer-loving sister, rest assured another summer will be here again and while you can’t enjoy the long, hot days of summer, there are plenty of things about fall to be super excited about.

Outside of pumpkins, mums, apples, and the leaves changing colors, I am most excited to pull out my jeans, boots, and sweaters and to start accessorizing with scarfs again. I love the fashion of fall.

However, before I can enjoy my fall wardrobe there are some housekeeping things I need to tend to in my own closet. Just as we have to prepare our closets for spring and summer, we have to do the same to prepare for the cooler months ahead too.

I have a lot of tank tops, skirts, shorts, and flip-flops that have taken up residence near the front of my closet that needs to rotated out or stored for winter. Some piece I can continue wearing but some I need to move to the back of my closet.

Since I live in the Midwest, it’s not uncommon for one day to be in the low 40’s and then for the next to be back up in the 80’s. It’s cruel and unfair when you are anxiously waiting for fall but it is the reality of a diverse climate, so for that reason alone, you might not be able to pack up all of your warmer weather clothing just yet.

Even still, I wanted to share some tips with you as transition your wardrobe into fall and winter.

5 Tips for Transitioning Your Wardrobe to Fall and Winter

Take Care of Your Warmer Weather Clothing

Do you have a lot of linen or dry clean only spring and summer clothing? It’s best to take a few minutes to read the care labels on some of your favorite warmer weather clothing so that way as you store them for winter they are clean and ready to go when you need to pull them out again.

If you have some clothing that needs to go to the dry cleaners, make a pile and search for some online coupons. The dry cleaners we go to has a membership club that emails weekly coupons, including seasonal. Since my husband wears suits on a daily basis, this has been a huge help in our dry cleaning budget!

For the rest of your spring and summer-specific tops, skirts and dresses, take a few minutes to sort through those before you pack them up or move to the back of your closet.

Ask yourself:

  • Did you even wear them this season?
  • Can you give them away?
  • Are their holes, rips or stains that need to be dealt with?

There is nothing more frustrating than pulling out a favorite top next summer only to discover there is a stain leftover from a year ago that you meant to remove, just never got around to (trust me, I know!)

Also, make a list of any clothing items you will need to look to replace or purchase for next season.

Sadly most clearance sections at the store now probably don’t have much of a leftover summer selection, although you might be surprised. But most clothing stores begin to place spring and summer clothing on sale early in the new year.

If you create a small shopping list now, you’ll be ready and will have a plan when it comes time to shop for those items next year. Plus you can start setting aside money in your budget, especially if you know you have to purchase a big ticket item.

Re-purpose Spring and Summer Clothing to Get More Wear Out of Them

I don’t pack up or move my tank tops because I wear them all year long. They are great for layering or wearing under another top. I do this for some of my nicer tops too. While some are obviously not appropriate to wear during a cooler season, many tops can be worn under a cardigan or layered.

The same is true for skirts, while obviously, you may not be able to pull off a floral printed skirt in the fall, some skirts can be paired nicely with a pair of tights or legging and some riding boots or cute flats.

Ending the Day Well

I have been using the GYPO CLoset Staples Casual Capsel Wardrobe Builder* to effortlessly build seasonal ensembles using the pieces I already have in my closet. It makes it so much easier to have pieces that are versatile and can be easily rotated and worn all year long.

Take Inventory of Your Fall and Summer Clothing

After you have gone through and either packed up or moved your spring clothing to the back of your closet, it’s time to take stock of what you have to wear for the cooler days of fall and winter.

If you went through your closet at the end of last season, then you have probably already done this but it’s good to check again.

I keep all of the clothing in my closet. I don’t personally pack up and store seasonal clothing elsewhere. Since I have purged through my closet and gotten rid of most of the items I don’t wear, I have plenty of room in my mine and my husband’s shared closet to store both of our full seasonal wardrobes.

I like to organize all my cooler season clothing together towards the front of my closet. I pull forward all the long sleeve shirts, layering t-shirts, and tanks, heavier cardigans and sweaters, khaki pants, dress pants, jeans, and skirts. I move my summer shoes to a shelf up on top of my closet and place my flats and boots in a more prominent place.

Why It's Important for Homemakers to Dress for the Day You Want to Have

Having all of your clothing choices organized helps to see where there are gaps, if any, in your fall and winter wardrobe. You can quickly scan through your sweaters, shirts, and pants to see if you need to purchase anything to add to your wardrobe.

It’s important to prioritize the items that you know you need to buy, which brings me to my next point…

Make a Wants and Needs List

I’m a firm believer in evaluating your Wants and Needs before going shopping. The two are very different.

While you may want a new fun, fall cardigan, do you really need it? Rather should you spend your clothing budget on some new jeans since your previous pair either doesn’t fit or is ripped like mine?

Creating a list of things you actually need, as well as a wish list of things that would be nice to have but not a necessity, can help you prioritize your shopping needs.

You are much more likely to stay in budget if you know what it is specifically you need to buy when you walk into the store.

Ready to set your year up for success from the beginning? Plan your best year yet with a planning day to organize your entire year with these 9 tasks. Setting aside time now will make a big impact on what you accomplish this year!

As you create your two lists you might even find that you don’t need or want anything which is an added bonus! Now you have no need to go shopping in the first place and you are less likely to make an impulse purchase which makes your budget really happy and probably also your husband too! 😉

Once you do have a list in place and have some items that you need to purchase you can create a plan to shop.

Create 10 Ready To-Go Outfits

After you have moved all the warmer weather clothing back and have taken inventory of what you have, and possibly need to buy, now is the fun part!

You are going to piece together some items that you know look great together and on you. This will be your inspiration on mornings when you are uninspired to get dressed.

This is also a great opportunity to take note of the super helpful wardrobe builder and use the GYPO Style Challenge to build a fall wardrobe with pieces you already have!

As I’ve mentioned before, I LOVE fall fashion.

I love wearing cardigans over t-shirts with my jeans and TOMS. I also love wearing my brown riding boots over my skinny jeans with a long chunky sweater. I love the look of scarfs layered over long sleeve tops paired with a heavy skirt and boots.

Creating outfits for the fall is not hard for me, where I lose motivation is coming up with outfits to wear in the dead of winter when it’s freezing out. Those are the days when I fall back into my yoga pant wearing days, and while there is nothing wrong with wearing yoga pants, I want to make sure that I am actually getting dressed almost every day.

I also think it’s a good idea to create a few outfits for church or dress up nights, as well as challenging yourself to wear every item of clothing in your closet. If you don’t feel comfortable wearing it any more than it’s time for it to go.

I said 10 outfits just because it’s an even, even number that would provide plenty of variety and options but in truth, you can create as many or as few as you wish.

If you need inspiration, I highly recommend you check out the GYPO Style Challenges*. They have been a game changer in my own closet in helping me create outfits from items I already have.

Why It's Important for Homemakers to Dress for the Day You Want to Have


One point of this challenge is to really examine the clothing that you have in your closet to determine if it’s worth it to keep. And the other point of this challenge is to do the work now to create inspiration for you to dress for the {everyday} ordinary days, even in the cold days of winter ahead.

6 Tips for Transitioning Your Closet to Fall & Winter

So who’s with me? Who’s ready to tackle this mini-challenge over the weekend to get your closet fall and winter ready?

One point of this challenge is to really examine the clothing that you have in your closet to determine if it’s worth it to keep. And the other point of this challenge is to do the work now to create inspiration for you to dress for the {everyday} ordinary days, even in the cold days of winter ahead.

*This post has been updated from the archives, originally posted September 2014

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  1. ooo I love fall clothing… it still seems like a way off here… even if tomorrow is the first day of fall. I love these tips though..

  2. Jen @ West Street Story says:

    Such great tips! For fall and winter, I try to continue to utilize my summer tanks and tops with lots of layering and pairing them them cardigans (especially cozy ones!)

  3. Thanks for these tips! I need all the fashion tips that I can get!

  4. Great great tips!!!! I really love the comfort of fall & winter clothing!

  5. I’m so ready for fall but sadly we still have predictions for 90 degree days this week. Great tips – I like the idea of having 10 ready to go outfits. Don’t know if it will happen for me but I love the idea.

    1. Hopefully it will start to cool off for you soon Margaret so you can start to enjoy some fall fashions 🙂

  6. Katie Pierce says:

    Great thinking on the planning ahead on outfits! I also go straight to the yoga pants, even to work!

    1. I have a love/hate relationship with yoga pants 🙂 There are definitely days where they win but I also love having some outfits ready to go so that way I have motivation on those mornings where I just don’t want to change out of them.

  7. Every year I drag out scarves and fluffy sweaters in the hopes I get to wear them! But the season is so short here! If I don’t jump on it I might miss it! #Arizonaproblems

    1. Bummer you don’t get a fall but I would bet that while we are scraping the inch of ice off our cars in January Arizona temps don’t seem so bad 🙂

  8. Debi @ Life Currents says:

    I love fall. You’re lucky if you get changes in the seasons! Fall here just means more wind. Oh well! I still love it!

  9. Great tips! I am definitely adding some cute jackets and blazers to my wants/needs list so I can extend more of my warmer weather clothes into the fall/winter.

    1. I love lighter jackets too, unfortunately since I’m pregnant this fall I’m always too hot to actually wear one! Next year… 🙂

    1. Me to Michelle, that’s why I disciplined myself to pre-make some outfits so that when the motivation would lack, I’d already have some inspiration 🙂

  10. I wish I lived some place where I could actually transition, lol. One minute it’s 80 degrees in December, the next it’s snowing and 32.

    1. Oh goodness that is quite a difference! Where do you live Stephanie? While we don’t have near those extremes, it’s not uncommon to have warm temps one day and cold the next 🙂

  11. vanderkar says:

    I enjoyed reading this post

  12. Awesome tips! I love being able to layer and everything in the Fall and Winter. There are so many fun Fall accessories too so it’s easy to get a little dressy. I feel like Summer just makes me lazy… t-shirt everyday!

    1. I love layering too, it’s a great way to extend some lighter summer shirts. I agree with the same ‘ol same ‘ol summer t-shirt everyday 🙂

  13. Great tips! There’s no fall or winter here. But just a tip to all who do have it. Don’t dress for depression. I say this because a lot of fall/winter clothes I’ve seen are very dark and drab this year. And winter is a dark season, so people need light and colors. Even though it’s going against the fashion and popular opionion, use colors during the winter!

    1. Good points to include colors in your wardrobe to add a little bit of light and cheer. My signature colors are red and lavender so I try and dress or accessorize an outfit in those colors.

  14. Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes says:

    Great tips!

  15. Great ideas! I’m looking forward to wearing “fall” clothes. Here in TX that just means jeans with our sandals..until Dec. Serious, love these ideas. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I love wearing jeans with sandals too but I’m sure when it’s cold and icy here, you’ll be appreciating your TX temps more 😉

  16. Hi there! Found you via the LWSL link-up! I love the idea of making a needs/wants list. It’s so easy to forget what you went shopping for, and end up with a bunch of shorts when you went for a sweater!

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