Here’s How You Can Bring Fall Fashion to the Beach
There are plenty of ways to take on the seasonal styles in the land of endless summer.
Here on the Emerald Coast, we have to be told it’s fall.
With beach season still in its prime, we in North Florida ride the heat waves of summer into October, when Starbucks suddenly disrupts our summer trance with its swapping of cold brews for pumpkin spice lattes. College football dominates screens, and the latest edition of Vogue hails the arrival of “sweater weather.”
My personal reminder of this seasonal shift comes from my dear friend Sara, who unfailingly sends scarf-clad selfies from apple orchards and corn mazes in upstate New York. The thought of bundling up has me sweating bullets in a bikini, but the fashion FOMO is real.
Not to worry. If our trees are to remain green, there’s no reason our wardrobe should turn over a new leaf. Your summer threads pave the way for a transition to easy, autumnal flair.
For Haley Gilbreath, co-owner of L.A. Green at 30 Avenue, the best way to incorporate the season is through color.
“When buying for fall, I look for lightweight fabrics that incorporate your darker and warmer color palettes,” Gilbreath says. While summer may be the time for passive pastels, it’s time to ramp up the drama. Blouses in bold burgundy, marigold and rich olives will ring in the harvest season, even when paired with summer shorts.
That’s right, it’s not time to pack up the shorts yet. “Especially denim,” adds Pensacola fashionista and Drift Boutique owner Jill Noble. “Pair them with a fitted shirt and throw on a cardigan or long kimono. The layers make it easier to transition from those cooler mornings to warmer afternoons.”
Gilbreath too advocates the versatile denim short, suggesting you top them with an off-shoulder, lightweight sweater for a coastal-casual look.
“I think the beauty in that is being able to enjoy a summer staple a little bit longer,” she says. “Another go-to for in-between weather is a short sleeve or sleeveless top over a flowy pant.”
Your basic T-shirt will be a foundation for one of 2018’s major surprises: The return of the silk scarf. During summer, the sleek ’n’ swank little kerchiefs accessorized our messy buns and belt loops, but this fall, they’ll be given a new life around our necks for a pop of color and class. (Hello, ’80s!)
“The ’80s are also playing a major role in overall silhouettes, with exaggerated shoulders and sleeves,” Gilbreath adds. “We’re also seeing a lot of Western-inspired trends, including leather, fringe and capes.”
Have fun with the new arrivals now that fall festival season is upon us, but don’t abandon your sundresses. Simply slide on a cuffed denim or leather biker jacket for a seasonal update.
If you wear sandals, opt for dark tones such as deep tan, brown and black. If the rest of your outfit is summery, trade slides and wedges for boots.
“I love boots with bare legs! Pull out the ankle booties for sure, and pair your longer boots with shorter dresses from the summer,” Noble advises. While exuding a flirty, festive vibe, the ratio also accentuates your legs.
Though you may long for an authentic, chilly fall, bear in mind that showing off sun-kissed skin is a luxury not many enjoy this time of year. So, while my friend in New York taunts me with videos of crunchy leaves and pumpkin patches, I let her have her fun.
When the dead of winter hits Syracuse, and she complains about shoveling snow for the fifth day in a row, I’m quick to send her a picture of my cropped jeans and sandy toes