What to wear for fall in a warmer climate

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Today I’m sharing some fall outfit ideas for warmer weather, in both cool and warm color palettes.

If you live in a warmer climate, fall can be a tricky season to dress for. Summer clothing can feel too, well…summery, but much of what’s on the racks for fall is just too warm to wear yet.

Fall outfit ideas for warm weather

Over the years of living in Southern California, I’ve developed a wardrobe strategy that works for all but the warmest days. I stick to lightweight layers, but bring in some fall texture with fabrics like corduroy and lightweight cashmere (sleeveless or short-sleeved). And I add some fall color with shoes and accessories. When mornings and evenings turn chilly, a lightweight cardigan or jacket is just warm enough.

This strategy also works well for fall travel. Just be sure the pieces you pack can layer for warmth if needed, and be worn in multiple combinations.

Lightweight striped or print tops are one of my favorite ways to add visual interest to an outfit when it’s too warm to layer. But if you’re trying to stay within your color palette, some prints can be confusing. Often, you may find they include both warm and cool, or bright and soft colors. So how do you know if a print will work for you?

  • First, I do the “squinch” test. When you squinch your eyes to blur focus, or look at the pattern from a distance, does it read overall as warm (yellow-based) or cool (blue-based)?
  • Second, I hold it up to other pieces in my wardrobe. Does it look in harmony, or does it clash? If it’s in harmony, then…
  • Look at what percentage of the pattern is comprised of colors NOT in your palette. Less than 20%? Go for it. 40% or less? Give it a try and see how you feel in it.
  • As I learned from Red Leopard, don’t expect that everything you buy will match the colors in your palette perfectly. Sometimes a color may be in between two colors in your palette, or just slightly off. That’s OK as long as the color has the same cool or warm, soft or bright properties of your color season.

✨I am now offering in-person color analysis services. If you are interested and live in or will be visiting the L.A. area, please email me at info @ . Thanks!

Shop cool & warm fall outfit ideas…

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