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Fashion tips for the transition from summer to fall

No one is trying to rush into fall here, but before long, days will grow cooler, summer staples will feel too beach-y, and newly arrived printed pumps will catch your eye at the shopping mall.

Well, your summer sandals are looking a little tired.

What to wear? If you’re beginning to think about how to shift your summer wardrobe into early fall, we’ve dug up some tips for transitioning.

Layering always comes to mind, of course. But the layered look can start now.

The key is to keep textiles in the same family. Picture a long-sleeved top in a very thin, drapey fabric to wear with your summer pieces. A floaty jacket or lightweight shawl that pops over your head poncho-like are versatile options that are easy to slip on and off.

“If it’s cooler out, you just put one on over your dress and you have that extra layer,” said Stephanie Robb, owner of Turnstyle Designs, 298 Ashland Ave. at Lexington Avenue.

A few other suggestions:

• Give your T-shirts a rest. Instead, think printed blouses for late summer, early fall.

“Blouses are coming back again. A printed blouse with a colored jean is a nice look. It’s crisp and fresh,” said Pat Seitz, buyer at Danahy’s, a women’s specialty store in the Northtown Plaza in Amherst.

Printed tunics are another popular transitional item, Seitz said.

• Go for darker denim. Faded denim feels right for summer, but a darker jean looks more polished as the weather cools, especially when it’s a streamlined fit. Try a pair with one of those printed blouses.

• Rethink the shirtdress: The July/August issue of Ladies’ Home Journal shows a colorful printed shirtdress worn unbuttoned over a tank top and ankle-cropped jeans. Worn this way the dress, hemmed just above the knee, “looks like a chic summer coat,” the editors write. A lightweight, fringed scarf in a color pulled from the dress, leather belt, brown strappy sandals and beaded bracelets complete the look.

Lightweight scarves, in fact, are something to consider if you haven’t already. They simply finish off an outfit.

“We’re very big on scarves in beautiful, flowy thin fabrics,” Robb said.

Most are large enough to open up and wear as a shawl. Or you can fold, wrap, loop or knot it in many stylish ways. Robb recommends the YouTube video, “25 Ways to Wear a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes” for an amazing tutorial.

Infinity scarves – designed in one large loop – also continue to be popular, Seitz said.

• Count on sweaters: Cardigan sweaters are a great way to transform your dresses and sleeveless tops from summer to fall. They come in different lengths, colors, materials and styles, including those with three-quarter length sleeves. Some are so lightweight you barely know you’re wearing one.

• Make summer dresses work for cooler weather with hosiery or leggings and a more fallish shoe. Add one of those cardigans or pullover shawls, possibly even a long-sleeved shirt underneath depending on the dress style.

• Make a shift in wardrobe colors when the time feels right: Tobacco is a great transitional color, Robb said. Others include maroon, eggplant, camel, grays and shades of orange. Look for them even on lightweight fabrics to wear soon.

• A touch of animal print – in a belt or bag, perhaps – always works as a transitional accent.

• Change your nail polish color. In June and July, “it was mainly the brighter colors – the pinks, salmon – and a lot of French manicures, which we were also doing in colors such as soft pink,” said Mary Bonner, owner of the Main Attraction, 5355 Main St., Williamsville.

And, of course, everyone was doing white polish last spring.

Now, moving into August and September, taupe and sandy colors will be really big, Bonner noted. Next will come the darker shades – more brown colors and the classic Lincoln Park after Dark by OPI, which Bonner described as “an almost black with a deep hue of maroon.”

As for the popular look of two accent nails, Bonner suggests polishing nails in a sand color with a silver or gold sparkle on the ring fingers – or third toe for pedicures.

• Beef up your sandals a bit: There are many more weeks of sandal-wearing, but eventually you may want to swap your summery pastels, sunny brights and whites for tans, browns and black. Metallic leather is another good late-summer sandal option.

Nor were we kidding about those printed pumps – or flats. Shoe lovers may find them irresistible as they arrive in stores this month. Fall shoes have a way of doing that.