STYLE Savvy: Transitioning Your Closet to Fall


Fall is here! Fall is here! So says the weatherman, the temperature, and leaves that have landed in my yard. Unfortunately, my closet does not agree. This year, the warm weather went on and on (where I live, anyway), with fall teasing us here and there but not quite settling in until a week or so ago. Consequently, the clothes and shoes that are most easily accessible in my closet are a mishmash of summer and fall, sandals taking up residence beside boots, and the boots that are out (instead of still in boxes) never seeming to be the pair I need.

This not only makes getting dressed in the morning both frustrating and challenging, but also means that the contents of my closet have spilled out onto the bedroom floor. The clothes are all away, but the shoes … there’s just not room enough for summer and fall in the shoe section of my closet.

Transition times like this are a great time for taking stock, putting the one in/one out rule to work, and making some decisions.

To keep or not to keep? Whether it’s those new clearance rack acquisitions that got us through the endless summer temperatures or last year’s fall pieces we’re bringing out again, now is a good time to take a moment with each piece. Is it unique, or one of many just like it (a.k.a. how many white tee shirts does one person need?) Does it match anything you own, or, more important, is it still a fit for not just your body but also the style you want to embody this fall? Keep the best; lose the rest. If you have trouble parting with piles of clothes, try one in/one out — for every item you add to your closet, something has to go.

Store it so you can find it. Let your personal and organizational styles define both your systems and your containers. At its core, a closet is just a big rectangular space that can be outfitted so it suits you and your outfits. And, since closet contents change from one season to the next, our organizational systems might need to adjust as well. If you have lots to hang, go with the standard hanging rod. If you prefer to fold (or just like to see things), ditch the rod in favor of shelves or clear storage boxes. Labeled bins clue you into contents at a glance, while clear bins allow you take a peek before you dig. As is the case with what goes in those clothing bins, one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to closet organizers and systems.

Keep those transition pieces handy. Tired of trying on everything in your closet to put together an outfit that works for summer temperatures and a fall vibe? Take five minutes one evening or weekend afternoon to go through your closet and pull out transition clothes — clothing that’s lightweight enough to keep you cool but has enough heft or color to hint at fall. Then, give those pieces a place of honor in your closet, at least until the temperatures level off. Have ten minutes? Put away white slacks, strappy sandals and anything else that screams summer so that you’re not even tempted to use them as go-to pieces.

Fall is my favorite season, so I’m very happy that it seems to have (finally!) arrived. Thought I’ve been a little slow to keep pace with the change in seasons when it comes to my closet, I think it’s time to put these three ideas to work so that maybe, just maybe, the days I can get dressed “right” on the first try outnumber those where I leave a mishmash of rejected outfits in my wake.

"STYLE Savvy: Transitioning your closet to fall" by Lisa Hess (

Image credit: (2015), CC0 Public Domain

Copyright 2018 Lisa Hess


About Author

Lisa Lawmaster Hess has contributed articles to local, national and online publications, and blogs at The Porch Swing Chronicles, The Susquehanna Writers and here at She is the author of two non-fiction books (Acting Assertively and Diverse Divorce) and two novels, Casting the First Stone and Chasing a Second Chance. A retired elementary school counselor, Lisa is a lecturer in psychology at York College and enjoys singing with the contemporary choir at her church.

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