Styling Distressed Cut-off Shorts for Fall (because some of us live down South)

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As a Northern transplant, I can really appreciate a good crisp Fall – those cool windy gusts through the trees, the crunch of leaves underfoot, cozy scarves and sweaters…a mug of something warm in hand. I love it all. However, I now live in the South, and as much as I adore it down here, when Fall rolls around it’s usually still pretty warm, even as the leaves are turning golden and falling from the trees. Sometimes it surprises me, like…wait. It’s still Summer. Why are the leaves changing? This is weird. Nope. It’s just Fall in the South.

I’ve had to get a little creative with my outfits September – November, because I can’t not layer. Autumn without delicious layering? That just doesn’t even make sense. I HAVE TO. It’s engrained in me. So. In order to be able to get down with cool weather style in a warmer climate I just do a  bit of proportion play. Nothing crazy or ground breaking here. Sorry, ladies. ha. It is something that I’ve found works for me though and I wanted to pass on some simple ideas to any of you that find yourself in the same predicament – wanting to get all cozy with your outfits when you can’t realistically do so.

Tee + Long Cardigan

When approaching the Fall season, I always make sure to find a good, basic long cardigan. One that isn’t too heavy and can be thrown over anything. I usually have to buy a new one every year, because I wear it so often throughout the Fall and Winter that it gets a bit ragged by Spring. However, I’ve found that I can get by with something pretty affordable, so it works out.

There’s something about the length of a long cardigan with shorter bottoms. It’s fun and gives a Summer outfit just enough of a makeover to be Fall-worthy.

(Booties don’t hurt, either)

distressed shortsdistressed shortsdistressed shorts grey outfitcut off shorts and booties

outfit details

cardigan: BP. Lightweight Cardigan, sold out. – Madewell’s Kent Cardigan looks very similar. I always try to have a long, comfortable cardigan on hand every Fall & Winter. It’s a great every day throw on type of thing. (TTS)

See some of the others I found below…

top: Lush Raw Edge Side Slit Tee, almost sold out – Madewell has a “Whisper’ Cotton V-Neck Pocket Tee that looks similar. (wearing size Small)

shorts: AEO Hi-Rise Shortie – I was surprised with how much I ended up liking these, because they are short, but I think the hi-rise helps to even it out somehow. I feel comfortable in them! (wearing size 6, for reference…which is one size up for me)

shoes: Lucky Brand Kaiya Bootie, sold out.. 🙁 –  S swears by their perforated Kambry Bootie, though. I also like their Basel 3 bootie. Both are awesome for any everyday Fall outfits.

bag: Rebecca Minkoff Julian, navy (sold out) – BUT I love this black textured leather one with gold hardware. Gorgeous. Great for Fall & Winter.

earrings: N&S Signature Silver Gem Leather Earrings – lightweight, pretty and always get asked where my earrings are from when I wear any of my Nickel & Suede.

necklace: ‘Carrie’ necklace – my favorite necklace…wear it almost every day.

Pretty Tank + Pullover

Another thing that I’ve found invaluable during the Fall is a dependable, lightweight pullover sweater or sweatshirt. This has become pretty much a MUST for me. It’s easy to tie around the waist and, since it’s not chunky or heavy, it doesn’t pull down much and can be thrown on any time…when it gets a bit cooler (usually in the morning and evening around here).

I’ve been wearing it over tanks, especially my white lacy one (which helps to make me not feel like a shleppy mom that rolled out of bed at 6:30 to three kids with needs…so many needs). As a tank/tee + jeans gal, I definitely recommend investing in a pretty white tank top that can be worn with your basic bottoms. It makes a world of difference (for an outfit and your emotional well-being). Take it from me.

FYI: I wear sandals through September…and sometimes even October. I actually really like the boho look it gives Fall outfits. I would totally wear booties or even over-the-knee boots with all of this, too.  Some of you may like to ditch the sandals as soon as Labor Day has passed.

white lace tank
style shorts for fallwhite tank grey pulloverfall layering with shortscut off shorts with grey pullover sweater

outfit details

tank: ASOS Tank, old – just found this lovely white tank w/ lace detail…and it looks like the perfect simple feminine top to throw on with cut offs or jeans. (I wear a size 4 in their tops, usually).

Here’s a few other options…

bralette: Aerie bralette, out of stock – their Lace GRL PWR one is pretty darn similar. I go up to a size M in these (b/c I’m not 16 anymore). I wear their bralettes all of the time.

pullover: Hinge Tie Front Pullover (TTS), sold out now – this Gibson Cozy Fleece Pullover is very similar…and comes in a variety of colors.

Check out the others I found that would totally work, too…

shortsAEO Hi-Rise Shortie – I was surprised with how much I ended up liking these, because they are short, but I think the hi-rise helps to even it out somehow. I feel comfortable in them! (wearing size 6, for reference…which is one size up for me)

sandals: Sole Society Koko Strappy Sandal – one of my favorites. I wore them all Summer long. TTS.

earringsN&S Signature Silver Gem Leather Earrings – lightweight, pretty and always get asked where my earrings are from when I wear any of my Nickel & Suede.

bag: Rebecca Minkoff Julian, navy (sold out) – BUT I love this black textured leather one with gold hardware. Gorgeous. Great for Fall & Winter.

 

Basically, if I wear less on bottom…I wear more on top and vice versa.

I say all of this and, of course, it has actually been seasonably Fall-ish around here…which is weird. I have actually been able to wear jeans and a sweater already! Who knows, though. It could be in the 90’s tomorrow. I suspect I’ll be back in my cut-offs before too long.

Cheers,

Cams

‘Find me over on Instagram (@camilledipaola) for motherhood shenanigans, more outfits & home shtuff.

Photos by Ariana Clare.

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About Author

Wife, mama of 3, true believer in the importance of finding meaningful ways to stay sane(-ish) throughout motherhood, such as style blogging, making absurd videos on Instagram & hiding in the guest room. It's not always easy, but when it's hard...there's always Netflix. *peace sign*

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6 Comments

  1. great looks! thank you! tel me how is it that the darker booties don’t cut your leg and make you look stumpy? I fear that would happen to me…

  2. Thanks for this. I live in TN and this is just the type inspiration I needed, especially since I’m so tired of wearing shorts and t-shirts.

  3. These outfits are right up my alley and I’m glad you shared. It still feels like summer in Ohio! I want those booties! and btw, your hair looks so good.

  4. Cute outfits! I have the American Eagle midi shorts- they have some cool distressed washes, and come down a little lower on the leg.

  5. I live in Atlanta and it’s supposed to be 88 today and 90 damn degrees tomorrow. These outfits are great while we are waiting for sweater weather!

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