While the idea of layering a cotton summer dress for fall sounds great in theory…in reality, it’s actually pretty tricky. Lightweight cotton dresses can look ‘off‘ when paired with fall’s cozy wool knits, and a black leather jacket often overwhelms this light fabric. (Oddly enough, linen and silk — or silky rayon fabrics — are easier to pair with black leather than cotton.)
But all of this doesn’t mean a lightweight cotton summer dress can’t be worn once the weather cools, it just means that it’s gotta be layered…strategically.
Since so many of you have invested in our Voloshin X TME Carina dress (thank you!!), I thought it would be the perfect cotton summer dress to play around with. (And for those of you still thinking about pulling the trigger on the last remaining sizes…they’re all 35% off.)
Outfit Idea 1: Layer Over A Tee, Add Sneakers
Outfit Idea 2: Add a Denim Jacket
Cotton sundresses were made for denim jackets. And I love the sporty vibe that the tee, sneaks and denim jacket all provide.
Outfit Idea 3: Style With A Turtleneck + Vans
This outfit is in the same vein as the tee & sneaks, but with a twist. The black turtleneck — which could easily overwhelm a cotton summer dress — is balanced by a pair of classic Vans. While I love my sweater-knit black turtlenecks, the one I want here is the slightly more sheer, layering kind. (And of course add a denim jacket.)
Outfit 4: Knot A Layering Thermal Over the Dress
Know those cozy thermal long sleeve tops? Free People makes a bunch. Throw one on over the dress and knot it at the waist. You could finish with Vans or sneaks…but I’m kinda loving this look with a pair of taupe booties.
Outfit 5: Pair With A Tie-Front Cardigan + Tall Boots
One of the issues with layering cotton summer dresses is that many of them nip in at the waist…then flare out. This often means that big ‘ol slouchy cardigans — the ones that obscure the waist — can look dumpy. Enter a tie-front cardigan. This bad boy can be tied right where the dress nips in — there’s usually enough wiggle room with the ties to really line it up with the waist of the dress. I especially like this look with tall boots.
Outfit 6: Grab An Old Gray Sweatshirt + Clogs
There’s something about the tone and texture of gray sweatshirts that make them a freaking perfect layer for cotton summer dresses. To elevate the look a bit, try throwing on with a pair of clogs (although any tan sandal would work).
Outfit 7: Army Green Jacket + Midi Boots
I know most of you guys already have one of those lightweight, army-green jackets in the back of your closet somewhere. These things are a perfect topper for a little cotton summer dress. I really like them with fall’s new midi boots…especially in a lighter shade. The result is rather unexpected and fresh.
Outfit 8: All Hail The Classic Trench
If ever there was a situation where the trench coat is really clutch, it’s this one. The trench coat is mayyyybe the best possible option for layering over summer dresses in the fall. Add boots (of any color and shaft height), and the resulting look is chic and perfectly transitional.
Do I need to mention that a scarf works over all of these looks? Nah — you guys know that.
Hope this helps!