It’s around this time of year when an awful thought begins to creep into every woman’s mind: I have nothing to wear. Our favorite dresses need to be dry-cleaned, we’ve worn and re-worn the rest of our summer wardrobe to oblivion, and it’s not yet chilly enough to break out our fall sweaters that have been waiting in the wings. Instead of panicking and buying an armful of tank tops and skirts on sale—pieces you’ll wear for a week or so before they’re forgotten in the back of your closet—now is the time to get creative with what you’ve got.
Those utility pants you’ve been wearing with crop tops and sandals since Memorial Day? Try them with a silk button-down instead. Your worn-it-a-million-times floral dress can be remixed with combat boots, while your white wide-leg jeans can be paired with ivory booties and a sweater for a dose of Victoria Beckham–level chic. (Yes, for the record, you can wear white jeans after Labor Day.) As for your new oversized blazer, if you really can’t wait until fall to wear it, try layering it over long shorts, not trousers.
Those are just a few of the formulas we’ve come up with for our late-summer, early-fall outfits, each inspired by a photo taken on the streets of New York, Paris, Tbilisi, and beyond. Next time you’re standing in front of your closet feeling uninspired, pull up these three- or four-step combinations, and you’ll be out the door in minutes. Shop all nine of our favorite looks below.
Silk Shirt + Utility Pants + Low Boots = Practical Magic
Colorful Knit + Statement Pants + Bright Bag = Low-Key Eclectic
Denim Jacket + Floral Dress + Combat Boots = Prairie Punk
Chic Cashmere + Ivory Jeans + White Boots = Cozy Minimalist
Shirt Jacket + Turtleneck + Denim Skirt = Loose Layers
Boxy Blazer + Culottes + Chunky Sandals = ’80s Androgyny
Leather Jacket + Khaki Skirt + Novelty Bag = Arty Safari
Trench Coat + Midi Dress + Boots = Seasonless Staples
T-shirt + Trousers + Sneakers = Classics With a Twist
Originally Appeared on Vogue