Fall 2021 Fashion Trends + How to Dress in Summer and Fall

A post about fall 2021 fashion trends and how to transition your summer clothes into fall outfits.

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August marks the start of the countdown to fall, when we can finally pull out our boots and cozy sweaters to make a mark on autumn fashion.

But it’s August, and in many places, it’s still hot outside. The days are sunny and sometimes humid, so the weather calls for appropriate fashion. Thankfully, fall 2021 fashion trends make it easy to transition our favorite summer pieces from summer to fall. Fall fashion in 2021 is all about colorful jackets, maxi dresses, rich colors, and our favorite slouchy bags and structured boots.

This post is all about fall 2021 fashion trends and what to wear as the seasons change from summer to fall.

Bookmark this page to find great styles and see updates as the season unfolds.

Fall Fashion 2021 Trends

So how can you achieve fall-inspired fashion during the dog days of summer? Start by incorporating fall 2021 color trends into your wardrobe.

Fall 2021 color trends

The emerging color trends that you need to know about for fall 2021 include rich shades of burnt orange, burgundy, emerald green, and muted blues like teal, and surprising, bright colors like electric blue, magenta, bright neon and sunflower yellow, red, pink, and gold accents. All black and winter white outfits are also in style.

These colors are exciting because it means that there is an outfit or accessory that can appeal to almost any style or taste. These are also great colors to wear during the transition from summer to fall seasons.

Fall 2021 pattern trends

Fall 2021 pattern trends include animal prints, polka dots and stripes, and plaid. Look for details on clothing and accessories like lace, buttons at the neck on tops, and button-down shirts. Pleated skirts will be great for layering with sleeveless tops or t-shirts and denim jackets.

Other fall 2021 fashion trends

Popular materials include vegan leather and leather.

Fall 2021 handbags are structured and feature details like gold chain handles. Summer 2021 handbags featured details like crochet-work and bunching that is still really cute to transition to fall.

One the shoe front, look for canvas sneakers, kitten heels, and pumps in vibrant colors. Don’t be afraid to let your shoes add a pop of color to your outfit. White boots and booties will be big shoe styles this fall. Sandals, mules, and cute sneakers make great transition shoes from summer to fall.

*Use your existing wardrobe to create fresh and easy summer / fall transitional outfits by adding a few key elements to your closet.

Summer maxi dresses, t-shirt dresses, mules and sandals, and canvas sneakers make great transition pieces when going from summer to fall fashion in 2021.

Add layers to transition from summer to fall

One of the best ways to transition summer clothes into a fall wardrobe is to add layers. Layering can be as simple as throwing a denim jacket over a t-shirt that you wear with a pair of shorts. Denim jackets also look great with maxi dresses, which will be in style this fall.

Find items that can be layered over your summer clothes to add warmth as the weather gets colder. Examples of great layering pieces include blazers, denim jackets, trench coats, and shearling jackets.

Items that are great to layer over include t-shirts, sleeveless tops, maxi dresses, t-shirt dresses, pleated skirts, denim shorts, summer denim, and Capri pants

Build onto your basic summer wardrobe

Hopefully, you have a good basic summer wardrobe to build on, but if you don’t, here are a few key pieces to start with. Good summer basics can be worn time and again, and form the basis of your summer-to-fall wardrobe. If you haven’t already, check out this post on building a basic summer wardrobe.

Good summer basics to have in your closet include

  • Sleeveless tank tops
  • White cropped denim pants
  • Denim shorts
  • Maxi dresses
  • T-shirt dresses
  • Sandals
  • Mules
  • Canvas sneakers
  • Handbag
  • Denim jacket

Some easy things to add to your basic wardrobe when transitioning to fall include:

  • T-shirts in fall colors
  • Pleated skirts
  • Slip dress or t-shirt dress
  • Denim jacket
  • Trench coat
  • Brightly colored shoes or heels
  • Platform shoes
  • Slouchy boots
  • Booties

These are items that you can layer to wear during the fall. A great (and cheap) way to bring current fall fashion styles to your closet is to add t-shirts or sleeveless tops in fall 2021 colors like burgundy, yellow, emerald green, or blue. Black t-shirts never go out of style and are great for including in an all-black outfit, which was a big trend on the fall 2021 runway. Winter white will be a big thing, so look for layering pieces in ivory, off white, and other great winter white tones.

Find a great jacket or blazer

While late summer days can be hot and humid, the evenings can be crisp and breezy. A jacket or lightweight coat can help you adjust your late summer fashion accordingly.

Colorful blazers were a thing this spring and summer, and the trend carries into fall. Blazers make a great transitional weather piece for wearing from one season to the next.

One trend that we loved this summer is that of layering a blazer over a tank top or t-shirt with jeans or a skirt. This is a great look to take into fall. Look for blazers in brilliant fall colors like pink, rich red, burgundy, burnt orange, bright blue, yellow, or emerald green.

Wear a bold, bright colorful blazer during the daytime or evening to brighten up your outfit. A blazer adds structure to an otherwise casual look.

Denim jackets and pleated skirts were a big trend during spring and summer 2021. Transition pleated skirts to fall by layering with a t-shirt and denim jacket or blazer. Once the weather gets cold, these skirts will look cute with oversized sweaters and turtleneck sweaters.


Practicality is the name of the game in fall 2021 handbag trends. Mini satchels, gathered bags, puffy bags, and slouchy clutch bags are all on trend. Look for folded leather details, too.

Shoes and outerwear

It’s still summer, so sandals and sneakers are still on point. Caged sandals were fashionable this summer and will look great as we transition to autumn. Mule sandals and slide sandals look great and can be very comfortable. Canvas sneakers will travel well into the cooler months.

A pair of mules is a great transition piece to wear for slightly dressy or casual dressy outfits. Clogs are making a comeback, and we love the look of leather clogs with late summer / early fall transition outfits.

Booties are back with a vengeance for fall fashion in 2021. White boots are also making a style statement this year, so start looking for the perfect pair now.

We love the trend of wearing emerald green coats, and a pea coat in this color would like fabulous and on trend for fall. An oversized red coat makes a bold statement, while coats in burnt orange and yellow give a laid back, bohemian vibe. Outerwear in bright colors helps to lighten up moody, cloudy fall days and adds drama to your outfit.

Trench coats will also be a big trend in fall 2021. Find the perfect trench coat to protect you from sudden changes in weather and to wear on rainy days. Bright color trench coats are fun to wear, while muted colors like brown and gray help tie together an outfit that is full of color, patterns, and life.

This post was about what to wear for fall 2021 fashion, using summer clothes from your closet to help make the transition between seasons.

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  • Photos are for illustrative purposes only.

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