How to Wear More Colors This Fall

Every year, it seems as though summer will last forever…until it doesn’t. Unless you live in a stupendously warm climate, it’s a reality we have to face every year: the leaves will change, the mercury will dip, and the party will end.

If that sounds like too much of a bummer, remember this: fall is one of the best times of year to experiment with your style. Consider that you get to add new layers, try new clothes, and wear long pants again. And if you’re like your sartorial counterparts further north, you love adding fall colors to your wardrobe.

But what is a fall color, why should you add it to your wardrobe, and how do you pull it off?

Fall Colors: A Primer on the Changing Season in Your Wardrobe

It’s tempting to tell you that colors like pumpkin, maroon, pine green, and brown are the quintessential fall colors (which they are) and be done with it. But not all of us live near abundant pumpkin orchards. Some of us live in warmer climates, and wearing colors that reflect the palette of autumn in Maine might not reflect what’s going on in the world of fashion in South Carolina.

So here are some variables to consider:

  • Hue is the quality of the color itself, the “visual flavor” of what you’re wearing. An obvious switch between summer and fall might be moving from white to dark blue, for example. Basic autumn hues include navy, forest green, maroon, brown, beige, orange, red, and grey.
  • Saturation is the strength of the hue, the vividness of the overall color. In fall, your saturation levels should drop a bit for a more muted look, aside from the occasional piece. A bright, vivid red vest can work in fall, as long as it’s muted by the low-key saturation of your other layers.
  • Texture might not be a factor in the color of the fabric, but it will affect the quality of the entire piece. Wool tends to rear its head in fall (especially in northern states), and cotton is abundant.
  • Patterns are also important, as a “Fair Isle” pattern will look much more appropriate in cooler weather thanks to its association to warmer clothes.

Putting Together a Fashionable Fall Outfit

What can you do with this information? We recommend starting out with simply adding one different piece to your wardrobe. Look for earthy tones (the aforementioned “fall colors” in addition to standards like navy, grey, and beige) and incorporate them into your daily wear.

The common advice is not to wear white after Labor Day, and though it’s highly possible to break that rule without anyone noticing, we’d recommend trying the rule on for size as you get your bearings. If that’s not possible, try muting the white in your wardrobe; for instance, put a grey sweatshirt over that white OCBD to add warmth and texture to an outfit.

Other fall items you’ll want to consider if the temperature is dropping:

  • Cardigans
  • Sweaters (especially fair isle and fisherman sweaters)
  • Charleston Khakis 

Don’t remake your wardrobe all at once; simply procure an item or two that you can layer as fall turns into winter. This slow transition won’t only help you dip your feet in the autumn “pool,” but will help you learn just how much changing one variable can change an entire outfit. Shop the full collection at Berle for your fresh fall look today!