Fall dressing requires lots of layers, and packing for an autumn trip requires a little strategy. These fall layering pieces work for sunny days and chilly nights.
Everything is light, warm and packable, so you won’t add a lot of bulk to your body or weight to your luggage. And since everything fits neatly in a carry-on, it’s easy to stash a layer in your bag for when you’re out and about when the temperature drops.
1. Draped Cardigan:
Tissue-thin and ultra versatile, an open front draped cardigan one of my favorite fall layering pieces. Wear it closed and belt it, or layer it over summer tanks and tees for an added layer in cool restaurants and movie theaters.
Because it’s so thin, it’s easily stowed in a bag, which is perfect for traveling or for days with lots of temperature swings. It’s a part of my go-to flying outfit and it’s easy to dress up or dress down.
Some of my favorite fall layering pieces – photo by Eli Nelson
2. Matte Finish Tights
I live in matte tights when the weather gets chilly. They extend your summer dresses and skirts into the next season and add a necessary layer of coverage during the season of warm days and cool mornings.
This pair of reversible tights is absolutely genius, since you get two pairs of ultra wearable neutral tights for the price of one. They’re a great buy for traveling, when every inch of packing space matters.
3. Short Sleeved Sweater:
When it’s not cold enough for a regular sweater, but you still need some warmth, opt for a short sleeved sweater instead. It’s an excellent transitional piece and this is its season to shine. Invest in high quality merino wool or cashmere for a statement that will keep your warm for many autumns to come.
Try it with jeans or layered under a blazer or jacket — a look that works equally well for men and women. Or add a wrist full of chunky bracelets or layer a slim, long sleeved top underneath for added warmth and interest.
Vera Bradley Infinity Scarf
4. Colorful Scarf:
Knotted around your neck, it’s a focal point. But draped around your shoulders, a summer weight scarf can be surprisingly warm. If you wear a scarf for warmth, make sure it’s big enough to wear as a wrap if you need to.
You can also go with a smaller scarf if you’re already warm enough in a jacket or blazer. For maximum ease, opt for an infinity scarf like the one pictured above, which just happens to be from from Fort Wayne, Indiana’s own Vera Bradley.
Lest you think this wardrobe staple is only for women, my French style guide proves that both genders can rock this look. And in case you think you have to be European to pull off a scarf, this truck driving Wisconsin dude created this excellent 11 Ways of Tie A Scarf cheat sheet that I will totally be referring to this autumn.
5. Cozy Vest:
Add a pop of color and keep your core toasty by throwing on a vest. This is another of those fall layering pieces that works equally well for men and women.
A huge range of styles are available, from utilitarian safari-style numbers to elegant wool like the one I’m wearing in the photo at the top of this post. I also like the sporty vibe of a men’s puffer vest. It allows for several layers underneath, but it’s fitted enough that it won’t overwhelm your frame.
What about you? What are your go-to autumn layering pieces? How do you decide what to pack when you travel? What’s on your shopping list this season? What packing problems can I help you solve next?
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may get a small commission to use towards my own fall wardrobe if you buy after clicking on a link shown here. I only mention companies and products that I use and enjoy, and that I think you’ll like too.
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