What to Wear in 90-Degree 'Fall' Weather

Fall is arguably the best season for fashion. It’s that perfect medium where layers are a viable option for any outfit, but it’s not so cold outside that you have to cover yourself from head to toe. Fall is all about being able to mix your favorite fashion pieces. You can be creative with your outfits in a way that summer fashion just doesn’t allow.

In Gainesville, Florida, fall doesn’t really exist. Adding any sort of layer to an outfit can result in a sweaty mess, so we often end up playing it safe in our Florida fall fashion. Shorts and a t-shirt are our tried and true, but that doesn’t mean they’re our only option for fall. I’ve put together six outfits as examples of how to dress for a Florida fall to stay cool, while still implementing staple fall fashion elements (Disclaimer: each outfit has items linked in the description that are like the pieces shown in the picture, however they are not necessarily the same pieces).

1. Not-So-Sweater Weather

Wearing a sweater in the Florida weather isn’t impossible if you find the right kind. The short sleeves on this turtleneck sweater make it possible to be worn in the sticky humidity. Mock neck sweaters (like this one) are an easy way to implement fall fashion into your wardrobe while staying away from outfits that aren’t breathable. This forest-green sweater from Loft is the perfect earthy tone to step into winter fashion, where dark clothing reigns supreme.

I chose to pair the sweater with a dark-wash denim skirt to keep with the vibe of darker clothing. Switching from a lighter, summer denim to a darker, fall denim is a way to move your wardrobe into a new season.

2. Light Layers

This summer was huge for striped crop tops. Luckily, there’s no reason to put them away just yet. An advantage to Florida fall is that you can add light layers to your summer pieces to turn them into a more dynamic fall outfit. Add a cardigan to a simple tank top, and throw on your favorite ripped jeans for a breezy fall outfit. Any pair of shoes will do with this outfit – you could wear black Birkenstocks, like pictured, or if you’re really feeling the fall vibes, add your favorite booties. Accessories are important when wearing a simple outfit like this. You can try out a large pair of sunglasses and your favorite black purse for a simple, yet eye-catching look.

3. Denim Days

Overalls can be worn in every season because they can be easily layered or worn on their own. Since summer is still working its way out of Gainesville, I chose to wear this denim dress on its own. Denim will always be in style, but it holds a special place in the heart of fall fashion. I’m wearing a simple maroon bandeau underneath for a pop of a warm fall color. Once Gainesville starts to cool down, a sweater or a simple long-sleeve shirt can really take this denim dress into the fall/winter season. For accessories, I chose to add a simple white headband, my favorite cross body and warm-toned sandals.

4. (Tank)Topping the Charts

I think sweater tank tops are the best of fall and summer fashion. They are cool and comfortable, while also being inherently more interesting than a simple cotton tank. Texture and textile are ways to add in fall elements without overheating. Ribbed shirts are very in right now, but I really love the color blocking on the pictured tank. This perfect fall sweater tank from Forever 21 has ‘60s vibes that adds an extra layer of interest. This black corduroy skirt gives a cool contrast to the tank top’s ribbed fabric. Add a pair of black mules to make this outfit a bit more formal. 

4. Too-Faced Fashion

T-shirt dresses are flirty and comfortable alternatives to classic, formal dresses. I love this t-shirt dress because its large graphic makes it different than a plain or striped t-shirt dress. It’s also black, which is in line with the darker colors of fall. Layering t-shirt dresses with extra pieces like sheer tights make it look like you put in more effort than you did.

This outfit is simple, but its accessories put it more into the fall fashion category. The oversized denim jacket makes the look more grunge, while the white Converse keep the look a bit sweet. A denim jacket is a staple piece that I think everyone should own, as they instantly make any outfit look more fashionable. I chose to pair these sunglasses with this dress because they have a cartoonish vibe that I thought fit well with the intense graphic of the dress.

6. Varsity Level

Athleisure is a big part of campus fashion. The easiest way to move an athleisure outfit out of a simple tank top and shorts is (again) layering. By adding more pieces to an outfit, it automatically becomes more visually fascinating. If you get too hot, all you have to do is tie your jacket around your waist, and it still looks like a put-together outfit. I chose these gray leggings because they automatically catch your eye more than regular black leggings. The orange sports bra is paired with a vintage Florida varsity jacket. The jacket in the photo was found at a local thrift store. Gator gear and layering pieces are extremely cheap at thrift stores. This outfit is casual enough to wear to the gym or to study in. The JanSport backpack and Nikes are simple additions that make the outfit sporty and comfortable.

These outfits are reminders that fall can still be reflected in your wardrobe, even if it feels like 100 degrees outside. Fall fashion is a time to get creative with your looks, and darker colors and layering are easy ways to add in some spice to your looks. Fashion is a lot like a puzzle. You just have to decide what fits together best for you.