Hang on to summer with transitional styles

Nicole by Nicole Miller's skirt in a fun

Nicole by Nicole Miller's skirt in a fun animal-print, a trend that was all over the spring-summer 2013 runways, gets the fall treatment with a chunky black sweater and opaque tights; skirt, $20, sweater, $25, necklace, $28 at select JCPenney stores (Credit: Handout)

As summer nears to a close, -- so sad -- it's almost time to bid farewell to the surf, sand and sun.

But there is one piece of summer you don't have to give up: your favorite fashions. From floral-print frocks to shorts to white linen pants (yes, even after Labor Day), it's possible to flawlessly integrate summer staples into an on-trend autumn wardrobe.

Layering is key. Start with a favorite summer piece, say, a flowing, floral-print maxi dress. Instead of wearing it solo with sandals, autumn-ize it with a chunky knit sweater and booties, says Lori Bergamotto, contributing style editor of Lucky magazine. "Florals are always associated with springtime and summertime," Bergamotto says. "To transition into fall, add a chunky knit, which keeps the florals from looking too ladylike."

A leather jacket or vest is another must-have layering piece.

"I'm going leather-crazy for fall," says celebrity stylist Jessica Paster, who's worked with Miranda Kerr and Emily Blunt.

Wear a leather jacket -- choose from a rainbow of neutrals, from tan to burgundy to classic black -- over a summer dress or shorts, says Paster, also a style expert for JustFab.com. Add a scarf in a dark color to further make the summer-to-fall transition, says Heidi Hoelzer, vice president of women's for Scoop NYC.

Speaking of shorts, they can be rocked well into fall. Denim, black, tweed and waxed denim are all fall-appropriate picks. "The rule for wearing summer shorts into fall is that you have to make sure the top feels substantial and season- appropriate," says Tom Mora, vice president of women's design for J.Crew. "Opt for a schoolboy blazer or a thicker, knit sweater."

Spring into fall

'The new rule in fashion is that there are no rules," Bergamotto says.

While a pair of white sandals may not work for fall, white pants certainly do. Bergamotto loves white linen pants or a long white linen dress paired with a chunky fisherman's sweater and booties.

White jeans also can be kept at the front of your closet. Heidi Hoelzer, vice president of women's for Scoop NYC, suggests pairing them with a black blazer and black booties, embracing spring and summer's huge black-and-white trend that's still going strong for fall.

Regarding typical summer hues, neons and pastels can stick around, just in different incarnations. Instead of making neon your main style statement, like in summer, use it as an accent in fall, says Bergamotto. Pick a neon accessory or wear a bright blouse under a black blazer.

Pastels work when they are offset by richer hues like rust, burgundy or navy blue, says Tom Mora, vide president of women's design for J.Crew.

Bergamotto likes mint green and other pastels paired with warm coffees and caramels. "Think of a box of French macaroons," she says.

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