Updated: Nov 16
By: Isabella Schneider
Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, I always looked forward to Fall. The season brought new fashion trends and I could never contain my excitement. I was ready to eagerly exchange my sandals for knee-high boots and spend hours trying on new coats.
Unfortunately, as a new resident of Arizona, I lack the luxury of a sudden temperature shift. As a result, it seems my enthusiasm for buying a fall wardrobe is long gone.
But, have no fear! There are still many trends that can be modified for residents living in warmer climates like Phoenix.
An extremely popular fall trend in the Midwest is a flannel button-down. They are often layered under denim jackets, or over sweatshirts. Many students at my high school even chose to participate in “Flannel Friday,” where everyone wore matching flannel jackets.
Flannel cardigans are the perfect substitute for the long-sleeved classic. The pattern definitely brings scarecrow vibes, but this flowy option strays from that image by being more delicate and feminine.
Additionally, the material keeps you warm without the extra heat of the sleeves. My style recommendation is to layer one on top of a lightweight plain short-sleeve tee or pair with a tank.
Overly Ripped Mom Jeans (Shein)
I’m obsessed with the mom jeans trend because of the vintage look it brings. However, I’ve found that this style is thicker and heavier than normal jeans due to the high-rise cut and bagginess.
To lighten the look and make them suitable for warmer climates, find mom jeans with lots of rips to limit the amount of fabric. This style allows you to keep the cut of mom jeans while reducing coverage in the heat. For colder days, you can layer them over bright tights to bring a pop of color.
Berets (Free people)
Back home in Chicago, fall marked the time to bring out gloves, hats, and infinity scarves. A popular choice of hat was a slouchy beanie. However, in Phoenix, it’s way too hot to wear one of these knit hats.
Berets follow the well-known slouchy beanie trend but have a tighter fit. They have a chicer style thanks to the heavy French influence.
They are great for warmer temperatures because they sit on top of the head without covering your ears. Choose one in a lighter color so they don’t absorb heat. By doing this, you will be able to avoid that awkward head sweat that some dark fabrics bring.
Pleather skirts (Urban Outfitters)
Skirts are an obvious must in warm weather. We’re lucky that in Arizona we can wear skirts year-round without the risk of getting cold. While the jean skirt is a popular summer trend, this fabric does not fall in line with the change in seasons.
An alternative to the classic jean skirt is leather. While leather can get incredibly sticky and uncomfortable, pleather skirts are another perfect option since they mimic the material without actually being made of animal skin. Their darker shade range also complements classic fall colors and is a versatile piece since they will match the hues in your new wardrobe.
Plaid uniforms have led the pattern to be commonly associated with school, and in turn, fall! This preppy school look can be perfected by pairing a plaid dress over a plain t-shirt.
Be sure to opt for reds and mustard yellows to adhere to a fall color palette. While plaid dresses and skirts are commonly sold in wool, they are also available in cotton, which is a much lighter fabric.
Booties (Ruby Claire Boutique)
Fall is obviously time to break out your fuzzy Uggs and thigh-highs, but these options are not the best in Phoenix’s weather.
However, booties are the perfect alternative shoe option. Short and lightweight, they keep your feet warm without suffocating them. Booties can compliment any outfit and you won’t have to face the struggle of tucking pants into thigh-highs.
Feather Earrings (Jane.com)
Feather earrings are a great statement accessory and they add zero weight to your look. You can choose the ones artfully shaped out of canvas or ones that are made out of actual feathers.
They come in perfect fall hues and resemble leaves which reminds me of Thanksgiving.
Overall, while the warm weather can be discouraging, it’s not impossible to craft a wardrobe suitable for fall in Arizona. Whether it be via fun accessories or simply eliminating sleeves, there are a plethora of ways to update your seasonal wardrobe.