Dressing for Fall in a Warm Climate

Need this olive green dress

It’s officially Fall! October is here, pumpkins are everywhere, anddddd it is still 100 degrees outside. Well, at least it is in Arizona. Living in a warm climate is amazing in so many ways, but it is hard to dress for the seasons. In particular, Fall is the toughest one for me since I’m over my summer clothes, but literally start sweating thinking about sweaters. It’s like they were named as such by someone who lives in the desert in Fall. Maybe I should ask Siri the history behind the term “sweater”, but I’ll leave that thought for another day.

The perfect fall dress

I actually wrote a similar post back in 2016 for a local moms blog. That post has some good tips, but since fashion is ever-changing, it is time for an update. I’m excited to partner with Tempe Marketplace to bring you some fall fashion tips for 2018. Whether you live in the valley or are just looking for warm weather suggestions, I’ve got a few good ones for you today.

The denim jacket is perfect around the waist

When I first moved to AZ over 8 years ago, I somehow pictured Arizona stores only carrying shorts and swimsuits year-round. Nope. They carry the exact same things as in other locations. As in ones with real Fall weather. Retailers are making us work to find things we can wear now vs. on Christmas Eve when the weather finally cools down.

I hit up Tempe Marketplace this week and found a whole bunch of outfits that are perfect for Fall in the Valley of the Sun. Keep reading for details.

This shirt dress is adorable

1. Grab a dress. I’m always cooler when I’m not wearing pants. Just because it is Fall doesn’t mean jeans are a requirement. There are a lot of cute dresses out in stores right now that will give you a fall look, yet they still have adequate ventilation. I found this olive green shirt dress at the H&M at Tempe Marketplace for only $30 and knew it had to be mine. I rolled up the sleeves to cool things down a tad more and bam, I look dressed for Fall. I’m personally partial to dresses, but rompers or jumpsuits are good options, too.

Love the open toe slides

2. Tie something around your waist. Easy enough, right? It really is that simple. Even though I’m not wearing the denim jacket in this picture, my jacket gives the impression I have on layers. I love this trick with dresses or even denim shorts and a simple t-shirt. Another personal favorite is a flannel shirt tied around my waist. I found the cutest pink flannel at the Nordstrom Rack at Tempe Marketplace (see below). This is my standard fall uniform when I hit up the pumpkin patch!

Flannel is one of my fall favorites

3. Change up your color scheme. Just because it is hot out doesn’t mean you need to stick to summer colors. Look for tank tops, t-shirts or dresses in colors like burgundy, olive green, mustard yellow, navy blue or burnt orange. These are all super popular again this Fall which makes them easy to find in stores. This is exactly what I did with my olive green shirt dress. I also love the simple burgundy tee (see below) which I found for only $10 at H&M. Bonus, when it actually cools down, you can wear these items underneath a jacket or sweater!

Love this outfit for a warm climate

Love this simple burgundy tee

4. Trade your jeans for a jean skirt. I’ll be the first to admit when I saw denim skirts coming back into style, I just couldn’t imagine wearing them again. I was in college when they were popular the first time around and I felt old even thinking about them. But I gave this trend a shot and realized it is a fun way to get out of my usual denim cut-off shorts. See here and here for a few easy ways to style a denim skirt. Pick a length you are comfortable in and go for it. There is no age limit on fashion.

5. Seek out short sleeve options. I know that sounds obvious, but there is no rule that states you must wear a sweater to the pumpkin patch. There are a lot of adorable short sleeved options out right now, you just have to look a tiny bit harder. I stumbled upon this cute floral top at Nordstrom Rack and adore this mustard color velvet t-shirt from Old Navy. Perfect for Fall – no sleeves required.

Florals are always a hit in fall

Love this velvet tee

6. Pack away the summer sandals. Well, most of the time at least. I promise I won’t tell if I see you in flip flops at school drop off. There are so many cute fall shoe options out right now which are perfect for warm climates. Slides, open toe booties or mules are in regular rotation at my house. My open toe slides from the photos above came from Target at Tempe Marketplace and match with so much. Plus the feel like sandals. Win win.

Out of everything I saw in my shopping trip at TM, the shoes were the toughest to resist. I walked into The Buckle and left drooling over this mule wall:

I'll take one of each please

Nordstrom Rack and Old Navy were also slaying the shoe game. Nordstrom Rack had some amazing pairs by Vince Camuto for under $80, and Old Navy had a fall rainbow of heeled mules for under $30. I take one of each! #iwish

Need these black mules for fall

These open toe booties are adorable

These heeled mules are adorable

Even though Fall is here, there is no reason to keep sweating our booties off (get it?!).

Anyone have other good tips they’d like to share? Leave me a note in the comments below!



  1. Girl, I feel you! It’s still 100 degrees here too and I’m OVER IT. This is a great transitional outfit!

  2. I just bought that same pink flannel top at Nordstrom Rack and love it! I’m in SoCal so I have the same issue– so many cute fall styles but can’t really wear them in the heat. Love the looks you put together!

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