Fall Cheat Sheet: How to Dress for Different Climates

7th Dec 2016

While fashion trends are set each year on runways in New York and Los Angeles, regional styles vary around the country. You can often discover where a person hails from based on how they speak as well as how they dress. At Pink Lily, we love to celebrate these variations as the spice of a fashionable life.

As part of our fall cheat sheet, we have compiled styles popular in the American north, south, east, and west to help you choose your favorite style. If you want to learn how to dress like a New Yorker, Californian, Southerner, or any other part of the country, read on to have fun and look the part in any city you’re visiting.

Southern Style at Its Best

Spring dresses

Southern flavors are about more than just grits and pecan pies—they’re also about how southern styles from states like Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama sizzle. Southern gals proudly put their outfits together like no one else and show the world how you dress southern.

Some of that style comes from southern sensibilities, and some of it is encouraged by the wonderful climate. While the North and Midwest are bundled up and shivering under threat of snow by the end of October, the South enjoys mild winters and a lot of fashion latitude. Below are a few must-have styles that can get you through any event south of the Mason-Dixon line this fall.

Bright Pastels

Often called sherbet colors, you’ll never learn how to dress southern without an array of these soft, bright hues. While some fashionistas in other parts of the country reserve these colors for spring, they are in style all year round and are a hallmark of southern femininity. Shine like the autumn sun in Pink Lily’s pastel dresses. Elegant and stylish, with lightly ruffled sleeves and a gorgeous drape, southern style dresses are perfect for a fall party or a date night.

Flowers All Year Round

Floral prints are a key 2016 fashion trend and part of learning how to dress southern. The southern fashion scene has been ahead of this curve for more years than we can count, since flower prints are a regular part of the wardrobe. Freshen up your florals with our floral dresses in beautiful olive hues, baby blue shades, and burgundy colors. Our dresses match fall’s color palette perfectly.


The southern climate also means perfect weather for high heels year round. With little to no snow to trudge through, and plenty of sun to keep your toes warm, try out a pair of open toe, wedge booties. Wedges can dress up a classic jeans outfit or set off a dress for a night out on the town.

A Classic Purse

We can follow the latest trends, popular in various parts of the country, but learning how to dress southern means finding accessories that allow you to make every outfit your own. Unique aspects are especially true when it comes to purses and handbags, so monogram yours in true southern style. Whether you are a clutch kind of girl or you prefer a cross-body bag with a sparkling strap, Pink Lily has the perfect purse for you, wherever your adventures take you.

Pearls, dress and purse


For those special events like engagement parties, weddings, and christenings, pearls are a staple when learning how to dress southern. The traditional single strand of pearls still wins compliments, but for those who also want to try a modern take on the classic strand, try Pink Lily’s multi-string necklace—it’s a true twist on your grandmother’s pearls.


Perhaps monogramming reminds us of the refined and genteel fashions of past generations. Whatever the reason, when you’re practicing how to dress southern, stitch your initials on your wardrobe. At Pink Lily, we offer monogramming on everything from purses and hats to koozies and boots.

Dresses & Boots

When you’re wondering about the most quintessential part of how to dress southern, think of mixing and matching your favorite pieces and styles. This means you should feel completely free to wear your favorite knee boots with a plaid dress. The combination makes clear a southern gal’s softest and toughest sides. Find pieces with pockets, statement buttons, and wrap around shirts. Once you’ve picked out your magic dress and boot combo, get in on this season’s trend to wear extra-long socks that are slightly longer than your boots.


Accessories are essential for any girl just learning how to dress southern. Remember to accessorize for style and warmth and to find pieces that speak to you. Browse our selection of fall hats including beanies and floppy hats to find something you love. Accessorize even more with scarves to keep your neck warm. Add a layer of style to any outfit with a knit or plaid infinity scarf.

Wide leg pants, hat, scarf

Billowing Pants

Even when dressing southern, sometimes a girl just wants to wear pants to work or a night out. This doesn’t mean that she has to miss out on the flattering drape of a billowy fabric. For a chic and feather-light pair of paints, try wide legged pants in black. This season you can stick with the eternally popular black pants, or dip back into bright colors. While other parts of the country may be all about skinny jeans at the moment, stay comfortable and stylish with loose fitting, high-waisted trousers.

Loose fitting pants pair really well with a large selection of shirts, like a crop top that allows you to show off your tanned shoulders or a tee for casual, relaxed style. You can also wear a knitted sweater or a flowing blouse, depending on your mood.

Northern Fashion Adventures

For those who dare to visit the northern states, like Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin, you need to be prepared for the fall. The weather can be extremely unpredictable. Pack for rain, snow, and hot weather, just to have all your bases covered. Explore these northern tips to be the best dressed tourist on your next visit.


Lightweight Skirts

Maxi skirts and dresses are some of the most popular northern outfits, as they can be layered for the cold or worn on their own for the heat. A black and oatmeal damask maxi skirt is charming and comfortable and allows you to dress for all weather. Lightweight material is perfect for warm days and it’s easy to add layers on days when the weather unexpectedly turns chilly. If it gets really cold, top the skirt with a cozy sweater and finish the ensemble with booties or boots.

For those sporadic northern hot days, keep a romper and mini skirt on hand. A suede, scalloped mini-skirt is both modern and rustic with its soft material and modern cut.

Military Cuts

Our northern neighbors also love military styles for jackets and pants, so top your outfits with army jackets and combat boots. The cooler days in the northern fall give you plenty of opportunities to show off your favorite vests. Embrace wool, quilted fabrics, and fur and make sure to play with vest length with waist, hip, or knee length vests.

A Bite of the Big Apple

If your sights are set on the east coast, fashion trends from New York rule the eastern seaboard. As a non-New York native, it can be hard to learn how to dress for New York weather. They’re known to be sophisticated and edgy, but you should pay close attention to find fun details and soft lines sneaking their way into those hard eastern edges. Check out some of these classic East Coast choices to dress like a real New Yorker.


Denim Obsession

Dressing for New York weather means preparing to spend a lot of time in the cold. While dressing for the snow may not be ideal, layering can be lots of fun. Every east coast hipster’s closet has plenty of denim and chambray shirts to allow for layering without bulkiness.

Leather to Top it Off

The key point to many east coast fashion is simplicity, so collared shirts dress up any outfit with a sleek and easy vibe. To layer it, choose a cropped leather jacket that has a modern, trendy feel. A mock collar is cute and pairs well with collared shirts, turtlenecks, and the classic tee.

Earthy Tones

Whether you love feminine, A-line, or patterned skirts, you’ll fit right in with those who already know how to dress for New York weather. Since you might find yourself waiting on a subway platform in chilly weather, dressing properly requires adding an extra layer under your skirt with black leggings, sheer tights, or if you all about this year’s fashion trends, fall colored tights. This year’s colors are earth tones, especially brown, olive, and deep, warm colors like burgundy and burnt orange.  

The Trench Coat

We would be remiss if we did not mention the classic and ever-stylish trench coat when teaching you how to dress for New York weather. This long-time staple on the east coast, once belonged to the realm of businessmen before being adopted and elevated by artistic and avant-garde fashion lovers. Classic trench coats used to be light brown or gray, but today, monochromatic coats are in style—whether they’re black, plaid, or in bright colors, including orange, burgundy, and blue.

California Girls

California and its neighbors, like Arizona and Nevada, are known for their year-round, gorgeous weather. As the rest of the country begins to layer and pull out their cold weather staples, not much changes in the southwest. Dressing like a local in Los Angeles and other major southwestern cities is pretty easy since there’s not a lot of transition from summer to fall. Learning how to dress like a local in Los Angeles means wearing mini-skirts, dresses, sandals, and tees well into November, and maybe even for the fall and winter holidays.

Dresses are Still In

With fall temperatures hovering in the high sixties and low seventies, dress in your favorite summer and spring fashions, with light layers and sweaters. Choose long sleeve dresses and semi- sheer sweaters.

Mock Turtlenecks

The weather may be a bit too warm for a true turtleneck, but a sleeveless turtleneck with an asymmetrical cut is stylish and weather appropriate. You can also choose a mock turtleneck cut with a neckline that falls high up on your neck without folding over like the traditional style.

Turtleneck tops

LA Outerwear

Just because the southwest doesn’t experience much seasonal variation, doesn’t mean the local fashionistas don’t enjoy making good use of fall colors. Dress like a local in Los Angeles in a burgundy jacket, gray leather jacket, or in red ponchos. They highlight the best of this season’s trends, with plaids, unique materials, and colors in deep hues.

Pink Lily Can Help

Let this fall cheat sheet you guide you in your travels this season, whether you need to learn how to dress southern or how to dress for the weather in New York. If you’re venturing to the northern states, New York, or LA, stay on trend with help from Pink Lily and try the new pieces and the latest styles for fall 2016.