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Summer might be in its final month, but that doesn't mean the urge to go out and buy an easy, flowy dress has subsided. We here are of the mindset that there's still dresses to be bought, especially since by now, most of them are on sale. And we're firm believers that you can wear them come fall, because guess what: That's what tights are for. Here's 12 of our top dress picks to take you through the next season.
1. Matthew Williamson orange/purple twisted pleat kaftan dress, $362 (was $1,205) at Stylebop.com: Sheer is always a bit of a problem in the summer, because not only do you have to find a bra that looks okay when visible, but you have to be concerned about underwear too. And it's hard for this to not look slutty. But thankfully, in the fall, sheer gets a little easier, with the option of layering high-waisted opaque tights or leggings underneath a dress. You can still let the bra peek out.
2. Steven Alan "Fairchild Dress," $169 (was $248) at Steven Alan: Why should whimsical only be reserved for summer? Come fall, this little number can easily be paired with a coat in the brown family of the same length, preferably with a princess skirt for extra volume.
3. Missoni "Alphonsine" beaded shift dress, $5,667 (was $8,096) at Boutique1: In the summer, this beaded Missoni shift balances out the fact that it's probably really heavy with the fact that it's sleeveless, so you're not totally weighed down. Since the print is pretty out-there, in a seventies kind of way, layer it up with a black turtleneck, or really, any other color that's in the pattern will do.
4. Tibi "Farrah" beaded short dress," $359 (was $512) at Boutique1: Since color blocking is alive and well, this emerald green dress that would normally only be appropriate in June can smoothly make a move into fall. Keep it going with the color, with purple tights and a yellow cardigan. (Or one of those two, if you're not ready to jump in head first.)
5. Cynthia Rowley "Confetti Flirt Dress," $189 (was $365) at Cynthia Rowley: This dress is just begging for a leather jacket, and what better time to throw one on than when the weather starts to get chilly. Until then, wear it without.
6. Holly Fulton "Bird Eating-Print" cotton dress, $712 (was $1,423) at Matches: All the mod print of this shift needs is a pair of black tights, and a neutral colored blazer for another layer in the fall. Best to go with gray and bring out that soft pink.
7. Sonia by Sonia Rykiel "Sailor Dress," $312 (was $446) at FarFetch: Themes work best in the summer, when wearing a sailor dress makes sense cause you might end up on a boat somewhere. But in the fall, if you're going to do something like this, you've got to go all out. A short red pea coat will keep you looking all American.
8. Risto "Flared Long Dress," $429 (was $715) at Les Nouvelles: Here's the great thing about long dresses in the fall: You can wear whatever you want under them. Nobody's going to know if you have one pair of tights on, two pairs of tights on, or even pants on underneath. Let your legs breathe in the summertime, but when it gets cool, layer up with tights and a cropped leather jacket.
9. D&G "Sd1934-Ts5dj Floral Dress," $725 (was $1,450) at Coggles.com: Floral dresses are always appropriate for summer BBQs, but pair it with a solid blazer—navy in this case—and you've got something to wear once summer Friday's are a thing of the past.
10. AllSaints "Bleach Breton Maxi Dress," $73 (was $145) at AllSaints: Though it's clingy, this AllSaints maxi dress is also very lightweight, so you're not going to sweat in it through the rest of August. But in the fall, it's a simple silhouette to load a bunch of other stuff onto. A leather will do just fine, but consider an oversize grandpa (or grandma) cable-knit cardigan, to balance out the tight fit of the dress.
11. Surface to Air "Nexa" dress, $121 (was $202) at Les Nouvelles: A pomegranate summer dress deserves rich brown boots in the fall. And a cardigan, belted at the waist.
12. Theyskens' Theory sleeveless halter dress, $319 (was $530) at Barneys: This dress is evening-pretty, but if you want to wear it during the day, a cropped blazer with the sleeves rolled up will take it down a notch.