The first day of fall hit us last week, and while the rest of the U.S. may have felt a chill in the air, the only thing Austin really noticed was that maybe the sun wasn’t as high at the pool at 5pm as it was in August. The equinox may mark the start of a new season, but in central Texas, it’s really just about the length of the days. The lingering heat means that dressing for fall in Austin is similar to dressing for summer in Austin, but with a few caveats.
For anyone who’s traveling into town for ACL Festival in October, or for Californians or New Yorkers who are experiencing your first full fall season in the city after a move here from the coasts, here are our tips for dressing for fall in Austin.
One thing about Austin in all seasons: we love our air conditioning. A second thing about Austin in all seasons: we love our outdoor venues. You can go from walking down Rainey Street at 101 degrees straight into the most frigid bar you’ll ever encounter, only to find yourself hopping to a patio that’s only slightly cooler than the asphalt thanks to shade and some intelligently placed misters 30 minutes later. The sweat on your face will freeze into icicles and melt any number of times throughout the trip, even at night, so your best option is to wear layers. We recommend minimal layers especially, which will allow the sweat from your stint at the picnic tables at Banger’s Sausage House to dry faster but also cover your shoulders when you move into the arctic blast that is Icenhauer’s indoor area. Our picks:
The Bruce & Olive Native Henley, which can go on over a tee shirt or tank top to add a lightweight layer, and be tied stylishly around the waist when not in use.
The Bruce & Olive 2nd Street Tank Top, which can be worn under a pearl-snap button-down, moto jacket, or any number of hot top layers.
Your dad’s denim jacket from the 80s, which will give your look a vintage feel.
Austin is far from a prudish town, and thanks to the abundance of warm weather, everyone loves to show a little skin. Beyond being a delight to behold, freeing more skin to the air allows for more evaporative cooling to take place when you’re out and about living your active life. It’s not uncommon to see women in bathing suit tops or sports bras throughout the summer, and there’s no reason to stop the trend in September or October, when we’re still hitting Barton Springs on the regular. And if done properly, you can take the look from the Azul Rooftop Pool at the Westin straight through to your cocktails at Midnight Cowboy. We recommend:
The Bruce & Olive Lady Bird Crop Top, which goes with everything from high-waisted denim shorts to a pencil skirt and heels.
The Bruce & Olive Eastsider Muscle Tee, whose exaggerated arm holes can show off your ribcage or give a glimpse of your favorite decorative bra.
An old band tee shirt you’ve taken the scissors to for thrilling cut-outs, matched with our Night Out Body Skirt, which has a slit to show just a little more of your leg.
Fall is boot weather in Austin, just like it is in any other self-respecting American town. But we do boots differently hear. You may see die-hard cowgirls wearing their best dress boots to the honky tonk on a sweaty evening in September, and those shin-covering fashion staples do make sense when you’re wandering out in an outdoor field like you might at Jester King Brewery or a show outside at Stubb’s BBQ. But unless you’re really trying to protect yourself from rattlesnakes, full cowboy boots are just going to add to your heat index. Instead, short boots are the way to go. The Chelsea boot is a classic, but feel free to get creative. Cropped cowboy boots come in all sorts of shapes, from a below-the-ankle bootie to a statement-making ankle boot. We recommend pairing these boots with:
The Bruce & Olive Barton Springs Shift Dress, which shows enough leg to give your boots the room they need to show off their true character.
Your ripped Levi 501s and the Soco Panel Tee, whose simple colors will let the rest of your outfit speak for itself.
Whatever your style, dressing for fall in Austin is a fabulous time to throw on new layers and textures, even if it’s not exactly sweater weather (just wait until after Halloween!). Want more style inspo? Follow us on Instagram—and tag us with your fave fall looks!