There were three pieces I wore all summer long that I love so much, I want to keep wearing them into fall.

Here they are, and here’s how you can rock them into autumn, too.

Old Navy Jean Jacket

Dark jean jacket. Denim is a perennial style staple, but this year’s focus is on the jacket. Not the washed-out look from years past, mind you, but one that’s polished and tailored. It should be dark blue, simple and well-fitted (not boxy!), with a bit of stretch. Some nice options are available from Levi’s ($88), NYDJ ($140) and (at right) Old Navy ($40). You can wear a dark-blue denim jean jacket over an airy floral dress, with black slacks or tan khakis and a crisp white shirt, or even over an LBD (little black dress) for a night out. Think of it as a hip addition to your closet — and as something you’ll wear through summer and into the fall.

Tote bag. Women carry around more stuff than men — why is that, by the way? — so thank God for handbags! (Or “purses” or “pocketbooks,” depending where you live.) And now that we can’t seem to leave home without our iGadgets and who calvin-klein--colorblock-saffiano-tote-product-1-20694802-0-997565223-normal_large_flexknows what else, tote bags have never been more in vogue — nor more welcome. Every fashion house has its own take on the tote, but wow, can they get pricey! So I tracked down a few styles sure to make you smile every time you swing them onto your shoulder.

A tote in metallic — or in any shade of a trending color such as blue, such as the one at left from Calvin Klein ($92) — could be a nice change. Before you buy, look for lots of inside pockets to put all your techie stuff — that’s crucial! Finally, for added security, please consider those that close on top. Other attractive options include a faux leather metallic tote by Zita ($89) or a nylon tote in fun colors from Marc Jacobs($198).

culottesCulottes. They’re back, making me grateful I held on to my favorite tan Theory culottes from about eight years ago. Not to be confused with cropped pants, culottes — often called “gauchos” — are much wider at the leg and should extend no lower than mid-calf. (Note, however, that they also look nice when they fall right below the knee.)

The ideal pair gives you a snug fit at the hips but a loose (or even flowing, depending upon the material) feel in the legs. Culottes look best when paired with wedge sandals or flat gladiator-type sandals when it’s warm, but once it’s fall, try them with booties or even thigh-high boots. Despite what you see in certain fashion magazines, never wear them with pumps! A terrific go-anywhere look, even for the office, is a pair of tan or sand-colored culottes, a white tank or tee, and your new dark  jean jacket. Brands to try include Chico’s ($89), Eileen Fisher($278) or Target ($12, and yes you read that right).

What other trends are you thinking of trying out this season? Please share your style plans (or implosions!) with fellow readers by leaving a comment below.

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Photos: Polyvore, 6PM, ChrisellFactor

(Note: this is an edited version of an article that originally ran on

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