As Labor Day approaches and most people are still trying to soak up those last days of sun, I start itching to get my bases covered for fall. I anxiously await the moment I can break out my favorite sweaters (oftentimes starting to wear them long before it's actually cool enough to) and feel like a kid unwrapping a birthday present when I dig my jackets and wool pants out of storage, ready and waiting for another season of wear.
But one of my very favorite fall pieces isn't my personalized leather jacket or vintage-inspired trousers — it's what I like to call the "layering dress." It's a fall-appropriate, sleeveless, often shift-style number that's practically made for wearing over a turtleneck, light sweater, or long-sleeved top (or T-shirt, too, if the weather's warmer than anticipated). It can be a pinafore with true overall straps, have a plunging neckline, or feature a high boatneck for a super-mod look. Really, anything goes, because when you stick the right top underneath, you've got an easy (and cool) outfit that basically screams "autumn."