If you're like me, you squeal at your first late-summer pumpkin latte sighting. You spot a brown leaf on the ground and rush home to pack away your spaghetti-strap tanks. But we all know we don't wake up in September suddenly confronting cold temperatures and the opportunity to snuggle by a fire wearing our chunkiest ski sweater. We need good, basic transition pieces that won't break the bank and that will help ease our summer wardrobes into fall. 

Before you start applying for new credit cards, restrain your desire to shop until you drop: you really only need five items to make your wardrobe autumn-ready. 

A turtleneck -- Yep, you read that right! Aside from proving itself a major fall trend on runways like Carolina Herrera and Donna Karan, rocking a turtleneck beneath your favorite summer dress not only prolongs your need to transition to cooler weather dresses, it's also a fresh and interesting alternative to wearing a cardigan. 

Textured or opaque tights -- You know all those great printed shorts you bought this summer? You don't have to get rid of them so quickly as long as you protect your legs in textured or opaque tights -- if in a hue other than black, even better -- along with a killer pair of ankle boots and a heavy knit sweater. 

Over-the-knees boots -- Yet another fall runway trend that autumn-ifies your lightest of summer dresses and updates your emerald or burnt orange skinny jeans.

Ankle boots -- The greatest thing about ankle boots is you can wear them with anything. From mini and maxi skirts to skinny jeans and fierce nineties-inspired dresses, they add spunk and charm to every outfit. The second greatest thing about ankle boots is that they're hot this season and you will find them everywhere -- in every style from combat boots to stiletto heel. 

A chunky, to-die-for, colorful scarf -- Somewhere between cardigan and coat weather lies a fuzzy, fabulous region where the scarf has taken over as an essential keep-warm-while-looking-amazing accessory. Not sure whether your office will turn on the air conditioning today for old time's sake? Not to worry -- the scarf does double duty as an indoor essential, as well. 

Check out the slideshow for inspiration on how to mix and match your summer favorites with these five transitional pieces.

Do you mix and match these pieces? 


Image via Rick Jones/Flickr