September is a tricky month. While it’s easy to believe that summer is nearly over when you’re shivering on your morning commute, it seems really strange that you’re seeing pumpkin spice everything as afternoon temps climb into the 80’s. With such mercurial weather, you may wonder if it’s possible for a mere mortal to achieve all day comfort. It is, with just one simple trick – layers. Here are three of our favorite methods for layering your way to a perfect microclimate.

 Vest up –  Vests are an incredible layering solution. On their own, they provide just the right amount of core warmth for an early fall morning. If you get warm and need to lose a layer, they’re compact and easy to carry. Plus, the lack of sleeves helps you to avoid redundant underarm fabric, if you want to use them under another jacket on a particularly cold day.

Shown: 1. Patagonia Retro Pile Fleece Vest – $119, 2. Patagonia Classic Retro-X Vest – $149

 Add a scarf – Scarves are amazingly versatile  for climate control. Wear it as a wrap, and it’s just the right weight for keeping a morning chill at bay. When the afternoon heat hits, wear it around your neck to add a little polish to your outfit or tie it as a headband. Check out these 5 reasons we love scarves for more creative solutions.

Shown: Assorted Scarves – $14.99 each

Cover those toes – I always struggle with cold toes and I really love boots, so I’m always an early season adopter of close toed footwear. If you’re not quite ready to take the leap, give sockos (Chaco sandals + socks = sockos) a try. They’re a great way to get a little coverage, and show off  awesome socks (like our sweet Socksmith designs). Plus, they’re easy to shed if you get warm.

Shown: 1. Sorel Joan of Arctic Wedge Chelsea – $200, 2. Socksmith Sloth Bling Socks – $8, 3. Chaco Frontier Waterproof Boot $170, 4. Socksmith Sushi Socks $10

With chilly mornings, hot afternoons, and cool evenings, dressing for a full day in the mountain is no simple task. Our apparel experts share top strategies to dress for work, play, and an full-day outdoor session during fall in the North Carolina mountains.

On the Job

Dressing for a day in the office can add an extra dimension of difficulty, not only do you want to be warm enough in the morning and cool enough in the evening – you’ve also got the (often finicky) office thermostat to contend with.

The winning strategy? Focus on coverage without adding too much insulation. Our favorite combo is a light to mid-weight long sleeve shirt for coverage and a sleek insulated vest for core warmth. When it gets toasty, it’s easy to ditch the vest and roll up those sleeves. Many lightweight insulated vests are designed to fold down compactly, so you’ll be able to easily stow your layer away when you no longer need it.

A few of our favorite picks for on the job: Men’s Toad & Co Singlejack Shirt $69+ Kuhl Spyfire Down Vest $180 and Women’s The North Face Trail Ready Shirt $60 + Arc’teryx Atom LT Vest $175.

A Full Day of Adventure

Crisp fall weather is ideal for a variety of activities – from a light hike or ride, to exploring downtown Asheville, to an outdoor pint at your favorite local brewery. If your perfect fall day includes all of those things, we recommend seeking out breathable and comfortable apparel.   We love bamboo for this because it’s breathable and moisture wicking for warm weather, but provides cozy insulation in cooler temps. For days when you don’t expect to break a sweat, a lightweight cotton tee topped with a cozy fleece is a great combo.

Combos we love for adventures or just chilling: Women’s The North Face Campshire Fleece $129 + Kavu Retro Tee $32 and Men’s Free Fly Lightweight Bamboo Long Sleeve $49.95 + Marmot Poacher Pile Jacket. 

A Serious Outdoor Sesh

If you like your outdoor activities to start early in the morning and go all day, you need clothing that can keep up, and layering is especially important. Your layering system should be ready for colder temps at high altitudes, unexpected changes of weather, and offer versatility for rising body temps as you get warmed up. Moisture control and breathability are key. We recommend starting with a lightweight moisture wicking base layer, then a mid-weight long sleeve or light fleece, and a lightweight wind and waterproof shell.

Awesome layering systems for a big day outdoors: Men’s Outdoor Research Foray Jacket $215 + Marmot Drop Line 1/2 Zip $85 + Patagonia LW Capilene Crew $49 and Women’s Outdoor Research Aspire Jacket $215 + The North Face Glacier 1/4 Zip $55  + Outdoor Research Melody Long Sleeve $99.