In my building a wardrobe series, I talk a lot about having essential pieces for every season. With these pieces, it’s easy to create multiple looks with minimal clothing. This not only helps cut down on clutter in your closet, but it’s also easier on your wallet too. With pumpkin-spice season looming, I’m sharing 10 fall essentials for your wardrobe. These are the pieces I wear year after year during the fall and what I get the most use out of in my wardrobe. Some of these fall basics I’ve had in my wardrobe for years, while others I repurchase year after year.
10 Fall Essentials for Your Wardrobe
#1: ankle booties
My most worn shoe is a comfortable, low-block-heel ankle bootie. My favorite heel height is between 2-3 inches. Any lower and it makes your foot look bigger, and any taller it’s more difficult to walk in. What I love about ankle booties is you can wear them with jeans, skirts and dresses. With dresses and skirts, I generally stick to a knee-length to above-the-knee skirts/dresses to wear with booties. Typically, I don’t wear them with longer dress/skirts styles because it makes the outfit look a little choppy. So instead I wear knee-high boots with midi to maxi length styles.
#2: Cashmere Sweaters
The next fall essential is a cashmere sweater. It’s a classic piece to keep in your fall and winter wardrobe. Wear with jeans or skirts or layer it over the top of a dress and add a belt to your natural waistline for an alternative look. Cashmere isn’t going to go out of style, and you can wear season after season. So the price-per-wear will be low since it’s not a “trendy” piece of clothing.
#3: scarves and wraps
I wear lightweight scarves year round but especially in the beginning of fall. As the temperatures cool down, I add in thicker scarves for extra warmth. A scarf is a timeless piece you’ll reach for year after year. Use as a layering piece when you’re traveling or when you’re cold sitting in the office. Blanket scarves can double as a poncho in your wardrobe. I shared how to wear a blanket scarf 15 ways if you’re looking for different ideas to wear your scarves this season.
#4: leather handbag
I like switching to heavier materials like suede or leather once the temperature cools down. I wear more browns than blacks, and reach for a brown leather handbag most often. If you need something larger to carry essentials for work or travel, opt for a tote bag. When I worked as a physical therapist, it was convenient to have a tote bag to carry things like an extra pair of shoes, a jacket or a computer.
#5: Camel Wool Coat
The next fall essential to have in your wardrobe is a wool coat. I particularly love a camel color – it looks fresh and modern and pairs well with other colors. When you’re buying a wool coat, you want to pay close attention to the textiles. The higher the wool percentages, the warmer it will be. This should reflect in the price point too.
#6: white long sleeve basic top
A basic white t-shirt is a great layering piece to wear under cardigans, ponchos or blazers. You can also just wear it with jeans and a felt hat and accessorize with a scarf for a laid back fall look. I’m also loving a crisp white button down to wear alone or under sweaters. Let a little bit of the sleeve pop out from underneath the sweater for a layered look.
Leggings are a great alternative to wearing jeans in the cooler months of the year. Typically when you hear the word leggings, you think a lounge-type of look. But you can also create a chic look using leggings. If you’ve been here a minute, you know I love the faux leather leggings from Spanx. They’re a great material, fit well and look good dressed up or down. I wear a medium in them. You can also just take a basic pair of black leggings, and add a white button down shirt with a sweater and knee-high boots.
Blazers are a fun way to add layers to your look, but keep it chic. I love that they work well for business and pleasure. Wear a blazer with a bodysuit, denim jeans and heeled sandals for a fun night out look. For work, wear your blazer with a ruffle top, trousers and pumps. You also don’t have to wear a traditional blazer. If your style is more casual in general, opt for a sweater blazer. You get the structure of a blazer with the comfortable material of a sweater. That’s a win-win in my book!
#9: neutral flat
Another shoe option besides a neutral bootie to wear throughout the fall is a neutral flat. Whether it’s a loafer, mule or ballerina style, you can wear this style of shoe with a variety of outfits. One of my favorite pairs of flats are the Sam Edelman loafers. They’re super comfortable and chic, and work well for wearing to work too!
I’ve talked about this lately on Instagram, but I’ll never quit skinny jeans. I’m a millennial, and they’re just a part of me. However, in effort to keep with the trends, I made it my mission to find a straight leg jean that was both flattering and comfortable. And I found two pair that I love HERE and HERE. Jeans go with everything, and there’s a pair to fit anyone’s style, whether you like skinny, straight, flare, 90s etc. Jeans will always be a staple. It’s just about finding the right fit and the style that suits you best.
More Fall Essentials to Consider
a wool or felt hat
A hat elevates any look. I love a straw hat in the spring and summer and a wool or felt hat in the fall and winter. It’s also a great excuse to not have to do your hair. Wear it long or in a low pony or bun for a chic look. There are a lot of options when it comes to hats. There are small brimmed hats, floppy, large brimmed etc. There are also a variety of hats that are adjustable to make them larger or smaller. Additionally, some even come in different sizes.
Oversized sweaters have that edgy-cool vibe and can choose to wear them off-the-shoulders, off one shoulder or just as a slouchy fit. Pair them with denim, white or black jeans or wear them over the top of an athletic cropped top when you’re headed to the gym.
Cardigans and Coatigans
We can’t talk about fall and not talk about cardigans. Cardigans make for an effortless layering piece and come in all different textures and lengths. If you want more of a streamlined look, opt for more of a longer length cardigans. You can also wear a coatigan, which is a cross between a coat and cardigan. So they’re a little more heavy and warmer than your typical cardigan.
Did I miss one of your fall essentials? Let me know in the comments below what you wear most throughout the fall season!
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xo Amanda John