10 Fall Essentials


My friend Jenny (who happens to live someplace where it actually gets cold) recommended that I do a “What to Buy for Fall” post…when it was still 95 degrees down here in Houston (it is now 88, so some progress has been made). I initially told her that would be difficult considering I’m still parading around in shorts. However, I gave it some thought and figured since I hadn’t done any kind of essentials post in awhile (my last two: Summer Essentials and Chic Essentials), this would be a good time to do one. Plus, it helped that I already knew what I wanted to recommend since a lot of these pieces are not only great for fall but also for any month of the year.

I’ve included links to items/stores where you can find pieces similar to the ones I have, at differente price points. Most of the items I’ve listed are less than $50, though you’ll find jackets to be slightly more expensive. I consider each one of these “investments” so the prices are going to be higher on some because I’m looking for good quality, long-lasting, versatile pieces.

Also, I had to break this post up into two parts – 1. A list of essentials and 2. Actual outfits featuring these pieces. I’ll have the second half of this post up next week so check back for that. The above image is just a glimpse of one of the outfits (details at end of post).

Fall Essentials_2013_10 Pieces

*Suggested sites at end of post.

1. Cardigan/Sweater*

If you need something to throw on or layer with – this is it. I have a bad addiction to cardigans but I find the ones that are in classic colors or subtle prints are some of the best to have.

2. Black Blazer

I own about 3 black blazers – different styles and cuts. However, I’ve found that the classic black blazer is the best. The one I have in the images (which I’ll show next week) is from Banana Republic and yes, it is the $150 one that I included the link to below. However, I happened to have scored this on super sale at the Banana Republic Outlet store for $50 (which is pretty awesome for a BR, suit blazer). I invested in this one because I know I’ll wear it multiple times for a number of different occasions. However, since the $150 price point might be a bit too high for some, I’ve included links to more reasonable ones below.

  • Banana Republic – one; JC Penney – one; H&M – one, two ; Charlotte Russe – one

3. Black Tunic/Dress

Here’s something you will wear year-round. It requires no fuss and can be as minimalistic or as detailed as you want. It’s definitely a classic piece and I’d invest in one that is of good quality and material (not a cheap cotton one) so that it lasts. I’ve included a link to the one I purchased at Target below (it’s from the Leather Shoulders post). It can easily be worn bare-legged or in the cooler months with tights, leggings or pants.

4. T-shirts*

These are essential layering and go-to pieces. For starters, I’d purchase my basic colors – white, gray and black (then build from there with other colors and patterns). Finding one that is quality-made can be difficult; at the end of the post I’ve listed a few places that I’ve really liked and own shirts from.

5. Jeans*

Colored Denim – For fall, I steer away from bright and neon colors like hot pink, purple, mint or highlighter yellow and gravitate towards more warmer colors—navy, forest/dark green, maroon, mustard, dark purple/eggplant or tan.

Dark Denim – Regardless if you’re dressing it down with just a plain t-shirt and flats or dressing it up with a top, blazer and heels—it always makes for a classic, sophisticated outfit. It’ll never go out of style, hence it’s another investment piece.

I have a tough time finding jeans that fit me right but when I came across the Rockstar brand at Old Navy—I had finally found it! (Trust me, I hate buying jeans just as much as I hate scrubbing toilet seats, so this is a good thing). The fit and length are perfect for my shorter frame. The link at the end of the post will also show you the style in different colors. So there you go, a one-stop place for both these pieces.

6. Black Faux Leather Pants/Leggings (Full or Paneled)

I mentioned a couple of posts back that I’m really into leather. Now that fall has set in, I don’t feel so dumb wearing full leather pants. I think it’s a great way to break away from the classic materials used for black pants and it toughens up a look. If you’re not into full leather pants/leggings – consider ones with panels either in the front, back, on the knees or along the sides running up your leg.

7. Leggings*

This is also something that I mentioned in my Chic Essentials piece a couple of years back. Now that patterned leggings and ones made out of different materials (i.e. faux-leather, liquid, silky) are in, you can mix up your wardrobe of just plain black cotton ones with these. They also sell fleece-lined ones, which I found to be great for cooler months.

8. Olive Green Utility/Military Jacket

I purchased this on a whim from Ross 3 – 4 years ago (for less than 20 bucks). I happened to really like the color and thought with it being so light, it’d be great to wear in Houston. Even though, it hasn’t been showcased on the blog all that often (seen here in one of my favorite outfits)—I’ve worn it tons of times over the last few years. I prefer the ones with pockets and a drawstring at the waist so that I can cinch it up; this way it doesn’t look too big with certain outfits that I want a more tailored look to.

Less than $50

 Over $50

  • H&M – one; Old Navy – one; Urban Outfitters – one

9. Long-Sleeve Shirts*

As you already know, these are essential layering pieces. Plus, if you don’t know what to wear, you can just throw on a shirt, jeans/pants, blazer, boots/heels/flats, a scarf and you’re done. Easy peasy. I own a few LS shirts in solid colors like black, dark gray, navy and maroon. However, to mix it up, I recently purchased one with polka dots (Old Navy) and of course, I have my stripes.Since these can be found just about anywhere, the links at the end are to a few stores where I happen to like the quality and fit of their shirts.

10. Black Skirt

This can be in any length, style or material. I do recommend one that is not itsy-bitsy – maybe ones that come a little above the knees or below it. Style is completely up to you – you may like pencil, flouncy, a-line, lo/hi, etc. Find one that you like but in a material that stays intact after wear and wash.

  • Zara – one; JC Penney – one; Target – one

*Jeans (Colored and Dark Blue), Shirts (Long-Sleeve and T), Cardigans and Leggings

 *Dark Denim “Rockstar” Blue Jeans from Old Navy – found here.

Additional Fall Accessories

Here are a few things that will help you bring together your fall wardrobe.

  • Black Boots (tall)
  • Booties (black or brown)
  • Brogues, Converse sneakers (chucks) or Flats
  • Scarves (at least one solid-color and one printed)
  • Hat (floppy, fedora, newspaper boy, etc.)
  • Tights (opaque and patterned)

Hopefully, you guys found some of these items helpful in stocking your fall wardrobe. As always if you have a suggestion for a post, send it my way and I’ll definitely work on it!

Outfit in top picture: Utility jacket – Ross, Stripe shirt & belt – F21, Black tunic – Target, Scarf – Urban Outfitters, Bag – Banana Republic.

Items in chart: Aztec-print cardigan – Etsy, Black blazer – H&M, Black tunic/dress – Target, Gray t-shirt – Target, Jeans – Polyvore, Leather leggings – H&M, Galaxy leggings – Polyvore, Utility jacket – shefinds.com, Long-sleeve stripe T – Ebay, Skirt – 3.1 Philip Lim.

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