Whatever your feelings about pumpkin spice, its arrival means one thing to us: time for fall fashion. Unlike in summer, where you have to factor in the chance of sunburn and sweating before choosing an outfit, you have full fashion freedom to wear sweaters, T-shirts, jackets, overcoats, dresses and everything in between.
To prep you for the season, we’ve put together a list of the fall wardrobe essentials every woman should own. Because while we love a good trend, a well-curated closet starts with high-quality basics you can wear again and again.
1. Chunky Sweater
There’s a reason they call it “sweater weather.” Not only do these slightly oversize tops keep you warm, they also manage to be super comfortable and totally office appropriate. Whether you’re apple picking or leading a presentation at work, a chunky sweater will keep you at the height of fall fashion. Plus, they’re just so cozy. And who doesn’t want some extra coziness in their lives?
2. Leather Jacket
A leather jacket literally goes with everything. Wearing a cocktail dress to a party? Pair with a leather jacket. Running errands in yoga pants? Slip on a leather jacket and suddenly you look like a high-powered woman on a mission. Not only does the material look amazing, but it’ll also get you through wind, rain or an early dusting of snow. These sturdy pieces are true classics because they last forever and look great year after year.
3. Plaid Shirt
Plaid shirts used to be something only a lumberjack would wear. Now it’s a fashion-girl staple. This season it’s showing up in tons of variations — everything from classic red to ‘80s-inspired blue and pink. Whether you pull last year’s plaid shirt out of storage or invest in a new color scheme, this pattern needs to be in your fall closet.
The ultimate one-and-done outfit, jumpsuits are a comfortable way to make a fashion statement. You can get them with long sleeves, no sleeves, tight, loose, black or boldly patterned. But they all have one thing in common: They’ll make you look incredibly cool and put together, no accessories needed.
5. Wide-Leg Pant
Skinny jeans are taking a back seat this season. Wide-leg pants add drama to any outfit and are comfortable enough that you won’t want to take them off the second you get home from work. Pair with a turtleneck for a chic, classic look or with a chunky sweater if you want to live out all your cozy dreams at once.
The comfortable classic is back. Whether you wear a turtleneck with a pair of jeans or a pencil skirt, your look is instantly elevated. The cut elongates your neck and arms yet feels just as comfortable as wearing a T-shirt. When you want a break from blouses, give a boldly colored turtleneck a try.
7. Silk Skirt
Fall is perfect for rich colors and even richer fabrics. Whether you go midi or maxi, pair with a blazer or cardigan, a silk skirt will make any outfit instantly feel more luxe. The flowing fabric adds a nice contrast to thick knits and highly constructed pieces.
There’s really no bad time for a blazer, but fall is the best time of all. The light jacket gives a bit of warmth without smothering and adds a professional touch to any outfit. This season, try an open, oversize one for a more relaxed look or go with a plaid pattern to make a statement.
9. Dark Floral Dress
Flowers may be done blooming for the year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some floral fun in the fall. Instead of white or pastel prints, go dark. Dresses in black, aubergine or navy let the floral pattern pop while keeping things seasonally appropriate.
10. Statement Coat
Forget about black or beige outerwear. If you have to wear a coat for what feels like six months straight, you want to make it count. Everything from reflective puffer jackets to full-length faux fur coats are game. Or rock a classic wool coat in bright red or a shiny gold hoodie. The choice is yours.