The beginning of fall is marked by some very specific things. The leaves change colour, the temperature drops, school begins for many, and of course, a myriad of new trends inundate every fashion blog, store, and online shop. It is easy to be tempted – or overwhelmed – by all of the options. You might be wondering things like which pieces are actually worth the money, which will be out of style come 2019, and which will actually have long-term staying power in your wardrobe.
I find myself in this predicament often, now more than ever as I attempt to make my wardrobe less excessive and able to fit in a much smaller New York City closet. There are some pieces that circle back every fall like skinny jeans,trench coats, and booties. Sometimes these take on more modern interpretations, but they’re classics nonetheless.
With fall quickly approaching, we curated a list of the season’s most timeless pieces for women, the ones you will want to wear year after year. So, whether you’re trying to keep your seasonal wardrobe down to the basics or looking for some new pieces to add to your collection, this list has got you and your closet covered.
Check out 35 timeless fall fashion staples for women below:
A jacket that can handle unexpected weather
Fall promises some cool relief after a hot summer, but fall weather (especially in the northeast) can be pretty erratic. One day you’re basking in the sunlight of 60 degree weather and the next you wake up to a blizzard- this is not an exaggeration, it happened to me when I lived in Upstate New York. Getting dressed is significantly more difficult when you don’t know what weather fall will throw at you, but luckily this Barbour jacket can withstand it all. It is made with waxed-cotton, corrosion-proof zippers, and double-stitched seams to give you a weatherproof finish that is super practical, but attractive too.
A basic black cardigan
A black cardigan is the perfect item to throw-over any outfit when you need some extra warmth or to cover your shoulders. Find one that is thin enough to easily transition between seasons. This is the ultimate everyday layering piece and it comes in a variety of neutrals, so you can find one that best matches your wardrobe.
A fun blouse
You should have a few blouses that are comfortable, work-appropriate, and easy for everyday wear. This one can easily be tucked into jeans or trousers for a more casual or formal look, respectively. Polka-dots are a fun way to add pattern while still staying within a neutral colour palette.
A pair of good socks
Beneath every cute pair of boots is a good pair of socks. At least, there should be. Nice socks are a game-changer for keeping your feet comfortable in your favourite shoes. These ones are thin, fitted, and soft, so they will stay put under boots. They also look cute and keep your ankles warm. You can leave them peeking out of a pair of sneakers.
A basic long-sleeve tee
A simple, soft, long sleeve tee is the kind of shirt you’ll live in once the weather gets cooler. The relaxed fit and soft cotton of this one will really make you want to wear it everyday. If stripes aren’t your thing, you can find it in a black and blush colour, too.
A classically comfortable cashmere crewneck
A good cashmere sweater is lightweight, warm, and feels super soft. Everlane’s cashmere crew is a timeless cut with a variety of neutral colour choices, and at only $US100, it’s cheaper than most cashmere sweaters you will find of the same quality.
Everlane turtleneck $US22
A classic turtleneck t-shirt looks great layered under sweaters, jumpsuits, or on its own with a pair of jeans. This one is made with a soft, lightweight cotton that is perfect for taking you into the colder weather.
A pair of everyday boots
Keep your feet covered in comfort and style with these short Frye boots. With a buckled strap and lug sole, they have a utilitarian look that is always in style. Over time, these stretch very slightly to enhance the slouchy, rugged look. I’ve had this pair for over five years and I still wear them just as much as when I first got them.
A pair of dark skinny jeans that can go from day to night
Every wardrobe needs a pair of dark skinny jeans. This basic style can easily be dressed up or down and looks good with pretty much everything. A rich, dark blue colour is my favourite for fall.
Hunter has been making rain boots since 1856, so you know they’re doing something right. These tall rubber boots come in a variety of colours as well as matte and gloss finishes. They are durable enough to withstand plenty of puddles and also can be worn in the snow when paired with Hunter’s welly socks. These are a practical shoe that you will actually be excited about wearing, even if it’s not raining outside.
A colourful moto jacket
A cool jacket can take a simple outfit, like a t-shirt and jeans, to the next level. This one comes in a cool moto-style and a muted red colour that stands out. The suede is soft, comfortable, and a perfect material for fall.
A pair of jeans with a little flair
Besides skinny jeans, you should find another style of denim that you love and will wear often. I love styles like this, which are fitted through the top but cropped with just a small flare at the bottom. I find this style is flattering on all body types and looks great with sneakers, booties and heels alike.
An airy dress that looks great under a jacket
A flowy maxi dress looks great (and seasonally appropriate) paired with booties and a leather jacket. The neutral colours and simple medallion pattern on this one keep it from being too summery, making it an easy transition piece from warm to cold weather.
A cosy flannel shirt
On a brisk fall day, there’s nothing better than wearing a cosy flannel shirt. The material is soft and thick enough to keep you toasty. This one has a relaxed fit and comes in a range of relatively neutral plaids, perfect for laying over a plain t-shirt or under a denim jacket for extra warmth.
A light, soft t-shirt made for layering
A plain white tee is a wardrobe basic for all seasons, but come fall I find myself constantly reaching for plain t-shirts to layer under cardigans, sweaters, and jackets. This one is super-soft, just a little sheer without being transparent, and the slits on the side make it easy to tuck the front into jeans and skirts comfortably.
A pack of pantyhose for dresses and skirts
Don’t let your summer dresses fade into oblivion when it starts getting cold – just buy some panty hose to wear underneath. These will keep your legs warmer on cool days when you still want to wear a dress. They also tend to add a more formal look to skirts and dresses than bare legs do. I find that my tights rip often, even pairs from the more “upscale” brands, so I would recommend going for a more affordable, value pack like this one.
A blanket scarf to keep you bundled up
Once fall arrives, you’ll be living in scarves. Not only do they keep you warm, but they add intrigue to an otherwise basic outfit. The oversized blanket scarf is one of my favourite styles for its sheer size; you can wrap it around you like a blanket if you get cold on an aeroplane or in the office. This one is colourful, but muted enough that it matches well with the typical fall palette of neutrals.
A basic beanie for cold days
People seem to love Neff beanies-myself included. These beanies have a simple fit that is universally flattering, are soft, and come in a bunch of colours-it’s no wonder they have over 2,000 reviews on Amazon. These are great for keeping your ears and head warm on cold fall days, plus they add an effortlessly cool look to any outfit.
A pair of plain white sneakers with a twist
Superga 2790 Platform Sneakers, available at Shopbop for $US80 and at Amazon for $US79
If I could only have one pair of shoes in my closet, I would be really sad because I love shoes. Bu I would choose a pair of white sneakers. They are so versatile and can be paired with anything from a fancy dress to work trousers. I like this pair of Supergas for their crisp white colour-which will inevitably get dirty over time, but these are canvas which makes them easy to wash. You can barely spot the one and a half inch platform just by looking at these, but the added height is definitely a nice touch.
A cardigan for lazy days
A slouchy cardigan is the perfect piece for those lazy days when you wake up too late but still want to look like you put some effort into your outfit. They’re cute, so comfortable, and look good over just about anything. This forest green is a little different than your basic black or grey, but it’s a great, deep colour that feels like fall.
A chic trench coat
Make any outfit effortlessly chic with this sleek trench coat. It grazes just below the knee, a great length for pairing with dresses and jeans alike. The flowy fabric and simple design make this a modern take on the classic style.
A class trench coat
If you’re not feeling the slightly modernised version, this is a more traditional classic that won’t let you down. This one also has a quilted vest that you can layer beneath the coat or wear on its own. If you’re on the shorter side and shy away from trench coats in fear that you will be buried in all of that fabric, this one comes in petite sizes too.
An oversized denim jacket
Throw this oversized jean jacket over a feminine dress to dress it down or over a t-shirt and flannel for a quintessential fall layering look. A jean jacket is a great addition to any outfit. They are super versatile and with this oversized one you can actually fit some layers, say a chunky sweater, underneath.
A classic pair of all-weather boots
Trudging through rain, mud, or snow is no problem with Bean Boots. The leather and rubber combo keeps your feet warm and dry through all weather conditions. They might not be the most fashion-forward pair of shoes, but they are seriously durable and comfortable. That’s what makes these shoes so beloved and why I often wear them instead of my cuter pairs of leather boots.
pixie mood $US75
Pixie Mood makes affordable, vegan leather bags. This tote can carry your bulkier fall belongings, but still has a sleek, basic look. It’s only $US58, but the minimalist design makes it look far more expensive.
On days when you want to wear your pajamas out in public, put on a pair of leggings. They give you the same comfort as your favourite sweatpants, but look a little more presentable. These ones are made of a stretchy fabric and are seamless for extra comfort.
A versatile pair of joggers
Joggers are the perfect pants for everyday wear. They aren’t denim, so people look at them as a nicer alternative to jeans. They are loose, with a baggy fit that makes them comfortable to wear for long hours. I have worn my favourite pair of joggers with a blouse to an interview and with a sweatshirt on a ten hour flight, so it’s safe to say this is a staple that you can really take anywhere.
Everlane loafer $US168
A loafer is a simple shoe with a sophisticated feel. These ones from Everlane are made with leather that is soft, but still structured. They come in nine colours, so you are sure to find a pair that fits your taste.
sam Edelman $US149.95
Block-heel booties are a must-have pair of shoes for all of your fall events. The substantial heel makes these a little more formal than your average leather boot. Pair these with a dress or jeans to finish off any look.
There are so many styles of leather jackets out there, but I like the casual-cool vibe of the biker jacket. This supple leather and hardware accents on this one make it unique.
Blundstone’s are the iconic boots you’ve seen everywhere. This Australian brand makes cult-favourite boots that people wear to music festivals, to work, even while travelling and camping. These durable leather boots are shaped to the human foot, which is why they’re so comfortable.
This thick, knit coat is warm without being too bulky. The hood is a cute addition, but really is great for keeping your head warm on cold, windy fall days. At less than $US40, this is a great deal for a fall jacket.
This mid-length, pleated skirt is a timeless, flattering look on everyone. The crepe fabric is substantial enough to wear on colder fall days, especially with tights. The simple, feminine style looks great with a plain t-shirt and flats or edged up with a leather jacket and boots.
You can find many iterations of the classic military jacket, but this one is a favourite. It’s pretty thin, so it’s not going to keep you super warm, but it’s great for when you need another light layer or just to accentuate an outfit. The forest green has a lived-in look and there’s a drawstring inside so you can cinch the waist, which can really change the look of the jacket to more or less fitting, however you prefer it.
A fun pair of patterned pants
Denim pants are a great everyday go-t0, but some occasions call for something a little more sophisticated. These pants are made from a stretchy ponte fabric which has a similar feel to your favourite soft denim, but they look more like a pair of dress pants. The neutral plaid pattern is different, but still simple enough for everyday.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.