A Fail-Proof Outfit Formula for Fall

When it comes to dressing for fall, I have a few go-to wardrobe pieces that I rely on to make my outfits come together quickly and easily. I suppose you could call it my fall uniform. It’s pretty much the same every year, I just tweak the details to fit the current styles.

The best thing about dressing for fall is all the layering possibilities. Even though my formula is fairly consistent and I use a lot of the same components in every outfit, having the option to layer up your look offers so much more variety.

jacket // sweater // jeans // loafers // similar belt (mine in black) // sunnies // earrings // similar tote

My 5-Piece Fall Outfit Formula

What’s in style seems to be evolving rapidly this season, and there are a lot of new silhouettes to play around with, which is really fun. That said, it’s kind of scary to give up the styles we have grown accustomed to, and it can seem like a lot of work to participate in the new trends.

I have more of a classic style so I’m a bit of a slow adopter when it comes to embracing trends, but I also like to keep up with the times. I’ve been experimenting, and I think I’ve found the pieces that will be the basis for my fall wardrobe.

#1. Straight Leg Jeans

While I found myself reaching for my crop flares when I wanted to wear jeans this summer, I think straight leg jeans are going to be more versatile for fall. I have both ankle-length and cropped length straight leg jeans in my closet.

These are the AGOLDE Toni, and they’re a mid-rise ankle-length straight leg jean. I like the slim straight fit best on me personally. If you like a more relaxed straight fit, the AGOLDE Riley is a good one to try. Shop more straight ankle jeans at Nordstrom.

#2. Layering Tee or Sweater

A classic sweater, such as this Vince wool/cashmere crewneck, is a workhorse in my fall/winter wardrobe. It creates a chic, minimalistic look when worn alone with well-fitting jeans and classic loafers or boots, and it also layers easily under jackets and vests.

A t-shirt, either short or long-sleeve, is another option. Our fall weather has been very mild this year, so until it’s time to break out the sweaters, I’ve been wearing a lot of t-shirts under my jackets.

The Caslon rounded v-neck tee is a one of the best I’ve found in the $20 price range. It comes in a bunch of good neutral colors, and even some prints.

#3. Loafers/Fashion Sneakers

While I used to wear more loafers and mules with my fall sweaters and jeans, lately I’ve been loving the fashion sneaker trend. I styled this outfit both ways, just to show the versatility.

Nothing says fall like a good animal print, and these loafers are a great way to add print and texture to this simple outfit. They’re comfortable and easy to walk in, and I like the clean lines and modern square toe.

When I want to take it down a notch, I trade my loafers for fashion sneakers.

The P448 John is one of my favorites. They come in lots of fun color combos, and they’re supremely comfortable. I can walk miles in these sneakers… in fact, I have done exactly that. They’re great for long days of travel or sight-seeing, or just to spend a few hours at the mall on a Saturday with my girls.

#4. Outfit-Making Jacket

I’m all for a simple three-piece outfit, and some days that’s all you need. But throwing a stylish jacket on top is like the icing on the cake.

Having a good variety of jackets in your fall wardrobe is the best way to change up your looks. You can wear the same sweater and jeans every day for a week, and just change out the jacket and shoes, and it will look like a whole new outfit.

I’m a huge fan of a moto jacket, but it can be a bomber jacket or a utility jacket, or even a blazer. Unfortunately, this faux leather moto started selling out as soon as I took these pictures, but there are lots of other great options on the Nordstrom website.

Shop Outfit-Making Jackets:

#5. Accessories

If a stylish jacket is the icing on the cake, a few well-placed accessories are like the decorations. Even though I like a minimalist vibe, I always wear earrings and then I usually add one or two other accessories for added interest.

Right now we’re seeing a lot of delicate layering pieces and gold metal tones, but in this case, I wore silver hoop earrings to match the hardware on my jacket. I didn’t feel this outfit needed a necklace, but you could certainly add a pendant or a layered set like this one.

I also added a brown leather belt, and the oversized cat eye sunglasses count too. These Diff sunglasses offer a similar look for less.

Scroll down to shop the post, and be sure to sign up for the Nordy Club so you can start earning points toward Nordstrom Notes when you shop. You also get to enjoy exclusive perks like members-only access to sales, offers, and events.

And as always, when you shop at Nordstrom, you get their free shipping and free returns. And don’t forget about their BOPUS (Buy Online Pick Up in Store) and contactless curbside pickup options.

Stay In Touch!

If you liked this post, be sure you’re signed up for my email newsletter. In addition to my most recent blog posts, you’ll receive exclusive newsletter content like special sales, my newest favorite finds, and an occasional peek behind the scenes — all delivered right to your inbox.

This post contains affiliate links. When you shop through my links, it helps support my business (at no additional cost to you) so thank you!

photos: Alison Cornell

Join The Conversation

12 Responses

  1. Love this outfit, I just wish it would actually feel like fall…over here in Pittsbsurgh it’s still warm and humid😜

  2. Hey Jo-Lynne, love the fall layering formulas with Moto jackets!
    I think my eye has finally adjusted to the high rise now. I’m preferring the new Jean silhouettes you’ve been showing with the high rise. They accentuate the figure/waist a bit more and hold some of my fluff in. LOL! I find myself reaching less and less for my mid rise. What’s your preference?

  3. Love this outfit! I see that you match the colour of your belt with your jacket and the shoes match, too. Is matching accessories more of a trend this fall?

  4. I love this formula. Went on a week trip to visit family up north and only needed a third of the clothes I packed because I went with layers. So much variety with a few items. Next time I’ll pack less and have a lighter suitcase (yeah, right!).

  5. Absolutely love this whole outfit! I think our fall will be short so I’m trying to wear my fall stuff as much as the weather permits!
    We have cool mornings, warmer afternoons and cool evenings so layers seem to be key!

  6. Great looking outfit on you! Without delving into the nitty gritty, I’d love to know how Paul is doing since his surgery. I pray that he is much better! Thanks!

  7. Cute! I like these jeans. They look like a great cross between the skinny and some of the baggier wide leg jeans that I don’t find flattering on me. I’ll have to check these out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close this search box.