2017 Fall Wardrobe Essentials

One of my most popular blog posts is always my Fall Wardrobe Essentials so I’m posting an update for 2017.

While there’s still a lot of summer left, it’s not too early to start planning our fall wardrobes. I like to shop early, before the fall styles are picked over and the popular items are gone. At the very least this is a good time to start making a list so when you’re shopping, you know what you need and you can snag it when you see a good deal.

Here’s my list of 2017 Fall Wardrobe Essentials and some product suggestions at various price points. I’m going to be linking mostly to Nordstrom since they’re the only retailer I’m aware of that has their fall styles out right now, but I’ll update my shopping widgets later this season when more is available.

As always, when you shop through my links, it helps support my business (at no cost to you) so thank you!

2017 Fall Wardrobe Essentials

Let’s start with shoes. After all, we have to wear some type of shoe pretty much every day!

1. Ankle Boots

2017 Fall Wardrobe Essential: Ankle Boots

Ankle boots are still hot this year and I’m getting more comfortable styling them. I like them best with ankle-length jeans, but you can also wear them with shorts, skirts, and dresses. See my post, How to Wear Ankle Boots if you need some guidance.

Ankle boots range from casual to dressy and everything in between, and then there are various shaft heights which you will style differently depending on the length of your pants or style of skirt/dress so there are a lot of factors to consider when building a shoe wardrobe. You’ll also want to take into account your lifestyle and personal style aesthetic as well as the climate where you live.

Fall and winter weather can be messy here in Philly so while suede is definitely trending, I like to have some leather shoe options as well. I’m actually going to write a post dedicated to fall boots next week, but for now I’ll link a bunch of my favorites in the widget below. Hover for the price, and click through to shop!


2. Tall Boots

2017 Fall Wardrobe Essential: Tall Boots

classic riding boot will never go out of style, but over-the-knee-boots are fun and modern and a little more trendy at the moment. While they seem kind of dramatic, OTK boots are actually quite practical because they provide extra warmth. Also, don’t forget rain boots!

Within each of those categories, as with ankle boots, there are different shaft heights and heel heights and a myriad of styles to choose from. I’ll go into those details more in my post on boots next week, so for now, here are some of my favorites.


3. Ballet Flats or Loafers

2017 Fall Wardrobe Essential: Ballet Flats

When you’re tired of wearing sandals but it’s still too hot for boots, ballet flats or loafers are the perfect shoes to transition you from summer to fall. I recommend having at least one neutral pair and one pair in a great color or a fun print to pop your outfits.

I’ve never been much of a loafer girl, but right now slide loafers are trending and I like this modern take on the classic. These loafer mules are another option. Metallics are also huge this fall, and both of these shoes come in silver. I also kind of like these suede loafers, and Me Too makes a supremely comfortable shoes. I think this will be the next style of shoe I purchase.

When it comes to ballet flats, I have two tried and true favorites — the Tory Burch Minnie Travel Flats and the Sam Edelman Felicia Flats. I own multiples of both. They both come in a variety of great colors and even some prints. Neither are cheap, but I am willing to pay a little bit more when it comes to good quality leather shoes. Both of these styles are super comfortable and very durable. That said, you can certainly find adorable ballet flats at more budget-friendly prices. Payless has a comfort line that is really good, and Target always has a great shoe selection.

As far as color goes, metallic flats are always super versatile for a neutral and a little more fun than a nude or black, but sometimes a nude or black flat is the perfect finishing touch to an outfit. When I want a pop of color in the fall, I love wearing burgundy suede flats, and don’t forget about leopard!


Miscellaneous Mentions: There are other shoe styles I didn’t include that you probably want to have in your closet for fall, like fashion sneakers, a classic pair of pumps, and maybe even suede wedge sandals or mules (if you live in a warmer climate) but those are styles that most of us keep in our closet all year ’round, and the length of this post is reaching epic proportions so let’s move on to the clothing basics we need for fall!

4. Ankle-Length Jeans

2017 Fall Wardrobe Essential: Ankle Skinny Jeans

Ankle-length skinny jeans pair perfectly with ankle boots, and they also work well with ballet flats and wedge sandals, plus they tuck easily into tall boots so I find them the most versatile of all styles of jeans. That said, not everyone likes skinnies, and you can find flares and straight-leg jeans in crop and ankle lengths.

Most ankle-length jeans are around 28″ in the inseam. Some are 27 1/2″ and some are 28 1/2″, but when you get much shorter than that, they’re considered cropped. Of course, where they fall on you depends on your height, and sometimes it’s necessary to get your jeans altered. If you’re taller, 29″ or 30″ jeans will be more of an ankle-length on you.

Consider adding colored jeans to your fall wardrobe too, such as olive or burgundy. And while I am not going to list them as a fall wardrobe essential, white jeans can be worn all year round and look great paired with neutrals in the fall, so don’t put your white jeans away after Labor Day!

While ankle skinny jeans are still the most popular, a new denim silhouette is gaining momentum — the straight crop or relaxed skinny. Sometimes they’re called girlfriend jeans or slim boyfriend, but basically, it’s a more relaxed take on skinny jeans, and they work well with ankle boots because they create a long lean leg line. They tend to have a higher rise, and they look best with tops you can tuck in.

Here are links to all these and more for your shopping inspiration.


5. Cardigan Sweaters

2017 Fall Wardrobe Essential: Cardigan Sweaters

Cardigans are having a moment this fall, and there were so many good ones to choose from in the #NSale, although a lot have sold out. Never fear, there will be more cardigans coming in as fall approaches, and of course all the other retailers will have them too.

If you’ve had a cashmere sweater on your wish list, now is the time to buy one so you can enjoy it all winter long and for many years to come. This Halogen Three-Quarter Sleeve Cashmere Cardigan comes in 5 colors and it is soooo super soft. It is lightweight and has a nice drape to it so it’s not overwhelming. I purchased the beige oatmeal heather but I’m also debating the black. For a warmer cashmere cardigan that will take you from fall all the way through the coldest days of winter, this long ribbed cardigan (pictured above) is gorgeous and is still available in several colors.

If you’re looking for more budget-friendly cardigans, there are plenty of those too. This long open cardigan is slenderizing and has a nice casual vibe that is perfect for pairing with t-shirts. For fun, consider wearing a cardigan over your favorite graphic tee.

I’ll link these and a bunch of other options below. Some are sold out or low inventory, but right now I am seeing a lot of fluctuation so if a item you want is not available right now, check back often to see if it gets restocked. And of course there will be a lot more cardigans available as other retailers start rolling out their fall inventory.


6. Utility Jacket

2017 Fall Wardrobe Essential: Utility Jacket

I recommend picking up a utility jacket if you don’t already have one. I love this one pictured above, and this cropped army jacket is cute too. A utility jacket is great to throw on over your favorite t-shirt or sweater on a crisp fall day and it has a nice toughness to it that pairs well with more classic pieces. The most common color is an army green, but it can also be navy, black, khaki or beige. Lucky Brand even has one in a gorgeous fig color this season!

Here are some cute ones to choose from, if you don’t have one already.


7. Moto Jacket

2017 Fall Wardrobe Essential: Moto Jacket

Style Tip>> Nothing is more universally flattering than a fitted jacket. It gives you curves if you don’t have any and accentuates your curves if you do. Fit is key. Make sure it fits properly in the shoulders, and you can tailor the rest. If the sleeves are too long, you can have them shortened, and if you want it taken in a bit through the waist, that can be done too. It should be able to zip, but barely.

There were TONS of moto jackets in the Anniversary Sale this year, but many have sold out. The one I decided to keep, after trying like 5 of them, lol, is the Halogen Leather Moto Jacket pictured above in the cognac. The quality is fantastic for the price point, but it does run big. I have the small and it is still quite roomy. (I usually wear a medium in jackets.)

I tried to order this suede moto jacket in the grey, but my order was cancelled. Boohoo. There are also some good faux leather and faux suede options available.

Also, you may prefer a moto style blazer to a leather or suede jacket, and that’s a great piece to have in your closet as well. I’ll link to a few below along with my favorite moto jackets.


8. Layering Tees

2017 Fall Wardrobe Essential: Layering Tees

Of course you’ll need something to layer under your cardigans and jackets, so I recommend having a couple of basic t-shirts in your closet. I keep my short sleeved tees in my closet all year ’round, and I have a few long sleeved ones as well.


9. Neutral Handbag

2017 Fall Wardrobe Essential: Neutral Handbag

A fabulous handbag for the season is always a great accessory. If you’re going to carry one main handbag all season, I recommend going for a neutral. Think about your footwear and choose a neutral that goes with most of your shoes and boots. Do you tend to buy browns or greys? I like to have one of each, personally, but if you usually gravitate one way or the other, you can easily find a handbag that will work with everything you have.

A black bag is nice to have, but I wouldn’t recommend it as your only neutral. Grey or cognac will be more versatile. For more on that, see my post, The 3 Handbags Every Woman Needs.

For a fabulous mid-size everyday bag, take a look at this Vince Camuto tote in the Havano color. This is a gorgeous neutral that will go with everything in your closet, and the leather on this bag is like butter. If you prefer a bag with some organization and you’re wanting to splurge on a bag you will have for years, I love and adore this Tory Burch Taylor Triple Compartment Tote, but the price tag is up there. She has definitely started raising her prices within the last year, I’ve noticed. About twice a year, she runs a 30% off sale and that’s definitely the time to take the plunge if you’re considering it. Also, the Parker Tote is a good one to check out if you like her bags but not the escalating prices.

If you’re set with neutral bags and you want to add a color to your fall wardrobe this season, I recommend going with a wine color or a moss green. I actually purchased this Rebecca Minkoff unlined convertible hobo at the #NSale on the first day. It’s almost more of a neutral than a fun color, but I think it’s going to be a nice change from grey and brown. Or go all in with a beautiful burgundy. I have a suede bucket bag in this color, and it is really fun to carry in the fall and winter.

Here are links to all these and more for your shopping inspiration.


WHEW! That was a book. What did I miss?

I realize there are no skirts or dresses in here. A sweater dress is a great piece to have for fall, but I didn’t see many on the website this year. Hopefully there will be more options when we get into fall weather. And of course every woman should have a go-to black dress in her closet all year ’round.

I hope this post is helpful as you start to fill out your fall wardrobe. HAPPY SHOPPING!!!

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