Fall Wardrobe Essentials

One of my most popular blog posts each year is my Fall Wardrobe Essentials, so today I’m posting an update for 2019 in preparation for the fall season that is right around the corner!

When putting together a list like this, I always hesitate to use words like “essentials” and “must-haves” because each woman is different and has different wardrobe needs. My best advice is to take this list with a grain of salt — consider your climate, lifestyle, and personal style aesthetic when determining what you actually NEED to add to your closet.

As a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom, I wear casual clothing about 75% of the time, so I try to keep my closet 75% casual wear. That said, I like to be sure I have a variety of dressier items for church, date nights, and work-related events that may crop up, so those styles comprise about 25% of my closet.

Okay, let’s get started! Here’s my list of 10 wardrobe essentials I think most women should have in their closets this fall season.

2019 Fall Wardrobe Essentials

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

1. Boots

Nothing says Fall like a great pair of boots, can I get an amen??? Unless you live in a super hot climate, you will probably want a few pairs of boots in your fall wardrobe.

As far as what’s trending for fall 2019, ankle boots (or booties) are hotter than ever this year, but tall boots are also nice to have — especially when the weather turns cold. I’m seeing a shift from the over-the-knee styles that have reigned for the past few years to more knee-high styles this season, and even some mid-calf styles, but pretty much anything goes.

Be sure to take your climate into consideration when purchasing fall boots. Fall and winter weather can be messy here in Philly, so while suede is definitely trending, I like to have some leather options as well. Also, some brands such as Blondo and Aquatalia make weather-proof suede and leather boots, and they are well worth the investment if you live in an area with messy winter weather.

Color-wise, neutrals are always a safe bet, but animal prints are having a moment right now with python stealing the show. I realize not everyone likes snake print, but if you do, you should definitely add it to your wardrobe this season.

SHOP FALL BOOTS: (Use the arrow to scroll to see more styles; more colors are available than what is shown.)

2. Flats

Fall Fashion Trends: Loafers

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’ve always loved a good ballet flat, but right now I’m really enjoying loafers for a change.

Mules and slides are still popular this year, and they also make a nice transition shoe.

The same color trends that are going for booties also apply to flats — neutrals are great, but it’s always fun to add a pop of color with your shoes, and animal prints are particularly hot right now.

SHOP FALL FLATS: (Use the arrow to scroll to see more styles; more colors are available than what is shown.)

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 block heel 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!

3. Denim

7 For All Mankind Roxanne Raw-Hem Ankle Jeans in Medium Blue

Even if you work in a professional environment and only wear jeans on weekends and the occasional date night, a great fitting pair of jeans is a wardrobe item almost every woman should have in her closet.

Denim trends are in transition right now, but I’m seeing a little bit of everything so feel free to wear what looks best on you and experiment with the newer trendy styles if you enjoy doing so.

I’m still a fan of my trusty skinny jeans, but I’ve been experimenting with the crop straight styles, and I always like to have at least one pair of flares in my closet for variety’s sake.


4. Layering Pieces

My favorite part of fall fashion is all the layering options.

When the cooler temperatures start to set in, that’s the time to bring out all of your cute moto jackets, blazers, denim jackets, and cardigans! I like to have a variety, depending on the venue and the style of my outfit.

Moto jackets are fun for date nights and for toughening up those feminine blouses and dresses, cardigans are nice for the office and for throwing on over a tee or tank with your favorite blue jeans on the weekend, and denim jackets are perfect for wearing over dresses and with colored pants and jeans.


5. Base Layers

To wear a layering piece, you must have a good base layer. This can include anything from tanks and tees to camis and blouses, and you can even layer over a sweater if you live in a colder climate.

I’m also including stand-alone tops and sweaters in this category because most of these can play double duty — wear them alone with a skirts or jeans for now, and then add a completer piece when the weather cools down.


6. Versatile Bottoms

If you work in a professional environment or just don’t care to wear jeans every day (I can’t imagine!) then you will need a selection of pants and skirts you can mix and match with the tops in your wardrobe.

Even though I wear jeans 90% of the time, I still like to keep a pair of basic black trousers in my closet, and I also have a couple pairs of cargo pants that I mix in from time to time.

Don’t be afraid of printed bottoms — plaid, camo, and animal print pants are hot right now!

Also, midi skirts are having a moment this fall, especially in silk and satin fabrics. I’m on the hunt to add one to my fall wardrobe.


7. Transitional Dresses

I’m not much of a dress girl, but I still like to have one or two in my closet for each season. In the fall, I recommend transitional styles that you can wear now with bare legs and open toe booties, and continue wearing with tights and boots (and maybe a layer on top) when the temperatures drop.

Trends at the moment are florals grounded on dark backgrounds, which I love for fall, and animal prints, of course; but a solid dress in a rich fall shade is always a classic.


8. Lightweight Jackets

If you live in an area with a distinct fall season, a lightweight jacket to throw on over your t-shirts and sweaters is pretty much an essential.

I love a good quilted jacket for fall, and an anorak or rain jacket is nice to have. Leather jackets and utility jackets are great outfit makers. I actually have one of all of the above!


9. 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 like taupe or cognac. Black is nice to have too, but it can be harsh and isn’t as versatile as a lighter neutral.

Think about your footwear and choose a neutral tone that goes with most of your shoes and boots. I tend to wear a lot of cool colors like grey, plum, burgundy, and blush; so if I could only choose one handbag, I’d go with grey or taupe. If you gravitate to warmer tones, you may prefer cognac or a warm beige.

I like to have some of each, personally, but it’s not necessary to change out your handbags with every outfit to be chic and stylish. To each her own!

Right now, Tory Burch is having a Private Sale, and Bloomingdale’s is also running a promotion that includes a lot of their handbags, so this is a good time to score a quality bag at a discount.


10. Seasonal Accessories

Finally, don’t forget to update your accessories for the season. In the summertime, like to keep my accessories minimal because it’s so hot, but as the temperatures cool down, I start to bring out my scarves and heavier jewelry.

Accessory trends right now are layered looks, chunky necklaces, and… wait for it… animal prints. Statement belts are also trending right now.


Okay, so that’s a wrap. I hope this post is helpful as you start to fill out your fall wardrobe.


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