To be totally cliché, October means my pantry is stocked with pumpkin products from Trader Joe’s, Hocus Pocus is officially on repeat, and it’s still averaging 90 degrees in southern California. I love LA, but it’s a real bummer heading to Starbucks and not even wanting a PSL because it’s too hot for anything but a cold brew. Alas, the fashion show must go on: no matter the temperature outside, there are a few key pieces I have worn on repeat every year, whether freezing in Chicago or overheating in Los Angeles. Here are eight fall pieces so good, I’ve been wearing them for years (sorry in advance for the mirror smudges that won’t leave me alone no matter how often I clean this thing).
1. Shearing Moto Jacket
I’ve had this same jacket for almost five years now, and it is not only the coziest item I own, but it is also probably the edgiest (I don’t do “edge” very often). Whenever I wear it, I immediately feel a lot cooler in style and a lot warmer in temperature (see what I did there?). It’s cozy inside but effortlessly chic on the outside, making it the perfect fall jacket I’ll never stop wearing.
2. Cream-Colored Blazer
Yes, I still have the black blazer I got from Forever 21 before my first big-girl internship, but this cream-colored satiny blazer just feels so much more on-trend. I love pairing it with all-black so it really stands out and updates the look. A lighter-colored blazer will seem like the less obvious choice, but alas, it’s so easy to pair with everything that you’ll be tempted to wear it every single day.
3. Trench Coat
OK, this trench coat might be the item I’ve had the longest and, dare I say, the best purchase I’ve ever made. I first bought it nine years ago (wait, what??) and have worn it almost every season since. However, my favorite season to wear it in is fall. I’m not even sure what scene or movie I’m referencing, but when I put it on, I immediately picture myself as Audrey Hepburn on a crisp autumn day, only with less poise and comfier shoes. Wear with basically any fall outfit because it goes with everything (trust).
4. Western Bootie
I love a good bootie (who doesn’t come September?). I love a good bootie so much that I am usually persuaded to purchase a couple of new pairs every year (though my overflowing shoe closet will try to tell me how much I don’t need them). However, year after year, I subconsciously go back to this western-style bootie. I think it’s a combination of the interesting accents that make it stand out from the average black shoe, or how the western style perfectly contrasts with the preppy blazers and sweaters I live in during the season. Either way, my western-style booties aren’t going anywhere (if you couldn’t tell by the tarnished toe).
5. Animal-Print Sweater
Back in my cold Chicago days, this sweater was on work OOTD rotation every week. When it’s chilly and cold outside, all I want to wear is the top that feels most like wearing a blanket without going full Snuggie territory. No one (hopefully) noticed that I chose comfort over style because the eye-catching print looks like it was a conscious fashion decision and not the warmest piece I could get my hands on. I don’t care what anyone says: animal print will always be in-style–especially in cozy knit.
6. Plaid Blazer
As I write this article, I’m learning that all of my work milestones are marked by blazers (is this how Carrie Bradshaw feels?). My mom gifted me this blazer before an internship I had while studying abroad in Paris (if a tailored blazer doesn’t help you overcome imposter syndrome, I don’t know what would). These days, it’s put to use for a more fashionable purpose than impressing my old boss. I love it with light wash jeans for a style contrast that’s perfect for the season.
7. Statement Sweaters
One of my favorite life hacks during fall (maybe this is obvious to everyone, but I’m still going to call it a life hack): the statement sweater. You’ll stay cozy and warm with minimal effort, all while looking picture-perfect for Instagram. Cozy knits with interesting details and elaborate accents are a must-have in any girl’s closet, if for no other reason than tricking people into thinking you put some effort into getting dressed. I have a particular thing for ruffles and statement shoulders, but you can also look for bright colors, bold prints, or pretty tailoring.
8. Statement Shoe
Full disclosure: this is only the second fall that I’ve owned these boots, but they deserve an honorable mention, and I’ll tell you why. Like the statement sweater (above), I have had a statement pair of boots every season since I knew what boots were (like, back in the Limited Too days). A couple of years ago, it was OTK boots; the year before that, it was studded boots (I used to be so much edgier); and years before that, they were probably from the Lizzie McGuire x Target line and had sequins. The point is that a statement boot will be your go-to all season long. You can completely transform jeans and a sweater, or keep your summer skirts in rotation while the boots keep legs warm. Win, win, win!