Fall Closet Essentials

It’s September, which means saying goodbye to summer and saying hello to Fall. Fall is my favorite season, both from a wardrobe-perspective and in general. The yellow, orange, and red leaves falling to the ground, the overcast days with bits of sunlight poking through the clouds, perfectly mild weather – sign me up! It’s also the perfect season for layering sweaters, neutrals, knitwear, boots, and jackets. What’s not to love?

I’ve been fascinated with the idea of a capsule wardrobe recently and while I’m not sure picking exactly ~37 items would work for me (quite frankly, I just have too many clothes and like variety), I think there’s something to be said about the benefits of following a color palette and investing in items that you can wear over and over again, styled into many different outfits. As we move into Fall, I thought I’d share some of my favorite items that have become Fall closet staples for me over the years. These are all items that I would (and have) personally found high quality versions of to invest in.

Things to know:

  • I work in a business-casual (but mostly casual) office environment. As long as I’m not wearing spaghetti straps and short shorts, I can pretty much wear whatever I want.
  • I live in Seattle. Fall runs from September to November, during which Seattle experiences a pretty big dip in temperatures (a high of 67 in September versus a high of 51 in November, with lows as cold as 41 degrees!)
  • I walk a lot – to the bus, to work, around downtown during my lunch break. This calls for shoes that are relatively comfortable and jackets that will keep me warm on chillier days.

Alright, onto the fun part… here are my fall closet essentials!

Leather Jacket

If I could pick one item to invest in for Fall (and winter, and spring…), it would be the leather jacket. If you’re comfortable buying non-vegan clothing, I would recommend purchasing one made of genuine leather because it will withstand wear better. I purchased mine from Zara of all places on sale for $100 two years ago and it’s still going strong. You won’t believe how many times I get compliments on this jacket – about 70% of the time I wear it, someone comments on it! Just goes to show how a classic, no frills piece can grab attention as much as a statement item.  My particular jacket is still available on eBay and I’ve considered buying a backup because I know I’ll be wearing this style for years.

I’ve linked some similar styles of leather jackets below at a wide variety of prices to fit your budget.

Black Turtleneck

That Steve Jobs vibe, am I right?

All kidding aside, nothing feels more chic to me than a simple black turtleneck paired with a pair of jeans and a pair of booties. It’s chic, timeless, and is a closet staple to fall back on during those “I have nothing to wear!” days.

You can also style it with a skirt, a pair of shoes, some trousers – not to mention they layer great under any sort of jacket. The beauty of the black turtleneck is that they’re offered in a variety of fabrics, meaning you can have a thinner top for the early Autumn months and invest in a wool turtleneck knit for the later, colder months.

I’ve linked some of my favorite turtleneck styles below, in a variety of materials and budgets.

Straight Leg Jeans

My biggest style 180 this year was making the switch from 100% skinny jeans to embracing straight leg denim. I remember last year reading an article saying “skinny jeans are OUT!” and guys, I don’t think I’ve ever been so worried or appalled about a fashion article in my life.I’ve been a dedicated fan of the skinny jean since I was 12 years old (back when they were just for “emo kids”) and making the switch wasn’t easy! But now, after looking for months and months for straight leg jeans that would flatter my figure and fit my short stature, I’ve come around.

I think straight leg jeans are a chic, simple, and versatile piece that everyone should have in their wardrobe. They look great with any top, especially when the tops are tucked in (or French Tucked, thank you Tan France!) They’re also available at any price range, and I’ve linked some of my favorites below.

Black Skinny Jeans

Do I even need to explain myself with this one? Sure, the straight leg silhouette is in right now, but I truly believe the black skinny jean will never go out of style.

I’ve been wearing black skinny jeans since I was 12 years old and in my wannabe-emo/scene kid phase. I still remember my first pair of skinny jeans my mom ever bought from me – they were from Papaya at the mall, they were $8, and I loved them to death. Black skinny jeans look great with almost anything – a white tee, a slouchy sweater, a long tunic, a jean jacket. Honestly, what do they not pair well with?

My favorite pair of black skinny jeans are the Topshop Jamie High Waisted Skinny jeans. They’re a cult favorite, available in tall and petite lengths (I obviously buy the petite ones). I’ve had my current pair for over 2 years and they’re still going strong. If you buy the Jamies, size up! I’m usually a 25 in jeans and I find a 28 the most comfortable in this style.

As with everything else, I’ve linked some other options below at a variety of prices to fit your budget.


I LIVE in black ankle boots in the fall, and for good reason – they’re a wardrobe staple. I have proud 3 or 4 pairs of black ankle boots in my closet and I’m sure I’ll pick up a few more this season. They go with absolutely everything, from a pair of black skinny jeans to blue straight leg denim to a dress. My favorites are an Acne Jenson dupe by Marc Fisher (here, I have them in two colors!). They’re so comfortable and I walked 30,000 steps a day in them while traveling through Europe. For a higher heel, I’m a huge fan of these boots from Tony Bianco and this pair from Marc Fisher.

These are my true closet essentials for fall – items I feel will stand the test of time and trends, that you will be able to wear for years and even decades to come. I’ve also linked some other (non-staple) pieces I’m loving for fall below. What are your staples for the new season?


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