8 Essential Clothing Items to Have on Hand This Fall


With its unpredictable temperature swings, fall presents a wardrobe challenge. These eight essentials can help you move seamlessly from your breezy summer clothes to warmer winter items.

1. Warm Scarf
A scarf is the perfect transitional piece to carry you from summer to fall. Layer one over a cardigan or T-shirt when the temperatures drop, or pair one with a light jacket when it’s not quite cold enough for winter outerwear. For extra warmth, look for blanket-style scarves. If you live in a warmer climate, choose styles made from lightweight cotton.

2. Mid-Calf Flat Boots
Mid-calf boots are an essential fall wardrobe workhorse. They’re not as warm as tall boots, so you can wear them on cool mornings and warm afternoons without overheating. The flat heels keep you comfortable, whether you’re walking to work or strolling through the autumn foliage. Slip the boots over jeans, or wear them with tights and skirts for a funky look. When paired with a cropped jacket, the boots make it easy to wear your summer dresses farther into fall.

3. Trench Coat
A lightweight trench coat is a must-have piece of outerwear for fall. Clothes Mentor said, “The long hem length keeps you warm, and the belt cinches your waist to create a figure-flattering shape.” Wear the trench coat open on warmer days, or button it up to keep out the cold. The timeless style works equally well over dresses and jeans, so you can wear it to work or weekend events.

4. Below-The-Knee Skirt
Fall weather is often too warm for tights but too cool for short hems, presenting an office-apparel conundrum. The solution: below-the-knee skirts. These long skirts expose only a small amount of skin, so you don’t have to worry about tights. Pair them with a T-shirt and flats for a day off, or wear booties and a blazer for work.

5. Long Cardigan
Comfortable and always in style, the long cardigan creates endless outfit options. Get the most from your cardigan by choosing styles in luxurious fabric and basic colors. Wear the cardigan over a short dress for a casual-chic look, or pair it with a button-up and trousers for work. Paired with jeans and your favorite band T-shirt, the cardigan morphs into a low-key outerwear option for informal events.

6. Long-Sleeved Workout Shirt
If you’re an outdoor exerciser, fall weather is a challenge. Sweatshirts and thermal tops cause your core temperature to rise too much, while summery tank tops don’t provide enough coverage. Strike the perfect balance with a lightweight, long-sleeve shirt made from wicking fabric. When the snow falls, layer the shirt with a vest or jacket for extra protection.

7. Black Leggings
Leggings have established themselves as a fashion staple, and they’re the perfect option for fall. Choose a pair made from thick fabric to hide lumps and bumps, and opt for the deepest shade of black you can find. Layer the leggings under long sweaters, or slip them under shorter skirts to stay warm. Leggings fit easily under tall boots; alternatively, wear them with heels and a cute top for a night out.

8. Button-Up Shirt
Tackle any type of fall weather with a lightweight button-up shirt. Wear it alone with a pair of jeans, or slip it under a sweater for a neat office look. Button-ups look great under vests, over leggings, and even tied at the waist over a short dress. For a versatile look, try a chambray style. If you want a look that’s on-trend, opt for a bright red and black buffalo check pattern. When selecting a shirt, look for a style that allows movement but doesn’t gape at the buttonholes.