9 Fall Fashion Essentials for Women

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9 Fall Fashion Essentials for Women

When shelves become filled with all things pumpkin flavored and the leaves start changing colors, you know it’s time for fall — and fall fashion, of course.

Sporting the latest autumn trends can be costly, but if you invest in a few must-have items, you can make it through the season without breaking the bank. Here are the nine fashion staples that will carry you through the chilly nights and fall colors.

Jeans

Perhaps more than any other clothing item, jeans are the most essential piece of any fall wardrobe. Late September and early October are great times to purchase denim for less, so act soon to get your trusted style at an affordable price. Recently, we’ve seen impressive jean sales at retailers such as American Eagle and PacSun.

Try this: At PacSun, you can buy the Bullhead Denim Co. Coral Reef Ripped Mid Rise Skinny Jeans for $49.95. Or, if you buy now, you can get two for $69.

Little black dress

Whether it’s for a night out on the town or a day at the office, every woman needs a little black dress. This fall, you can pair that dress with a blazer or jacket if the weather turns cold.

Try this: At Kohl’s, the basic Women’s Apt. 9 Fit and Flare Crepe Dress is on sale for $35 (regularly $50).

Cardigan

Why wear a bulky sweatshirt when you can sport a fashionable sweater? This year, cardigans are all the rage. There are knit cardigans, tie cardigans and flowy cardigans, just to name a few. Shop at retailers as diverse as Forever 21 and Wal-Mart to scoop these up for a great price.

Try this: Nordstrom has the Bobeau Lightweight One Button Asymmetrical Cardigan on sale for $39.90 (regularly $58). That’s 30% off.

Simple T-shirt

For an affordable fall essential that’s easy to accessorize, buy a simple black or white T-shirt. Layer it with other pieces for warmth or dress it up with a piece of statement jewelry for maximum style. This wardrobe essential shouldn’t cost you more than $15, but it will provide endless opportunities for use.

Try this: The Long Sleeve Crew Neck T-Shirt from Mossimo Supply Co. costs $12 at Target. Pick from black, ebony or fresh white colors.

Leggings

It just wouldn’t be fall without leggings. Pick up a pair of the slim, sleek and comfortable women’s pants for an outfit staple you can pair with a dressy blouse or a casual T-shirt. Invest in this wardrobe piece and you’ll enjoy a look that can take you from home to the office.

Try this: Shoppers at Urban Outfitters can buy the Out From Under Matte Vegan Leather Legging for $24 (regularly $34). Note this product is an online exclusive.

Scarf

The purpose of a scarf is twofold — warmth, obviously, but fashion too. Bundle up in your favorite textured fabric or bold print to cut the fall-time chill while adding a pop of color to your outfits.

Try this: Feel like autumn in the gold, red and brown hue AEO Plaid Fringe Scarf from American Eagle Outfitters. It’ll cost you $24.95.

Blazer

Fall nights can be brisk, but they aren’t nearly as cold as those of winter. If you’re not ready to invest in a heavy-duty jacket just yet, opt for a lightweight blazer instead. This piece will make a great addition to your workplace attire. It will generally be less expensive than a parka too.

Try this: At J.C. Penney, the Black Label by Evan-Picone Notch Collar Ponte Jacket is on sale for $49.99 (regularly $72). That’s a 30% discount on this midnight blue blazer.

Boots

Fall weather means it’s time to put those flip-flops and sandals away and instead break out the boots. Shoes can be an expensive part of your outfit, so be sure to pick a pair that will be comfortable, stylish and suitable for regular wear. You’ll also want to think about choosing a style that will work with multiple outfits.

Try this: Get the look (and warmth) of Uggs without paying the Ugg price. At Target, shoppers can buy the Women’s Kamar Shearling Style Boots for $34.99.

Handbag

Finally, no outfit is complete without a handbag. Before you pick an expensive designer tote, be sure to select a fall color (likely black or brown) so your accessory will match everything you wear throughout the season. If you like changing up your look, opt for a less expensive bag. This will leave room in your budget to buy a new one in a couple of months.

Try this: Pick up the Anne Klein Run Wild Tote from Macy’s for $60.99 (regularly $89). It’s sold in black/vanilla bean multi, indigo and vanilla bean color schemes. Through Sept. 20, use coupon code FIVE to take an extra $12.20 off.

Courtney Jespersen is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: courtney@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @courtneynerd.


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