35 Fall Wardrobe Essentials You Must Have (2021 Guide)

When shopping for the latest fall fashion trends, every wardrobe needs the basics. A fall wardrobe is a collection of pieces that reflect the season’s styles, textures, and colors to create stylish looks. Your fall essentials must feature trendy and versatile clothing that will make you feel warm and comfortable while looking cute and fashionable. The right fall clothes are made with quality fabrics that offer warmth, designed to be cozy and chic, and look good with countless outfits. Whether you’re having brunch with friends or going out for date night, these must-have items are welcome additions to any closet and can help you style the perfect fall outfits. Some women may want to pair a shirt dress with leggings and knee-high boots for a casual look, while others might prefer skinny jeans with a sweater, long wool coat and heels for an elegant style. With so many classic fall looks for women to choose from, it can be a challenge knowing what to wear. To inspire you with outfit ideas this season, we’ve compiled a list of fall wardrobe essentials to get this year. From jeans and coats to boots and sweaters, explore these fall fashion staples to find must-have attire, stylish footwear and cute accessories that will keep you looking effortlessly chic.

Fall Wardrobe Essentials

Fall Clothing Essentials

Dark Jeans

Dark jeans are the perfect item to help you transition into fall fashion. You can go with a neutral color like black, grey, or deep indigo that you can easily pair with a flannel top. If you want your jeans to be more of a statement piece, go with shades like tan, chocolate brown, olive green, burgundy, or burnt orange.

Dark Jeans

Shirt Dress

A shirt dress is a comfortable yet stylish option for the fall season. You can start by pairing a cotton or denim shirt dress with open-toed boots or chunky heels. As the weather cools, consider pairing the same dress with thigh-high suede boots and an oversized cardigan.

Shirt Dress

Cotton Sweater

A cotton sweater is a comfy and cool wardrobe essential during the autumn months. If you can, choose a knit pattern that you can find in multiple colors. A white or beige sweater is a great transition piece you can style with any form of denim, while darker neutrals can be matched with black leather leggings.

Cotton Sweater

Leggings

Leggings are a fantastic choice if you want to stick to casual and smart casual styles. Leggings can be dressed up or down for a variety of outfit choices. You can combine leggings with a chic shirt dress or chunky sweater and a warm coat. Finally, you’ll need to consider your shoes. Velvet loafers are an easy slip-on option, while over-the-knee boots provide a sexy and sleek look.

Leggings

Ankle Boots

Ankle boots are a classic choice for fall and can be the perfect addition to any woman’s closet. You can pair ankle boots with leggings for a casual outfit that will look timeless and cute around town, or style your booties with a dress for a stylish look you can wear for a night out. Stick with dark neutral colors like black and brown for a stylish staple.

Ankle Boots

Jean Jacket

Jean jackets are heavier than cardigans yet lighter than wool coats, making them a great addition to your outfit as the weather gets colder. A cropped jean jacket in a light color goes well with a white t-shirt or cardigan, while indigo and black jean jackets are good to pair with dresses for a more formal look. Consider making your jacket unique by adding pins and iron-on or sew-on patches that reflect your personality.

Denim Jacket

Down Vest

If you need something warm and fresh, consider adding a down vest to your closet. Down vests come in a variety of colors but stick to neutral tones if you want a piece that easily transitions between outfits. Stay away from pairing your vest with skirts and dresses and stick with casual. Down vests are best to pair with a light sweater, leggings or jeans, and sneakers.

Down Vest

Sneakers

Sneakers provide an athleisure aesthetic that can fit with almost anything. Pair your sneakers with leggings or skinny jeans and a knit sweater for a look that will never go out of style. Adding your sneakers to a casual dress or skirt is an effortless combination that will surely get you noticed for your excellent fashion sense.

Sneakers

Wide-Leg Pants

Nowadays most people automatically reach for skinny jeans, but consider making wide-leg pants your base for an ensemble that stands out. Flare or bell-bottom jeans are comfortable and chic, and can be dressed up or down to suit any occasion. Professional women who need business casual outfits can try pairing a houndstooth or tartan pattern with a matching jacket. For a more formal look, go with classic black and a ribbed turtleneck.

Wide-Leg Pants

Handbag

Whether you’re at a café drinking a pumpkin spice latte or strolling through fallen leaves, you’ll need an accessory to carry all your fall essentials. When choosing a handbag, the first step is to decide if you want it to blend into your outfit or be a statement piece. Brown and black are popular and attractive colors, while bags in grey, dark green, burgundy, and red colors are bold and edgy. A suede handbag is textured and trendy, while leather will take your style to the next level.

Handbag

Knee High and Over The Knee Boots

Boots were made for cooler weather and are a closet staple in the fall. Knee-high and over-the-knee boots are essentials for upping your sartorial game. Classic suede and leather boots in black and brown are the most popular and stylish, but there are many different colors and styles to choose from depending on your wardrobe. For a bold look, try a louder color or pattern like red snakeskin. You can style your long boots with an oversized knit sweater and leggings or a wool dress and coat.

Over The Knee Boots

Wool Coat

A wool coat will always keep you comfortable and warm during the colder months. A wool coat is a great layering piece that you can easily pair with a turtleneck sweater or light vest. Whether you throw on some leggings or are dressing for a formal occasion, having a wool coat is a smart choice. Combine your coat with jeans and knee-high boots or booties for an effortlessly chic style.

Wool Coat

Flannel Shirt

When it comes to fall shirts, the flannel shirt is a top priority. The flannel shirt is a great layering piece that goes well over a white t-shirt and can be paired with jeans, leggings, jackets, boots, and more. For a cool casual top, you can’t go wrong with a nice flannel shirt.

Flannel Shirt

Fleece Jacket

Consider wearing a fleece jacket to help protect you from the elements. Fleece is a lightweight fabric meant to mimic wool, so it’s a good option if you want to stay warm and cozy. Fleece jackets tend to lean on the casual side, so keep it chic with soft leggings and slip-on sneakers.

Fleece Jacket

Scarves

Scarves are a great way to keep your outfit fun and fashionable. For fall, stick to denser fabrics like wool, alpaca, or cashmere. You can go with a solid color to easily match with the rest of your outfit, a seasonal pattern like plaid or tartan, or a bright, bold design to create a statement piece.

Scarves

Turtleneck

The turtleneck is a fashion necessity for fall outfits. You can find turtlenecks made of cashmere, pima cotton, or other materials. While the most popular choices are black, brown, or grey turtlenecks, you can find a range of colors, fabrics and styles to suit your look. For a pop of color, choose pastel hues like pink, burgundy, ginger, baby blue, mint green, or sunny yellow.

Turtleneck Sweater

Blazer

Adding a blazer to your outfit is an elegant choice, especially around the office. A double-breasted blazer will keep you warm, especially if it’s a wool blend. Like the wide-leg pants, consider matching plain and houndstooth patterns for an easy autumn look.

Blazer

White T-Shirt

A white t-shirt is a classic closet staple that can be worn year-round. A white t-shirt goes great with a casual outfit like a flannel shirt, dark jeans, and sneakers. For a smart casual look, pair it with leather leggings and a matching leather jacket. Another trendy option is layering a white t-shirt under a knitted skirt, wool coat, and suede boots or booties.

White T-Shirt

Cardigan

When people think of fall fashion, cardigans often come to mind as must-have fashion. Start the season with a knit cotton fabric, then move up to oversized wool or alpaca fabrics for extra warmth. Layer your cardigan over a knit turtleneck sweater or a thermal tee. Slip on your favorite sneakers, flats, or boots to complete your outfit.

Cardigan

Chunky Knit Sweater

There’s nothing quite like the comfort of a chunky knit sweater. Whether you choose solid or patterned, wool or cotton, oversized or fitted, you can’t go wrong with a beautifully knitted sweater. Pair your chunky sweater with leggings or a matching skirt and a wool coat and scarf for layering.

Chunky Knit Sweater

Suede or Leather Jacket

You might not be ready to pull out your wool or fleece outwear just yet, so try going with a suede or leather jacket for a classy look. Lighter than a denim jacket, these jackets add an extra layer for functional fashion. You can pair your suede jacket with a cashmere turtleneck, skinny jeans, and matching suede handbag for a boho look. For an elevated casual vibe, style a leather jacket with leggings, a white shirt, and a contrasting leather handbag for an edgy aesthetic.

Leather Jacket

Chambray

Chambray is a lightweight woven fabric that is similar to denim, but softer. Much like a denim dress, a chambray top or dress is a great transition piece for fall. You’ll want to keep your outfit casual with chambray, so pair your clothing of choice with a thin cardigan and sneakers or loafers.

Chambray

Beanie

If you don’t mind messing your hair up a little bit, make sure you’re prepared for the fall breeze with a beanie. This accessory can work with many different types of casual ensembles, ranging from jeans and sweaters to shirt dresses with leggings. Make sure to choose a warmer fabric like wool or cashmere to keep your head protected from the elements.

Beanies

Oversized Sweatshirt

Another casual closet staple is the oversized sweatshirt. You can keep it simple with a solid color, or show off your personality with a graphic design like an image of your favorite cartoon, superhero, or sports team. You’ll most likely want to wear your oversized sweatshirt with skinny jeans or thick leggings. If you’re going out, swap your sneakers for cute booties or stylish flats.

Oversized Sweatshirt

Flats

If heels aren’t your thing, wear a pair of flats with your outfit. Flat boots like combat boots provide an immediate edge, while slip-ons like loafers act as a transition between casual and smart casual outfits. With the right ensemble, you can even style ballet flats to complement your aesthetic. Be sure to stick to materials that will keep your feet warm, like leather or suede.

Flats

Barn Coat

While the origin of barn coats is uncertain, what isn’t in question is that they are a great choice for fall. Barn coats are made to withstand wind and water, making them perfect for rainy days. Barn coats usually come in olive green or various shades of brown, so be sure to pair them with equally neutral clothing and accessory options.

Barn Coat

Vest

A vest is a necessary layering piece that can complement a range of outfits. While suede or cotton vests do nicely, you’ll want to choose a down vest or one lined with wool for the colder months. Place your vest over a thin ribbed sweater and put a coat of your choice on top.

Vest

Black Pants

Black pants are a classic item you can wear regardless of the season, offering women a versatile and sleek bottom that can be mix and matched with all styles. Whether you get leather leggings, denim jeans, or cotton trousers, black pants are a smart sartorial choice. With black pants, you’ll look chic with either a skinny leg, bootcut, or wide leg. When it comes to choosing fabrics, aim for thicker materials like twill, corduroy, or velvet. Pair your black pants with close-toed heels or ankle booties.

Black Pants

Raincoat

As the weather cools you’ll want to be prepared for anything, including rain. A raincoat is an essential item that will keep you protected from the elements while staying stylish. A barn coat is a casual option for a raincoat that can be layered with denim and a thermal top, while a wool coat can be layered over a wool sweater or dress.

Raincoat

Flowy Dress

You may want to transition your spring and summer wardrobe to fall, and there’s no better piece to do this with than a flowy dress. Florals will never go out of style, and neither will white cotton dresses. But also try to incorporate autumn colors reminiscent of fallen leaves, like brown, yellow, olive green, burgundy, and red. Add an oversized cardigan or jean jacket to keep you cozy. Complete your outfit with a pair of booties or flats and a roomy handbag.

Flowy Dress

Overalls

When you want to be comfortable and fashionable, experiment with overalls for a unique look. Modern overalls can be ripped and cuffed for a sexy cut. You can wear a simple t-shirt, a cute long-sleeve top, or thin turtleneck under your overalls for extra layers. For footwear, dress up your outfit with booties or heels.

Overalls

Hat

When it’s chilly, you can keep your head warm with a hat. No matter what outfit you style, consider topping off your ensemble with a cute and functional wool hat. Wool can be made into a variety of hat styles, including beanies, berets, and fedoras. Pair your hat with a stylish scarf and jacket for ultimate coziness.

Hat


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