Instead of investing in loads of clothing to kick off the academic year, anchor your closet with a few thoughtfully chosen staples to help transition from summer to fall. Try these fall basics to add an effortless flair to your outfits and carry you through the rest of the school year:
Silk scarves have recently re-entered the fashion cycle. They can be used in several different ways, including worn around your neck, tied onto a tote, wrapped around your waist as a belt or tied around your hair as a headband. Choose a solid color or a muted print for a versatile accessory that will go with almost anything.
If you’re feeling crafty, make a scarf yourself by cutting a square shape out of an old piece of clothing and sewing the perimeter. You could also purchase the Kristina printed scarf from Anthropologie ($24.95).
White button-down shirt
While it might seem elementary, investing in a white button-down shirt can dramatically expand your outfit options. A white button-down, like the central shirt ($49.50) from Madewell, can be dressed up or down for an internship, class or hanging out with friends.
Tuck the shirt into your favorite midi skirt or plaid pants to dress it up, or wear it with an untucked pair of jeans for a more casual look. The lightweight fabric is comfortable for the final summer months and can also be used in the fall with a cardigan.
Everyone needs a basic blazer to rock a job interview, but you can also wear one confidently to class with a pair of jeans or to a party with heels and a silky top.
A simple plaid blazer can add a level of sophistication and maturity to almost any look. Oversized blazers have become especially popular, like the wool oversized blazer ($180) in black, grey and plaid from the sustainable clothing brand Everlane.
Wide-leg pants are both comfortable and functional. Paired with a tank, they make a stylish summer look, but they can also be used in the fall with the addition of a jean jacket or pullover sweater.
The pants are more comfortable than some skinny jeans because of their relaxed fit and loose bottoms. For a pair that will last you a while, opt for Everlane’s lightweight wide leg cropped chino pant ($68). The pants come in many solid color options, from white to light blue. For a dressier look, add a pair of heeled clogs. For a laid-back look, pair the pants with sneakers.
A metal chain belt is a fun way to add a retro vibe to an outfit. Layer it over jeans or a midi skirt to give an edge to a girly look that can be worn to class or out on the town. You may find one from the ’80s in your mom’s closet, or you can try this silver chain belt from Target ($15).
Leather tote bag
For an accessory that will pull together all of the aforementioned items, invest in a medium-sized tote bag to add both style and function to your outfit. Opt for a neutral tone to ensure you get the most use from the bag, like the medium transport tote ($158) in English saddle from Madewell. There are also vegan options available that utilize faux leather if you are concerned about purchasing real leather, like this one from Free People for $68.