10 Essentials Every Woman’s Fall Wardrobe Needs

Fall is officially in full force, and the holidays are right around the corner. But do you have all the essentials necessary to get through the festive months? Check out this list of 10 fall must-haves to make sure you’re on the right sartorial track for the season.

1. Little black dress

Lady in black dress with lace back

Every closet needs a black dress | iStock.com/grinvalds

It goes without saying the LBD would be front and center on a hit list of fall wardrobe needs. Not only is it the epitome of chic sophistication, it’s the ultimate cure-all for any occasion, as it can be dressed up or dressed down as the occasion demands. Plus, when you have more party invites than party frocks in your closet, the little black dress is your sartorial saving grace.

With the change of a heel or the addition of a scarf, belt, or piece of jewelry, this blank slate of a dress instantly transforms into a new outfit. We actually recommend investing in two LBDs; one that’s minimal and can be easily transformed with accessories, and a second that has some special detail for a bit of flair. Look for asymmetrical lines, interesting textural accents, or statement shoulders or sleeves.

2. Tailored blazer

fashion model in black jacket

Get a basic blazer | iStock.com/S_Chum

While a tailored blazer is a season-less option for any time of year, it’s a particularly essential piece for the fall and winter. What makes it so vital to a wardrobe is its versatility. Not only is it ideal outerwear when it’s not cold enough for a coat, it works just as well with a suit for a meeting as it does thrown over a sassy frock for the holiday cocktail party. This little wardrobe wonder is classic, feminine, and always in style. A black blazer is always a good choice, but for extra wow factor, go for one in a statement color. The main thing is to ensure that the fit is on point; sharp tailoring is key.

3. Denim jacket

stylish woman walking in a shopping mall

Denim jackets are perfect for fall | iStock.com/Tinatin1

If you don’t own a good denim jacket, now is the time to change that situation. It’s a great piece for the in-between seasons, as it easily transitions from balmier days to brisker nights. Plus, it is a timeless fashion staple that’s a key piece in on-trend street style looks. Get one that’s classic enough, and you can even throw it over that LBD.

4. Classic trench

young blonde businesswoman walking down a London street

Every woman needs a trench | iStock.com/Nickos

There’s no better companion to cover up in during the fall than a classic trench. The iconic coat has all the structured tradition of its British military heritage and pure sophistication in spades. It’s an investment piece you’ll wear over and over. Go for the most classic of silhouettes with a tailored A-line shape and a cinched in, belted waist, and it can be worn over everything from blue jeans to a gown.

5. Cardigan

smiling woman in wool sweater

Cardigans are endlessly versatile | iStock.com/m-imagephotography

Cardigans are great, and for three reasons in particular. First, they’re functional because they keep you warm in the chillier months. Second, they can be worn over pretty much anything. And finally, they can actually extend the life of some of your spring and summer wardrobe items. Those sleeveless tops or dresses don’t have to hibernate all winter — a cardigan can make them instantly appropriate for fall.

6. Striped shirt

woman in beige coat holding sun glasses

Striped shirts are timeless | iStock.com/iprogressman

You may not immediately think of a striped shirt as an essential fall wardrobe (or even spring wardrobe) piece. But the striped top, also known as the Breton shirt, is a shoo-in for just about any and every outfit you could wear. It looks classically sophisticated with a pencil skirt or leather pants and, of course, those slouchy boyfriend jeans. The stripes also play well when mixed with florals, plaids, and other prints, so don’t be afraid to indulge in some pattern play. For example, you could top the shirt off with one of those printed scarves we’ve been talking about, or wear it under a pinstripe suit.

7. Dark wash jeans

woman wearing jeans and jacket on the beach

Woman wearing dark jeans | iStock.com/Marc_Espolet

Dark wash jeans are always a good idea, no matter the time of year. But when the weather starts turning brisker, they’re absolutely essential. After all, those faded and light-wash jeans feel, well, too light to hold up to fall’s chunky knits and cozy sweaters. An added bonus? The dark wash instantly slims and elongates the leg. You’ll want to look for slim-cut or skinny silhouettes if you plan to wear tall boots.

8. Printed scarf

Young beautiful girl with a smile in vintage scarf

Woman wearing a scarf| iStock.com/Ales_Utovko

Scarves are the epitome of fall fashion and function, which is to say they should definitely be factored into your seasonal wardrobe. Easily transitioning from outside to inside, types such as the infinity scarf and even long ones in bright or bold prints immediately elevate the most basic of looks while keeping you cozy. Leopard print is always a good way to go if you’re questioning the patterned look for a scarf. The print is on trend and nearly a neutral, meaning it goes with everything from jeans to a corporate suit.

9. Black opaque tights

Slender legs of a teenage girl

Wearing tights| iStock.com/glebchik

A fall wardrobe would be nowhere without black opaque tights — and a few backup pairs, too. They keep your legs warm while elongating and slenderizing. Plus, they ensure you can get away with wearing a mini that’s maybe just an inch too short for comfort.

10. Booties

ankle boots on bench

Ankle boots | iStock.com/tixti

No better way to wrap up a wardrobe roundup than with a pair of shoes that will really go the distance. While it goes without saying that you should have a classic pair of pumps in your shoe wardrobe, the bootie is truly one of the best shoes on the block for fall. Yet again, the beauty is in this footwear’s versatility. We recommend a pair in a black hue that can be worn just as easily with a dress and tights for a trendy elegant look as with jeans and a sweater for a casual look.They also fit well under a suit or a trouser for all those professional endeavors. Talk about being well-heeled for fall.