How to Pick Next-Level Fall Basics According to 3 Style Experts
There is such a thing as a boring style basic, but that doesn’t mean that all basics are boring — far from it. Remember, as the foundation of your wardrobe, these pieces do have a lot to live up to. We expect them to be dependable, dynamic — *the* mixiest and matchiest of the bunch — and make you look damn good all season long, so why shouldn’t they tick all those boxes? To make sure you get what you deserve out of your new crop of clothes for fall, we asked two of the Bay Area’s coolest boutique owners, Jamine Levine of Dandelion Post in Oakland and Mira Pickett of Mira Mira in San Francisco, along with stylist Colton Dixon Winger, for their tips on how to snag next-level styles you’d be proud to call staples. Scroll through to learn the easy ways (+ peep the majorly splurge-worthy items) that will help you up your style game before you go on your next shopping spree.
“Choose something with more interest than a black stacked heel boot, but that still has longevity. These booties combine two materials and colors for a style that is a little western because of the heel, a little ’60s because of the style, and a little ’70s because of the glam splash of gold — perfect combo.” – Jaime Levine, Dandelion Post
Nina Payne Halsey Booties ($288)
“I love the idea of a fun pop of color to spice up a basic bootie. They always look great with denim but really can punch up any outfit.” – Mira Pickett, Mira Mira
Rachel Comey Mars Boot ($403)
“This season, the details are in the heel. Cut outs, blocked or curved, have fun with shapes in your footwear — go bold. Margiela births the most beautiful booties known to man, and they’re comfortable enough to wear 12 hours a day, but for those of you can’t spend your *entire* paycheck on a pair, Vince always produces a great boot that can transition you from day to night, work to weekend. – Colton Dixon Winger, Stylist
“A suede d’Orsay flat is a nice choice if you are looking for something more feminine. Go beyond black, though, and choose something rich like suede in a wine color. Suede and wine are on trend this fall, and you will cover both looks in one purchase. For something more tomboy, go for a loafer with an unexpected flair or tennis shoes that have a retro feel.” – Jaime Levine, Dandelion Post
“I’ve been crushing on fringe everything for fall — the incredible heeled fringe booties that walked the Burberry runway made my head spin. I can’t rock a heel on the regular, so these adorable taupe flats are definitely on my wish list.” – Mira Pickett, Mira Mira
“When it comes to flats, don’t go overboard. These are a classic style that wasn’t mean to be over-embellished. You’ll look over-styled if you opt for studs, buckles and grommets. Choose a color in a nice leather from one of my favorites — AGL, Repetto, Anniel, Church’s or Tods — and you can’t go wrong.” – Colton Dixon Winger, Stylist
Anniel Slipper ($122)
“Boyfriend cardigans never go out of style. With that said, go for a pullover this season. A pullover can stand on its own as a top or be layered over a button-down shirt that looks great with any style pant or skirt.” – Jaime Levine, Dandelion Post
“Fall ’15 is all about the long, draping layer. I like this cozy sweater vest because it pairs well with everything, dressed up or down. And brown is the new black.” – Mira Pickett, Mira Mira
Ottod’ame Tricot Vest ($236)
“A great cardigan gets you far when it comes to office layering. It’s less stuffy than a blazer and more approachable, not to mention comfortable! I focus on fit when it comes to layering pieces for my clients. With an emphasis on styling with the bust and waist in mind, you can’t go wrong. For women that are more pear shaped, I opt for a cropped cardigan with a slight dolman sleeve that falls nicely across the chest and hits at her true waist. Anyone who lacks volume in the chest and seat can opt for my all-time favorite: the long cardigan. For the woman who works in a conservative environment, stay true with the classic button-down cardigan in navy, black or gray, but don’t be shy of a little detail (think: a monochromatic elbow patch or ruching around the seam and neckline). – Colton Dixon Winger, Stylist
“T-shirts get so much wear, so why not get a trendy color? Just make sure it’s a looser fit that can be tucked. Jeanne Damas wears this look well!” – Jaime Levine, Dandelion Post
“Every woman should always have a fresh one in grey, navy, black and white. No need to splurge. Everlane does luxe tees at affordable prices. Choose a neckline that flatters your bust. A loose boyfriend tee is my favorite. Pair with denim on the weekends, a tailored trouser and suit jacket for work and a sexy fitted midi skirt and pumps for a night out.” – Colton Dixon Winger, Stylist
“Fall means cooler weather, so go for a midi-length dress with short sleeves instead of layering with leggings.” – Jaime Levine, Dandelion Post
“Instead of choosing a basic daytime dress, I like to switch it up with a trendy romper. It’s all about lush fabric here, and an understated way of dressing that is both classic and current.” – Mira Pickett, Mira Mira
Ace & Jig Eclipse Onesie ($298)
“You can’t go wrong with a day dress, though they aren’t always easy to find. I always opt for styling my clients in dresses that hit two inches above the knee with button fronts and belts when possible. Stick with solid colors if you don’t already have one. This makes it easier to style back to denim or leather leggings in the fall with oversized knits for more versatility. My go-to favorites always come from Isabel Marant, but you can also snag a solid one from Joie for a fraction of the price any day. – Colton Dixon Winger, Stylist
Joie Eugine Dress ($188)
Date Night Skirt
“A denim skirt is a great way to look dressed up but not too prissy. Pair a ’70s style button-down or wrap version with a sleeveless mock turtleneck or go for a mini or pencil style with a tucked-in tee/blouse.” – Jaime Levine, Dandelion Post
“I love the revival of the denim skirt. It’s a great way to bring a bit more femininity to basic jeans without losing any comfort. This knee-length tulip skirt is fresh yet reminiscent.” – Mira Pickett, Mira Mira
Just Female Hotel Skirt ($112)
“This is where you should have fun. Don’t invest too much $ here if you can help it. Your date-night skirt should be something you’re excited to wear. For something sexy, try something body con from Givenchy or Zara; for something artistic, choose an A-line, full circle skirt in a textured fabric from Marni or Anthropologie, and for something powerful, go for a midi skirt that’s modern and elegant from the Olsen’s The Row or David Michael.” – Colton Dixon Winger, Stylist
Zara Pencil Skirt ($23)
“Velvet! Whether wide leg, skinny, straight leg or boot cut, velvet pants are a decadent departure from denim. Don’t get too crazy, though — pick an easy to wear color like wine or beige.” – Jaime Levine, Dandelion Post
“My favorite! I wish everyone would ban denim completely from their wardrobes. There’s something so powerful and sophisticated about a trouser, plus it doesn’t always need to be a traditional work trouser! I’m a huge fan of trousers that hit right above the ankle for versatility. One of my all time favorite silhouettes is the paper bag waist trouser, which can sometimes get a bad rep, but that doesn’t always mean volume, ladies! Plus, this style works so well with a tee and a pair of converse for running errands, a silk blouse tucked in with a closed-toe pump for work and one of your cropped cashmere sweaters and ankle boots for a night out with friends. Did I mention it suits every body type?!” – Colton Dixon Winger, Stylist
“Depart from the blazer with a kimono jacket. It has a more natural feel while still looking polished. Get a heavier fabric if you want to take the look to outerwear.” – Jaime Levine, Dandelion Post
Hackwith Design House Gray Lois Kimono ($125 — exclusive designs sold at Dandelion Post this fall)
“Bigger is definitely better for Fall 15. We saw a lot of balloon sleeves and roomy outerwear silhouettes. This can be a somewhat scary trend to embrace, but I love the way that this coat is oversized but understated.” – Mira Pickett, Mira Mira
Ganni Blou Coat ($375)
“Go simple and modern (flat front if possible!), in a twill/linen blend with no embellishments, PLEASE! This can be thrown back to denim and tee, over a dress or paired back to your work trouser and blouse.”
Joie Nalah Jacket ($298)
What are your shopping tips for scoring next-level fall basics? Dish in the comments below.
Fall is right around the corner, and we're getting amped up for our next session of Selfmade, Brit + Co's 10-week interactive startup school. Designed to help you create a new business or grow your existing one, this course is personally led by Brit + Co founder Brit Morin and co-founder Anjelika Temple, and supported by more than a dozen of the top female entrepreneurs, creatives, and investors in the country. Students receive personalized coaching on everything from how to get out of your comfort zone to how to scale your business, and everything in between. And now, thanks to Office Depot, even more of you can join the course!
For the fall session, we're thrilled to team up with Office Depot to grant 200 FREE scholarship seats to the course. Scholarships are open to US residents, focusing on women of color, women from underserved and underrepresented communities, and women in need of support to help them trail-blaze. After all, we firmly believe that your support system is a huge part of how you achieve greatness, and we are here to cheer all of you on.
To nominate yourself or someone you know for a scholarship, head to our nomination form right here. The deadline for scholarship nominations is September 27th — it's time to take the leap!
Beyond the scholarship, Office Depot is all about helping you accomplish more. Whether it be the start phase, growth phase or keep businesses going phase, Office Depot offers a full suite of business solutions, including services and products, to help you work from anywhere, organize and save time and help build your brand.
So what are you waiting for? Take a chance on yourself and get yourself one step closer to truly being selfmade. Learn more about the Selfmade program, apply for a scholarship and prepare to be inspired :)