14 Fall Must-Haves Under $250 — and How to Wear Them
Chic and effortless — they’re words that many of us hope our style conveys when we head out the door after painstakingly piecing together an almost-flawless #OOTD (all before coffee, no less). Making the transition to a new season is never easy — you’re still hanging onto those good summertime vibes — even with a closet filled with the latest must-have fall accessories, show-stopping shoes and an arsenal of jackets and coats that will keep you warm while still managing to do your style proud (that takes skill). A quick scroll through Insta will certainly give you all the inspo you need to make the switch from summer to fall a fairly straightforward process, but having a few timeless style essentials on hand (think: button-down shirts, classy pumps and a tailored jacket) that can easily be styled 100 different ways never hurts either. Below, we’ve curated a list of essential items that go with everything in your closet, banishing wardrobe conundrums one outfit at a time. Scroll on for 14 closet staples you’ll turn to all season long, and tips on how to style them.
1. Uniqlo Women Heattech High Rise Leggings Pants ($40): Die-hard leggings fans, rejoice! The tregging is the answer to all your mid-week style woes, because, yes, you can finally rock your favorite workout-inspired bottoms outside the studio (without drawing the side eye, that is). With their dress-pant-inspired styling, they can easily pass off as traditional trousers at the office, meaning you can rest easy as you hack away at that lengthy to-do list. But don’t worry: They’re laid-back enough to kick it with your favorite off-the-clock threads too.
Seasonal Styling Tip: Treggings are prime time when it comes to giving out-of-season (or slightly scandalous) pieces a seasonally appropriate edge. Slip ‘em under a mini dress, then toss on a boyfriend blazer, silk scarf and metallic Oxfords for a two-second ensemble that’s ready to work work work work work. (We had to.)
2. Zara Suede Ballerinas With Heel ($70): Ballerina flats may be on the rise, but you’re a heels kind of gal through and through — and with good reason. This season’s iteration of the classic pump is the real deal, thanks to luxe suede fabric and a trend-right block-heel design. Swoon. Whether you’re rockin’ relaxed-fit denim or a free-wheelin’ floral dress, these bad boys deliver every time.
Seasonal Styling Tip: If their brick-colored suede doesn’t get you, the #OOTD potential of these dreamy ballerinas certainly will. They’re sensible enough for your morning commute, but chic enough to give your date-night getup a bit of extra oomph — just add a classic trench, bow neck blouse and flared jeans for the perfect balance of ultra-femme and free-spirited feels.
3. Mango Suede Jacket ($190): Hey, good lookin’! A classic trench will always see you through, but this luxe suede stunner is sure to rack up a few extra style points too. When the temps start to dip, bust this out in place of your tried-and-true denim topper, then proceed to pair with everything from printed jumpsuits to swingy skirts.
Seasonal Styling Tip: Send fall style into overdrive by tossing this gorgeous belted jacket on with a crew-neck sweater, button-front denim midi skirt and snakeskin-inspired ankle boots for a sophisticated look that will send tongues wagging.
4. Madewell Short Sleeve Tee Dress ($98): As far as lazy-girl dressing is concerned, t-shirt dresses are everything. Comfy, stretchy and 100% fuss-free, they’re the cornerstone of endless throw-on-and-go getups and a savior on mornings when you hit snooze one too many times.
Seasonal Styling Tip: This breezy midi length dress is a heavy hitter, whether you’re headed to the office or out playing pool on Friday night. Class it up with a patterned tie-front blazer, bold collar necklace and leather mule loafers for a big Monday morning meeting, or keep it real with a shearling denim jacket and embroidered beanie.
5. & Other Stories Circular Pin Earrings ($13): Every girl needs a few sleek baubles in her jewelry box to give everyday basics and statement pieces a touch of extra polish. In addition to shimmery drop earrings, add a few minimalist options to the mix that strike the perfect balance of understated and standout.
Seasonal Styling Tip: Make your bling pop by pairing it with rich autumnal hues, or play with texture by styling a streamlined set of earrings alongside a snuggly, oversized sweater.
6. ASOS Slim Boyfriend White Shirt With Pleat Detail Back ($41): Both on-duty and off, a white button-down shirt is your wardrobe’s secret weapon. Going with anything and everything that calls your closet home, it effortlessly injects an air of sophistication and polish to even the most basic pieces.
Seasonal Styling Tip: Step up your style game by upgrading your go-to topper this season with modern detailing and RN allure. For a foolproof off-duty look, style it alongside distressed denim, slip-on loafers, a suede biker jacket and a handful of signature accessories that speak to your personality and style.
7. Madewell Los Feliz Crop Jeans in Collin Wash ($128): There’s nothing quite like a great pair of denim — especially a set that serves as a platform for showing off a killer pair of steppers (ahem, pointed-toe ankle boots). So just in case you needed one more reason to skip the skinny jeans this season, these babies are it.
Seasonal Styling Tip: Reclaim your street-style star status by rocking your favorite weekend pieces alongside these high-waisted cropped flares, then watch as the double taps come rolling in. Style ‘em up with a longline plaid jacket, oversized scarf and quilted chain backpack with endless It-girl appeal.
8. Mango Flap Leather Bag ($50): Sure, a trusty tote is key for carrying around your essential bag swag on the daily, but not every occasion calls for a larger-than-life sac. A stylish crossbody bag with modern finishings allows you to pare down without compromising those fine-tuned style standards. Sometimes less really is more.
Seasonal Styling Tip: From casual coffee dates to dinner and a show, this classy croco bag does it all. Play it cool with a t-shirt dress, shacket and statement collar necklace, or glam it up with a sleek shift dress, embellished heels and a sharp duster jacket.
9. Free People Back to Back Sweater Mini ($168): One word: foolproof. A sweater dress is the sartorial equivalent of your BFF — it brings that forever kind of love to the table. Keeping you cozy, cool and collected, it’ll never let you down. And can we talk about the roll-out-of-bed-and-go factor? Because, yeah — it has that going for it too.
Seasonal Styling Tip: Gray fall days are a major energy suck, so when the cool weather blahs start to settle in, you need an outfit that will take you from lounging on the couch to an impromptu (and so-necessary) karaoke sesh like that. A cable knit sweater and sneakers (which can easily be swapped out for sassy over-the-knee boots at a moment’s notice) are all you need to see you through ’til Sunday.
10. Reformation Eden Top ($58): Is there anything a striped rib knit tee can’t do? That’s what we thought. An arsenal of wear-anywhere long-sleeve tees are to fall what maxi dresses and bright bikinis are to summer — non-negotiable. They’re great for layering, but they can certainly hold their own, especially when paired with flirtatious necklines and streamlined shapes.
Seasonal Styling Tip: Do as the the French do and pop this Breton-striped scene stealer on with a classic biker jacket and high-waisted denim culottes for a weekend-ready ensemble that’s worth saying “oui” to. Get funky on the accessories front for a much-needed dose of panache with sock-boot steppers, a circular satchel and a velvet choker.
11. Adidas Originals Superstar Rita Ora Lace Up Sneakers ($80): Ask any It girl for her top five pairs of shoes, and there’s sure to be a set of classic sneakers on the list. There’s just something effortlessly chic about a fresh pair of sporty kicks, which just might be why you’ll spot a pair on nearly every fashionable femme’s Insta feed.
Seasonal Styling Tip: While sneakers and jeans are a timeless pairing, we suggest you step outside your comfort zone this season and team these graphic numbers with an oversized sweater and pleated midi skirt for a playfully polished look that is straight-up class. Throw in a chic backpack and streamlined ear cuff for extra style cred.
12. Zara Embroidered Jacket ($129): Blazers worked hard to earn their highly coveted title of closet MVP, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only topper that deserves your attention this season. Upgrade your outerwear with understated statement pieces that strike just the right balance of cool and classic, like this eye-catching cropped jacket.
Seasonal Styling Tip: Stuffy office attire? Not on your watch. Infuse your working-girl repertoire with major girlboss vibes by tossing this embroidered outer layer on over a turtleneck dress and strappy Mary Janes. Abstract hoops and go-get-‘em attitude unfortunately not included.
13. Nasty Gal All Tied Up Bodysuit ($48): There’s a reason the bodysuit has made its way back into the mainstream — its versatility is nearly unmatched. Another bonus? The streamlined silhouette perfectly balances out more relaxed pieces, adding a hint of sexiness and downtown appeal to jeans and joggers alike.
Seasonal Styling Tip: Style a lace-up number in a dramatic autumnal hue alongside a flowy midi skirt, shacket and ankle boots for off-duty adventures, or dress it up with jacquard trousers, a tuxedo jacket and glam drop earrings to shake up your GNO style routine.
14. Wilfred Vartan Sweater ($210): No cool-weather wardrobe is complete without at least one snuggly sweater on standby, and this longline stunner certainly takes the cake. With its ultra warm merino wool and oversized cut that’s perfect for layering, it’s form and function all rolled into one — what’s not to love?
Seasonal Styling Tip: When temps take a serious dip, toss it on over a turtleneck sweater, knit skirt and sleek leather boots for a flawless on-the-clock ensemble. For a hint of je ne sais quoi, toss on a set of modern hoops and bold wine-colored lipstick. Come the weekend, team it with a pair of skinny jeans, slip-on sneakers and a graphic tee, then let the good vibes flow.
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