How to Upgrade Your Go-To Fall Basics for Under $50
T-shirts, boyfriend jeans and LBDs — classics. But let’s be real — with the new season in full swing, you might be thinking those much-loved closet essentials are starting to feel a little, well, underwhelming. Enter the stunning basics below. Upgrading your arsenal of wardrobe workhorses is so easy this fall, thanks to details like feminine ruffles, sleek metallics, velvet fabric and bits of lace that provide that little extra oomph to everything from classic It-girl t-shirts to everyday leggings and ankle boots. Who says statement pieces are the only route to swoon-inducing style? The 13 must-haves below prove that keeping it simple can yield some seriously stunning results, earning them a place of prestige in your fall capsule wardrobe.
1. H&M Crinkled Flounced Blouse ($35): Buh-bye, blasé button downs. Between the ethereal fabric and ruffled detailing, this feminine blouse is a Victorian dream. Offering a welcome alternative to classic collared shirts, the dramatic stunner is a shoo-in for your on-the-job routine. Tuck it into a pair of tailored trousers, then proceed to style alongside masculine steppers for a jaw-dropping look that exudes girlboss appeal.
2. Zara Silk Feel Batik Dress ($70): Who needs an LBD when you have this silvery number on standby? Between your bestie’s fall wedding, swanky dinner dates with bae and Saturday shopping excursions with your crew, this silk slip dress will prove its sartorial worth again and again. Dress it down for weekend shenanigans with a cozy turtleneck sweater, a bomber jacket and sleek sneakers.
3. ASOS Looking Good Wide Fit Studded Ballet Flats ($46): Ballet flats have made a major comeback, but don’t expect to find dainty bow-trimmed renditions dominating the fashion scene. This season’s interpretation of the timeless style is fun, playful and cutting edge. Exhibit A: these studded steppers that will lend a hint of don’t-mess edge to both flirty pleated skirts and cropped flared denim. Keep your feet feeling dance floor-ready all night long by swapping in these badass flats for your go-to pair of pumps.
4. Mango Turtleneck Sweater ($50): Calling all lazy girls! Boxy silhouettes are your BFF this season, perfectly balancing comfort and cool factor. The best part? They go with everything in your closet, meaning you get major bang for buck. Our favorite way to wear it: half-tucked into high-waisted skinny jeans and teamed with statement ankle boots and a leather jacket.
5. Target x Who What Wear Plus Size Pajama Shirt Dress ($37): Shifts straight-up slay on-duty — there’s no doubt — but if you’re looking for something with a bit more panache, this pajama shirt dress is it. Taking you from Monday morning brainstorming sessions to after-work drinks in flawless fashion, it’s guaranteed to become your working girl signature. Take the frock’s sophistication factor up to the next level with a knotted silk scarf and strappy suede Mary Janes.
6. Forever 21 Metallic Glitter Knit Leggings ($16): When you’re not feelin’ the tights but you need an extra layer to keep plummeting temps in check, these glitzy leggings have your back. Infuse midi skirts and printed mini dresses with a touch of sparkle and shine in seconds simply by slipping this gilded number on.
7. J.Crew Long-Sleeve T-Shirt With Lace ($50): If you like your tees with a side of panache, this pretty option will feel right up your alley. Decked out with lace trim, it makes the perfect complement to A-line skirts and over-the-knee boots for a look with an edgy, feminine vibe.
8. Mango Lace Skirt ($50): Oh la la. When your ’90s-inspired slip starts to read meh, enlist this lace-trimmed beauty to breathe new life into your after-hours lineup. Be it a cocktail party at a secret location or an art festival, this sultry number would look downright DDG paired with a plunge-neck sweater, chainlink stilettos and red matte lipstick.
9. Out from Under Velvet Open Back Bodysuit ($49): When it comes to keeping your cool-weather style on lock, bodysuits are it. Whether you wear one with high-waisted skinny jeans or a go-with-the-flow maxi skirt, they never disappoint. Add a little velvet into the equation and you have your new signature piece for day-to-night dressing that packs a punch.
10. Zara Mini Pompom City Bag ($50): New season, new bag. It’s a rule of thumb. For fall, we’ll be swapping out standard saddlebags for structured top-handle numbers that read lady about town. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Over-the-top bag bling is essential for achieving street-style star status, and this satchel’s playful pompom ensures that you do.
11. Forever 21 Faux Suede Mock Neck Jacket ($45): Denim jackets, it’s been real, but for fall we have our hearts (and closets) set on a shearling-trimmed topper that can withstand chilly temps. This dreamy faux suede style more than delivers, especially when worn with an oversized sweater, a beanie and lace-up booties.
12. Express Lace-Up Front Ribbed Sweater ($50): Who says sweaters can’t be sassy? Featuring a come-hither lace-up front, this rib knit number brings the wow factor like none other. For an off-duty ensemble with endless RN appeal, team with velvet trousers, sleek mules and a structured jacket.
13. Zara Zipped High Neck Sweater ($40): Introducing sports chic 2.0. Try this turtleneck with side-button slacks and menswear-inspired flats for an afternoon of errand running, or pair with a sassy wrap skirt and buckle ankle boots for an Instababe-approved date night look.
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