Building a Better Fall Wardrobe

Living in Chicago, you need to be ready for the weather to change on a dime. That’s why I’m already thinking about my Fall wardrobe even though we are still experiencing 80 degrees plus weather and days filled with sunshine. While I’m hopeful this is not the end of summer, its best to be prepared for the Fall months ahead!

Review Your Wardrobe

Sound familiar? Reviewing your current wardrobe will never not be on one of my lists! It’s so important to review what you’ve kept from last season and try everything on again to make sure your only holding onto pieces you love and see yourself wearing again.

I kill two birds with one stone and begin swapping out my summer items with transitional fall pieces as part of this review process.

Educate Yourself

This is a fun step, I promise! By educate yourself, I mean do some research on the upcoming trends for fall using Instagram or picking up the larger than life Vogue Fall issue. I love Fall fashion because it is all about statement pieces and styling. This is the season where and I can get away with wearing vintage wool skirts passed down by my grandmother (no joke!)

Things I like to look for when pursuing Instagram and magazines are the colors, patterns, silhouettes and textures showing for the new season. So far here are the major trends I am seeing for this fall and I am here for all of it!

  • Midi Skirts
  • Boyfriend Blazers
  • Satin Blouses
  • Classic silhouettes with a twist
  • Textures: tweeds & knits
  • Patterns: plaid, hounds-tooth
  • Colors: Olive Green/Pistachio, burgundy, millennial purple

Building Blocks

I’ve listed out below some key pieces to have in a Fall wardrobe, especially if this is your first fall season in an office environment.

  • Boot/Booties
  • Blazer
  • Patterned Work Pant
  • Work Blouses
  • White Button Down Shirt
  • Crew Neck Sweaters
  • Turtleneck
  • Loafers

Your list may differ based on what you need for your work environment, like a suit, but once you’ve determined your building blocks its time to cross reference this with the clothes you already have from last year. If you notice any gaps, those pieces go to the top of the list in terms of priority.

Set a Budget

To be totally honest, as a financial advisor I don’t do the best job of staying within my shopping budget but I could tell you exactly how much money I’ve spend on clothes any given month or year.

I don’t think this makes me a failure because I think it’s more important to understand where your money is going and be aware of your spending habits. I’ve found there are two ways to approach building a clothing budget. I’m going to call them the monthly vs. seasonal approach.

  • Monthly Approach – Setting a monthly budget and buying a few pieces each month to stay within budget.
  • Seasonal Approach – forego the monthly budget and instead do one big shop at the beginning of each season staying within three months of clothing expenses.

To put some real numbers to the strategies above, if the monthly clothing budget is set at $200 per month then under the monthly approach, each month do your best to keep all clothing purchases under that dollar amount. If the seasonal approach is more appealing, then every three months you have the opportunity to have a bigger shopping trip with a overall budget of $600.

My preference is to follow the monthly approach but when I do make a larger purchase (i.e. winter coat or new booties) then I will follow the seasonal approach for that particular season.

Get Shopping

Try to shop sales when possible. It helps to grab pieces on sale if you put in the work ahead of time and begin creating your wish-lists and filling your shopping carts with your fall staple pieces. Once the retailer starts their sale, you’ll only be clicks away from those new fall pieces.

Sharing below some of my newer purchases for the fall.

Blouse | Skirt | Booties (similar)
Blazer (similar) | Top | Skirt | Heels
Blazer | Top | Pants | Heels (similar)
Blazer (Similar) | Blouse (similar) | Pants | Heels (similar)

Hope this helps you all build your best fall wardrobe yet!