When it comes to buying basics, the search is usually anything but easy. We can barely cross a store's threshold without some of-the-moment item catching our eyes, but finding those items that make up your wardrobe's foundation can feel the quest for the Holy Grail (sans any coconut-clicking company*). We've sourced some of fall's key pieces-from a classic cashmere cardi to our favorite booties-to ease your seasonal shopping frustrations.
*Yes, we're referencing Monty Python's priceless film.
1. Round Toe Booties
The belle of the shoe ball this season is the ankle bootie and our favorites have round toes. If you like menswear-inspired lace-up shoes, try Nine West's Naso in black suede with a three-inch stacked heel. ($109, piperlime.com ) If you've worn ankleboots for a few seasons and want a new pair with interesting lines, check out the Marc by Marc Jacobs Scrunch Ruffle Ankleboot. The brown leather bootie has an internal platform (making the heel's height more comfortable) and is also available in black. ($625, barneyscoop.com)
The popularity of belts is not waning in the slightest. This pale neutral APC Reptile belt is less than an inch wide, ensuring it will go through just about all belt loops. Or you can wear it on your natural waist with a dress, like seen at Alexander Wang (above, second runway image from left). The slim belt is available in white, seen here, and chestnut brown. ($183, apc.fr)
Naturally there's loads of outerwear to choose from this season, but personally we're into the double-breasted coat, preferably in a bold color like seen at Miu Miu (above runway image, second from left). The cheerful cherry red of Delia's Maria Trench is a perfect lightweight choice and also comes in both khaki and black if you don't want a fun shade. ($68.50, delias.com) While the baby blue wool, Miu Miu Double Breasted Peacoat is a financial investment, the three-quarter sleeves are so cool and the divine construction means the coat will last forever-or at least until someone steals it from the coat check. ($1390, net-a-porter.com)
Wide Leg Jean
You don't need to banish your skinny jeans to the back of your closet, but we're feeling wide-legs right now, particularly this high-waisted Georgie Pant in Peking from 7 For All Mankind. This particular pair has a perfectly worn in, vintage-style wash and a little bit of stretch, making it our most-loved jean of the moment. ($198, 7forallmankind.com)
We've documented our love for clutches before, and now we're enjoying them during the day too. Fendi's To You Convertible Bag caught our eyes early on and we're still besotted now that it's (almost) in stores. One of the reasons for our feelings is the sheer size of the clutch-it's 18" long! Another nifty feature of the Fendi bag is the fact that with just a snap it goes from a clutch to a shoulder strap purse. ($1300, neimanmarcus.com)
Fall is particularly focused on accessories-belts, gloves, scarves-including (and perhaps above all) hats. There were so many shapes shown on the runway, like wide-brimmed at Marc Jacobs, bucket hats at Proenza, and beanies at Prada, but the best of the bunch is definitely the beret. The Louis Vuitton show (above runway image, first from right) showed the French hat to great effect and we found some inexpensive options to emulate that look. The red Basque Beret is imported from France and also comes in black, brown, navy, or camel. ($45, hartfordyork.com) Even less expensive is the Purple Beret from Red Hats and More. ($9, redhatsandmore.com)
Many designers showed sweater dresses, but we just like wearing regular old cardigans. Stella McCartney's grey, wool and cashmere blend cardi is loose fitting and super luxe. ($1050, matchesfashion.com) A more reasonably priced option is J. Crew's Schoolgirl Cardigan in 12-gauge knit cashmere. In addition to the tan shown above, it's also available in 13 other colors. ($175, jcrew.com)
Ladylike accessories look quite polished when worn with a full skirt and tucked-in top. We think Graham & Spencer's Silk Charmeuse Skirt in the season's favorite neutral, gray, is pretty perfect. The pleat front skirt hit just above the knees and has hip pockets. ($253, net-a-porter.com) See By Chloe's A-Line Inverted Pleat Skirt in cream is another amazing wardrobe basic. ($290, net-a-porter.com)