Putting together your autumnal wardrobe can be a bit like choosing what fall television shows you're going to watch. Though the end results are quite different, both require you to look at a season's worth of potentially appealing options, narrow it down to a batch of the most worthy contenders, and then commit to a final list. And while we are definitely not TV critics-as made obvious by our love of The Real Housewives franchise and Jersey Shore-we do know how to sift through a slew of tantalizing items to come up with the perfect mix of au courant essentials for your closets. So while we'll refrain from programming your TiVos, dear readers, we can offer you a thoughtfully curated collection of fall necessities that are sure to please any audience. Read on for our master list of must-haves, all of which are gathered here today for your shopping convenience!
Utilitarian Boots / Sam Edelman Vancouver Booties ($225)
There is nothing like an outdoorsy boot to get us in the mood for a little power walking, which is why we're so excited about fall's rugged options! This season, high-heel boots are taking on new terrain and going utilitarian, bringing us to our next essential pick for the autumnal season: Sam Edelman's Vancouver Booties. These heavy-duty lace-up booties are certainly stylish, and they offer an easy way to give your look an earthy vibe. We suggest pairing them with Fair Isle sweaters, cozy knit layers, and shearling jackets for a spot-on ensemble.
Camel Coat / Lover Cottage Wool-Felt Coat ($610)
A camel coat is perhaps our most coveted wardrobe staple this fall. It's simple, yet evokes an effortless sense of luxury and glamour, and the honey hue pairs well with just about every skin tone. And while Alexander Wang's Nubby Oversized Coat ($1100) and Chloe's Double Face Angora Coat ($2684) are two worthy investments options available right now, we are head-over-heels for Lover's cozy, and less pricey, iteration. The collarless neckline and kimono sleeves give this classic coat a modern twist, and will transform any ensemble into an incredibly chic look.
Dark Metallic Polish / NARS Nail Polish ($16) in Mash and Purple Rain
Transitioning into the autumnal months inevitably means switching from bright, summery nail polish to richer, darker hues. While some years that might require a rich red or a Goth-glam black, this season you should focus on dark neutrals-khaki greens like Rescue Beauty Lounge's No More War ($18), glossy graphites like Chanel's Steel ($14), and chocolate browns like Essie's Little Brown Dress ($8)-with a little metallic shimmer. So what's our color du jour this season? We are absolutely insane for NARS' Nail Polish ($16) in Mash, a hue that's part of their limited-edition Vintage Nail Polish Collection. The army green lacquer is infused with gold-gorgeous-and is one of the collection's five resurrected favorites. But that's not the only obsession-worthy NARS varnish on the list! We're also taken with the rich, jewel tone hue of Purple Rain ($16), an oldie-but-goodie deep purple polish.
Pleated Dress / Opening Ceremony Tie-Dye Dress ($555)
One way to achieve the season's ladylike trend in an unfussy way is with a pleated dress or skirt. There is something so appealing about these refined and polished pleats, which is why we have our eye on this beautiful dress by Opening Ceremony. In addition to its pleated skirt, the dress also boasts one of fall's most luxe fabrics: velvet. We love how the frock has a bit of a Chloe Sevigny vibe, thanks to its adorable Peter Pan collar and cool indigo tie-dye plaid print, plus, the abbreviated hemline gives a touch of edginess to the overall look. Of course that's not the only pleated option out there. Wal G's Pleated Pinafore Dress ($60) and Love's Pleated Dress ($72) are two other options on our list this fall.
Structured Bag / Marc Jacobs Garbo Camille Satchel ($1850)
We are obsessed with all things polished and feminine this season, and that goes for our trusty handbags too! In our search for the most perfect carrier, we've come across many suitable options-check out Go Buy Now: Ladylike Bags and What Would She Wear: Fall Handbags to see some of our favorites-however, Marc Jacobs' incredibly chic satchel ultimately won us over. Not only is it a luxurious choice with its black-pebbled leather (also available in a dark brown) and gold metal hardware, but it also has an elegantly structured shape that's perfect for holding all your daily essentials. If you're looking for something with a more budget-friendly price tag, we also like Nine West's Lady Bag Satchel ($89) and Coach's Mia Embossed Croc Carryall ($398), both of which come with a similarly refined look and structure.
'70s-Style Jeans / Seven For All Mankind Georgia Jeans ($189)
The jeggings craze has been going strong for sometime now, so it pleases us to see a '70s-style jean (think: wide-leg, higher-rise) making a fresh comeback this season. How can you resist its flattering silhouette, which instantly elongates your legs for a slim and sexy look? For the best fit, we turned to one of our top go-to denim brands, Seven For All Mankind, and their amazing Georgia Jeans. We are drawn to their perfect semi-dark wash, and love the patchwork pocket detail in the front. Plus, they can easily be part of an office-appropriate ensemble. Wear them with a silky, feminine blouse (tucked in, of course) and sturdy heels, and you have yourself one savvy outfit!
Cat-Eye Liner / Benefit Magic Ink Liquid Eyeliner ($20)
A change in seasons always means a change in your beauty routine. While spring and summer were all about the bright red-orange lip, for fall the emphasis is on the eyes. Specifically, that means it's time to perfect your technique in creating a graphic cat-eye, per the Isabel Marant runway! Is it super cool and dramatic? Yes. Is it difficult to achieve? Not at all. When you're ready to create a long-lasting feline-inspired look, we highly recommend picking up Benefit's amazing smudge-proof liquid liner, as it's ultra black and easy to use. To further enhance the dramatic liner, make sure to keep the rest of your makeup minimal and neutral.
Black Lace Top / Alexander Wang Lace Top ($515)
While white lace is the stuff of brides and doll dresses, black lace is anything but innocent and it just happens to be one of fall's hottest materials. While there are loads of pieces that involve noir-netted details, we think the black lace top is the best style to seek out. Of course, there are countless styles to look at for inspiration; Christopher Kane's Embroidered Lace Blouse ($1210) is an optimal runway choice and Burberry Prorsum's Stretch Lace Top ($1103) is a superb, less sheer option for those of you are aren't as peek-a-boo oriented. That said, we're partial to a menswear-inspired take on the delicate trend and specifically adore Alexander Wang's lacey button-up. While Wang paired it with a black velvet cape jacket and skirt for his F/W 10 show, we think the intricately detailed, velvet-trimmed shirt would look super cool paired with black cigarette jeans or a slouchy, cuffed pair of trousers. Of course, there are awesome and affordable alternatives to these high-fashion pieces too. For example, Patterson J. Kincaid's Oversized Lace Tee ($88) is a much thriftier way to achieve a lacey look.-Jessica Baker
Photo of Burberry F/W 10 boots, Fendi F/W 10 handbag, and Giambattista Valli F/W 10 backstage image, courtesy of First View; Photo of Lanvin F/W 10 runway, courtesy of Lanvin; Photo of Christopher Kane F/W 10 runway, courtesy of Christopher Kane.