The Best Fall Outfits Always Include These 9 Layering Basics


(Image credit: @amaka.hamelijnck)

Don't ask me how, but in the blink of an eye, summer is practically over, and fall is here. Sure, we still have a few weeks of sweltering heat left if you're in New York City, but fall is slowly creeping in, and just like my mother says, it's best to be prepared too early rather than too late. I am, of course, talking about fall shopping complete with runway-approved trends, comfortable footwear, and too many instances of chunky cardigans to count. If you're already spiraling about the thought of turning over your closet, don't worry. My secret hack for fall fashion and transitional-weather shopping is to start weeks in advance before all of the best items get snatched up or sell out. 

To me, the principal manner of dressing when it comes to fall is to layer well. While you probably have a slew of traditional layering basics like long-sleeve shirts and tights, there are always a few fashion-forward items you can buy to spice up your closet come September and October. If you're on the hunt for your next fall outfit, look no further. These nine layering basics are the perfect foundation to base your wardrobe around. Happy shopping!



(Image credit: @amaka.hamelijnck)

How to style: Pair a hoodie with a blazer for a timeless model-off-duty look.



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How to style: If you haven't fully packed your summer wardrobe yet, opt for a simple white T-shirt or tank top under a knit cardigan.



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How to style: For the warmer transitional months, wear a chic miniskirt with a ribbed-knit long-sleeve top, as pictured above. As the weather gets colder, layer with sheer tights for a classic autumn look. After seeing Avani wear a tiered miniskirt with a timeless white button-down, I'm sold on the alternative-layering trend too.

Denim Outerwear


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How to style: Opt for a denim-on-denim look with matching bottoms and accessories similar to how our editor Sierra adopted the trend.



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How to style: You can literally wear a turtleneck under almost anything. My favorite way to incorporate the staple into my fall looks is under a structured blazer.

Wide-Leg Jeans


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How to style: The bigger the leg, the more opportunities there are to layer full-length fleece tights underneath without bunching. (Three cheers for that.) Pair your wide-leg pantaloons with a chunky-knit top of choice.

Leather Jackets


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How to style: Pair a distressed moto jacket with some white denim or white trousers for the ultimate French-girl autumn ensemble.



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How to style: Layer with overalls by incorporating silk scarves, boxy blazers, and collared shirts into your outfit for a whimsical cool-girl look.



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How to style: Although my favorite way to wear a sweater-vest is over a turtleneck and paired with a miniskirt and knee-high boots, you can opt for a classic French take on the item by wearing it with straight-leg jeans and ankle boots.

Assistant Shopping Editor
Ana Escalante is an award-winning journalist and Gen Z editor whose work ranges from dissecting size inclusivity at fashion week to discussing how American Girl Doll meme accounts are the the answer to society's collective spiral. She's covered it all: Queen Elizabeth II's corgis, Roe v. Wade frontline protests, and the emergence of jorts (or jean shorts for the uninitated). At Who What Wear, Ana is responsible for delivering smart, insightful, personality-driven shopping guides and trend features for a digital-first generation.Before joining Who What Wear, Ana was Glamour magazine's editorial assistant, where she focused on daily news and special packages, including leading the brand's 2022 Met Gala coverage. For more than half a decade, she has covered style, beauty, and digital culture for publications such as Paper magazine, Harper's Bazaar, Vogue Japan, and Allure, among others. Ana has been called a rising star in media by publications such as Nylon and Teen Vogue. (Her mother, meanwhile, calls her "the coolest person" she knows.)