Over here in Los Angeles, fall weather has not quite hit yet. While the drink menu at my favorite coffee shop is suddenly filled with the usual seasonal suspects and Halloween classics are in fact playing on just about every TV channel, it's still a little too warm to break out any outerwear. The bad news is that I'm impatiently waiting to add some layers to my daily outfits, but the good news is that I've had more time to gather fall outfit inspo.
Sometimes I get said inspo from street-style images or my favorite fashion influencers' Instagram feeds, but lately, it's my stylish co-workers' looks that I'm committing to memory. Naturally, I'm checking out the 'fits of all the girls based in New York, where it's much cooler out, specifically Who What Wear's fashion director (and my boss!) Natalie Cantell. As the ultimate denim lover, I knew she'd have some great jeans-and-boots outfits to share with me, but I didn't know they'd be this good or this affordable. Oh yes, from head-to-toe, they both ring in under $180, thanks to Walmart's amazing fall styles.
Straight-Leg Jeans + Chunky Boots
Natalie's first look is what we often refer to as the fashion-editor uniform: a great blazer, skinny jeans, and some kind of on-trend footwear. "It’s also a bit of a London vibe," she points out. "I feel like Londoners have that knack of taking edgier moments from decades past (like chunky Chelsea boots) and pairing them with something classic (like a heritage-print blazer) to create a look that feels both modern and timeless."
"From the waist up, this look feels very traditional and even a little country club, as though the blazer might have elbow patches," Natalie tells me. At this point, plaid blazers are both a trend and a classic, so now's your chance to grab one for only $45. Get excited.
The accessories here are just so cool, too. Mock-croc handbags are the trend that keeps on giving (I have at least three by now), but chunky boots are my personal favorite this season. "Lug soles are a huge trend again. Get involved—the view from up here is great!" Natalie jokes. A shorter, ankle-grazing pair like these patent ones are perfect for styling with just about any pair of skinny or straight-leg jeans, making them extremely wearable. They'll also make you feel super cool and prepared on those unexpectedly rainy days when everyone else is complaining about ruining their shoes.
Wide-Leg Jeans + White Western Boots
Natalie is quick to point out how easy it is to wear trends this fall without trying too hard, as seen in this second outfit. She says, "The neutral color palette, wide-leg jeans, Western-inspired boots, snakeskin bag, balloon-sleeve knits… This look is basically a smorgasbord of fall trends, which seems funny because it’s so chill. Extreme lowkey-ness might be the biggest 2020 trend of all." Touché.
I love this look for those of us finally ready to break the loungewear cycle. "Make a point to find polished pieces that are as soft and enticing to wear as sweatpants and sweatshirts," Natalie suggests. "They exist—I swear." This sweater-and-turtleneck combo is proof she's someone who actually takes her own advice.
Now for the main event because I know you're all really only here for the jeans and boots (no shame). "Relaxed denim is definitely where it’s at this season, and a lighter-blue wash is so good with soft neutral shades," Natalie tells me. I really like the pop of white from the boots, too, which are exactly the right amount of Western without feeling costumey, according to Natalie. I've yet to invest in white boots this season, and I think I may have just found the pair.