I always keep a close eye on trends and how I can interpret them in my current looks, but my personal style veers on the more classic side of the style spectrum. Yes, I've been experimenting with new trends—including everything from sheer see-through skirts and designer logo tank tops to satin ballet flats and chunky Mary Jane heels—but my core wardrobe revolves around timeless staples that I consider to be the backbone of my closet and the pieces that get more wear than any other items I own.
For fall, there are some key pieces I've collected over the years that are in constant rotation throughout the season. Ahead, I'm breaking down the classic fall fashion staples that I think deserve a spot in every person's closet. Collect these pieces and you can create a number of outfit formulas to take you through the fall and winter months.
Up until a few years ago, I relied more heavily on puffers once fall hit, but I think tailored coats look incredibly polished, so they've become a key piece I wear when temperatures start to dip. Not only are they the perfect pieces to pair with more casual looks, but they're also great outerwear items to layer over evening outfits.
I'm a boot person no matter the time of the year, so ankle boots are a staple that doesn't depend on the season. Fall is where they're essential, though. While there are so many great shapes and styles, I'm investing in Western-inspired silhouettes right now.
A crew-neck knit sweater is one of the most versatile pieces you can own for fall. Paired with jeans and loafers, it makes for the ultimate easy, casual look. But you can also tie a sweater over your waist or shoulders to tap into some of the cool styling tricks spotted on the fall/winter 2022 and spring/summer 2023 runways.
While denim silhouettes are forever in flux, straight-leg jeans are the shape that will never go out of style. If you're trying to navigate the constant trends in the world of denim, this is the top shape I always recommend.
Fall is a moment of transitional fashion, meaning that it is the time of the year when leather jackets really come into play. Whether you opt for a leather blazer or biker jacket, there is a range of classic styles you can buy now and wear forever.
Like I said, I'm a major boot person. While ankle boots are an essential in my closet throughout the year, I always look forward to wearing knee-high styles once fall hits. For a more transitional look, pair them with a minidress. Once the temperatures drop, they're the perfect shoes to pair with a maxi dress or a statement coat.
Slip dresses are yet another year-round staple I rely on, but they are especially great for the fall months because they're so versatile in terms of styling. Add a blazer and strappy heels or knee-high boots and a knit to make them primed for a holiday party.
In years past, it was all about leather leggings. As silhouettes have relaxed, though, that has impacted how I want to wear leather pants. Now, I'm interested in leather trousers that have more relaxed fits and a straight-leg silhouette.
I consider turtleneck tops to be the fall equivalent of a T-shirt. Not only are they incredibly easy to style with everything from jeans to trousers, but they also add an extra element of warmth that I'm after during the cold season.
Loafers have been trending in the last several years, but that doesn't mean they aren't a classic. I love the chunky platform styles that are on the market right now but would personally invest in a classic, streamlined pair—a style I know I would wear for many years ahead.
Kristen Nichols is the Associate Director, Special Projects at Who What Wear with over a decade of experience in fashion, editorial, and publishing. She oversees luxury content and wedding features, and covers fashion within the luxury market, runway reporting, shopping features, trends, and interviews with leading industry experts. She also contributes to podcast recordings, social media, and branded content initiatives. Kristen has worked with brands including Prada, Chanel, MyTheresa, and Luisa Via Roma, and rising designers such as Refine and Tove, and her style has been featured in publications including Vogue.com, Vogue France, WWD, and the CFDA. Before Who What Wear, Kristen began her career at Rodarte, where she worked on assistant styling, photo shoots, and runway shows, and at Allure, where she moved into print and digital editorial. She graduated from the University of Southern California, where she studied art history and business, and currently lives in New York.
I Haven't Shopped at J.Crew in Months—These Elegant Picks Are Now in My Cart
By Grace O'Connell Joshua
I Spent 7 Hours Digging Through Saks—39 Items I Discovered That I Now Need
The perfect pastime.
By Aemilia Madden
I'm a Fitness-Loving Fashion Editor, These Are My 5 Go-To Leggings
Every brand, tried and tested
By Rebecca Rhys-Evans
I'm a Plus-Size Fashion Editor—These 28 Styles Are on My Spring Wish List
I want all of these ASAP.
By Chichi Offor
5 Issues Everyone Has With Skinny Jeans and How to Fix Them
Read this before your next shopping trip.
By Bobby Schuessler
The 10 Best White Tank Tops of All Time, According to Me
Here's how to wear it.
By Anna LaPlaca
It's My Job to Find Amazing Shopping Picks—These 9 New Buys Are Too Good to Miss
A fashion editor's favourites.
By Remy Farrell
25 Cotton Thongs That Are Cool and Comfortable
By Bianca Nieves