At the start of each season, I like to do a holistic assessment of my current wardrobe before shopping for anything new. I wasn't always this way—I used to shop with reckless abandon, adding anything that caught my eye to my closet. As a result, I would end up with 10 almost-identical pieces juxtaposed with gaping holes in entire categories of my wardrobe. So in an attempt to be a more mindful consumer, I now try to shop strategically each season with the goal of building a wardrobe of quality staples I can wear for years.
The best way to do so is to invest in a foundation of quality basics to build around as time goes on. For fall, that means pieces like cozy sweaters, tailored trench coats, and leather belts that will act as the backbones of all of your outfits. These will be the items you reach for over and over again, making them foolproof investments. You may pair them with a trendier item each season, but they'll be the pieces you always return to. Below are the 30 elevated fall basics I currently have saved in my cart, as well as some outfit inspiration for how to combine them in chic, effortless ways.