12 Pieces I'm Buying to Upgrade My Personal Style This Season

At the start of every season, I open the notes app on my iPhone and update the running list of clothing items and accessories that I see as necessary additions to my wardrobe. Doing so has become near-ritualistic; I spend hours if not days selecting the exact trends I want to pursue for the season ahead and derive immense satisfaction from crossing each item off the list as the months pass (bonus points if I find something on sale). 

In a sense, this is how I've taught myself to stay within my very strict fashion (and décor) budget. Rather than having an online shopping spree as soon as the new styles hit the interwebs (or worse, flocking to SoHo and running up my credit card bill), I force myself to first consider which trends actually align with my personal style, whether or not I'll get enough wear out of them, and where I can find them at an affordable price point. 

For example, after careful consideration, I've personally decided that I'm all about shades of brown and red, plaid, subtle animal print, and croc-embossed accessories for fall/winter 2018. I'm mildly indulging in the ranch hand aesthetic (mainly in the form of trucker jackets), and passing on über-oversize jackets, '80s-style silhouettes, and neon-colored clothing. 

While the below list serves as both a realistic shopping list and a far-off wish list (I am not in the position to spend $400 on one item), it's an example of how being in tune with your personal style and keeping your list of seasonal must-haves to a minimum can save you money in the long run. Shop my 12 favorites for fall/winter 2018 below.

I love the look of houndstooth blazers versus plaid or checkered, and this hourglass cut from & Other Stories adds a touch of femininity to an otherwise masculine piece.

I'm currently searching for a wallet-friendlier version of this, but I absolutely love the collared trucker-style take on the leather jacket for this fall and winter.

What's a fall/winter 2018 trend roundup without some animal print? I saw one of my favorite fashion bloggers, Lucy Williams, wearing this Rixo London dress and fell in love with it. Despite the spaghetti straps, it's actually pretty versatile—I would wear it on its own, layered over a black turtleneck, or layered underneath a baggy sweater.

I've been in desperate need of a nicer (but still affordable) black wallet, and I love that The Daily Edited allows you to personalize each piece.

I've been searching for the perfect pair of plaid pants since last winter, and I think I've finally found them. I love the kick-flare style of these as well as the on-trend black-and-brown color combination.

Every new season calls for a new going-out top. The clustered dots give this slightly sheer top a subtle animal-print look, while the high neck and long sleeves will keep you somewhat warm. 

Is this a practical buy for fall and winter? No. Do I need it anyway? Yes. This Australian brand has officially mastered the slip dress, and I want it in every color.

I'm really into both the croc-embossed trend and the mini handbag trend for fall/winter 2018. This purse combines the two.

I love the Kurt Cobain–esque '90s vibe of this V-neck evergreen sweater. It has a slight thrift-store feel to it. I'd layer it over a white high-neck long-sleeve T-shirt. 

This is a winter staple that won't go out of style—it's office- and weekend-appropriate and will complement both a tight-fitting top or a baggy sweater. 

I love all of Paloma Wool's unique, abstract prints this season. I'm especially into the very on-trend rust color of this sweater—it would go perfectly with a pair of vintage Levi jeans.

For more fashion trend roundups, shop the 20 fall dresses our editors love next.