I Can't Stop Staring at These Affordable Fall Accessories (They Look Expensive)

The constant in this crazy year is that the entire fashion set has downshifted gears a lot. Everyone is gravitating toward more casual looks and more sensible price tags, and I'm here for it. What makes it even easier to embrace these new everyday stylings is that everyone still looks chic. Whenever I scroll through my social media feed, the fashion accounts I follow never fail to inspire how I get dressed in the morning, especially now that we're deep in a new season.

So I decided to ask a few of my favs what's inspiring them. Scarlet Kent, Kassala Holdsclaw, and Demi Balogun are just three fashion girls I regularly Insta-stalk for inspo, so it came as no surprise that their answers were closely aligned: Neutral color palettes to make up fall's base layers—by way of beige blazers, black wide-leg trousers, and maxi dresses—with polished accessories as the icing on top. To achieve this easy styling formula, they're reaching for hero bags and on-trend boots from Vince Camuto. I can't wait for you to see what they've come up with, but I'm even more excited for you to see the price tags on these key outfit pieces.

Look #1: Large Tote + Knee-High Boots

This year, Kent has been focused on building a sustainable wardrobe as much as she has been on creating stylish looks. This means shopping for versatile pieces that she can keep in her wardrobe for years to come. To Kent, these expensive-looking black boots and leather tote are a perfect foundation layer. "These pieces can be dressed up or down. Versatility is my main focus when creating a sustainable wardrobe for the future," Kent tells me. She was drawn to this tote in particular because it reminds her of the first bag she ever purchased. "This is the mature version of that bag with the structured bottom and change in texture at the top corner," Kent says.

This all-black ensemble is really made with the statement knee-high boots and contrasting beige oversize blazer, another important wardrobe staple. Kent keeps her color palette neutral in large part because it makes for easy layering, which she says is key in fall and winter months. "You can never go wrong with a tall black leather pair of boots. It's flashy, yet you never look like you are trying too hard," Kent says about the hero item.

Look #2: Crossbody Bag + Booties

Like many fashionable ladies, Holdsclaw marks the arrival of fall by rotating boots and sneakers into her wardrobe. "I'm a sucker for a black boot, especially when paired with a black bag," Holdsclaw says of these expensive-looking booties. But the perfect boots aren't the only thing she's a sucker for: "I chose this bag specifically because it's small, simple, and black. I have always stuck to neutral tones: black, brown, white, etc."

I love the combination of neutrals in Holdsclaw's outfit. It feels smart and businessy upon first glance but actually has a nice tailored edge to it with the rigid wide-leg denim pant and silver jewelry. Holdsclaw particularly loves the brown heel on these black booties, which adds a nice contrast to her black jeans. I imagine these hero accessories will carry her through the winter months along with the other on-trend items inspiring her styling right now: tops with shoulder pads, long coats, knits, and vintage leather jackets.

Look 3: Animal-Print Top-Handle Bag + Knee-High Boots

You can almost tell Balogun gets dressed listening to music just by looking at this perfectly styled outfit. It just looks like Balogun had fun getting dressed and had no problem ticking off all of this year's trend boxes without cluttering her outfit in the slightest: There's the belt-cinched knit dress, the top-handle snake-print bag, the knee-high mock-croc boots, and that's not even mentioning the long solo braid slung over her shoulder.

Balogun tells me she looks to accessories to elevate minimal and neutral looks. And yes, those are in fact the same boots Kent is wearing—they're that good. Balogun was drawn to their architectural heel and the texture of the mock croc for the exact reason that they take a simple go-to outfit formula and make it really stand out. As for that bag? "So I am not the biggest fan of color in my wardrobe if you couldn’t tell, so for me, this bag adds so much character to a minimal or monochromatic look," Balogun says. "I love that smaller bags are in. In the midwest, we have to layer all the way up so having a bag that isn’t so clunky is essential." I don't even need to worry about layering up in L.A., but I'm sold on this bag. Actually, I'm sold on this entire look.

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