I'm a Fashion Editor—Here Are the Fall Basics I'm Getting Major Compliments On

Shop Like an Editor is a Who What Wear column where our senior editor Kristen Nichols shares her latest fashion finds.

I’m always the most inspired to get dressed when a new season rolls around. Yep, it means that many of the trends I’ve been eyeing from the runways are finally starting to drop and I can start mixing them into my personal wardrobe. And that’s exactly what I’m doing this fall. While I would normally be snapping up more statement-making pieces, I’ve been interpreting the trends by restyling many of the basics sitting in my closet and adding in a few fresh finds for the new season.

One thing I can guarantee—all of the pieces ahead earn major compliments every time I wear them. From the Instagram-inspired way I’m styling a sweatsuit to the comfortable jeans I can’t stop wearing to the boot trend I won’t stop talking about, here, see how I’m wearing some of my favorite fall fashion basics this season. You may just find some new essentials to add to your closet.

Trench + T-Shirt Dress + Rubber Boots

One of my favorite shoe trends for fall? Knee-high rubber boots. In the past, I would normally only wear them in rainy weather but after spotting them on the F/W 20 runways at designers like Bottega Veneta and Prada, I've been inspired to mix them into my fall looks. Here, I'm wearing them with a T-shirt dress and trench for a transitional look.

Blazer + Ripped Jeans + Heels

I ordered this blazer at the beginning of the year and it is still one of the most special pieces in my closet. While I usually wear it with legging-like pants, I decided to swap in loose, ripped jeans—the comfortable denim trend I can't stop wearing right now. To finish off the look, I added a pair of vintage Manolo Blahnik slingback heels that I've had my eye on for years and finally ordered.

Padded Tee + Relaxed Trousers

Padded shoulder T-shirts have become one of the defining trends of 2020 and it's easy to see why. A modern update to a standard basic tee, the shoulder pads instantly make it feel fresh and cool. It's a personal favorite piece I wear for my Zoom calls. Here, I'm styling it with a pair of relaxed trousers from Tove that have the best fit of any pants in my closet.

Square-Toe Boots

Square-toe boots have been around for a few seasons now but feel just as cool as they did when they first emerged on the fashion scene. That's one of the things I love about them most—they feel very on-trend but have major staying power. This pair from Manu Atelier has become a staple for fall even though I've had them since last year. The style is so popular that they continue to bring them back in new colors.

Polo Sweater + Loose Jeans + Polished Bag

Knit polos are having a major moment right now. They're a mainstay in the fall collections but I found an amazing affordable version from H&M. The camel piece I'm wearing here sold out in record time but they just dropped this beautiful cream version that I highly recommend ordering before it sells out. Here, I'm pairing it with loose jeans—yep, a favorite as I mentioned above. I also added this stunning bag from Ferragamo—a timeless investment piece that I'll own forever, which also lines up with the polished bag trend that's everywhere this season.

Sweatsuit + Oversize Blazer + Tube Socks + Sneakers

We're all living in sweatsuits right now, right? At least, I am most days when I'm working from home. As they've become a main staple in my wardrobe, I've been trying to rethink how to style them. Here, I added an oversize blazer, tube socks, and my go-to sneakers.

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Colorful Blazer + Split Leggings + Chain Belt + Kitten Heels

I have to admit that I haven't always loved the idea of wearing leggings for anything but a workout but my thoughts on that have completely changed. Sleek black leggings have become a mainstay in my wardrobe and I especially love the split versions that have an open seam at the ankle. I ordered this cult pair from Totême before they quickly sold out and can confirm that they are worth the hype. They just restocked so I would recommend adding them to your cart. While I tend to stick with neutrals, I love an unexpected pop of color like this magenta blazer, which I topped off with a Chanel belt and my go-to vintage Prada heels.