As soon as days begin shortening and nights grow colder, I am the first person to get excited about new fall fashion trends. I anxiously await for indie designers to release their new lookbooks and I look forward to seeing my favorite bloggers rocking boots, jackets, and jumpsuits alongside the colorful backdrop of fall's changing leaves. But the changing of the seasons doesn't mean an entire wardrobe overhaul is necessary.
Sourcing a new wardrobe every single time the weather transitions would be a full-time job in and of itself. It'd certainly require a budget that most 20-something writers just don't have. The good thing is that in addition to finding ways to rock summer fashions year round, I often find myself gravitating toward a few staple pieces from my closet — even when they're a few seasons "too old" or whatever. So instead of going back online and adding more to my e-retail shopping cart, I'm more likely to find a new way to style a piece I've worn throughout years past.
When I started talking to my best friend Kristen about this, I realized that while our styles are pretty vastly different (she's more classic, I'm more edgy), she also had pieces from her wardrobe that she looks forward to wearing every fall. Before the weather cramps our style and forces us to dress in frostbite-proof fashions, we both wanted to find ways of reinventing our fall favorites for another year.
1. Letterman Jacket
I first bought this jacket in 2012 when Drake's aesthetic was more Letterman jackets than red puffy coats. I got it at a vintage store in Texas and wore it on the plane in 100 degree heat because I couldn't fit it into my suitcase. Over the years, I've gotten used to being asked what high school I go to, even though I was 24 when I first got it. I've been through a lot with this coat, and I am sure not going to give up on it now.
In the past, I may have worn it with sweaters and leggings. This year, I opted for plus size joggers, a crop top, and a flannel that's quickly turning into a new personal staple.
2. Skinny Jeans
I stay clear of jeans when I wear denim, but Kristen is a big fan of the skinny jean. Although she doesn't necessarily have one go-to pair of dark wash skinny jeans that she wears fall after fall, she does always make sure that come autumn, she has a pair to wear with cute flats and leather jackets. This is the Delux Stretch Legging Jean from Avenue, which she says has the perfect balance of stretch and structure.
To revamp your classic skinnies look, why not try incorporating the '70s trend into your ensemble? I'm loving the tan, neutral tone of Kristin's jacket with the tight fit of the jeans.
3. Your Favorite Beanie
This beanie is another piece I've had since 2012 and every time I wear it, I still get asked where I got it. Sadly, the designer who made it no longer sells them. But that's not going to stop me from keeping it alive in my wardrobe. While it's not quite thick enough to keep me warm come winter, it's perfect for a fall bad hair day. In the past, I would wear it with all black since it makes enough of a statement on its own. But this year, I decided to pair it with an equally loud sweatshirt from plus size styling service Dia&Co and a deep burgundy lip from ColourPop.
4. Wide Calf Boots
Shopping for wide calf boots can be a challenge, but if you know the style you're looking for, that can make things easier. Kristen has worn these exact tan wide calf boots for the past three years at least. It's definitely a signature, to the point where she will wear them until they're covered in holes. This pair in particular is from the now defunct Dots, but when she's looking for a new pair, she says that she gravitates towards ones that have a slight wedge and hit right above or around the knee.
In the past, she would've been likely to style them with a jean jacket. This season, however, she stepped outside of her comfort zone in a chambray button-up hoodie similar to this one from ASOS.
5. Your Staple Lipstick
You're probably thinking "pink lipstick as a fall staple, huh?" I am firm believer in wearing whatever you want, whenever you want. I wear dark lipsticks in the summer and one particular shade of pink year-round: Pink Parfait by L.A. Colors. I first got it in 2013 for $1 at the beauty supply store and it was the first tube of lipstick I ever finished completely. When I found it again, I bought four tubes. It's a classic pink that just works for me and while I'm all for experimenting with makeup (particularly lipstick), it's nice to have a go-to autumnal shade. Instead of opting for a simple look, I went for lots of accessories like big oversized hoops and caged metal sunglasses.
6. Plaid Infinity Scarf
Nothing really says fall like a plaid scarf. When a scarf is so lightweight like Kristen's fave, there's really no wearing this come December. Every year, though, Kristen says she adds scarves like this one from Target to her basics. While she might go for a statement necklace in the summer, it's this plaid infinity scarf that she's more likely to gravitate towards in fall. If you've run out of ideas for how to style them, there are plenty of scarf-tying style hacks to get you back on track.
7. Leather Jacket
Although I've had this olive jacket with black leather sleeves for about two years, I really didn't start to love the hue until this fall when I saw so many bloggers styling it flawlessly. I had always worn it more for function than for style, often pairing it with black leggings and a sweater. Armed with my newfound love for olive, I decided to combine it with an end of season sale dress from H&M+ and chunky boots to add a fall twist to a summer silhouette.
Trends may change with the seasons, but your closet doesn't have to. Fall is the perfect time to give new life to a few old favorites.
Images: Alysse Dalessandro