The sun’s still out for now, but soon enough, the leaves will fall, Starbucks’ PSL will be all the talk, and — undeniably — we’ll all be wondering what to wear. As the temperatures drop and the layers pile on, it can be difficult to style your clothes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of cropped tank tops and denim shorts, but there’s something so comforting about chunky, oversized sweaters, warm beanies and scarves, and a pair of cute boots.
It’s never too early to start preparing for Edmonton’s rough winters, but what better way to segue into the snowy season than to start preparing some outfits for fall? I’ve curated a list of the what’s “in” this season, where to purchase these items, and the best tips to utilize the “basics” you already have.
Here’s the ultimate guide to getting those leather blazers, booties, denim jackets, and oversized sweaters into your wardrobe — almost as if Gilmore Girls’ fashion icon, Lorelai Gilmore, had just styled you herself.
What’s “in” this fall
This fall season, we’re not just bringing back oversized sweaters and crewnecks, but also sweater vests; now this is a trend that I can get behind. High-neck tops, which include both mock necks and turtlenecks, are also a must-have for fall, according to the CollegeFashion website.
For the colder locations — like here in Edmonton — a puffer jacket is essential! My personal go-to is the Super Puff from Aritzia. They have every colour imaginable and have different “puff” levels depending on how cold it will be when worn. Although it’s on the pricier side, you really can’t put a price on staying warm during the first snow blizzard of the year.
Another “in” item this season is boots. Whether heeled, square-toed, knee-high, glove, or Chelsea, all and every kind of boot is welcome. Some of my favourites are Blundstones, which are great for the rain or snow; the classic, black ankle bootie from Designer Shoe Warehouse; or a vintage, heeled glove boot like the ones from Oak + Fort. Cosmopolitan suggests knee-high or ankle-high heeled boots for this season’s style and Oxfords or loafers for outfits that include more walking or moving around. Seriously, what says cute and comfy better than a pair of slip-on black loafers?
The great thing with these shoes is that they go with every type of pants — leather pants, straight-leg jeans, or long skirts. P.S. Loose-fitting jeans, dark denim jeans, and classy dress pants are making a comeback this year, so make sure to add a few of these to your collection!
I know, you’ve probably heard this a lot, but white t-shirts! They are one of the best pieces to have in your closet and the easiest item to create outfits with. You can style these tees with a blazer or button up cardigan, layer them with a thin strap dress overtop, or just keep it simple with jeans and sneakers. Speaking of simple and basic, plain black skirts are also a must-have. They can be worn while it’s still nice out or — as the weather gets cold — with black pantyhose underneath.
Another basic that most of us have are hats and scarves. Now, they might be dated — like the itchy scarf you rarely ever wear or the thicker-than-a-bowl-of-oatmeal toque that your grandma knitted you back in 2009. Nevertheless, these still do the trick.
This year, the fashion forecast is calling for something a little less “old and worn” and a little more “old but timeless.” Giant wool and cashmere scarves are “in,” and not to mention, comfortable. There truly is nothing like hiding underneath your balaklava-looking wrapped scarf when trying to keep your face warm.
Lastly — leather. This is another ‘90s trend that has made a comeback this year, and is — luckily for us — already present in a lot of our closets. Leather blazers, leather pants, leather skirts, and, of course, the classic leather jacket are all predicted to be a big hit this Fall. Additionally, many of us may not have real leather, but artificial leather (pleather) will do the trick!
Where to shop
There are so, so many clothing stores to shop from, both online and around the city, so the trick is knowing where to shop, and what to look for.
For chunky sweaters, blazers galore, and the dress pants of your dreams, check out Oak + Fort. Skirts, puffer jackets, and the famous leather pants — called “The Melina Pant” — are most commonly found at one of my personal favourite stores, Aritzia. Well, actually they’re vegan leather pants. But let’s be honest, to get real leather pants we would all need to raise our “back-to-fall” shopping budget; these do the trick or those of us who don’t want to break the bank.
On a more sustainable note, The Girlfriend Collective carries the cutest toques and ballcaps. All of their products are sustainably made, use only recycled, BPA-free materials, and are sure to wow your friends and family.
Free People (FP) is home to the best skirts and dresses, and even carries the fall fan-favourite, Levi’s denim jackets. For accessories, FP carries jewelry, belts, purses, and some amazing tote bags, big enough to fit your laptop, a snack, and an extra sweater (just in case).
For shoes, it really depends on your own personal lifestyle. I’d recommend New Balance 550’s or 547 runners for the “always busy and walks everywhere” type of person. The timeless comfy shoes that go with everything are, of course, Converse; this year, it’s specifically black high-tops.
Also “in” this season is the clog version of Birkenstocks’ sandals: The Birkenstock Boston. As a proud supporter of Birks, these shoes are some of the coolest-looking and well-fitting slip-ons to own. For boots, shopping for Doc Martens, Blundstones, or DSW, Call it Spring, and Oak + Fort heeled booties are all good options.
This is just a very small list for a huge topic — but these recommendations are guaranteed to jumpstart your fall wardrobe. Remember, don’t take this too seriously; dress for YOU! At the end of the day, you should feel comfortable in what you’re wearing and confident in your own personal clothing style. Life isn’t a runway, but it can be, if you make it one.