Fall is here, or in my case s l o w l y approaching (I live in Southern California). One of the main reasons I love fall is for the opportunity to wear cozy clothing. Summer hardly allots the chance to layer clothes using different colors and textures, whereas Autumn provides the perfect factors to create a comfortable and fashionable look.
My fall essentials have proven to be dependable each and every year. Rarely must I replace an item or start anew when the season begins. The reasoning for this stroke of luck are simple rules that govern what I purchase. They prevent me from overspending or. worse, choosing an item of poor quality. Each week, I’ll share different rules and essentials that I hope will help you when purchasing new items this fall.
My first fall essentials are jackets & coats. For me, there are really only two rules when choosing a jacket and coat for the milder weather.
- Quality Check.
- It is very important that you buy something that is in good condition and made from excellent material. Luckily, these days quality does not mean a hefty price tag. Clothing stores like H&M, Forever 21, Target and Burlington Coat Factory sell great quality jackets and coats that can last a very long time.
- Always buy coats and jackets one size larger. Keep in mind that when we are shopping for items like coats and jackets, it is in the season before we will actually be wearing them. Remember that you are making a purchase that will hopefully last many years; buying exact sizing can limit the amount of wear you get from the coat. Buying one size larger will allow for larger sweaters to fit comfortably under chosen outerwear.
Now that we have talked about rules for purchasing, let’s talk about the different categories of fall outerwear. In my closet there are five different categories: a denim jacket, leather jacket, fur vest, trench coat and car coat. Each serve a purpose throughout my favorite season.
1. Denim Jacket. A denim jacket is one of the most versatile jackets you can purchase. It can be worn almost year round, with the exception of winter (unless you live in a warm winter state). The pictured jacket was purchased at Forever 21. At the time, it was perfect for what I wanted in a denim jacket. It was the perfect length, had cute details (the gold studs), was made of good quality (it’s lasted me over 5 years) and, last but not least, it was inexpensive. The average price for a denim jacket is $25.00-$70.00 in store like Target, Forever 21, Gap, Old Navy, Abercrombie & Fitch and J.Crew.
2. Leather Jacket. It wouldn’t be fall without a good leather jacket. Fall is Leather Weather, after all! A good quality leather jacket can be hard to find, especially on a budget. Genuine leather jackets can be priced between $85.00-$150.00. I personally do not have that kind of money lying around to spend on one jacket. For this reason, I decided to purchase faux leather. I own two faux leather jackets, one black and one white. The white faux leather jacket pictured, was purchased from Forever 21 four years ago for $25. Most clothing stores carry some form of faux leather jacket, though the pricing will vary. Department stores including Macy’s, J C Penny and Dillard’s have great quality jackets. Popular retail destinations like Forever 21, H&M and Target usually carry their own line of outerwear. It will take some shopping around in these stores to find the best quality. Lastly, I would NOT recommend buying a genuine or faux leather jacket online. It would be wise to go into stores and try on the jacket; what you see online may not translate well on your body.
3. Faux Fur Vest. A faux fur vest is not a necessity, but it’s definitely an added bonus to your closet. It’s a great way to add texture to a winter or fall outfit and is a fabulous way to keep yourself warm. A faux fur vest is an accessory; like a purse or scarf, it does not have to match exactly to your outfit, but it is a great way to add a color or texture contrast. H&M sells a similar version of the above pictured vest for $39.99
4. Trench Coat. Another apropos essential for fall is the trench coat. A trench coat is one of those magical items that looks good on every body type: hello, instant waistline! The only rule when purchasing a trench coat is to be sure not to overlook the length of the coat. If you’re short in stature like me, a coat that is too long (below your knees) will give you an unappealing, condensed effect. For someone with a taller frame, a too-short coat can give the appearance of a coat that is too small. For this reason, I would avoid purchasing online as it is necessary to glean the length before purchase. Stores like H&M, Forever 21, Macy’s, Burlington Coat Factory, Dillard’s, J C Penny, and J.Crew sell a variety of trench coats. Prices range from $30.00-$115
5. Car Coat. Yet another optional but super chic addition to your fall wardrobe! Most car coats are made with some form of wool blend, which of course is perfect for the late fall into winter transition. Car coats are traditionally boxy in shape, designed to display clean straight lines, rather than the A-line appearance of most other coats and jackets. Car coats gained mass appeal in the 1960s. During that time, these coats were not purposed to draw attention to the waistline or figure of the wearer, but to the style and appeal of the actual item of outerwear. Today, car coats are just as appealing and are available in a variety of styles with the same basic, clean lines and construct. The price range for this style of coat can range from $39.99-$200.00. Stores like H&M and Forever 21 sell car coats of great quality on the lower end of the price range.