37 great basics for updating your wardrobe this fall

37 basics for updating your wardrobe this fall - NY Mag
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37 great basics for updating your wardrobe this fall

Dressy Shoes 

It's always smart to have nice shoes in varying heel heights. These pointy J.Crew flats feel refined enough to wear with dresses and work clothes. Take it up a notch (and a few inches) with these strappy Massimo Dutti pumps, while ASOS's minimalist silver sandals are handy for any fancy events or even just sprucing up jeans for a night out.

Massimo Dutti black court shoes: $140 at Massimo Dutti; J.Crew Gemma flats: $135 at J.Crew; ASOS Haphazard silver sandals: $62.70 at ASOS

A Sleek Bag For Every Occasion

During the weekdays, this lizard-embossed Whistles tote has enough room for everything from gym clothes to your lunch. And when you want to lighten up on the weekend, Zara's cross-body looks pulled-together yet casual while Clare Vivier's silver clutch adds shine to any outfit.

Clare V. foldover clutch: $209 at Need Supply; Whistles Fleet lizard large tote: $370 at Whistles; Zara leather messenger bag: $159 at Zara

Sensible Flat Boots

For wet and chilly days, a pair of rainboots with extra-warm socks will do wonders. These are sleek enough to pass for a traditional leather style. And on sunny, cool days, you can throw on Jeffrey Campbell's flat pointed boots with everything from jeans to skirts. 

Barneys New York knee-high rain boots: $195 at Barneys; New York Jeffrey Campbell Harvell boot: $160 at Need Supply

A Bright, Work-Friendly Sheath

Add a blazer and you're good to go.

Zara dress with zips: $69.90 at Zara

A New White Shirt

This one is cut long and loose so you can wear it over pants or a skirt. 

COS crossover bib shirt: $99 at COS

A Menswear-Inspired Blazer

A tailored blazer can pull together any outfit. During the weekdays you can slip a blouse under and look professional, while on weekends it works well with a tee and jeans.

J.Crew Regent blazer: $248 at J.Crew

An Ultrawarm Parka

If you're not into joining the flocks of people in Canada Goose this winter, here's an equally warm alternative. Made with an ultrathick liner that you can remove, this Arrivals parka is also wind- and waterproof.

The Arrivals Halstrøm parka: $585 at The Arrivals

A Time-Saving Black Dress

On those mornings when you would really rather hit the snooze button an extra few times, you can throw this on at the very last minute and be dressed in a snap.

Steven Alan Davenport dress: $375 at Steven Alan

A Comfy White T-Shirt

Made from a super-soft cotton blend and cut so that it skims the body, this is a great and versatile T-shirt. Added bonus: It's a handy layering piece under scratchy sweaters.

Alternative Apparel eco-jersey tee: $32 at Alternative Apparel

Updated Weekend Jeans

Tired of skinny and boyfriend styles? Try this pair — they're high-waisted and cropped well above the ankle, and have a flare that feels fresh.

Madewell 11" high riser crop flares: $135 at Madewell

The Updated Trouser

You probably own at least one pair of cropped ankle trousers, so mix things up with other silhouettes like a high-waisted pair or a wide-leg style.

Ryan high-waisted trousers: $85 at Modern Citizen; & Other Stories wide tailored trousers: $90 at & Other Stories

An Elegant Overcoat

Considering that people will mostly see you in a coat during the cooler months, it makes sense to get a nice one. You can go for classic camel or pull an Olivia Pope in a clean, white wrap style.

Uniqlo cashmere-blended coat: $149.90 at Uniqlo; Mango Lapels wool coat: $229.99 at Mango

Chic Glasses

If you need to wear them to see every day, why not invest in a high-quality pair that gives you the air of authority? And you can never have too many classic sunglasses. These Warby Parkers were made in collaboration with Maiyet and feature an elegant oyster trim.

Gentle Monster Una glasses: $195 at Gentle Monster; Warby Parker x Maiyet Bird glasses: $145 at Warby Parker

The Stacked-Heel Shoe

Are you curious about the ugly-shoe trend but not yet fully convinced? This Zara pair features a stacked heel and squared-off toe but still looks classic enough that you won't feel too far outside your comfort zone.

Zara leather ankle boot: $119 at Zara

Everyday Fine Jewelry

Streamline your morning routine even more by splurging on pieces that you can wear day-in day-out — without worrying that they'll turn your skin green. This delicate gold-bar necklace looks great peeking out of a shirt and Hirotaka's earrings are the perfect size to perk up your face without being distracting.

AUrate gold-bar necklace: $395 at AUrate; Hirotaka pavé diamonds and gold earrings: $385 at Barneys New York

Sexy-Yet-Comfy Lingerie

For those who prefer an unpadded bra, this style not only fits well but is also ultraflattering. Worn with the matching briefs, it's a sexy (but not silly) matching set.

Huit Nouvel Emoi demi-cup bra: $74 at Nancy Meyer; Huit Nouvel Emoi brief: $48 at Nancy Meyer

A Simple Tunic With Interesting Details

& Other Stories collaborated with stylist and street-style star Ada Kokosar on a capsule collection that features great basics with special touches. This tunic top has slits up the sides and on the sleeves to make it more interesting than your standard top.

& Other Stories x Ada Kokosar raw edge tunic: $65 at & Other Stories

A Cozy Turtleneck

Because we love a white turtleneck.

Babaton Nicolas turtleneck: $165 at Aritzia

Deceptively Simple Skirts

The trick to these skirts is that they have little interesting details that make them look like they cost way more than they actually do. COS's skirt features elegant pleating while the Trademark option has a sliver-thin fringe trim. They both will match everything in your closet.

COS raw-edge pleated skirt: $125 at COS; Trademark fringe skirt: $278 at Trademark

A Rainy-Day Trenchcoat

A dark-gray wool trim refreshes the classic silhouette.

Gap modern trench coat: $148 at Gap

Simple Sneakers

Because you don't want to leave your house in slippers, these are the next best option.They're comfy and exactly what you want to wear when your feet hurt.

Nike Internationalist sneakers: $85 at Net-a-Porter; SeaVees for J.Crew Monterey white leather sneakers: $98 at J.Crew

A Slinky Slip Dress

You could wear this alone or slip on a cozy, oversize cardigan for a night out.

Babaton Townsent dress: $80 at Aritzia

A Sophisticated Watch

Yes, you can always check your phone for the time, but that's not the point: A classic black watch says you have your crap together.

CLUSE La Bohème watch: $99 at Need Supply

A Really Warm, Oversize Scarf

This Acne one is extra large so you can wear it wrapped around your shoulders in lieu of a jacket on cool days. And in the dead of winter you can swaddle your head against the wind.

Acne Studios Alaska scarf: $250 at Acne Studios

A Classic Leather Jacket

It's always tricky to find a nice leather jacket that doesn't cost a fortune. This Whistles one is just under $500, so it's still a bit of a splurge, but the stitching and leather quality make it a smart buy if you're in the market.

Whistles Agnes leather biker jacket: $495 at Whistles


No season feels more like a fresh start than fall. Maybe it's all the new clothes in stores or memories of heading back to school, but suddenly you want to take a long, hard look at your closet. Before you go crazy and decide you need to buy all the latest trendy pieces, take a step back and reassess your wardrobe. The smartest upgrade comes in the form of refreshing your basics in favor of new staples.

Is that wool coat on its last legs? Trade it in for a sleek camel topper from Uniqlo or a crisp white wrap style from Mango — both look far more expensive than they are. Need a new white shirt that goes with everything? COS has a longer tunic style that pairs nicely with jeans or trousers. From boots to bags to lingerie, click ahead to see the best new basics of the season.

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