Even though it probably won’t cool down to fall temps where I live anytime soon 🥵, that doesn’t mean we can’t prep for fall, right? Today I want to talk through a casual fall wardrobe checklist containing 10 classic pieces that will work for you year after year. I know you don’t want to waste money buying a new wardrobe every year, and that is certainly never what I recommend. Instead, I recommend you build a wardrobe with a mix of classic, timeless pieces + trendier pieces, or what I sometimes call “filler” pieces. (Check out my post My Philosophy for Crafting a Wardrobe: Foundational + Filler Pieces for more details!) The classic pieces work year after year after year, and the filler pieces allow you to incorporate new trends or styles to give your classics new life.
So, let’s talk through a casual fall wardrobe checklist with 10 pieces you can build your wardrobe on!
SIZING: I’m 5’6″ and usually S/M or 6 in clothes and 8.5 to 9 in shoes.
1. Dark or Medium Wash Jeans
Wardrobe staple! A dark wash dresses up and down more easily. If a darker wash is not really your style, go for a medium wash as you will still be able to dress it up fairly easily. Make sure you have a great pair of jeans in any cut you prefer.
Shop Dark or Medium Wash Jeans:
I linked to some COMFY pairs of dark wash denim below.
More Denim Help: If you need help figuring out the different cuts of jeans and how to style them, check out my recent denim blog series HERE. And, if you’d like to really get into the different cuts and how to pull them off for your body type, join us in the PMT Style Club where we will be doing a week of DENIM SCHOOL! I’m sooooo excited to help you get really specific about how to wear the different cuts out there.
2. Jeans #2 in a Distinct Color/Wash (like black or a lighter wash of denim)
Jeans are SUCH a casual wardrobe staple that it’s helpful to have a second pair, especially if you are in casual wear often. Make it a distinct color/wash different from your Dark or Medium Wash Jeans to add variety. I recommend black jeans or blue jeans in a lighter wash so they are totally different from your first pair of jeans.
Above are a couple of examples. Your second pair of jeans can be any cut, style, or color – as long as you’ll wear them on repeat and they are distinct from your first pair of jeans.
Shop Jeans for Fall:
3. Utility Jacket
An absolute must-have item for your casual fall wardrobe checklist! This jacket goes with all of your jeans outfits, and you can wear it over t-shirts, sweaters, and sweatshirts. It is your easiest layer to throw on with EVERY casual outfit (even with leggings)! Most often, utility jackets are olive green, but yours can be any color that goes with both pairs of jeans above.
Shop Utility Jackets:
4. Casual Sweater
What would fall style be without sweaters? Whether your sweater is printed, colored, or a solid neutral doesn’t matter. I recommend a solid neutral color if you’re looking for a classic option that you can wear season after season. (Then add the fun prints and colors as your “filler” pieces.) Ideally this sweater would go with both pairs of jeans above.
5. Sweatshirt (a cute one! 😆)
I’m a huge fan of sweatshirts! But, we’re not talking about that old college sweatshirt you’ve slept in for the last 15 years. We’re talking about a cute one that’s flattering on you and looks updated and stylish. One example is the sweatshirt I’m wearing above. It’s loose but still fits well, has an interesting design, and is stylish.
Below are more sweatshirts that fit the bill! Make sure your sweatshirt works with at least your dark or medium wash jeans. Even better if it works with your second pair of jeans, too!
6. T-Shirt (any print or color)
You need a good t-shirt! It doesn’t matter if it’s a solid neutral color, a bright color, has stripes, or has a graphic print on it. Just make sure the design is CLASSIC, meaning one that you can wear year after year, and that it looks good with both pairs of jeans. My favorite t-shirts for quite a while now have been my black Madewell tee and my black Gratitude graphic print tee. You can shop classic t-shirts below:
Shop Classic T-Shirts:
7. Plaid Button Up (or any other Elevated Casual Top)
This type of shirt is casual but is a step up from a t-shirt. It layers well under cardigans and utility jackets, and the print adds a lot of visual interest to outfits. Plaid is also a classic print that has been stylish for DECADES, so you can’t go wrong with it! However, if you don’t like plaid, go for ANY elevated casual top that you can wear with both pairs of jeans.
Shop Elevated Casual Tops:
8. Blouse for Dressy Casual (and can double for work if you need business casual clothes)
Even though this list is for a CASUAL fall wardrobe checklist, I encourage you to include a blouse that you can wear to dinner with your dark wash jeans! Again, it can be a solid neutral one, a colored one, or a printed one. If a solid neutral one is too plain for you, go for a printed one instead! The keys, again, are that this blouse has a timeless style you can wear year after year and that you can pair it with your dark wash jeans for a date.
If you also need business casual clothes, make sure you can pair this blouse with black slacks for work as well!
I recently shared 4 Easy Elevated Casual Outfits for Dates & Dinners that show several options, and there are several more in the widget below:
9. Relaxed Cardigan
Another must! Make sure this cardigan works with your plaid button up / elevated casual top and t-shirt, and preferably your blouse! Whereas longer cardigans used to be more popular, shorter cardigans that hit around the middle of your hip are taking over. (That length tends to work better with the more modern styles of jeans. Check out 5 Types of Jeans to Wear This Fall if you want some guidance on other denim styles to try.)
10. Casual Dress
If you’re not a dress person, obviously skip this! I have worn dresses less and less the more kids I’ve had 😂, but I still always like to have at least ONE great option in my closet. I personally love a good t-shirt dress, like THIS one. I aim for one that I can wear with low-profile sneakers and booties in the fall. A t-shirt dress is comfy and stretchy, so you can wear it to run errands and pick up kids by pairing it with low-profile sneakers, or you can dress it up a little with booties for lunch or dinner out.
That’s it for our 10 classic pieces for your casual fall wardrobe checklist!
Which of these do you already own, and which do you want to add?
Fall Wardrobe Guide Available + Fall Wardrobe Workshop 9/15!
Let me help you get dressed this season with the Fall Wardrobe Guide, now available in the PMT Style Club! You’ll get a wardrobe plan, shopping links, outfit catalog, and a calendar of planned-for-you outfits so you can get dressed way faster and with less hassle.
You’ll have tons of outfit ideas to feel stylish all season long – while hardly having to think about what to wear!
Also, tomorrow is our seasonal WARDROBE WORKSHOP, where we’ll talk strategies for building your fall wardrobe plus TRENDS that are worth trying!
Become a member to step up your style and be part of a friendly, down-to-earth community of like-minded women to support and motivate you. Learn all about the PMT Style Club HERE.