For many ladies, a change in season means a change in wardrobe -- and, inevitably, an upward change in your credit card balance. But stacking your drawers with classic, well-made pieces is a great way to save money and look amazing for any occasion. We all have varied budgets, so the following list of fall wardrobe staples includes quality items in different price ranges. However, a word of warning: you will not find cheap deals in this article, as true quality rarely comes cheap (unless you buy on consignment!).
Long or short sleeve white cotton blouse: This works great with jeans, skirts, shorts or dress pants. Invest in a high-quality item (with a bit of stretch in it, if you can find it) from Theory, Club Monaco, Banana Republic or the like and you'll get some mileage out of your garment. Wash cold and hang to dry and then steam or iron. (Dryer heat is damaging to fibres and can cut the longevity of your piece in half or more.) Avoid bleaching -- it also breaks down the fibres.
Black leather pumps: Preferably not overly pointed, round-toed or square-toed -- you'll want something you feel you can wear with many outfits. However, you must take care of them properly. Take the pumps into your shoe-repair person affix a rubber sole to the bottom of the leather sole to ensure they'll last longer; regular resoling, cleaning and polishing will extend their life further. Quality brands for a basic black pump include Amalfi, Donald J Pliner, Brown's and Salvatore Ferragamo.
Casual boots: Whether brown or black is your shade of choice, a casual boot in which you can comfortably walk all day, and in any kind of weather, is essential. Blundstone's are very well built and have soles that seem to last forever. Alternately, Frye boots and shoes come in so many styles now that they suit any wardrobe. (They too will also last forever, literally.)
Denim jacket: a stylish woman of any age should own a denim jacket. It's a great, casual piece that will last for years, provided you purchase a well-made version. Denim jackets also come in several different silhouettes -- blazer, western, bomber, trench -- that can work with any wardrobe. Trusted denim brands include Levi's, Wrangler and Gap.
Black pants: A narrow or straight-legged pant offers a great shape that can carry you for years style-wise. Theory makes a great black pant in various shapes.
V-neck tees: These are great basics to have for layering, wearing as undershirts or as part of a casual outfit. Invest in good quality bamboo, organic cotton or 100 per cent cotton, preferably from brands like Ultra, American Apparel and Alternative Apparel.
Little black dress: Every woman needs one (or five) -- it's as simple as that. They work for any occasion, in any season.
Bonus tip: Highlight your wardrobe with seasonal colors, patterns and on-trend silhouettes.