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Fall fashion essentials: Invest in chic staples

/ Source: TODAY

Combining the investment pieces with cheaper trend items helps shape an entire outfit at a moderate price range. Discover when

The Essential:  Banana Republic Bag, $248The IT piece: Banana Republic Belt, $62Other items: Dress, $89, Zara; Tights, $14.50, Express; Gold Bracelets, $10, Express; Gold Earrings, $5.50, Claire’s; Brown Pumps, $39, Unlisted

Try pairing this amazing Zara dress that is so feminine yet subdued with the mature fall palette of jewel tones. The two must-haves here are the bag and the belt. This bag is the most classic shape and style that will not go out of style.  It is ideal for work and for weekend — roomy but not oversized. The belt is the perfect accessory this season and we saw it on the runways for next spring, too, so it will be sticking around. This particular belt, from Banana Republic, is the most perfect shade of reddish-purple and brings out the season’s palette. It can help turn some of your favorite spring dresses into fall instantly!

The Essential: Classic Blazer, $268, J. Crew The IT piece: Red Skirt, $89, ZaraOther items: Striped Shirt, $26, Liz Claiborne Macy’s; Gold Necklace, $22.50, Express; MIA Shoes, $59, Macy’s

The essential item here, the blazer, is a necessary splurge. It is very important to make sure that a blazer fits in your shoulders, in the arms, through the bust. The higher the quality, the better the fit and the more use you will get out of it. For this fall, the A-line red skirt is going to be a great wardrobe addition. It spices up the black classics that you wear to the office and adds a touch of femininity, sophistication and style.

The Essential: Frankie B Jeans, $188, Macy’sThe IT Piece: Patent Shoes, Steven by Steve MaddenOther items: Shirt, $24, H&M; Purple Bracelet, $10, Express

Finding the perfect jean is like finding the perfect man; it’s not always right in front of you, and there are so many types to choose from. This is an essential splurge because once you find the fit that flatters your figure, you will wear it endlessly. This style here is perfect because it is not high-waisted or flared or tapered, it is a great straight-leg fit that will never go out of style. The shoes are the perfect accessory for the season — they are incredibly affordable, from Steve Madden, and they are gray patent mary-janes. They are so subtle and yet incredibly sexy. This is a great weekend or date look.

The Essential: Club Monaco Cardigan $169The IT piece:  Opaque Tights, $14.50, ExpressOther Items: Black Mini Skirt, $89, Club Monaco; Ankle Booties, Bakers; Peach Silk Shirt, $78, Banana Republic; Necklace, $26, Express

This outfit is the most classic fall look — it has it all: the mini, the tights, the ankle boots, the cardigan and the color! The essential piece here is the cardigan. It is the perfect shape to balance a girlie shirt, a mini skirt, a little dress and it also looks amazing with jeans and a T-shirt. A cardigan is another item that you want to make sure fits you right. It shouldn’t be too bulky or too cropped. This will keep you warm and fashionable through the winter. Probably the most important accessory of the season is opaque tights. Coming off of the craze of dresses, tights are the best way to transition into cooler temps. They are slenderizing, sexy, and can definitely make a statement without going overboard. Try out different colors, textures, etc. —tights are a great way to spice up or tone down your favorite trends.For more great fashion tips and information, visit