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12 fashion pieces you need in your wardrobe for fall 2021

Trust the stylists, you'll want to wear these all season long.
Illustration of an Oversized Shirt Jacket, black vest, black loafers and a Woman leaning against a wall wearing jeans
TODAY Illustration / Madewell / Everlane / Bloomingdales / H&M

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Looking to hit refresh on your wardrobe this fall, but don’t know where to start? Perhaps you’re ready to re-embrace fashion, but not necessarily at the expense of Zoom-friendly comfort.

To make things easier, we enlisted stylists to help us break down some of the most flattering and versatile clothing and accessory pieces that are perfect for any fall wardrobe, whether you're still WFH or getting back to your old routine.

From classic staples to statement-makers, behold 12 fall fashion pieces that everyone needs in their closet to mix, match, and mingle with comfort and confidence all season long. Plus, some expert recommended and fan-favorite picks.

Cashmere sweater

The cashmere sweater provides a cozy feel and a typically fitted silhouette that makes it the perfect pairing for all of your seasonal separates. (We’ve also been known to throw one over a slip dress or two.) “I love the longevity and softness of cashmere sweaters. They’re warm enough that you don’t need to layer but sleek enough that you can wear them over a tee without looking bulky,” says Sofia Karvela, a celebrity stylist and co-founder of the new brand Wknd Nation. “Throw a bright color into your fall rotation to add some light to darker, colder days.”

Quince Mongolian Cashmere Crewneck Sweater

Shirt jacket

Another multitasking piece, stylists say shirt jackets are rising in popularity just in time for the seasonal transition. “I love the versatility of shirt jackets because they can be worn loose or layered over a turtleneck or cropped t-shirt. Add a belt to help highlight your curves and pair them with high-waisted trousers for an elevated look,” says Carrie Cramer, a celebrity, wardrobe and personal stylist based in Los Angeles.

H&M Oversized Shirt Jacket

UANEO Casual Plaid Wool Blend Shirt Jacket

Silky skirt

Slinky slips are here to stay (at least for another season) with an emphasis on midi and maxi lengths for colder weather. “I especially love a wrap skirt for a flowy bohemian vibe. Pair it with a simple, tucked-in tee and a denim jacket, rounding out your look with a mid- or high-heel boot to appear taller,” suggests Karvela. You can also swap in that cashmere or a chunkier sweater when temperatures start to drop.

Banana Republic Satin Maxi Skirt

Michael Stars Jolene Wrap Maxi Skirt

Straight-leg jeans

Regardless of where you stand on skinny jeans (more on the debate here), we suggest you at least make some room in your hearts and closets for straight-legs — after all, as our experts point out, they play well with tops and shoes of all shapes and sizes. “Stick to a straight (versus tapered) crop to strike the perfect balance. The wide-leg fit is another favorite for complementing cropped jackets and accentuating an hourglass figure. Go for something high-waisted with a fitted waist to really show off your curves,” advises Karvela, who notes this style is especially suitable for those with a taller frame.

Zara High-Rise Straight Leg Jeans

Madewell Balloon Jeans in Corson Wash

Joggers

Thanks to the rise of athleisure, fashion brands continue to blur the lines between active, casual, and now even office wear. One of the latest and greatest examples is the jogger, which gained momentum last season and doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon.

“Straight or tapered joggers will flatter you if you have a straight figure or want to draw attention to your hips and thighs, and wide-legged trousers are great if you want to elongate your body and look taller!” says Karvela. Opt for stretchy, yet shapely hybrids that strike the perfect balance between sporty and sophisticated and will keep you comfy from morning to night.

Everlane The Dream Pant

GapFit Recycled Runaround Cargo Joggers

Jumpsuit

Jumpsuits are another great option for elevated style without the effort. “Perfect for the busy woman, you get two pieces in one versatile style. Pair it with flats for a more casual look or dress it up with a belt and heels. If you choose a looser fit, you can also layer it over a long-sleeve tee and leggings for added coverage in colder months,” says Karvela.

Happy Sailed Casual Belted Wide Leg Jumpsuit

Mango Bow Wrap Jumpsuit

ASOS DESIGN Tie Waist Jumpsuit

Patterned set

Having trouble deciding what to wear? Matching pieces are here to save your mornings by taking the guesswork out of your next pairing. “Patterned sets are my go-to for chic and easy dressing. Choose a well-fitting pant with a matching blouse. You don’t have to give it much thought and you’ll look put together throughout the day,” says Cramer. We’re especially loving geometric shapes

Zara Print Crop Top

Zara Straight Cut Printed Pants

Fitted vest

“Vests that were hot in the ‘90s and in the early 2000’s are making a big comeback this fall,” says Cramer. “Pair a vest with matching trousers for modern monochromatic suiting or layer it over a blouse for a more feminine aesthetic. You can also wear it alone with jeans for a sexy, yet still put-together look.” We also like incorporating sweater vests for a subtle hint of structure.

Zara Basic Knit Vest

Everlane The Cotton Merino Sweater Vest

Oversized blazer

Speaking of suiting, there’s just something about a blazer that has the potential to sharpen any style. “An oversized blazer strikes the perfect balance between masculine and feminine. I especially love the fit of an oversized blazer over bohemian dresses or jeans and a tee. It works well with all kinds of styles and it’s a pretty neutral piece that can offer some shape where you want it,” says Karvela.

Uniqlo Relaxed Tailored Jacket

H&M Oversized Jacket

Trench coat

The trench coat is another one of those wardrobe pieces that stands the test of time.

“I love a long trench, preferably a soft one that can be layered over a casual look. It immediately elevates a simple dress or a t-shirt and jeans. Consider it an investment that you will not only wear this fall but for years to come,” says Cramer.

Lauren Ralph Lauren Double-Breasted Cotton Blend Trench Coat

Amazon Essentials Relaxed-Fit Water-Resistant Trench Coat

Calvin Klein Belted Rain Jacket with Removable Hood

Loafers

You can think of loafers as the joggers of footwear for their versatility and wearability. “Loafers are perfect for those who want to look cool but aren’t willing to give up their comfortable WFH attire just yet and this season presents an endless supply of options. Metallic, glitter, platform soles, patent leather, oversized tassels. You name it, there will be a loafer to your liking for [fall/winter 2021],” says Cramer.

Sam Edelman Loraine Loafers

Rage & Co Sara Loafer

Angular boots

Last, but not least, you’re going to need a pair of boots, ideally with a bit of an edge.

“I personally love a pointy toe for a more severe (read: sexy) look. Opt for a kitten or block heel and cropped flare pants for a comfy feel with chic appeal,” says Karvela. Bonus points if you branch out with a new shade (winter white, perhaps?) or pattern (faux snake prints are prime for pairing).

Vince Camuto Allost Pointed Toe Boot

ASOS RAID Kinley Pull On Sock Boots

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