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10 fall essentials every woman should always own

No wardrobe is complete without these pieces.

10 fall essentials every woman should always own Credit: Nordstrom

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It’s fall in New England, and I couldn’t be happier. Autumn is by far my favorite season, thanks to its activities (yay, apple picking!), foods (hi, pumpkin spice), and clothing (sweater weather, anyone?).

As you swap out your summer clothing for scarves and boots, take a minute to assess your fall wardrobe—are you missing any key pieces? There are a number of fall essentials that every woman should own, and now’s the perfect time to invest in new clothing for the upcoming season.

1. A lightweight jacket

Light fall jacket
Credit: Nordstrom

A transitional jacket is absolutely essential.

Every woman needs a light coat to wear on those autumn days when a sweater isn’t quite warm enough but a winter jacket would be overkill. I actually just bought myself a new one last week, as my old go-to was looking a bit drab. You might want to consider a fitted denim piece, a leather jacket or even a light down coat—and be sure to pick a neutral color so it pairs well with more trendy fall pieces.

Get the BlankNYC Next Level Suede Moto Jacket from Nordstrom for $188

2. High-quality, comfortable boots

Frye ankle boots
Credit: FRYE

A high-quality pair of boots are a fall must-have.

Nothing puts a damper on a fun afternoon of pumpkin picking like having your toes pinched by an uncomfortable pair of cheap boots. Yes, you can find “trendy” fall footwear for $20 at discount stores, but you’re better off investing in a pair of well-made, genuinely comfortable boots that you’ll be able to wear for years to come.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of Frye boots—they’re honestly a game changer. Yes, they’re pricey, but they’re incredibly well made, classically stylish, and unbelievably comfortable. Well worth the investment, if you ask me.

Get the FryeCarson Piping Bootie from Nordstrom for $257.95

3. At least one scarf (but probably more)

Oversized fall scarf
Credit: Nordstrom

Scarves are a classic fall accessory.

No fall wardrobe is complete without a warm, cozy scarf to bundle up in on crisp afternoons. You can’t go wrong with an oversized woven scarf in classic fall colors, but blanket and infinity scarves are other great options. In fact, why not just get one of each?

Get the Treasure & Bond Novelty Stitch Scarf from Nordstrom for $39

4. A cozy all-purpose sweater

Cable knit sweater
Credit: L.L.Bean

Cable-knit sweaters are a timeless style.

It’s called “sweater weather” for a reason. A high-quality sweater will serve you well throughout the autumn months, keeping you warm on brisk afternoons and serving as the perfect base for your most ambitious layering. Plus, a classic cable-knit sweater like this one can be dressed up for work or worn more casually when you’re going apple picking or hitting the town with friends.

Get the Signature Cotton Fisherman Sweater from L.L. Bean for $99

5. A large cardigan for layering

Fall cardigan
Credit: Nordstrom

An oversized cardigan is perfect for layering.

The first few weeks of fall can be tricky. It might be low 60s when you leave for work, but by noon, it’s 80 degrees and you’re sweating through your sweater. To outsmart Mother Nature, you’re going to need a nice cardigan that you can throw on in the morning, then shed as the temperature rises. Long, oversized cardigans are especially popular in the fall, as you can put them over thicker shirts and use them to bundle up against the wind.

Get the BP. Longline Open Cardigan from Nordstrom for $49

6. Cool-weather flats

Dr. Scholl's Loafers
Credit: Nordstrom

Keep your toes warm in full-coverage flats.

Summer flats tend to have cutouts or lightweight materials, and these shoes can leave your toes chilly during the fall. Every woman needs a pair of cold-weather flats—be it ballet flats, loafers, or sneakers—to wear on days you’ll be doing a lot of walking. You’ll want to pick a pair with more coverage and made from thicker material to keep your feet cozy.

Get the Dr. Scholl’s Rialta Slip-On Oxfords from Kohl's for $70

7. A pair of warm leggings

Thermal leggings
Credit: Amazon

Warm leggings will be a lifesaver on windy days.

Leggings have quickly become a staple in many women’s closets, and there are ample ways to wear them during the fall. You can put them under a dress or baggy sweater, or even wear them under jeans for an added layer of insulation. But fall (and winter) leggings need to be a bit thicker and warmer, so you may want to look for thermal leggings that have a fleece or microfiber lining for added coziness.

Get the TSLA Women's Thermal Leggings on Amazon starting at $9.98

8. A transitional knit dress

Sweater dress
Credit: Nordstrom

Knit dresses can go from fall to winter.

A good transitional dress will serve you well in autumn—and beyond. The key here is to find something that is light enough to wear on warmer days, but versatile enough to layer when the weather gets colder. Knit dresses are often best for this purpose, and this one comes in lots of different styles so you can find one that flatters your body type.

Get the Calson Cozy Links Long Sleeve Sweater Dress from Nordstrom for $69

9. Dark-wash denim

AG dark wash skinny jeans
Credit: AG

Stock up on dark-wash jeans for autumn.

For whatever reason, dark-wash jeans seem more appropriate in the fall. Leave the distressed, light-wash denim for the summer months. Personally, I’m a huge proponent of luxury denim brands, such as AG. They fit much better, are actually comfortable, and last longer than the no-name brands you’ll find at the discount store, which is why this is one area where you may want to splurge a little.

Get AG Farrah Ankle Skinny Jeans from Nordstrom for $225

10. A plaid overshirt

Flannel shirt from L.L. Bean
Credit: L.L.Bean

Layer up with a plaid shirt this autumn.

Flannel and fall go together like peanut butter and jelly. Even if you don’t want to go full-on flannel, a plaid button-down shirt is a must-have for fall, as its the perfect layering piece. You can toss it on over a sweater or T-shirt—depending on the weather—and you’ll always look perfectly seasonal when you’re wearing it. Plus, plaid comes in tons of colors—from black to pink—so you'll be able to find one that suits your unique style.

Get the Rangeley Flannel Shirt from L.L. Bean for $59

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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