Summer has gone as quickly as it came and you know what that means. It’s time to put away your cut-off denim shorts and colorful flip-flops and pull out those timeless fall pieces that have been packed away. But where to begin? Here are 10 fall must-haves that will help any woman’s wardrobe make the transition from summer fun to fall-tastically chic.

Trench coats

Let’s start with the basics. A trench coat is an effortless piece that goes with almost any outfit. Pair it with a pencil skirt and button-down for breezy fall business days or use it to top a blouse and jeans for a dressy-casual look. Camel-colored trench coats are most versatile, but don’t be afraid to play around with a bold fall color like mustard yellow. This season is all about rich colors, so step back from the black. Expect prices to start at $50.

Button-down shirts

Crisp button-down shirts create a polished look that’s ideal for a professional environment but also can be worn casually. Try a button-down tucked into pair of jeans or layer it over a summer dress. Add your own flare by rolling up the sleeves or leaving one or two buttons undone. Pinstriped and denim button-downs add personality. Price range: $19-$25.

Perfect-fit tees 

These form-fitted tees are the most inexpensive but necessary piece of a wardrobe. Switch out summer tanks for crew- or V-neck perfect-fit tees that are great for layering and go with anything. You can’t go wrong with white but experiment with royal blue or burnt orange. Jazz these up with bold necklaces or scarves for a more exaggerated look. Price range: $6-$15.

Chino or khaki pants

These lightweight and comfortable pants are casual enough for every day but can be dressed up effortlessly, allowing for more wear. You can find these in several colors and fits. Try a chocolate brown or rich burgundy, which go with any colored top, especially cream and shades of yellow. As for fit, it’s all up to you. Don’t be afraid of skinny chinos or khakis. They’re great for a sleek and slimming look and should hit right at the ankles. If skinnies aren’t your thing, stick to a straight fit. Style is all about what makes you feel most comfortable and fabulous! Price range: $24-$50.


Scarves scream fall like no other piece. They’re an absolute necessity not to mention fun! Scarves come in an endless number of colors, prints and styles. Look for rich solid colors and leopard or polka dot-printed ones. These bold statements enhance the simplest outfit. Just remember, the more accessories you wear, the simpler the outfit should be. You don’t want to look like you’ve just joined the circus, do you? Price range: $9-$35.

Ballet flats and loafers

In a season that’s too cool for sandals and too warm for boots, ballet flats and loafers are just right. And with so many styles and shapes, there’s a special pair for everyone. Again, experiment with bold colors and prints. Also try suede and leather or designs like studs and bows. And if you’re looking for that extra oomph, whip out those pointed-toed ones for a more chic silhouette. Price range: $19-$45.

Dark denim jeans

Dark denim jeans in fall are like ice cream in summer — can’t live without it! The great thing about dark denim jeans is that, like so many fall must-haves, they go with everything. Stray away from jeans that are faded in the thigh area, because they make your legs look larger, and who wants that? Stick to a wash that’s evenly toned throughout for a slimming and lean look. Pick a style that fits your personality, whether it’s skinny chic, fabulous flare or beautiful boot-cut. Price range: $29-$70.

Military jacket

Substitute military jackets for blazers. This casual, yet trendy jacket gives a masculine contrast to any outfit. Try an army green or camel color and pair it with a floral dress or frilly top for balance. Price range: $39-$80.

Sweaters and cardigans

Bold-colored, striped and printed sweaters and cardigans are ideal, but embellished ones can spice up any outfit. Pair crew- and V-neck lightweight sweaters with chino pants for a relaxed look. Cardigans are an amazing layering piece for any outfit and the longer, the better. Price range: $19-$40.

Denim jacket

Your fall wardrobe isn’t complete without a denim jacket. This is the easiest way to transition your favorite summer items into fall wear. Sport a denim jacket over a summer dress or that tank you just couldn’t pack away. The key is to find one that hits right at the waist. Don’t forget to cuff the sleeves for a classic look. Price range: $29-$45.

Fall fashion is all about layering, experimenting with rich colors and prints and, most of all, having fun. These 10 must-haves will give you a wardrobe that turns heads and leaves you feeling fabulous. As if you don’t already!


Dané White is a fashion blogger, designer and assistant coordinator of the Kennesaw State University homecoming fashion show. She’s spent several years working in retail and a lifetime shopping it.   

About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich is a longtime arts journalist who has been seeing, working in or writing about the performing arts for most of her life. She's a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, Americans for the Arts and the National Arts Marketing Project. Full disclosure: She’s also an artistic associate at Synchronicity Theatre.

View all posts by Kathy Janich