Creating your perfect fall outfit on a budget

Two people standing outside with the vibrant fall colors. Boost your aesthetic with the tips given in this article. Photo by Tim Samuel/Pexels.

Fall is one of the best seasons to up your fashion game while the weather is still tolerable. Once winter arrives, people’s wardrobes are going to be strictly hoodies and sweatpants until May. Knowing that items like sweaters, jeans and jackets can be pricey at times, here are some low-budget recommendations to improve your wardrobe this season.  

Start with the basics. Layering is one of the most popular trends when it comes to fall fashion, so having black, white and gray long-sleeve and short-sleeve shirts in your closet is a necessity. With turtlenecks back in the fashion game, I recommend picking up one of those and a scoop-neck shirt as well. If you are looking to add some new basics to your closet without breaking the bank, H&M or Target are both great choices.  

Once you’re all set with the base layer, next comes the exciting part: Let me introduce, “the shacket.” A crossover between a shirt and a jacket, shackets have commanded the fashion industry this season with their ability to keep you warm in crisp fall weather while maintaining a trendy look. Its material is thicker than that of a regular shirt, but is lighter than a typical jacket. They often come in plaid designs, perfect to layer on top of your basic turtlenecks. Since shackets are a fairly new trend, you may not have one in your closet yet — but don’t worry, department stores like TJ Maxx and Marshalls offer tons of different styles that are usually within the price range of $20 to $30.  

If you aren’t so interested in shackets, there is another new trend that has taken the fashion industry by surprise this season: oversized sweater vests. When thinking of sweater vests, the 1970s come straight to mind. For some reason, however, these cable-knit gems are coming back into style and are perfect for layering when dressing to impress. Resorting back to H&M for a recommendation —not sponsored, but I should be — the store offers cheap sweater vests that are perfectly oversized to wear over a tight long-sleeve shirt or even a tight-fitted dress for the holidays.  

Now, let’s talk about pants. Mom jeans have been a constant in fashion for a few seasons now, so you can always throw on a pair of those with a sweater and some sneakers for an easy fall look. However, the popularity of straight-legged jeans has taken over this year. A more relaxed look, straight-legged jeans are ideal for taller individuals and usually have a slight flair at the bottom. They are perfect for a casual day on campus or for going out to lunch without feeling overdressed, and they pair well with cropped shirts since they are normally high-waisted. This is one of the only times where I would recommend making a bit of an investment, because Zara has the best jeans imaginable, with hundreds of different styles averaging in the $40 to $60 range.  

If you are looking to dress a bit fancier this fall or need a cute staple for the upcoming holidays, leather pants are your answer. Several stores offer “faux leather” options, taking the price down by a substantial amount. Black, burgundy and army green shades of leather pants have been breaking the internet since the beginning of this season, and they will carry you through the upcoming winter months as well! 

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