Have you ever headed to your closet to dress for an important day at work, only to find that — in spite of a rack full of options— you have nothing appropriate to wear?
In some cases that’s due to our tendency to snap up colorful or standout wardrobe pieces that are fun to buy, while foregoing the basic but highly functional staples that can take us through the most conservative business meeting. Such pieces are seldom exciting, but they’re almost always appropriate and can be ramped up with fun accompaniments and accessories as needed.
As such, Real Simple has assembled a list of core pieces for fall 2016 that can easily be mixed and matched, are available at different price points and could well make your life easier this fall.
- Black tank to dress up or down
- Short-sleeved white t-shirt (opt for several less-expensive ones you can switch out as they gray)
- Short-sleeved black t-shirt (a little longer than cap-sleeved)
- Long-sleeved white t-shirt that skims your body without clinging
- Long-sleeved black t-shirt (that could be worn under a dress shirt)
- Black turtleneck, possibly cashmere
- Two fitted white button-down shirts, one silky and one cotton
- Crisp white blouse that looks softer than a button-down
- Thin-knit crewneck sweater that layers easily
- Neutral-shade cardigan (hip length tends to be flattering)
- Black dress
- Pencil skirt that grazes the tops of the knees
- Dark, boot-cut jeans (consider stretch denim with less than 2 percent Lycra)
- Black pants in all-season fabric
- Skinny jeans (not too snug in the waist)
- Khaki pants with a flat front and no crease
- Dark-wash, slim-fit denim jacket
- Cropped jacket in a traditional tweed or solid color
- Ballet flats in neutral or red
- Basic black pumps
- Knee-high flat boots in black or brown
- Ankle-grazing high-heeled boots
As for the fun accompaniments? Consider pairing the above with some of the latest trends for this fall. Elle suggests capelets; velvet; statement chokers; tinsel-like trims; pinstripe suiting; David Bowie-style chunky boots; extra-long sleeves; navy overcoats; schoolgirl jumpers; gray plaid, one-arm tops; statement furs; unusual gloves; the pairing of pink and yellow and cross-body fur stoles as cutting-edge styles.