I get overwhelmed every year with trying to keep up with the season's trends, but it's also something I enjoy. I realize that everyone doesn't love building their seasonal wardrobe. That being said, it doesn't mean those people don't want to look on-trend. I have compiled a list of 15 "foundation" pieces that will give you dozens of looks for whatever occasion you may have through the fall and winter seasons. For each piece, I have included  recommendations as visual aids, but please don't buy anything  on my website until you've looked at/tried on various versions of these staple pieces. Given their basic nature, there are tons of options out there and it's not a one-size-fits-all.
1. A Black Blazer
You NEVER know when you will need to look professional, and a black blazer also looks polished with jeans and a t-shirt underneath. It will never go out of style. Blazers are not all made equally. Try several on before you decide on single breasted, double breasted, one button, two button, etc. You would be surprised how much those details change how it looks on you.

2. The Button-Down Shirt

You don't necessarily have to get white. I personally don't think white button-downs look good on me, but get a button down in a color you like. It is good for so many looks and will also never go out of style. You can wear it under a blazer, under a shift dress, under a sweater, or by itself.

3. The Pencil Skirt

Again, another basic piece with endless potential that will never go out of style. You can literally wear it with a t-shirt and flip flops or a blazer and pumps. The midi-length is most flattering in my opinion. If you get one that's comfortable, you will be wearing it all the time.

4. Straight Leg Jeans

Notice I did NOT say "skinny" jeans. For me, skinny jeans are just TOO tight, and on most women, they visually widen the mid-section. However, the peg-leg look is in style now, so straight-leg is a good compromise. It gives the tapered leg look while still leaving a little width at the ankle to balance out the midsection. Try wearing them with heels to make your legs look long and lean.

5. Black Leggings

Leggings are all the rage, and have been for a few years. Get a nice pair. They are comfortable, versatile, and flattering. Just remember on a scale of hosiery to pants, leggings fall more toward the hosiery end of the spectrum, so don't wear them as pants! The easiest way to test whether you are trying to wear leggings as pants is as follows: Put on your top first. If you can see any part of your underwear, then you need to wear real pants. If you can't, then leggings are okay.

6. Open Front Cardigan

Open front cardigans are universally flattering and comfortable. You can wear it over a t-shirt with jeans, or over a t-shirt with your pencil skirt, or over a button-down shirt. Try getting one in one of your power colors. Don't know your power colors? Find yours here. 

7. V-Neck Tee 

V-neck is the most flattering neck shape for a t-shirt, because it creates the linear illusion of a smaller waist. Get whatever color you want, or better yet get several colors. They work under everything, the blazer, the cardigan, or alone for warmer days.


Vests can be paired with almost any top. They add just the right amount of warmth without the bulk and are in style right now. I recommend getting a basic color so you can wear it with more things. You don't have to go with the puffer style if you don't like it. There are fleece versions that are just as versatile and warm.

9. Tunic Sweater

Pair this with leggings, straight leg jeans, or the pencil skirt. It can be dressed up or down and is flattering to the mid-section. I would get this in one of my power colors, too. 

10. Novelty Sweater

These are all the rage this year. And can you blame them? They are super cute and a way to be a little whimsical without going overboard. You can add the button down shirt under this for warmth, and pair it with the pencil skirt and blazer for a polished professional look. Or, you can wear it alone with jeans.

11. Shift Dress

You don't have to get black, but it is the most versatile color. Every woman needs a little black dress. It can take you from cocktail parties to the office. Pair it with sparkly jewelry, heels, and a pea coat  for a night out, or put the button down shirt underneath and wear it with boots and tights for a day look. Throw the vest on top if you need added warmth!

12. Black Pumps

I know everyone is comfortable with different styles, heel heights, etc., but basically just get a pair of black pumps. They literally go with every outfit suggestion I have described on this page. 

13. Tall Boots

Besides being warm, they look great with leggings, straight leg jeans, and with tights under the pencil skirt. The possibilities are endless. 

14. Bright Pea Coat

I've talked about this in an earlier post, but a bright pea coat is a great way to take your outfit to the next level. Most of my other suggestions here have been basics, but this is your "not-so-basic" basic. You won't believe how it versatile it will be when paired with your other foundation pieces. Definitely get this in one of your power colors.

15. Coordinating Scarf

Along with your bright pea coat, you will want a coordinating scarf to complete your look. You can also wear the coordinating scarf with the vest or the blazer. The beauty of having a good stockpile of basics is that with accent pieces like scarves, you can pretty much pair them with anything. 

Hopefully, I've been able to give you some good ideas for building your wardrobe this fall and winter season, and maybe even some ideas for your holiday wish list. Take care and stay warm!

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