Extending Your Core Closet | Fall & Winter Neutrals

Fall and Winter Neutrals, Fall Closet, What to buy for fall, Labor Day Sales

When I’m getting dressed, I almost always start or end my outfit with an item of clothing from my Core Closet. That’s the portion of my wardrobe that works back to everything else - the building blocks! I hesitate to call it a capsule closet because I don’t like the idea limiting myself or going super minimal. Rather, I think of these pieces as the kind of stuff I will easily keep wearing for another five, ten or twenty years and mix with single season trend items.

Here are the Top 10 Pieces in my Core Closet that I’ve posted about before

Core Closet, Closet Basics, Basic Outfit Building Blocks

1. Chambray Button Down 2. Striped Tee Shirt 3. Jean Jacket 4. Olive Green Utility Jacket 5. Classic Jeans 6. Black Pants (or black denim) 7. Black Skirt 8. Sunglasses 9. Leather Sandals 10. Leather Boots.

My motto for these core basics - BUY THE BEST YOU CAN AFFORD. It might seem insane to invest $500 in a pair of boots, but if you wear them regularly (even just twice a week for 5 months) times five years, that’s a cost per wear of $2.50. Compare that to a pair of $150 boots that you only wear every other week for a season, at a cost per wear of $15! The math favors the quality, durable, classic pieces! 

If you’ve got that list covered, here are some more ideas for expanding upon it. These are things I wear a lot in the colder weather months and are just as versatile as the list above. 

Black Leather Moto Jacket


I can’t believe this didn’t make my original list. Obviously leather is going to be best when the climate is cool to cold, so now it a good time of year to add one to your wardrobe if you haven’t yet done so.

Ponté Knit Black Dress


A classic silhouette in a stretch knit fabric means you can wear it for almost every occasion - with a jean jacket for a casual lunch, a blazer in the office or with heels and a statement necklace at a wedding. Quality is important here - you want to find a thicker fabric versus a lighter weight, tee shirt weight material. To get the most bang for your buck, choose a classic silhouette versus something super trendy. You can find a dress like this at just about any price point! As long as the fabric and fit work for you, it’s a good deal! 

Navy Wool Peacoat


It’s just about as classic as you can get for a winter coat and looks just as chic with a cream sweater and jeans as it does over all black (yes - black and navy work together when it’s intentional!). I bought a J.Crew version a few years ago and ended up getting the exact same style for my mom as a gift.

A Different Style or Color of Jeans

We all have a pair we love, right? But if you’re wearing jeans for four or more days a week, you might want another great pair. Say you’ve got some skinny mid rises, perhaps you add a high waisted flare? Or play around with a darker or lighter wash? Denim is something you can find at every price point, so spend what fits your budget - maybe even a little more if you plan on wearing (and washing!) them a lot. These are all styles I’d want to wear if I was at my normal size! 

Quality Leather Handbag


A well made bag is a great compliment to any outfit. I recommend leather because of it’s durability, but if that’s not in your budget, a vegan option will look just as good. One caveat - anytime the handles start looking worn or threads start to pop (or it’s just visibly dirty and no longer cleaning up well), it’s time to either take your bag to be repaired or invest in something new. 

If you’re buying your first nice bag, I recommend going with black or brown, depending on what you already have covered with shoes. If the majority of what you wear works back to black - that’s your best bet. Ditto with brown. 

Classic Sneakers


These aren’t necessarily a huge investment, but it’s nice to have a pair of sneakers that aren’t muddy,sweaty, or for working out. I think a fresh looking pair in black and white or neutrals are so cool. I favor the throw back versions, which every brand seems to be reproducing these days! 

Cream Cable Knit Sweater

I love laying this piece with just about every jacket or coat I own. It looks great with jeans, black denim, olive skinnies - you name it. My favorite comes from Lands’ End and I love it enough to have it in multiple colors. This is more of a winter item than fall, so I expect more options will be arriving in the next month or two.

Thick Black Tights

I’ve been a long time lover of thick, high denier tights.  You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get high quality and believe me when I tell you, I’ve NEVER had a pair rip or run. Never! They have the warmth factor of a pair of pants in winter and if it’s really cold, you can double up (like the one time I was Edie Sedgwick for Halloween and only wore tights on bottom!). My favorites are from We Love Colors and are an 80 denier (which is the technical way to describe the thickness). If you can find higher, like a 120 denier, go for it! 

Keep an eye out for Labor Day Sales this weekend, I’ve already seen up to 40% off! It’s a good time to grab something on your wish list at a big discount! I’d recommend keeping an eye out at J.Crew, Nordstrom, Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic and Lands’ End.