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Dos and don’ts for building the best fall wardrobe

Fall shopping is supposed to be fun, not daunting. If you’re stumped on where to start when it comes to updating your wardrobe for a new season, there are a few key points to keep in mind before you hit the shops.

Woman shopping for fall clothes

Do use what you already have

There’s no need to completely overhaul your wardrobe for a new season. One of the keys to creating looks that are both refreshed and affordable is to mix and match new items with the pieces you already own. Go through your closet now as the summer comes to an end, and donate any items you never wear or don’t fit into. Then, take stock of what you already have before you buy anything new.

Don’t overspend on trends

Trends come and go, meaning whatever you spend money on this fall, could very likely be out of style when next September rolls around. By all means pick up some trendy items to incorporate into your wardrobe, but don’t break the bank. Rather than trendy pieces, focus more on must-have colors and patterns, which tend to have more staying power than specific designs that could end up becoming things you only wear once.

Do focus on key pieces

When you shop for a new season, it’s a good idea to focus on three to five key pieces you want to pick up that will really make the rest of your wardrobe sing. For fall, some of your best bets are items that can be used to put together multiple outfits — a tailored blazer, cropped, tailored trousers, pencil skirt for this fall, a longer, pleated skirt, shift dress and button-up blouse.

Don’t neglect basics

The basics really are the backbone of your wardrobe — in any season. If you don’t have them, pulling together an outfit is going to be tough. What do we mean by basics? White tees and tanks, black pumps, well-fitting dark wash denim and a tailored shirt — all the pieces that can literally be worn with anything and punched up with the addition of a trend piece or something colorful. If you need to restock your basics, do that before you spend money on trendier items.

Do think about longevity

Before you buy, think about two things: Will the piece last — is it made well? And does it have staying power — will it be out of style in three months? Some things you buy will be heading toward the discard pile by February, but make sure that most of what you add to your closet this fall is of high quality (e.g. it won’t fall apart after one wash) and it’s classic enough in design that you’ll be able to wear it for more than one season.

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