As a chronic TikTok scroller and general fashion lover, I love seeing the latest trends emerge as much as the next girl. But when it comes to actually wearing said trends, I'm more of an admirer than a doer. I'm easily entranced by It-girls rocking low-rise jeans, platform heels, and sheer tops, but it's my personal belief that you get more bang for your buck with classic, never-out-of-style pieces. Think of your go-to t-shirts, button-downs, leather jackets, and denim. These are the pieces you can turn to time and time again to put together a chic look with zero effort, which is why my shopping strategy revolves around finding them.
Another shopping strategy of mine? Finding classic pieces on sale. When a new season rolls around and my closet is itching for a refresh, I go digging for a good sale to fill my cart with staple pieces. I'm happy to report that I have found such a sale at one of my favorite brands, no less. I'm always shopping Madewell for quality, yet affordable pieces so when I saw the brand was having a sale on their new fall releases, I promptly freaked out. Here's the deal: From now until August 31, use code COOLDOWN for 30 percent off Madewell's fall arrivals, plus score an extra 30 percent off select sale items. This selection includes polished sweaters, staple denim, go-to fall outerwear, chic accessories, and more. I, of course, couldn't resist shopping the sale so if you're looking for a seasonal wardrobe refresh, scroll below to see all of the classic pieces I'm eyeing.
If there's one fashion item you can never have too many of in the fall, it's got to be sweaters. Crewneck pullover styles like this one are particularly effortless to wear—simply pull it over your favorite pair of jeans and pair with ankle boots, and you're good to go. This sweater is also made from 100 percent cotton and features a relaxed fit so you're guaranteed to be comfy while wearing it.
I'm assuming you already have one of two ribbed tanks in your wardrobe, but I can promise they don't beat this Madewell one. Editors and fashion insiders have sung praises about Madewell's Brightside Rib Cutaway Tank for it's soft feel and flattering fit. Wear it time and time again as a layering piece with all of the jackets and cardigans in your collection.
If you don't have a trench coat, can you even say you're prepared for fall? I don't think so. The classic coat style is a wardrobe staple for a reason—it goes with anything (and I really do mean anything) in your closet. Dresses, jeans, sweaters, you name it, this trench coat will be the perfect topper for it. It's also light enough to wear during tricky transitional weather.
As someone who is constantly turning to the style, black jeans are a great addition to your denim collection. They make any outfit look slightly more elevated and "night-ready," plus they're edgier than your average blue washes. With a high waist and baggy fit, these jeans would particularly look cool with a slim-fitting tee or sweater on top.
Loafers have made their rounds every fall for the last couple of years, so at this point, I consider the shoe a wardrobe staple. Think of the shoes of your workwear alternative to sneakers. They are just as comfy, yet look a bit more polished for the office. For a more casual look, you can even style them with skirts and dresses paired with socks à la Emma Chamberlain and Hailey Bieber.
I'm willing to bet you already have a chic white button-down in your closet, so might I suggest adding a cropped version? This cropped shirt is just as classic as your oversized style, but it makes for a better layering piece. Wear it under sweaters and dresses for a less bulky look or take after the Madewell model and pair it with baggy jeans and heels to look effortlessly cool.
The power of a great blazer is truly unmatched. Women has been wearing the piece for nearly a century and I can practically guarantee they will be continuing to wear it for many more to come. Throw this blazer on as a topper when you want to feel empowered, sophisticated, and downright chic. Speaking from experience, this blazer is also the perfect piece to wear when you need a quick boost of confidence.
Sweater weather is nearly upon us folks! While I couldn't be happier to ditch tanks in favor of more cozier styles, my sweater collection is in need of an upgrade, which is why I'm eyeing this cardigan. It's made of an extra-thick knit that is sure to keep you warm through chilly days, plus I love the longer cut for layering. The fact that it has pockets is a major bonus, too.
I've always been the type to keep an "everyday" bag and use more trendy bags for special occasions. This is my ideal everyday bag. Its simple design means it will go with everything in your closet and it's roomy enough to fit your day-to-day essentials without looking too bulky. You also get two options to carry it with its top handles and crossbody strap plus it comes in three neutral colorways to suit your style.
A leather jacket is never going to fail you in the fall. Guaranteed. And while this one may seem pricy, consider the fact that it's made of authentic leather and will last you for ages if not a lifetime. You also don't even have to break it in like other leather pieces because it comes with that buttery soft, comfortable feel. Get it while it's still in stock and at over $150 off.
Sure, you may be thinking a slip dress like this is better suited for the warmer months, but don't underestimate its layering capabilities. Pair it with a sweater and a belt to fake the look of a midi skirt or throw a jacket over it (the leather option above would pair beautifully) with knee-high boots for a quintessential fall look. Then, come summer again you have a whole new batch of styling opportunities.
How adorable is this cropped sweater? The red shade has fall written all over it while the cream option reminds me of the viral cable-knit sweater Chris Evans wore in Knives Out. I'm already imagining all of the ways I can style it—layered over dresses, paired with a denim maxi skirt, and with high-waisted trousers are at the top of my mind. It also makes for a great transitional piece thanks to its breathable open knit.
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Brooke Knappenberger is the Associate Commerce Editor at Marie Claire, where she writes across the board from fashion and beauty to books and celebrities. As a pop culture junkie, Brooke obsessively consumes and writes about the latest movie releases, streaming TV shows, and celebrity scandals. She has over three years of experience writing on fashion, beauty, and entertainment and her work has appeared on Looper, NickiSwift, The Sun US, and Vox Magazine of Columbia, Missouri. Brooke obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism with an emphasis on Magazine Editing and has a minor in Textile and Apparel Management.
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