10 Essential Fall Wardrobe Builders for Less

Today is the first official day of Fall. That means it’s time for pumpkin spice lattes, leaves falling from the trees, and weather that changes daily here in the Northeast. It seems every day is different and we get varying temperatures every hour it seems! So how are you supposed to dress when the weather may be sunny and warm at noon but overcast and cold at 8am.

What’s a girl to do? Find these 10 essential pieces at budget-friendly prices.

1. Cardigans:

I may have a slight obsession with cardigans it’s true. But they are an easy way to add warmth when you need it. I find that even on a warm day I need a cardigan at the grocery store or the local Starbucks because it’s always chiller inside than it is outside. If you can only afford to buy one pick an oversized neutral color (tan, gray, black, white) or pick a pop of color if most of your wardrobe is one palette or black.

Cardigans for everyone! (I have the first one and LOVE the way it covers and how it lays)

2. Scarves:

Again, I have a slight obsession. Look for summer weight scarves at deep discounts right now. They are perfect for the fall to add a pop of color without too much weight, and typically made from lighter materials than fall scarves.

How cute is this?

Scarves & Wraps by American Apparel at ShopStyle


I love this one too!

Scarves & Wraps by Lands' End Canvas at ShopStyle

3. Sunglasses:

$5.99! from Old Navy.

Sunglasses by Old Navy at ShopStyle

You can get a pair for $10-20 at places like Target or H&M. Sunglasses are key for those super sunny fall days, and they also help hide the bags under your eyes from staying up late watching fall TV shows. (side note: What show are you most excited to see premiere or see come back?)

4. Dark wash jeans:

Tons of jeans options for every pricepoint.

Dark wash jeans can be dressed up or down. You can throw them on with a tee shirt and cardi for early morning dropoffs and change into a blouse or fitted tee when you are headed to work or out on errands. Flares are in this season, and you can never go wrong with bootcut jeans. Speaking of boots…

5. Boots:

Rainboots are a must in a cute and fun material. Off brand sheepskin boots are my favorite way to save and keep my toes warm in the morning. Nordstrom Rack, Marshall’s and TJ Maxx are great places to shop for either faux or not Ugg sheepskin boots. If you can round out your boots with a pair of riding boots you’ll be set.

Love these! At $98 they are spendy, but they can be both rainboots and regular boots. 😉

Boots by Banana Republic at ShopStyle

Love the color of these! So fun!

Boots by N.n. at ShopStyle

6. Tights, leggings, jeggings:

All a must for updating your favorite summer looks for fall. Pairing a colorful summer dress with tights and a cardi can be an adorable way to stay chic this fall.

These are a steal at $24.99 from the Gap.

Plus Jeans by Gap at ShopStyle

7. New makeup:

You know you should get new makeup every few months right? You don’t even want to think about the bacteria that’s growing in there. Toss all your spring stuff (in general it’s only good for 4-6 months) and try a new palette for fall. Berry colors are always a favorite for fall, and neutrals are still popular.

8. Get a haircut:

If you’re like me you go all summer without a haircut because you’re too busy chasing kids to make time. Set aside an hour or two and go get your hair trimmed, or if you have the funds try a darker hair color for the fall.

9: Sweaters:

Pull out all of last year’s sweaters, clean them up and wah-la new wardrobe! I totally forgot about the sweater dress I bought at the end of the winter last year-score!

Dress this up with some statement jewelry (maybe turquoise?), some killer shoes and a scarf or cardi.

Day Dresses by Merona at ShopStyle

10. Put together your own lookbook:

I have shared this advice before but it needs to be shared again! While you’re trying on your fall clothes, sweaters, and seeing what summer dresses and clothes you can work into your fall wardrobe take photos of the looks you like. That way you won’t have to stare at your closet every morning or try on multiple combinations.

What ways are you planning to spruce up your wardrobe this fall?

Here are some coupon codes to save you some dough if you’re planning to shop. 😉

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About Kelly

Kelly Whalen is the founder and editor of the Centsible Life blog. She started the blog 6 years ago as her family faced a mountain of debt. The blog became a resource to readers and a hub for everything you need in life for less. Kelly lives in the Philadelphia area with her superhero husband, 4 awesome kids, and one adorable dog. She still believes you can have it all....just not all at once.


  1. Brianna Headley says

    Did you know that if humans ceased to exist, most of the world wouldn’t notice but if bacteria ceased to exist, everything on Earth would end as we know it within a 24-hour time period? There are more bacteria in the world than there are grains of sand; a little bacteria in cosmetics is not likely to kill someone.

  2. Anonymous says

    Wow, I forgot all about Alloy! I remember pining away at their catalog when I was younger. Thanks for the tips! I’m also a big lover of cardis and summer scarves, especially since it rarely dips below 40 here on the Gulf Coast.


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