This is the time of year when clothing most excites me. My willpower to pass up spring styles is pretty good, but fall/winter fashions are very hard for me to resist. Case in point: my trunk show orders at work are coming in almost daily. Armed with the latest issues of my favorite fashion magazines, I’ve put together my “must have” list for this season.
1. The Boyfriend Jacket/Shirt/Jean. I bought my boyfriend jeans about three years ago before Katie Holmes Cruise made them chic. Of course, I don’t get followed around by paparazzi recording everything I do so my jeans didn’t garner the fuss hers did. I wear mine in the summer since they are a light wash and have several holes in them. To keep them from looking sloppy, I usually pair them with a simple black t-shirt. Earlier this summer we had a Karen Kane trunk show at work which included a black Boyfriend Jacket with tapered sleeves that could easily be pushed up. I liked the one-button front and the simple lines so I ordered it. I was dismayed to find that it was the most popular piece from the collection but I figured it was a good price for a classic jacket so I could overcome the fact that half our customers ordered it (along with most of the staff). With the cooler weather we’ve had, I’ve actually worn it twice already so I’m predicting it will be worth the money. This season’s boyfriend shirt is a plaid version and I’ve already found the one I love at [Banana Republic](http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=5039&vid=1&pid=671391&scid=671391012). The ruffle makes it more feminine and a recent coupon means I got it at 40% off.
2. Jeans. No wardrobe would be complete without several styles of jeans. I already have several pair of my favorite Gap jeans from previous years (before they did the fit updates) so I doubt I’ll be buying anything new to wear with boots. What I have embraced is the skinny jean. God may not have blessed me with a flat stomach, but I do have thin enough legs to pull off this look. My favorite pair is from [Banana Republic](http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=35286&vid=1&pid=670813) and has a zipper at the ankle. Yes, I’m channeling a little 80s vibe here but I love the look. I bought them (with another 40% off coupon) in the regular length because I think they look better when they hit the ankle rather than pooling around the foot as the website shows. Right now I’m wearing them with my sandals but will add an ankle boot or ballet flat when it gets cooler. Another great skinny jean is the one by [Levi’s](http://us.levi.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3518602&cp=3146849.3146879.3146884.3146903). The ones advertised on their site are $69.50 but Dillard’s had a dark wash version for $34.99. I bought them and wear them almost every day. I love that the thighs aren’t skin tight.
3. A Belt. You know a trend has saturated the market when I start to cave into a look. Being self-conscious about my waist means I never wear belts. Last spring, I had the opportunity to buy a belt at work for next to nothing. I figured for $15 I could take a chance so I bought a simple black patent belt with a silver buckle. I actually wore it all spring and every time I did I received comments on how thin I looked. Now that’s music to anyone’s ears! My favorite one is a double belt by Fossil that comes to a “v” in the front and makes me look thinner. I plan to wear it over my boyfriend shirt with my skinny jeans. How’s that for putting all the trends together!
4. Booties. At the end of last winter, I bought a pair of platform oxfords at work for 90% off. These babies are about 4″ tall but amazingly wearable for a 4-5 hour workday. I wore them with my wide-leg jeans and a dress or two before putting them away for the summer. A few weeks ago I was looking for a way to punch up my cuffed dark denim jeans and I pulled out my platforms. They looked great with my jeans and boyfriend jacket. Now I’m on the lookout for a bootie that cuts right at the ankle and isn’t too high. So far I haven’t found anything but it’s still early in the season.
5. A Vest. About four years ago I bought a pinstriped vest at Old Navy and wore it with a white t-shirt and jeans. We went to dinner that night with some friends and the husband started making fun of my outfit. I proceeded to tell him that he should can it because he had no idea what was hip. He laughed and told me that I was probably right. Fast forward to fall of 2009 and menswear looks are everywhere. At the same Karen Kane trunk show where I ordered my boyfriend jacket I also ordered a black vest with matte black embellishments. So far I’ve paired it with a short-sleeved white camp shirt and a 3/4 sleeve black t-shirt. I love that a vest adds structure to an outfit but is much cooler than a jacket when the temperature is still soaring.
None of this in your budget? Pick up a bottle of one of the new fall colors of [OPI for Sephora](http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P243703&categoryId=C19281), Dark Room is the trendy choice for fashionistas. Even if you don’t paint your fingernails, your toes can look chic as you squeeze the last bit of summer out of your sandals. It may still be in the 90s outside but cooler weather is just around the corner and I can’t wait to drag out all my fall clothes. This is my list of “must haves” for fall. What’s on yours?