I am a believer in owning your personal style, saying what you mean, asking for what you want, living authentically and the power of simplicity — in fashion, and in life.

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10 Rules for Effortless, Everyday Style

In this series, I share some simple tips for leveling up your daily looks.

Secondhand trench (similar and also secondhand) / shirt / jeans / alternate tote (mine is from a sample sale) / low heels (15BORTON for first order) / sunglasses

Trends come and go, but there’s something special when it comes to the basics — the foundation of any well-edited wardrobe. The power of basics lies in their timeless appeal, their incredible versatility, and their ability to effortlessly elevate your style. In this post, I want to explore the essential pieces that should be the foundation of your fall wardrobe: the trench coat, the trusty button-down shirt, your favorite pair of jeans, a dependable tote bag, and a chic, comfortable shoe that elevates any look.

The Trench Coat: A Timeless Icon
The trench coat is the epitome of timeless elegance and makes any look effortlessly cool. Its clean lines, structured silhouette, and neutral tones make it a perfect choice for fall. Whether you’re headed to the office or out for a weekend stroll, a trench coat effortlessly elevates your outfit and provides a layer of warmth on crisp fall days. Need more warmth? Swap in a long wool coat.

The Button-Down Shirt: Classic and Versatile
A button-down shirt is a wardrobe essential that knows no bounds. Tuck it into your jeans for a polished look or leave it untucked for a more relaxed vibe. Button it all the way up, or unbutton for a deeper v-neckline. Layer under sweaters, cardigans, or even dresses to add depth and style to your fall ensembles. (And in the summer it makes a perfect swim cover up!).

Your Favorite Jeans: A Well-Loved Staple
Finding the perfect pair of jeans can be a lifelong quest, but once you do, they can become your go-to choice for almost any occasion. Whether straight leg, baggy, kick flare, cropped or full length, denim pairs seamlessly with your button-down shirt and trench coat. The possibilities are endless when you have a pair of jeans you love.

The Trusty Tote Bag: Carry It All
A tote bag isn’t just a functional accessory; it can also be a style statement. A great tote can carry all of your essentials, from a laptop to a sweater and everything in between. Its simplicity and elegance make it the ideal companion for your classic fall look, and it’s perfect for a day at the office, a day walking around town, or as a personal item on the plane when you’re traveling.

Chic Shoe: Comfort Meets Style
In the look above I’m wearing a low heel, but I recognize that those wouldn’t qualify as a “fall shoe” in most other climates. The key factor here: a pair of shoes that are both comfortable and chic. From a versatile low heel that adds a touch of femininity to a Chelsea boot or pointed toe boot that is better suited for chilly days, there are so many options to complete your look. Slingback flats provide comfort and style in equal measure, while loafers and oxfords embrace classic sophistication with a hint of masculinity. Seeing a more casual vibe? White sneakers effortlessly blend comfort and fashion and are always a good idea.

Putting It All Together: A Classic Fall Ensemble
Now that we’ve explored the power of basics, let’s put these pieces together for a classic fall look. Start with your favorite jeans, add a crisp button-down shirt, and layer on your timeless trench coat. Grab your trusty tote bag and slip into your favorite fall shoe. Voila! You have a look that’s effortlessly chic, perfect for the season, and ready for whatever the day brings.

The beauty of these basics is their ability to adapt and transform into countless outfits. Mix and match, add some jewelry, experiment with textures, and create a wardrobe that’s uniquely yours while staying true to the timeless appeal of these essential pieces. Need more examples of this formula? Here you go…

(Just add a trench or long coat!)

Not into button downs? A basic white tee or tank is an excellent alternative. This is one of my all-time favorite fall looks!

The Power of Basics

Read the Comments +

  1. Jillian says:

    Natalie, I love that coastal painting on the wall in the photo with you wearing the black loafers. Do you remember where you got it? Thanks in advance!

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Hi, I'm Natalie

I am a believer in owning your personal style, saying what you mean, asking for what you want, living authentically and the power of simplicity — in fashion, and in life.

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