Fall 2014, The Essentials

August is one of those months that seems to whip by. One minute you’re planning out the last bits of summer and the next, you’re pulling out the sweaters. But now that it’s officially September, I might as well act like it. Last week, New York Magazine’s “The Cut” published a list of 50 pieces essential for building a classic wardrobe and I positively swooned. Though I hate hate HATE being cold, the cold weather list reminded me just how much I love the layers and rich fabrics that the cooler weather requires.

I am a hot weather girl through and through and my summer wardrobe is ultra-light and hyper vibrant. I am the girl you see walking down the street and think, “Well, she’s wearing all the colors.” But in colder weather, I shift in neutral, weaving seasonal shades of grey, brown and black with jewel tones and even the occasional summer electric hue.

But when it comes to essentials, I have a list of my own.

The Tissue Turtleneck

My number one layering essential. A turtleneck in a lightweight, nearly transluscent cotton can take you all the way from first chill through the winter. I know turtlenecks aren’t the coolest fashion item in the world but there is a reason they have made them year after year in every pattern known to man since the 70’s. Turtlenecks can be dressed up or down and these slightly sheer tops can be layered with each other, with a jacket or a sweater and my favorite, a jumper-style dress.

TRS pickJ. Crew “Tissue Turtleneck Tee”, $34.50

The Slim Black Pant

This practically goes without saying: The black trouser is the epitome of classic. The pants may vary in style from season to season, legs going flared or extra-wide but there is never a time when this wardrobe piece isn’t very necessary. I chose the slim-leg trouser for its versatility: the pant can be dressed up or down, tucked into boots or worn with sky high heels to elongate those stems. Myself? I’m a roller. Since I’m short but not petite, my pants can tend to run on the long side. I love to roll and unroll the cuffs of my pants according to my whims ( and the height of my shoes.)

TRS pick: NY & Co “Crosby Street Superstretch Slim Leg Pant”, $59.95

The Riding Boot (In Black AND Brown!)

It’s chilly outside. You want to keep wearing your favorite dress but you need some extra warmth. Go for a riding boot. You have a super cute pair of shorts that you’ve been dying to pair with your perfect chunky knit sweater? Grab that riding boot! Considering riding a horse for some reason? Cheap shot– you know the answer. Riding boots are one of the main reasons cold weather exists. Since you’re inevitably going to be wearing more layers and covering up the outfit that you worked so hard to put together, you need to really need to make those outer pieces shine.  Beautiful textural and ornamental details on your boots can elevate an outfit, especially as you transition to winter–and that marshmallow puffer coat.

TRS pick: 
Sam Edelman “Pembrooke” Boot in Brown, $189.95 and Tory Burch “Eloise” Boot in Black, $495.00

The Flare Leg Jean

So, word on the street is that jeans are on their way out. I, however, refuse to accept this. Lululemon is great, don’t get me wrong, but I am someone who enjoys wearing clothes that are not completely made of spandex. A medium wash jean is a timeless piece that every PERSON- not woman, person- needs in their wardrobe. The medium wash is not a slave to trends and can be worn in the most casual of settings as well as those that require casual elegance. My favorite fall pairing without a doubt is a slim, flared jean with a blazer and an elegant heel, whether it be a boot or a stiletto. The flare gives you the same leg-lengthening effect as the slim black pant but with a different silhouette.

TRS pick: 7 for All Mankind “A Pocket Flare in Absolute Heritage”, $215.00

The White Shirt

Crisp, classic, clean. The white shirt is all weather, all season and is always in rotation in
my wardrobe. I have quite a few white button-down shirts in all different fabrics and textures but my very favorite is this exact shirt. The sateen gives what could be a basic cotton shirt a luxurious feel and a subtle shine. Wear it often and with absolutely everything.

TRS pick: Banana Republic “Fitted Non-Iron Sateen Shirt”, $69.50

It’s not until you begin thinking about what “essential” means that you realize that, “essential” might require more than one post. Next up? Outerwear.


  1. Laura Arnold
    September 12, 2014 / 7:53 pm

    Great list, Kerri! I personally hope that the flare leg jean makes a big comeback. I’m not the right body type for the skinny jean – they just look like crap on me. So very psyched to see you feature these. 🙂

    • kerriestella
      September 13, 2014 / 10:41 am

      I’m right with you, Laura. I always liked the balance that the flare leg gives. I’ve got to go poking through the stores I’ll let you know what I find and where. 🙂

  2. Lillian
    September 11, 2015 / 7:59 am

    Please do a 2015 list! You mentioned some great classics here.

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