18 Tips to Elevate Your Basic Fall Outfits

A few months ago, I wrote a post about elevating your basic summer outfits. When I wrote it, I thought wistfully of fall days when layering came naturally and outfits were so much more fun. But now that fall is here, I’m finding that it’s just as easy to get stuck in a rut and have my basic outfits fall flat. I’m sure you can relate!

So here are five basic fall outfits, shown before and after they were elevated! Also, check out 18 easy tips to elevate your basic fall outfits!

  • Elevate Your Basics! 1 of 11
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    Click through for 5 basic outfits elevated to be fabulous!

  • Sweater & Jeans 2 of 11
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    Sweater and jeans — do women wear anything else all winter long? No, we do not. 

     

  • Sweater & Jeans — Elevated! 3 of 11
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    But this basic ensemble can be anything but basic when you try a few easy tricks!

     

    Tip 1: Swap out a pair of regular jeans for a pair of coated ones. They are super popular right now, and the "leather" look works so well with a basic cable or other large-knit sweater. This switch elevates your basic outfit by itself!

     

    Tip 2: Add a pretty necklace. Sparkly jewelry in the winter is so appropriate and fun and helps draw attention up toward your face. 

     

    Tip 3: Try a fun hairdo. I'm always guilty of wearing the same two hairstyles day after day. But a fun crown braid adds some major visual interest to a basic outfit. 

     

    Tip 4: Throw on a pair of bright socks and a winter-y pair of booties! The pop of red at the ankles makes the outfit for me. It's just such a fun surprise. Don't be scared by wearing a bright color because you only see two inches of it!

     

    Tip 5: Add a great bag. Purses always complete the look for me. 

    Sweater from Lulu's, backpack from Lily Jade, jeans from Old Navy, socks from Old Navy

  • Basic Black 4 of 11
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    There is certainly a place for an all black ensemble, but don't rely on it to create a stunning outfit, 'cause this skirt and cardigan ensemble is not.  

  • Basic Black — Elevated! 5 of 11
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    All black does NOT have to be basic!

     

    Tip 6: Instead of a boring cardigan, try a leather jacket. It's still black, but adds a bit of edge and texture! 

     

    Tip 7: Play with more textures with a chunky colorful scarf! As an added bonus, the extra layer will keep you toasty warm.

     

    Tip 8: Swap out your boring black shoes for a pair of fun (non-black) booties!

    Dress from Downeast Outfitters, jacket from Choies, cowl from Gussy Sews, booties from Forever 21

  • Button-Up & Jeans 6 of 11
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    A plaid button-up and jeans are a staple for fall this year. And no matter how fun of a plaid top you have, the ensemble can get a little dull. 

  • Button Up & Jeans — Elevated! 7 of 11
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    Instead, try a little layering to mix things up a bit!

     

    Tip 9: Try layering two of your button-ups, with the one underneath only showing at the cuffed sleeves and the collar. It adds a perfect amount of pattern (and pattern mixing!!).

     

    Tip 10: Try a half-tuck. My favorite thing to do with long-ish button ups is to tuck one side of the shirt. This one simple trick opens up the outfit and makes the line of your leg appear longer. 

     

    Tip 11: Add a skinny belt. Mine is gold, so not only does it add a bit of bling to an otherwise basic farm-girl-esque outfit, but it also gives your half-tuck a bit of purpose and grounds your outfit.

     

    Tip 12: Throw on some jewelry. A stack of bracelets is easy and pretty and adds a bit of sparkle.

    Plaid shirt from Front Row Shop, boots from Macy's, polka dot shirt from Sheinside, belt from Kohls

  • Dress & Cardigan 8 of 11
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    A summery dress can easily be transitioned into fall with a cardigan. You may even be feeling good about your outfit since you belted it and everything! But to be honest, this could be lots better.

  • Dress & Cardigan — Elevated! 9 of 11
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    Go for a comfy boho-chic look with those summery dresses!

     

    Tip 13: Instead of a boring solid colored cardigan, try an oversized one that has a fun print, like aztec (they're everywhere right now!).

     

    Tip 14: Forget the belt and try wearing those summery dresses loose and flowy. A pair of nice leather boots help give the outfit some structure since you no longer have structure from the belt.

     

    Tip 15: Add some color with a scarf! Try layering your scarves and jewelry, or if that makes you nervous, layer a few delicate necklaces for a fun and unique look!

     

    Tip 16: Adding a pair of boots not only gives the outfit some structure (like I mentioned before), but it also helps a summery dress feel cold-weather appropriate.

    Dress from H&M, sweater from Kiki la'rue, boots from Macy's, bag from Persunmall, scarf from London

  • Blouse & Skirt 10 of 11
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    A skirt and blouse is a typical fall outfit for me, especially for church on Sunday. Although this outfit isn't bad, and I probably would have worn this in a heart beat a few years ago, there is just a lot more that could be done with it.

  • Blouse & Skirt — Elevated! 11 of 11
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    A few layers goes a long way!

     

    Tip 17: Monochromatic tights. If you're wearing a colored skirt, try a pair of tights in a similar color to create a striking monochromatic color combo. 

     

    Tip 18: Try a vest! Puffer vests are huge right now, and in addition to keeping you warm, they add a great layer to a simple outfit. Or a cargo vest would work great, too!

     

    I also added a better pair of shoes and a few sparkly bracelets. 

    Skirt from Front row shop, blouse from Kiki la'rue, shoes from Target (old), vest from Joules 

Find more of Merrick’s style and writing at Merrick’s Art

You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter

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