My Five Best Purchases From Last Fall

Sep 11, 2019

Yesterday, I walked outside and felt the unmistakable chill of fall.  It was not a welcome sensation.  After a very long winter, I am not prepared for an early fall.  But even if I’m not emotionally ready, my wardrobe needs to be.

Last fall, I bought a handful of pieces that I can’t recommend highly enough.  These items were the foundation of my wardrobe — the kind of items that you wear too much.

I now own this Free People Ottoman Sweater in four colors (fig, green, black, and ivory).  It’s perfect with jeans or leggings, the ideal combination of slouchy and structured.  I can’t recommend it enough.  Just one word on sizing — the sweater is so oversized anyone size 8 or under will likely want an XS.

This Maggy London dress was in constant rotation when I worked the legislative session last winter.  I wore it under long coats, with crewneck cardigans, and under moto jackets.  It is so comfortable and easy, but looks professional and put together.

Nordstrom Rack has it on sale for under-$50, but they don’t have all the sizes.

 

This sweatshirt from Daily Ritual is the piece I reach for when I travel, when I’m watching my friends’ kids play sports, and anytime I need to look pulled together while running errands.  It’s a good mid-weight, and so soft.

Last fall, I went to NYC for a trip and just packed wrong.  I had an informational interview and the outfit was WAY too professional.  So where did I go?  J.Crew.

I picked up this Regent Blazer in camel to wear with a simple black sheath and pumps, and the outfit was the perfect mix of “I’m a professional” and not trying too hard.  But once I got home, I ended up wearing it with everything.  T-shirt and jeans, camel blazer.  Cocktail dress for drinks with friends, camel blazer jauntily perched on my shoulders.  Over pajamas for a 5:00AM Starbucks run, camel blazer.

If you want something even more casual, their Sophie Open Front Sweater-Blazer is nice. Just be aware it pills, a lot.  So you’ll need a sweater shaver.

Have you ever heard the phrase “they go with nothing, so they go with everything?”  That’s these leopard point Rothy’s.  The color palette is off, being all brown, but it honestly doesn’t matter a bit.  I wore these constantly.  I wore them around my office between meetings.  I wore them to the grocery store.  I even wore them to a wedding.  (Don’t judge the groom was wearing jeans.)

The lesson here is that leopard flats are a must, but Rothy’s are much easier than calf-hair.

{this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author}

Fiscally Feasible Fashion, Style

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  1. Madeline says:

    This is a brilliant post! I often wonder if something that I have had my eye on may be a regret or end up being one of my most-worn pieces. I would love more posts where you share your most-worn items from different categories and how you wear them! Thanks for your continued blogging! My favorite blog!

  2. Liz says:

    I love this post! I would also be curios which few items that you purchased thinking they’d get lots of wear or be awesome ended up languishing in the back of your closet.

    • Belle says:

      I didn’t buy as much last year as in past seasons, but the one thing that I almost never wore was a pair of leopard boots. They just weren’t for me. I also bought a pleated skirt in navy that I thought I’d wear constantly, but pleats and pear shapes are tough.

  3. AJ says:

    Did you consider the Big Cat print as well as the leopard spot? I’m not sure which I want to get and was wondering why you went with the smaller spots.

    • Belle says:

      I ordered the Big Cat, the print was very big, which made them too much of a statement shoe. The smaller print looks nicer in my opinion, and the first thing you notice isn’t my feet.

    • E says:

      AJ, I’d been struggling to choose between those two prints and ultimately went with big cat. I was a little worried that they might be too orange-y, but the colors are really nice in person.

  4. Emily says:

    I bought 2 of the 5 items you posted- the free people tunic and the dress- and LOVE them. Thank you for curating such excellent finds.

  5. Cait says:

    Jcrew factory has a nearly identical sweater blazer and doesnt pill. Super comfy with just enough structure.

  6. Mc says:

    Looking for sizing help on Free People tunic. I’m usually a 12/L but will be wearing this post partum/nursing. Do I still size down to M? Thanks ladies!

    • AB says:

      I was the almost identical size & postpartum situation as you last fall, I preferred the L. My chest was too large from nursing to fit comfortably in the M, and the L gave me some room to avoid belly clinginess and accommodate my broader rib cage (still waiting for that to go back to normal…). I’m 5’8” though, if you are on the smaller size I bet a M will be fine.

    • Emily says:

      I would! It’s really roomy.

    • Belle says:

      I agree with AB. The only thing that would make me size up in the sweater would be a larger chest measurement. That is the only part of the sweater that can even charitably be described as semi-fitted.

  7. Sarah says:

    Was able to pick up my size in the navy dress from Nordstrom Rack – THANK YOU – what a DEAL!

    • Emma says:

      I have the Maggy London Dress in Navy, and I love it. Would buy it in another color, but it’s a bit of a “statement” with the tie neck so might be kind of strange to have two of them.

  8. MM says:

    LOVE your “best purchases” posts – thank you!!

  9. Stacey D says:

    Obligatory Rothy’s referral discount code:

    https://share.rothys.com/x/vF7jL2

  10. Lynn says:

    I bought the Maggie dress at your suggestion and wore it many times over the summer. It’s machine washable, I always get complements, and it’s super comfortable. Probably the best buy (clothing-wise) I’ve made all year.

  11. Sof says:

    I pondered the Free People sweater when Belle posted it last year, but it looks so strange on the model that I can’t bring myself to pull the trigger. Does it hang differently on those of you who own it?

  12. caitlin says:

    Like the other commenters, I too have some questions about the FP tunic… how do you accessorize it? A pendant necklace seems a bit dowdy (unless it’s a REALLY cool necklace, I guess)… fun earrings? Just say fuck it? The large unbroken swath of bright color seems like… needs something, but maybe I’m going about it all wrong.

    Thank you!

    • Belle says:

      Earrings or I push up the sleeve and wear bracelets, no necklaces. The necklaces just mess with the neckline. My Mom sometimes wears a collared button up under hers with the collar up to break up the color (her FP is orange).

  13. Pam says:

    I have that camel regent blazer too and LOVE it! Have had it a few years agree it is very versatile!

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