NOTE: This style guide is packed with information but if you just want to see the cute fall outfit ideas scroll to the end 🙂
Your Cute Fall Outfits Style Guide
We may not feel like we always have the time to “be stylish,” but with just a little effort we can completely change our mindset about getting ready in the morning and how we feel about the way we look. You can use these style tips and advice any time of year, but I’ve put together this guide specifically to help you put together cute fall outfits.
Fall is one of my favorite time of year, and I love cute fall outfits; the colors, the patterns, the fabrics and when it all comes together in a stylish fall outfit it’s perfect.
This outfit guide breaks down the fall essentials you need to create cute fall outfits, fall color guides broken down by hair color, shopping and style tips, and 30 cute fall outfit examples.
I hope this outfit guide helps you in putting together cute fall outfits and gives you plenty of outfit ideas.
17 Fall Essentials Your Closet Needs
If you’re anything like me it’s hard to pass up a cute top or outfit you see in the store. You immediately stop in your tracks and think is this something I need in my life, hahaha. Most of the time is yes I need this cute shirt but that’s never usually the case. The truth is you don’t actually need it, it’s more like a want.
A couple of years ago I started looking at my wardrobe differently, I started looking at essentials or capsule wardrobes. I only bought between 15 to 17 essentials that would take me through the season. In this fall style guide, we’re going to focus on fall essentials.
The 17 items below are my essentials, these are the items I mix and match together to create 30 or more cute fall outfits. Of course, you can make more than 30 but I put together the outfits below for examples of the options you have.
1.Leopard (Black or Navy) Pointy Toe Flats
2. Ankle Boots (Black or Brown)
3. Knee Boots (Black or Brown)
4. Dark-Wash Jeans
5. Light-Wash Jeans
6. A-Line Skirt or Pencil Skirt (Heavy Cotton, Suede, Leather, or Denim)
7.Black Jeans (Distressed Optional) or Navy Trousers
8. Long-Sleeve Striped Pullover Sweater
9. Chambray Long-Sleeve Button Up
10. Long-Sleeve Blouse (Light or Dark Neutral)
11. Cozy Sweater (White or Cream)
12. White (or Off-White) T-Shirt
13. Utility Jacket
14. Warm/Cozy Cardigan
15. Denim Jacket or Black Blazer (Your Personal Preference)
16. Flare Dress or Shirtdress
17. Oversized Plaid or Printed Scarf
Fall Style and Shopping Tips
Here are some style tips and shopping advice when putting together your cute fall outfits and what to looking for when buying these fall essentials.
Remember these essentials are meant to last well beyond just one season so make sure you get items that you will not only love now but next year to. Think of this as the building blocks for future outfits and how you can use essentials year after year.
T-shirt Style Tips
- Wear a t-shirt that is fitted rather than boxy and try to avoid very thick fabrics. The shoulder seam should sit at the widest part of your shoulder and should not look droopy.
- Pick a neckline that flatters your body type and a length that you’re comfortable with. If you’re unsure, a t-shirt that ends at the hips is a good length.
- Opt for cap sleeves as they broaden your shoulders and can even make your waist look smaller instead of short sleeve, sleeveless or any sleeves that have ruffles or additions. If you want to go longer, add about two inches but avoid any sleeve that ends in the middle of your upper arm.
- For long sleeve shirts make sure the length of the sleeve hits the heel of your hand, you don’t want it to be too short.
- If you’re large or medium-busted, avoid crewneck t-shirts as they can make your breasts appear droopy. If you’re smaller and want to wear a crew neck, opt for a fitted t-shirt in cotton.
- Balance wide hips with a deep scoop-neck tee. It brings the focus up to your face. If you want to minimize your chest, wear a medium scoop-neck tee (a neckline that doesn’t go down too low).
- For these everyday t-shirts don’t spend too much; once it’s worn looking or stretched out, just buy another.
Jeans Style Tips
- Baggy jeans can make you look bigger than you are (the main reason for avoiding the trendy boyfriend jean). High-waist jeans create the illusion of broader hips and larger butt, avoid these two styles. Stay away from tapered jeans as they make thighs look bigger.
- Wear your jeans on the long side, and only wear cropped denim if you know you can pull it off. Long jeans mean longer looking legs and are more slimming overall. The hem of the jeans should end about 1/2 inch off the back if wearing heels. With flats, the jean hem should almost touch the floor. If your jeans are too long, make sure to get them tailored. Your jeans should not drag on the floor or be crumpled up against your shoes; that is not staying stylish. #StayStylish
- Avoid jeans with little back pockets placed high on the jean, they make your behind look larger instead, select a pair of jeans with larger centered pockets.
Bootcut jeans look best on all body types; they are the best jean if you want to look taller. But remember that FIT is KEY! Look for a pair of dark wash bootcut jeans that has a slight flare and is snug through the knee.
- When shopping makes sure you check the front pockets of your jeans; they shouldn’t be very tight, and there shouldn’t be much extra fabric to avoid bunching. Check the belt loops as well, as some are very small and don’t allow for wider belts. Sit down when trying on jeans. This allows you to check if they are too tight or the back of the jeans flare away from your tailbone. If they are uncomfortable in the sitting position, try on another size or look for another brand.
Shoes Style and Shopping Tips
- Knee-high boots will elongate your calves and are easier to wear than mid-calf boots.
- The perfect knee-high boots should taper at the ankle and fit through the calf. You want the boots to hug right below your knee. If the shaft of the boot is too big or too tight, look for boots that offer different shaft sizes.
- If you’re shopping for shoes, make sure to dress appropriately. It will be hard to try on various pairs of knee-high boots with jeans on.
- Pointed-toe flats are easier to wear than round-toe flats and make you look longer and leaner.
If you need some outfit ideas on different ways to wear boots, make sure to check out my popular boots buide; 20 Stylish Ways to Wear Boots.
A-line Skirt Style Tips
- An A-line skirt looks great on every body shape! You wear an A-line skirt to minimize hips and create curves on a body with no curves. This skirt hides and highlights as needed.
- Invest in a classic leather or suede skirt and save on casual skirts, including denim or corduroy.
- If a skirt is not fitting nicely, it can rotate when you walk, meaning that a back closure can end up on your side. Don’t buy a skirt that is too big or small.
- You want a skirt that ends a little above your knees or right at your knees. If you’re taller, you can wear a skirt that ends just below your knees.
Fall Blazer/Jacket Style Tips
- As with shoes, when shopping for a jacket, you want to wear the right top. To have more options, find a variety of tops you would wear with the blazer you’re thinking of buying. For example: find a casual, dressy, conservative, or everyday top to try on with your blazer or jacket. This will give you the opportunity to see the different ways you would be able to style it.
- Even though you’ll wear a blazer open or with the top button closed make sure to button up all buttons to make sure it fits correctly. No fabric should be pulling across the chest.
Fall Sweaters Style Tips
- Oversized sweaters are very popular but don’t buy anything too oversized. Select a sweater that conforms to your arms and has a slight shape to it.
- If you’re pear-shaped, avoid oversized sweaters that end at the widest part of your butt. Instead, look for sweaters that end at your hip.
- If you’re big busted, avoid high-neck sweaters like crewnecks. Look for a sweater that had a scoop neck or V-neck.
- Don’t buy anything that is itchy (typically wool or cashmere), no matter how much you love it.
- When trying on a sweater, check the neck, sleeve, and bottom of the sweater to make sure the hem is not too tight. At times, sweaters have tight hems that can cause the bottom of the sweater to sit high or cause the fabric to bunch because it’s hugging your waist.
Fall Outfits Color Guide
Color is a powerful, and often underused, tool in your wardrobe. Color can make your eyes pop, bring out the color of your hair, and even change your mood. During the fall season, it’s time to trade in the brights colors and the fun summer prints for the warmer, deeper shades of autumn.
This fall outfit color guide is designed specifically for hair colors. Why? Hair color is a great base to start with and provides the commonality needed for your main neutrals and accent colors. Once you have this base, then you can adjust or add colors based on your skin tone or eye color.
Fall Color Guide for Blondes
Blondes tend to be paler overall, so a neutral like black against their naturally soft palette can wash out the wearer. I recommend that you switch out your black neutral for navy, which is more flattering for a blonde. In fact, if you have blue or green eyes, navy will make your eyes pop while flattering your skin tone.
You also have the option of wearing several other neutrals: warm browns like chocolate and cognac, winter white and cream, and beige and camel. These will be your base clothing colors and will look particularly good around your face. Think trousers, sweaters, jackets, blouses, even shoes, and handbags in these colors. They all go with one another and will all universally pair with your accent colors.
Fall Neutrals for Blondes
Fall Accent Colors for Blondes
Once you have your primary neutrals, you need to add some color. These are called accent colors and work well on all blondes, regardless of skin tone. You can wear these colors on their own—in dresses, blouses, skirts or sweaters—or use them as accent pieces with your neutrals—scarves, belts, shoes, handbags.
In the yellow family, stick with gold and mustard, both hot fall colors. With greens, dark shades of emerald, jade, and deep teal are perfect or, if you prefer something lighter, try a linden or lichen green.
In the red family, rust and burgundy are universally flattering, while eggplant is the perfect purple for you. A light or charcoal gray is both a neutral and an accent color, both of which go with your neutrals mentioned above as well as almost all the colors listed here.
Fall Color Guide for Brunette/Black Hair
If you’re a brunette, you have a broader range of colors to play with, in your cute fall outfits. Your dark strands need some bright and bold colors.
This category does include multiple nationalities, so skin tones vary. A general rule to keep in mind, that the darker your skin tone, the bolder and brighter you can go, and you also get the option to play with lighter colors as well, like beige and camel.
Fall Neutrals for Brunettes/Black Hair
You have a wide range of neutral options. Chief among your neutrals are black and the whole color spectrum of gray. Lighter neutrals for the fall include pure white, winter white, and cream. (Many brown and beige colors will wash you out, mainly if you have lighter hair and lighter skin.)
Dark Fall Neutrals
Light Fall Neutrals
Accent Fall Colors for Brunettes/Black Hair
Once you have your primary neutrals, you need to add some color. These are called accent colors and work well with both brown and black hair, regardless of skin tone. You can wear these colors on their own—in dresses, blouses, skirts or sweaters—or use them as accent pieces with your neutrals—scarves, belts, shoes, handbags.
As I mentioned, bright and bold go well with darker hair such as yours. This category consists of some strong colors that include gorgeous jewel tones. In the blue range, think royal blue or sapphire and teal; dark greens would be emerald, olive or jade; plum and magenta are great purple hues: and with red, you can go into a deep or ruby red. While brown and beige neutrals aren’t great for you, you can usually dive into the yellow pool with a light lemony yellow or darker mustard color and even go with strong burnt orange. Lastly, let’s not forget gold!
Fall Color Guide for Gray/Silver/White Hair
If you have gray, silver or white hair, jewel tones and more muted hues will offer an excellent contrast to your hair color. Let’s see what colors work for you.
White is your best neutral. Crisp white will look fantastic against your locks, and it’s a classic. Light neutrals like beige, camel and light gray are often not as flattering. When it comes to darker neutrals, opt for dark charcoal and gunmetal gray, or try a navy or midnight blue.
Fall Neutrals for Gray/Silver/White Hair
Fall Accent Colors for Gray/Silver/White Hair
Once you have your primary neutrals, you need to add some color. These are called accent colors and work well gray/silver/white hair, regardless of skin tone. You can wear these colors on their own—in dresses, blouses, skirts or sweaters—or use them as accent pieces with your neutrals—scarves, belts, shoes, handbags.
Accent colors are essential even though you might want to stick with solid neutrals; these colors will make your cute fall outfits memorable. To match the tone of your hair, the accent colors you wear should be slightly muted rather than super brights. If you want to wear a bright, pure red will look fantastic.
Fall Color Guide for Redheads
Typically, softer colors will look better on redheads than strong or stark ones. This means you should choose navy or chocolate brown over black as your dark neutral. When it comes to your lighter neutrals, stick to cream, beige, and camel, rather than a pure white.
Main Fall Neutrals for Redheads
Fall Accent Colors for Redheads
Once you have your primary neutrals, you need to add some color. These are called accent colors and work well red hair, regardless of skin tone. You can wear these colors on their own—in dresses, blouses, skirts or sweaters—or use them as accent pieces with your neutrals—scarves, belts, shoes, handbags.
In addition to your neutral navy, you can wear just about any blue, from cerulean blue to light blue to a blue/green teal. Most greens are perfect for redheads but stick to pure saturated colors: emerald, sage, celery. Deep purples and those with blue undertones work well for fall, like eggplant and amethyst. Gold is also a good accent color and can bring out the highlights in your hair.
These are somewhat general guidelines, so be sure to evaluate each color against your face. Do remember this: when you find the right color for you, you’ll know it.
Fashion Advice – Q&A’s
Question: I have too much BLACK in my wardrobe!! I often find myself wearing a lot of black as it looks put together and stylish in my eyes?
Answer: The easiest way to start incorporating color into your wardrobe is with neutrals and accessories. Instead of buying a black shirt look for one in white or cream depending on your skin color. Look for classic pieces, like a denim jacket that adds blue to your outfit without needing much effort. Make a subtle transition from black to color by looking for items in darker colors like navy, forest green or burgundy. These will help you ease into the color world and still give you the slimming effects of black. When shopping look for scarves in beautiful colors like teal, gold, burnt orange or deep red, this is exceptionally easy in the fall because scarves not only keep you warm but also are easy ways to add color to your outfit.
Question: I hate when I have a cute outfit and end up no wearing because I don’t have shoes to go with it?
Answer: Let’s take it one outfit and one season at a time. For fall let’s focus on three pairs of shoes, a tall boot, ankle boots and a nice pair of flats. The boots can be in black or brown, and the pointy toe flats could be in leopard print, navy, or black. Owning shoes in neutral colors give you the flexibility to wear them with any outfit. Preferably, you want one black shoe, one brown shoe and one “FUN” shoe, which in this case is the leopard print flats. These combination of these three shoes for fall gives you plenty of options. Take a look at the cute fall outfits for your inspiration below for ideas.
Note: I did not include shoes for any special occasions like high heels or strappy sandals. These style of shoes are not essentials, and you might only wear them on special occasions.
Question: I don’t know what my personal style is instead I just follow trends, how can I find my personal style?
Answer: Personal style is the something that each of us has; we just need to identify it. If you want to express yourself with your clothing and accessories but you feel like you have no style then take this first step. Create a Pinterest board and name it “My Personal Style” and pin to it outfits, colors, patterns, anything that speaks to you. But you have to love these images! Not kind of like but, I mean LOVE every image you pin to your new board. It can be a secret board or not; it’s up to you. Over time you’ll begin to see patterns in colors, styles, and attitude and this will help you determine what you like, and you’ll be able to start developing your personal style. Translate what you see in the photos to outfits.
Question: Where can I shop for petite items?
Answer: I’m always on the lookout for petite options because I’m petite. Usually skirts, dresses, and pants are too long, and regular jackets and blazers are too big. Some stores that I frequently shop at that offer petite sizes are; LOFT, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Gap, and Nordstrom petite section. Most of the time, when I find my size in petite, I won’t need to make any alterations. If I shop regular sizes, I usually wear XS or XXS for jackets.
Question: I am really not a fan of shopping. I find myself “binge shopping” a few times a year which usually results in low-quality clothing that I don’t love.
Answer: Usually, when someone doesn’t love shopping it’s because of one or a combination of the following reasons:
- You don’t know what you’re looking for
- You go shopping without a list
- You don’t know what pieces work for you
- You don’t know what specific colors work for your skin tone
- You don’t know what shapes are best for your figure
- You waste money on sale items that you never wear
- You shop alone
- You go in with a negative mindset! This is so important! If you always say you hate shopping, of course, you’ll never love shopping. Think positive!
Basically, you don’t know how to shop. When you don’t know how to do something and try to do it on your own without help, it’s not fun; you don’t like the experience and end up with a result you’re less than ecstatic about.
I wish this had a simple answer, but it doesn’t. The answer is rooted in many aspects; from knowing what looks best on you to shopping with intent.
I go shopping with a purpose; I know what I’m looking for, and I buy a few key pieces that I know will have the best impact on my outfits and self-esteem. Because we all want to look good in the clothes we wear! Make sure you have your list of essentials; you know what colors look good on you, and have a best friend that you can count on, to be honest with you.
If you have any specific questions about putting together cute fall outfits or have specific questions please leave them as a comment below and I’ll answer them! If they are a question that a lot of people have I’ll add it to this outfit guide!