How to Wear Fall Fashion Trends on a Budget


I know the first day of autumn is still a month away, but back-to-school promotions seem to trigger an unyielding desire for boot-and-sweater season. This is problematic since it’s still a constant 90 degrees where I live, but my office thermostat is helpfully turned to the “arctic” setting, allowing me to get away with fall fashion a little early.

Retailers similarly jump the gun by stocking shelves with cable-knit sweaters while patrons browse in tanks and flip flops. And though New York Fashion Week highlighted the latest in skin-baring looks for next spring, we’re tasked with finding frugal ways to cover up for fall. Consider the following roundup of my favorite trends based on the top ways to afford them.


Bright Colors
Spring always brings out the freshest colors to combat the dreariness of winter. Thankfully, you don’t have to store away that fuschia jumper when the first brisk breeze hits your city. Pair it with black tights and a blazer for an on-trend outfit that won’t cost you a dime.

This vintage look is still going strong in fall thanks to the continued popularity of ensembles from eras past. Replace sandals and sleeveless tops with long-sleeved blouses and cap-toe pumps for a sophisticated style.

In a post I wrote covering spring trends for The Stylish City earlier this year, I highlighted the use of athletic-inspired apparel in everyday wear. That trend is carrying over from spring into fall, where a terry-cloth sweatshirt looks casually chic atop a white button-up and matchstick pants.


Riding Boots
A look once dominated by American designer Ralph Lauren, everyone from Gucci to Givenchy is embracing the equestrian trend. Riding boots are still all the rage and slide comfortably over jeans and leggings for both work day and weekend looks. If you failed to pick up a pair last year, don’t fret; grab this coupon from and score your new fall faves with free shipping and $20 off.

Cozy Knits
Cozy sweaters never go out of style, something I’m thankful for when I wake up to several inches of snow. Create a fresh look for fall by taking a cue from Target’s new Kirna Zabete collection and pair a fuzzy sweater with your favorite skirt.

Olive drab and excessive gold buttons are here to stay, influencing such designers as Victoria Beckham and Alexander McQueen. Opt for simple femininity à la Mrs. Beckham by wearing chunky black boots with a fitted, jersey-knit sheath and black belt. Military hat optional.


Statement Collar
Collars with bling aren’t just for Fido anymore. The runways were abuzz with heavily adorned collars, ranging from gems to spikes to busy patterns. Since this look is as fleeting as your dog’s newly washed smell, keep it cheap by finding detachable, one-of-a-kind creations on Etsy, or DIY with a cheap button-up or two from Target.

Navy Peacoat
Though the oversized coat dominated designer collections, the classic navy peacoat was also spotted on the runways. Conventional wisdom suggests you make this trend an investment piece since it never really goes out of style. However, it doesn’t hurt to look for bargain buys on eBay or Old Navy.

Tangerine Tango was all the rage at the beginning of the year, and fall is taking a similarly scrumptious approach to its go-to color: wine. Alexander Wang showcased the earthy hue in oversized coats, while Donna Karen kept it feminine with dresses in bordeaux. Embrace this trend in any form you want, but be sure to keep your complexion in mind; think brick red for warm skin tones and plum reds for cool skin tones.


Kendal Perez is a frugal fashionista and bargain shopper who helps fellow shopaholics find hassle-free ways to save money. As the marketing coordinator for Kinoli Inc., site manager for a family of money-saving websites, Kendal has the resources to be an extreme couponer but prefers a less complicated approach to staying in-budget. Kendal has been quoted in such media outlets as People StyleWatch, CNN Money, FOX, ABC, NPR and Kiplinger Personal Finance. For savings tips and more information, visit



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