New York Fashion Week kicks off September 5, and there's no better time to add a few of this season's staples to your wardrobe. But even fashionistas need to tighten their belts in a weak economy, says Nana Brew-Hammond, content manager for Bluefly.com (BFLY). Brew-Hammond suggests investing in "a trend that that will last longer than a hot minute." Here are a few fall fashions that will keep your look and budget in tact.
Shorter jackets won't keep you warm, but they will modernize your wardrobe without seeming overly stylish. "They look as amazing over jeans and a long-sleeve tee as they do with a pencil skirt," explains Brew-Hammond. And a simple jacket doesn't require a major splurge. Isaac Mizrahi for Target's (TGT) cropped sateen jacket ($17.49) can be dressed up or worn casual for a classic look.
Wide Leg Pants
No matter what body type, pants cut wide at the leg tend to be universally flattering. Kathryn Finney, author and founder of TheBudgetFashionista.com says make sure wide leg trousers are proportionate to your size. "If you're petite, avoid extra wide flares," says Finney. Look to discount retailers like TJ Maxx (TJX) and Loehmann's for designer favorites like Marc Jacobs and French Connection.
With the right detail, a top can easily elevate the dressiness factor. Look for "ultra-feminine flourishes like bows, ribbons and ruffles," says Brew-Hammond. This lightweight ruffled blouse from Delia's ($34.50) is delicate enough to feel feminine, even when paired with a leather jacket or dark denim.
While it's not time to chuck your mini just yet, "as the economy worsens, the length of women's skirts tends to fall," says Finney. Visit SmartBargains.com for long skirts by Theory, Anne Klein and Michael Kors at over 50% off.
Loose Knit Cardigan
While any piece of knitwear is a hot ticket this season, an oversized knit cardigan that looks like it once belonged to your boyfriend is the winner. "It's a sweater that acts as a coat, but it's kind of sloppy and slouchy and loose," says Robert Verdi, a celebrity stylist. The Gap (GPS) offers classic styles like the cozy wool "boyfriend cardigan" for $68.99 to keep you both warm and stylistically savvy.
Matching is easy when your palate is made up entirely of one color. And going for black just happens to be trendy too. "Everybody feels poor, so they want very un-sexy and black," fashion journalist Mickey Boardman explains. According to Boardman, black will be big on runways this fall.
While heels can help add needed inches, they aren't always practical. Invest in a pair of flat, moccasin-inspired boots, suggests Verdi. They'll help you look stylish without sacrificing your feet. This pair by Minnetonka ($50) are made of durable tanned leather.
Wrapping your neck in something warm and colorful can accessorize any outfit, and prepare you for unexpected weather. "They always come around during the fall," says Verdi, who recommends opting for something multi-hued.
Stuff everything you need for the day in an oversized bag and still stay stylish. "We keep going between big bags and small bags, this season big wins out," says Verdi who works with celebrity clients like Eva Longoria. Discount retailers such as Loehmann's sell a range of designer bags, lke super high end leather items from Dolce Gabanna to medium priced Coach (COH) hobo bags and Gwen Stefani designed L.A.M.B. bags, all at discounts up to 75% off.