Fall Fashion Checklist: The Recession Edition

10/12/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Spring 2009 shows are in full swing, but fall fashion is on my mind. This season designers offered a smorgasbord of style featuring very diverse looks from posh grunge to ladylike glamour, urban bohemian to sixties sophisticate. Bet you can't choose just one! But choose you must, shopping in excess feels downright unfashionable in these tough economic times. Recession aside, a well-edited wardrobe is best because it encourages mixing old and new and high and low price points resulting in an individual style for which there is no price tag. There are a few staples that will update items that already exist in your closet and take you fashionably through fall. Fill in the blanks with ikat-print boho, winter floral, and Victorian tops from H&M. Finally, fall had a somewhat Goth and somber tone; these pieces get the most mileage when worn in black. Let's say you had to trim down your fall fashion checklist to three pieces - these are the three items worth investing in this season.

The Cut Out Shoe Boot: Often referred to as the high vamp shoe, this season's bootie is black and has open toes, straps and/or buckles. It works well with pencil skirts, mini-dresses, skinny jeans, flared pants and leggings.

The Black Leather Biker/Bomber Jacket: A leather jacket works with everything from tattered jeans to evening gowns - it is that versatile. Invest in the best one you can, as this is sure to be a wardrobe mainstay.

Something Lace: A lace top, skirt or dress will take you far this fall. One of the season's key fabrics, it can be dressed up or down depending on how you wear it. A lace skirt with a simple grey T-shirt or cashmere sweater looks beautiful for evening while an ornate lace top softens up denim or a tailored blazer for day. Lace looks great with black leather - day or night.

Photo source: Givenchy Boots, Balmain Leather Jacket and Prada Lace. All images from