The Best Way To Update Your Style For Fall (Without a Major Shopping Haul)

If I had to choose one season for a favorite in fashion, it’s fall! The colors (they suit me!), the silhouettes (layers!) and the boots (the best type of footwear!) are all just right for me.

Update Your Style For Fall

Each year when the temperatures dip, I get the urge for a wardrobe update! And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. My personal styling business always has an uptick around this time because nothing feels more motivating than a fall refresh that captures the crispness of the season.

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But this is where I see a lot of mistakes. Women think that in order to update their style they must buy new clothes. This isn’t true. 

A style update does not need a shopping haul. In fact, it’s better without one. Not only is it better for your wallet and the planet, it’s better for your style.

So if you’re feeling the itch for a new fall look, keep reading because I’m sharing how to update your style without a major shopping haul!

Start Here for Your Fall Style Update

I know it’s tempting to run right out and buy the cute leather jacket you saw on instagram, but that’s not the best way to begin. Rather than going right to social media to find your style, start by looking within. You need to set the tone for your seasonal update and it has to come from you, not your favorite celebs, brands and influencers. Otherwise it’ll never feel true. So spend time on this!

Have you seen the “3 words” trend on Tik Tok? It’s something I’ve had my styling clients do for years, and I encourage you to do it now by coming up with 3 words that describe your updated style. But rather than get bogged down in the details of clothing, think more about how you want to feel in your clothes. Ask yourself, “What’s the attitude I want to convey this fall?” and let your 3 words answer this question. (If you’re struggling to get to the roots of your personal style, this free quiz will help!) 

Once your 3 words are determined, use them as a filter for the next step.

Find Inspiration

Now it’s time to look outside yourself and get inspired, but keep your 3 words nearby! This way you’ll stay connected to your personal style which keeps you focused on your unique update instead of every cute item that catches your eye. As you find people, brands and outfits that draw you in, pay close attention to what it is you like. Then question if it’s something you see yourself in. Will it work for your coloring, body shape, and lifestyle? (Need help finding your body shape? Get the free guide here.)

Stretching your style is a beautiful thing, but if you stray too far from what’s YOU, you’ll always feel like something is off.

Next, you want to keep a record of every look that drew you in (and aligns with your 3 words) to serve as your inspiration board. Pinterest is my favorite for this. But a folder of screenshots on your phone will also work. As you review your inspirations, notice the common themes. Look at the colors, silhouettes, accessories, and individual garments. Make a note of what you love and what you’ll wear, and then move on to the next step.

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See What You’ve Got

Using your inspiration board for guidance, it’s time to shop your closet! Pull out everything from your wardrobe that feels like it belongs on your board. Notice how I wrote “feels” instead of looks. Your style is built around a feeling, or an energy you want to communicate. So exact replicates of what you saved isn’t necessary, especially if having an original style is your goal!

Once you’ve pulled the items from your wardrobe, put together your looks. I recommend creating 4-7 to set the foundation for your style. Don’t worry about making complete outfits though. Do the best you can, and then write down what pieces you need. Bring this list of missing items to the final step.

Shop To Fill In The Gaps

Once you’re clear on which items will complete your outfits, it’s time to hit the stores and shop! Search only for the pieces on your list. You’ll be surprised at how much more efficient (and fun!) it is to deliberately shop like this. No more wasting time and money on things you won’t wear! Once you’ve rounded up those items, try them on with your existing wardrobe and see your fall style come together.

For a truly unified and unique style, do this each season! Set the tone with your 3 words, get inspired by what you see, shop your closet to create the looks and then buy new items to fill in the gaps. 

What’s your favorite season for fashion? Tell me in the comments below!

– Elysha Lankin

Elysha Lenkin is a personal fashion stylist who helps women look current, feel confident and stay true to themselves. For over 20 years she’s styled hundreds of women in all shapes, ages and sizes including Carrie Underwood, Tina Fey and Serena Williams. Learn more about her holistic approach to style here.

You may like to read more of Elysha’s styling posts like Am I Too Old To Wear That Trend? 3 Questions To Ask and Style Rut? 3 Reasons Your Clothes Don’t Work (And What To Do About It)

Are you following Fountain Of 30 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest? We’ve got lots going on, so join in on the fun! Subscribe to our newsletter here.  You don’t want to miss a post and promise not to bug you to death. We also started a Facebook Group called Growing Younger for women to discuss everything good and bad about being over 40. Additionally Lauren now hosts a podcast called Beauty is a Bitch! and a weekly Instagram Live series called “Growing Younger Gabfest with Lauren.”

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1 thought on “The Best Way To Update Your Style For Fall (Without a Major Shopping Haul)”

  1. My favorite Used to be Fall when I lived where we had a cool to cold Fall but I live in the Old West now in Arizona where it’s just hot!! So now I LOVE dressing for Winter!! We won’t have cold weather until after Thanksgiving!!! I just never know what to where in our hot Fall weather!! So frustrating!!! Could you help?! I LOVE your articles!! They are so informative!!!


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