Fall wardrobe prep: Jackets

It’s the last full week of August and I can’t help but think about dressing for the Fall. After doing a wardrobe clean out this season and donating over 5 bags of clothing, I decided to put myself on a clothing shopping ban for the next month. It’s pretty embarrassing to admit, but I found almost a bag’s worth full of clothing that I had purchased within the last 3 years where each piece still had tags on it or had only been worn once. Seeing this really put into perspective how wasteful I have been in the past. I used to buy a piece or two extra just to get free shipping when ordering online, and in hindsight I really shouldn’t have. Here we are a year (and then some) later and these items have been sitting in a corner collecting dust. :(

I’m trying to be better about my spending habits and making the most out of my wardrobe. I’ve put myself on a shopping ban for the last half of August and will reevaluate at the end of September. It sucks because I see all these amazing back to school sales happening right now, but at the same time, I want to make the remainder of my wardrobe that survived the closet purge work for the upcoming season.

With that said, I saved these 4 jackets (and a couple others which have also been worn on heavy repeat last year on the blog) and will be wearing these exclusively for the next season.

fall jackets 2015
1. Michael Kors dual zipper moto jacket (similar)
2. J.Crew quilted boyfriend jacket (exact, similar)
3. Calvin Klein asymmetrical zip coat (similar)
4. Michael Kors asymmetrical zip trench (similar)

All of these jackets were purchased either off-season or during an end-of-season sale in previous years. Although buying off-season means you might be off trend for upcoming seasons, the savings can be significant. For example, the quilted boyfriend jacket from J Crew was originally part of their Fall 2014 line, but I bought it at the end of the season (during a Black Friday sale) when it went on sale for over 60% off. I absolutely love the style and knew that a military-looking jacket is a hole in my closet that I needed to fill. Since I only got a chance to wear it a handful of times last Fall/Winter before it got too chilly, I’m excited to break it out of storage in the upcoming weeks!

After buying multiple faux-leather jackets from Forever 21 over the last few years that started to fall apart after a season or two’s worth of wear, I decided to splurge on a proper leather jacket. I ended up buying a similar MK moto jacket to the one above from Nordstrom Rack at the beginning of the summer. It’s awesome to find one-offs on the sale racks and I scooped this up immediately after seeing it from across the aisle. After last year’s purchase of the MK asymmetrical zip trench, I love the fit (and quality) of MK coats and will continue to look for them whenever they’re on sale.

I can only wish that pairing down the rest of my closet will be as easy as it was for the coats. Finding Fall wardrobe essentials while on a budget is totally doable, and I’ve found the easiest way to do it is to shop off-season.

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  • I’m thinking about the stack of stuff sitting on my dresser right now, waiting to be returned… and I’m feeling really guilty, haha. Thanks for the reminder to actually return them like I planned to!

    I really love that last Michael Kors trench! I’m going to have to hunt down something similar for myself this season. Good to know that MK makes quality coats.

    Jess | fashionbycommittee.com

    • Hope you get your stack of stuff returned! I’m really wishing I hadn’t waited beyond the 90 day return policy timeline for all that stuff I ended up donating. Lesson learned!!

      I LOVE the MK trench. The jacket I have is slightly different than the one I liked to (since mine is an older style), but it has a thicker lining, which is perfect for the chillier days in the Fall. Not to mention the waterproof outer shell and hidden hood (it zips into the back of the collar).

  • I love this. Mostly cuz that gray jacket is what dreams are made of. But also because focusing on loving what you have and wearing it to its full potential is exciting to me right now. Good luck :) :)

    • The grey coat has been such a favourite of mine for the last couple years!! The fit is amazing and I absolutely love the mix of materials. Looking at their updated version (the one that I linked) makes me a little jealous because I love how they reworked the patches of contrast in different parts of the coat.

      I am really excited to see how you rework your pieces too! Your latest closet clean out (and full inventory with # of pieces) was super interesting to read about.

  • Great post! I try to buy clothing that I know I can wear over and over again. With that said, they’re usually in neutral colors. I’d definitely have that gray coat for sure in my closet! Now, I’m off to my closet and see if I can get rid of some stuff. Thanks for sharing!

    Katherine Lou

    • I am 100% on board with your plan! Trying to keep everything neutral now (versus my old habits of buying lots of colourful floral prints haha) and this definitely helps to keep my closet from exploding!

  • These are all great picks and I especially love the third! Coats aren’t really needed here in AZ until late in the season but the new arrivals at stores are just so tempting… :)

    xx Nina

  • I feel you. I always end up buying clothes that I’ll only wear once or twice. Those are great choices. I feel like a leather jacket is such a simple piece that can be worn season after season. Great post!


  • I like the four jackets you chose- all very versatile and fitting with your style.

  • I have been wanting a versatile leather (okay, probably pleather with my budget) jacket for fall and have yet to find one in my price range that I love! I also want a more versatile military jacket, as mine is more of a specialty one. I love cute jackets like this. Heavy coats, not so much!

    • I think I’ve been through 3 or 4 pleather jackets in the last 3 years and I finally bit the bullet and bought a real leather one this year. Nordstrom Rack made it easy to take the plunge since the cost of the new coat would’ve been equivalent to the 4 previous coats (that fell apart within a couple seasons) + 2 more pleather ones. I felt so bad for continuously buying jackets that were falling apart, so *fingers crossed* that this one lasts a few years instead of a couple seasons.