Fall shopping feels different this year. And why not? We’ve got a lot on our minds, and there’s plenty of uncertainty. We’re not racing to the stores for hours of leisurely browsing, piling fabulous finds in our online carts or dreaming of trendy new shoes and bags like we used to do. Everything has changed, including how we dress and want to dress. And yet we can’t shake the appeal of starting a new season in something new. Here are 11 updates to get you going for fall.

  • item 1 of Gallery image Mango Faux Leather Shirt in Black H and M Faux Leather Shirt in Black Who What Wear Womens Faux Leather Circle Midi Skirt in Brown H and M Faux Leather Skirt in BlackPHOTO BY: MANGO; H&M (2); TARGET(Left to right) Mango Faux-Leather Shirt in Black; H&M Faux Leather Shirt in Black; Who What Wear Women’s Faux Leather Circle Midi Skirt in Brown; H&M Faux Leather Skirt in Black1. A faux-leather skirt or shirtThrowing on a black leather jacket (biker style or blazer) is one way to look cool at age 50-plus without trying too hard. A leather midi skirt or leather shirt (faux, of course!) has the same effect. Both are easy to wear, unlike leather pants, which can feel hot and clammy. Stick to black or brown and keep the other pieces of your outfit simple. Wear a black leather shirt — like the Mango Faux-Leather Shirt in Black ($80, shop.mango.com) or H&M Faux Leather Shirt in Black ($35, hm.com) — open over any tee or even a slim turtleneck. Team a faux-leather skirt such as the Who What Wear Women’s Faux Leather Circle Midi Skirt in Brown ($35, target.com) or H&M Faux Leather Skirt in Black ($20, hm.com) with a sweater in the same hue for a tonal look. Either way it’s an instant update.
  • item 2 of Gallery image Mango Floral Print Blouse in Black Ava and Viv Women Plus Size Floral Print Long Sleeve Knit Blouse in Red H and M Smock detail Blouse in Black Pink FloralPHOTO BY: MANGO; TARGET; H&M(Left to right) Mango Floral Print Blouse in Black; Ava &Viv Women’s Plus Size Floral Print Long Sleeve Knit Blouse in Red; H&M Smock-detail Blouse in Black/Pink Floral2. A dark floral blouseThis dress-up item with a bohemian or Victorian feeling is trendy but not too much. You’ll wear it any time you need to look good on Zoom or across a table or desktop. The key, though, is to choose a small allover floral with a dark background — like the Mango Floral Print Blouse in Black ($60, shop.mango.com), Ava &Viv Women’s Plus Size Floral Print Long Sleeve Knit Blouse in Red ($25, target.com) or H&M Smock-detail Blouse in Black/Pink Floral ($30, hm.com) — that pairs easily with black pants or leggings and won’t look too summery.
  • item 3 of Gallery image H and M Fringed Shacket Uniqlo Women Tweed Blazer in 37 Brown B B Dakota Darren Plaid Shirt Jacket in Brown Motif Gap Double Breasted Blazer in Brown PlaidPHOTO BY: H&M; UNIQLO; ANTHROPOLOGIE; GAP(Left to right) H&M Fringed Shacket; Uniqlo Women Tweed Blazer in 37 Brown; BB Dakota Darren Plaid Shirt Jacket in Brown Motif; Gap Double-Breasted Blazer in Brown Plaid3. A plaid blazer or shirt jacketThere’s a preppy vibe this fall, with lots of plaid blazers and pants popping up on fashion websites. Opt for the former not the latter because who on earth over 50 except Diane Keaton looks good in plaid pants?! A plaid shirt jacket with a relaxed fit such as the BB Dakota Darren Plaid Shirt Jacket in Brown Motif ($148, anthopologie.com) or H&M Fringed Shacket ($70, hm.com) has a casual vibe, while a slightly oversized plaid blazer — like the Gap Double-Breasted Blazer in Brown Plaid ($148, gap.com) or Uniqlo Women Tweed Blazer in 37 Brown ($70, uniqlo.com) — adds a little more structure.
  • item 4 of Gallery image Old Navy Textured V Neck Sweater Tunic for Women in Black Jack Old Navy Cozy Pointelle Knit Crew Neck Sweater for Women in Black Jack Banana Republic Boat Neck Sweater Top in BlackPHOTO BY: OLD NAVY (2); BANANA REPUBLIC(Left to right) Old Navy Textured V-Neck Sweater Tunic for Women in Black Jack; Old Navy Cozy Pointelle-Knit Crew-Neck Sweater for Women in Black Jack; Banana Republic Boat Neck Sweater Top in Black4. A new black sweaterSometimes the simplest way to look new is to take something basic like a black sweater and just tweak the proportions and details. This fall you might try a mid-thigh V-neck sweater like the Old Navy Textured V-Neck Sweater Tunic for Women in Black Jack ($35, oldnavy.gap.com) or an airy knit like the Old Navy Cozy Pointelle-Knit Crew-Neck Sweater for Women in Black Jack ($40, oldnavy.gap.com) over narrow bottoms and a fitted ribbed boatneck like the Banana Republic Boat Neck Sweater Top in Black ($70, bananarepublic.gap.com) to wear with wide-leg pants and A-line skirts. They have the same slimming, elongating and elegant benefits as always — just a little fresher.
  • item 5 of Gallery image A New Day Women Straight Leg Slim Ankle Pants Gap High Rise Slim Ankle Pants in True Black Old Navy All New High Waisted Pixie Straight Leg Ankle Pants for Women in Black JackPHOTO BY: TARGET; GAP; OLD NAVY(Left to right) A New Day Women’s Straight Leg Slim Ankle Pants; Gap High Rise Slim Ankle Pants in True Black; Old Navy All-New High-Waisted Pixie Straight-Leg Ankle Pants for Women in Black Jack5. Tailored ankle pants with straight legWe can always use a new pair of all-purpose black pants that look polished and contemporary. This fall one of our favorites has received an update. Make no mistake, these are real pants (the kind you can wear to work, dinner at a fancy restaurant and beyond). This time around look for a straight leg (not skinny or tight), a high waist (not mid-rise) and more spandex in the cotton blend (between 5 and 8 percent stretch) like the A New Day Women’s Straight Leg Slim Ankle Pants ($25, target.com), Gap High Rise Slim Ankle Pants in True Black ($60, gap.com) or Old Navy All-New High-Waisted Pixie Straight-Leg Ankle Pants for Women in Black Jack ($40, oldnavy.gap.com). Watch the wording and check the photos for fit. Some sites and brands use the words straight, slim and skinny a little too loosely.
  • item 6 of Gallery image Gap Slouchy Cardigan in Grenadine Orange Eloquii Sweater Cardigan with Pleated Sleeve in Dark Green H and M Rib Knit Cardigan in Light BluePHOTO BY: GAP; ELOQUII; H&M(Left to right) Gap Slouchy Cardigan in Grenadine Orange; Eloquii Sweater Cardigan with Pleated Sleeve in Dark Green; H&M Rib-Knit Cardigan in Light Blue6. A cropped V-neck cardiganThis is your new layering piece. Wear it over a long tee, shirt or tank when you want to pull together an athleisure/regular clothes combination or just sharpen up a tank and jeans. Choose your favorite neutral or a pop of color — like the Gap Slouchy Cardigan in Grenadine Orange ($60, gap.com), Eloquii Sweater Cardigan with Pleated Sleeve in Dark Green ($75, eloquii.com) or H&M Rib-Knit Cardigan in Light Blue ($20, hm.com) — to brighten winter darks. The important part of the cardigan is the shape: hip length with a dropped shoulder, full sleeves (that push up easily) and a deep V-neck top.
  • item 7 of Gallery image Madewell Quilted Corduroy Walton Shirt Jacket in Golden Pecan Gap Quilted Jacket in Olive Green Old Navy Diamond Quilted Plus Size Zip Jacket in Jurassic Green H and M Quilted Jacket in BeigePHOTO BY: MADEWELL; GAP; OLD NAVY; H&MMadewell Quilted Corduroy Walton Shirt-Jacket in Golden Pecan (top left); Gap Quilted Jacket in Olive Green (bottom middle left); Old Navy Diamond-Quilted Plus-Size Zip Jacket in Jurassic Green (top middle right); H&M Quilted Jacket in Beige (bottom right)7. A quilted jacketBefore you say, “I already have one,” let me say these quilted jackets are a different breed from the puffers and barn jackets sitting in your closet. Lightweight and softly structured, they’re cozy but make a more elevated fashion statement. Look for drop shoulders, a straight modern cut and room to layer beneath — like the Madewell Quilted Corduroy Walton Shirt-Jacket in Golden Pecan ($168, madewell.com), Gap Quilted Jacket in Olive Green ($98, gap.com), Old Navy Diamond-Quilted Plus-Size Zip Jacket in Jurassic Green ($53, oldnavy.gap.com) or H&M Quilted Jacket in Beige ($50, hm.com). Jackets in green and beige are your best bet.
  • item 8 of Gallery image Hutch Modern Precision Midi Wrap Dress in Black Green Ines de la Fressange Silk Printed Wrap Dress in 69 Navy Gap Front Wrap Midi Dress in True BlackPHOTO BY: MODCLOTH; UNIQLO; GAP(Left to right) Hutch Modern Precision Midi Wrap Dress in Black/Green; Ines de la Fressange Silk Printed Wrap Dress in 69 Navy; Gap Front Wrap Midi Dress in True Black8. A midi-length wrap dressSince the crossover wrap and tie-belt formula never fails to work for us, this longer-length style is a natural for any situation when you want to wear knee-high boots or tights and look finished fast. Choose a knit such as the Hutch Modern Precision Midi Wrap Dress in Black/Green ($149, modcloth.com) or Gap Front Wrap Midi Dress in True Black ($60, gap.com), or silk like the Ines de la Fressange Silk Printed Wrap Dress in 69 Navy ($130, uniqlo.com/us). A midi wrap (and any other wrap dress you own) makes an ideal base for any of the jackets and cardigans in this list. Looks like the ‘70s styles are back (again) in a big way.
  • item 9 of Gallery image Dearfoams Women Microfiber Velour Closed Back Slippers Dream Pairs Women Soft Memory Foam Ballerina Slippers Minnetonka Lolo Acorn Acorn Moc in Brown Berber Lands End Women Suede Shearling Embroidered Slippers Foamtreads CoddlesPHOTO BY: WALMART (2); ZAPPOS (3); LANDS’ END(Clockwise from top left) Dearfoams Women’s Microfiber Velour Closed Back Slippers; Dream Pairs Women’s Soft Memory Foam Ballerina Slippers; Minnetonka Lolo; Acorn Moc in Brown Berber; Lands’ End Women’s Suede Shearling Embroidered Slippers; Foamtreads Coddles9. Fluffy slippersShearling-lined boots are a tempting buy, but pricey. Match your slippers to your feet and level of coziness. If you have sweaty feet try a lightweight ballet-slipper style with foam footbed (and no-slip sole) such as the Dearfoams Women’s Microfiber Velour Closed Back Slippers ($26, walmart.com) or Dream Pairs Women’s Soft Memory Foam Ballerina Slippers ($24, walmart.com), or a terry-lined slipper like the Foamtreads Coddles ($45, zappos.com). If you prefer the bareness of mules and sandals try a faux-fur slide like the Minnetonka Lolo ($40, zappos.com). Need to sprint to the mailbox, drive or run errands with a little more substance and traction? Get a faux-fur slipper like the Lands’ End Women’s Suede Shearling Embroidered Slippers ($75, landsend.com) or a clog like the Acorn Moc in Brown Berber ($45, zappos.com).
  • item 10 of Gallery image Old Navy Long Line Open Front Sweater for Women in Warm Coffee H and M Long Cardigan in Gray Melange Gap True Soft Open Front Cardigan in Oatmeal BeigePHOTO BY: OLD NAVY; H&M; GAP(Left to right) Old Navy Long-Line Open-Front Sweater for Women in Warm Coffee; H&M Long Cardigan in Gray Melange; Gap True Soft Open Front Cardigan in Oatmeal Beige10. A long, open front cardiganLet influencers talk about sweater vests and twinsets. This is the staple piece you’ll reach for over and over again. A simple no-buttons cardigan that falls straight to just above the knee — like the H&M Long Cardigan in Gray Melange ($20, hm.com), Old Navy Long-Line Open-Front Sweater for Women in Warm Coffee ($40, oldnavy.gap.com) or Gap True Soft Open Front Cardigan in Oatmeal Beige ($80, gap.com) — works at home as a chic robe or over pants, leggings and jeans for extra warmth. Buy it in a soft gray, taupe or brown for a timeless look.
  • item 11 of Gallery image Gap Adult Unisex Face Mask in Mini Yellow Floral Universal Thread Women 2 pack Fabric Face Masks in Orange or Red Everlane 100 percent Human Face Mask 3 Pack in Black WhitePHOTO BY: GAP; TARGET; EVERLANE(Clockwise from left) Gap Adult Unisex Face Mask in Mini Yellow Floral; Universal Thread Women’s 2pk Fabric Face Masks in Orange or Red; Everlane 100% Human Face Mask 3-Pack in Black/White11. Masks toned to your clothesFall’s a great time to really pull yourself together: mentally (it’s that back-to-school and back-to-work thing), physically (get a workout plan going) and, of course, stylewise. Most of us have a drawerful of disposable masks and a few random cloth face coverings. Now that they’re here to stay, pick up some reusable, washable versions — like the Universal Thread Women’s 2pk Fabric Face Masks in Orange or Red ($4, target.com), Everlane 100% Human Face Mask 3-Pack in Black/White ($18, everlane.com), Gap Adult Unisex Face Mask in Mini Yellow Floral ($15, gap.com) or Ann Taylor Face Mask in Bright Winter Blue ($18, anntaylor.com) — in colors and prints that sync with your clothes or brighten your face.

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