FALL FASHION | How to Shop Smart on a Small Budget

via H&M

September always feels like the perfect month to start fresh. Whether you're back at school or just sent your own little ones off, whether you're getting getting back into a fitness routine or just paying those endless bills, bills, bills, September can be a crazy expensive month. 

Since fall is my favourite shopping season of all, I've been tasked with finding ways to look on point without doing major damage to an overstretched budget Luckily, there are loads of smart chic buys flooding into stores for fall that don't feel like you have to sacrifice a thing. From layering pieces that'll make you want this heatwave to end, to boots that will make you swoon, read on for the smart buys that will help you reach your full fashion potential this fall. 

FALL MUST | A CAMEL FEDORA

WHY IT'S A SMART BUY | Before I leave the house, I always take a quick glance in my full-length to check myself. Um, turn to the right, quick little #ootd post (occupational hazard)...okay, I'm good. And if I feel like my outfit is missing something, I immediately reach for my trusty fedora. I've found that a great fedora is one of those the-more-you-wear-it-the-more-you-want-to-wear-it things. I own one in grey but am really feeling this camel version for fall. See what I mean? Addictive.

OUR PICK |Camel Fedora, $30, ALDO

FALL MUST | BLACK CULOTTES

WHY THEY'RE A SMART BUY | If you didn't jump on the culotte bandwagon for summer, don't despair. Culottes are still totally on trend for fall and are easier to wear than you might think. Try wearing them with a turtleneck (they'll be ev-er-y-where this season) or a bow-front blouse plus a pair of mules or tall boots.

OUR PICK |Culottes, $60, Reitmans

FALL MUST | A PLAID BLANKET SCARF

WHY IT'S A SMART BUY | Tied loosely around your neck or draped oh-so-chicly over your shoulders, the plaid blanket scarf is a cold weather must in my opinion. This particular multi-toned plaid was impossible to get your hands on at the end of last year so hurry up and grab it before it sells out again, k?

OUR PICK |Plaid Blanket Scarf, $29.95, Garage

FALL MUST | BLACK CAT-EYES

WHY THEY'RE A SMART BUY | Sunglasses might be essential all year long but that doesn't mean you should stick with the same pair all year. If you've been wearing fun round shades or metallic aviators for the past several months, now's the perfect time to make the switch to something darker. These black cat-eyes are feminine yet fierce and will add just a little bit of fashion drama to your errday. 

OUR PICK |Gold & Black Cat-Eye Sunglasses, $12, ALDO

FALL MUST | A BLACK BOMBER

WHY IT'S A SMART BUY | This classic moto gets bonus points for its textured finish and sleek lines, making it ultra-wearable for the cooler weather. The best part? It's vegan leather which means you won't have to break your budget to get it. 

OUR PICK |Faux Leather Moto Jacket, $138, GAP

FALL MUST | THE MOM SKIRT

WHY IT'S A SMART BUY | Affectionately dubbed 'the mom skirt', button-front A-line skirts are a silhouette fashion A-listers like Alexa Chung are loving right now. It's cute, it's flattering, and it'll give you that perfect vintage vibe this fall. 

OUR PICK |Button-Front A-Line Skirt, $39.99, H&M

FALL MUST | CHELSEA BOOTS

WHY THEY'RE A SMART BUY | Patent black Chelseas are the boots you won't want to take off this season and unlike over-the-knee versions, they won't cost you a fortune. I mean, that perfect shine, that pointy-toe, and both a stunning flat and a so-cool chunky-heeled option to choose between? Can't handle these. I just can't. 

OUR PICK |Leather Chelsea Booties, $98, GAPChelsea Boots, $145, ALDO

FALL MUST | A FAUX-FUR VEST

WHY IT'S A SMART BUY | A faux fur vest can have a huge impact on your fall style and this one is stellar. Worried that you won't wear it enough to justify the buy? Throw it over top of jeans and a graphic tee, wear it over a flowy dress or even pair it up with a classic white button-down. Instant rockstar status. 

OUR PICK |Faux Fur Waistcoat, $49.99, H&M

FALL MUST | EDGY EARRINGS

WHY THEY'RE A SMART BUY | This fall, it's all about huge earrings. But instead of opting for predictable danglers or massive hoops, why not try something a little more edgy? These silver leaves are oversized and impactful for both day and night. 

OUR PICK | Silver Leaf Earrings, $10, ALDO

FALL MUST | AN OVERSIZED PLAID SHIRT

WHY IT'S A SMART BUY | Each fall, the plaid shirt comes back into rotation but I'm ready for a new spin on the '90s classic, aren't you? I'm totally digging this super long red plaid version from H&M, perfect for wearing with jeans or black leather leggings and a vest layered over top. Swipe right, right?

OUR PICK |Long Plaid Shirt, $29.99, H&M

FALL MUST | A BRIGHT RED CROSSBODY

WHY IT'S A SMART BUY | So many people leave their bags as an afterthought but I'm about to change all that. From fall into winter when you wear the same coat most days, a red bag will make a huge impact on your look. This bag has all the hallmarks of an expensive crossbody thanks to its clean lines, gold hardware, and awesome oversized tassel, but since it's made of faux leather, it won't leave a huge dent in your budget.

OUR PICK |Crossbody Bag, $59.95, GAP

FALL MUST | A MODERN WHITE SHIRT

WHY IT'S A SMART BUY | Want to look modern without even trying? Black and white always works but it's all about finding those perfect pieces to really make it major. This zip-front shirt is the ideal mix of drapey and structured to take you from your work-week right into the weekend. 

OUR PICK |A-Line Sleeveless Zip-Front Blouse, $49.99, H&M

FALL MUST | A PERFECT LBD

WHY IT'S A SMART BUY | A black dress might seem like a given but it's surprisingly tough to find that perfect LBD. So what makes this dress a must? Ponte travels well, doesn't lose its shape and is super comfortable so it's an ideal fabric for an LBD. Plus, this dress is made in Canada, features a figure-flattering v-neck and a subtly sexy front slit, so it's a definite must-buy for seasons of chicness. 

OUR PICK |Ponte V-Neck Front Slit Dress, $139.95, Le Château

FALL MUST | METALLIC FLATS

WHY THEY'RE A SMART BUY | I'd wear heels every day if I could, but I can't, so I won't. Running after my kids, trying to get my 10,000 steps and a general dislike of pain make flats a wardrobe must. Since I see no reason to be practical with footwear, like, ever, I love a great metallic flat to keep it fun, even when you want to keep it comfy. 

OUR PICKS |Ankle Strap Ballet Flats, $54.95, GAP; Solid Gold Loafer, $54.95, GAP

FALL MUST | A LEOPARD BELT

WHY IT'S A SMART BUY | You can't wander onto a street style Pinterest board without spotting something leopard. As sartorialists have proven time and time again, there's simply no easier way to add interest into your wardrobe than with a little pop of animal print. I'm a huge fan of printed belts for fall, whether slung low with your distressed jeans or cinched around the waist of your fave tan trench. Meee-ow. 

OUR PICK |Calf Hair Printed Belt, $34.95, GAP