Redondo Beach, CA

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” – Lauren DeStefano, Wither 

Outfit Details:
Suede Jacket, Plaid Jacket, Solid Jacket, Skirt 1, Skirt 2BootsSleeveless TopSlacks, Tights, Sunnies, Rose TopWestern Belt, Adidas Bag, Black Crossbody

It may be summer, but fall is just around the corner!  When I think of fall, I think of leaves changing colors, cooler temperatures, and bundling up in cozy sweaters and comfy coats. Changing seasons means changing up your wardrobe from the brighter colors of summer to the more rustic, deeper shades of fall.

Shifting our wardrobe doesn’t have to mean emptying our pocketbooks. It’s easier than ever before to create luxurious looks without breaking the bank. I’m a sale girl. Once a sale girl, always a sale girl. My eye was trained at an early age to comb the sale racks and find the best deals around. I’m pretty good at it!

A fall wardrobe starts to come together by purchasing a few key pieces. Begin with a great coat to create the foundation for your fall wardrobe. I believe I’ve found the perfect coat every Modern Midlife woman must own for fall! When I saw this buttery suede jacket on H&M’s website, I knew it was the ideal piece to build my fall wardrobe around. I couldn’t believe the price! At only $59, it looks and feels far more expensive. It’s ultra soft suede-like material is also feather weight. The color is neutral yet rich and will pair with just about anything in your closet. When it comes to “fast” or affordable fashion, a fabric’s construction can be a little dicey. I was surprised at the quality of this piece. It could easily pass for a much more expensive designer. It’s well cut and constructed. I ordered a size small and it fit perfectly. The faux suede fabric has some stretch to it which only adds to its comfort level. It comes with a simple matching tie belt to enhance the waist. 

Catherine in Rust and Tan Coat

Close up Catherine with Tan Coat

Catherine holding coat center shot

While I was perusing the H&M website, I found this super affordable checked mini skirt and a simple off white sleeveless top. It’s classic with a twist. Each piece can easily be worn multiple ways! Plaids, checks, and cozy wool set the tone for fall. Most women have a pair of boots in their wardrobe which are a staple for cooler temperatures. This pair of Delman black suede over the knee boots are from last year and I’ve lived in them. They can be worn with absolutely anything, from mini skirts to skinny jeans. Almost any pair of black boots will do. A mid knee boot or a bootie would work well by adding a pair of tights. 

Catherine sitting outdoors with boots

Catherine walking in Redondo Beach
Catherine outside in fall weather

Catherine outdoors in field with sunnies

I always have a selection of tights in my fall wardrobe in a wide range of colors and textures. This pair is from Hue and I scooped them up (on sale, of course!) at Nordstrom Rack. A great way to freshen up a look from last season is to add a pair of tights in a new texture or style. Black tights are a staple in my wardrobe. I have them in everything from black opaque to fishnets. To change up the look, I added a top I had found on the Zara clearance sale for $5. The dusty rose shade added a hint of color and is an easy way to transition from summer into fall.

Catherine leans against colorful doors

I’ve been collecting belts for decades. One of my latest discoveries is a brand called Streets Ahead. I found this belt on the sale rack in a tiny boutique in the south bay. Born in 1961, I couldn’t resist. There’s nothing like the vintage vibe without the vintage price tag! I haven’t been able to find anything like it but I’ve linked a few styles to add to your fall wardrobe. They always have an incredible selection of belts in the latest styles and colors on their website with a fabulous clearance section filled with great deals. Belts are an inexpensive way to shift your style in an instant. If you have a smaller waist, it’s a wonderful way to enhance that feature. 

Catherine in fall outfit aqua door
Catherine taking a break on the stairs

Do you remember fanny packs? They went out of style long ago and have made a huge comeback this season. They’ve been completely refreshed and revamped with fun and edgy styles along with beautiful materials. My daughter surprised me with this one by Adidas. What I love most is that it can go from the gym to a night out on the town. It’s not only practical, it’s the ultimate in style. This one is super affordable and can easily transition to a cross body bag by toying with the straps. There are endless ways you can wear it, from over your coat to adding it to a simple skirt to finish off your look. You can toss it over jeans or take it to the gym. Fashion isn’t meant to have rules. It’s meant to be playful to allow your personality to shine through. The more fun you have with it, the better!

Catherine leaning against colored doors

If you wanted to change up the look a bit, you can toss on a cross body bag in a dressier style and fabric. This black suede mini crossbody with a gold chain strap was from last year by Rebecca Minkoff. One of my greatest tips is to wait until the end of the season and scoop up timeless pieces like this crossbody for a fraction of the cost. Classics never go out of style and can be worn season after season. Invest in classics and save on trends is a philosophy I highly recommend. I begin the season by choosing some of my favorite pieces that aren’t in my budget and I check back at the end of the season to see if they’re available at a much more affordable discount. You can also switch things up with a simple clutch. This vegan leather beauty from Tribe Alive was part of the Rachel Zoe Box of Style last season. It’s always filled with a mix of things from fashion to beauty. Rachel Zoe has always had an eye for incredible style and every season, her box continues to surprise with a selection of fabulous finds for a steal.

Check out the adidas bag

Fashion doesn’t have to be expensive to look expensive. There are lots of affordable vegan leather pieces that rival far more luxury styles. The same holds true with suede. This faux suede coat is the perfect staple to begin building a fall wardrobe. Up close, it’s hard to tell the difference between this coat and real ultrasuede. It would look great on just about any woman, no matter her shape or size. It’s an easy way to up your style quotient with a designer look without the designer price tag. 

These boots these boots!
Stairway to heaven

Fall is almost upon us and I hope I’ve inspired you to begin the hunt for a key piece to begin building your fall wardrobe. You can’t go wrong beginning with a sumptuous faux suede jacket in a deliciously neutral tone that goes with absolutely everything. And, when it’s only $59, you have a lot left over to find some fun pieces to go along with it. Don’t be afraid to play around with things from your closet. That’s half the fun and a lot more budget friendly.

Cheers Beauties, here’s to falling temperatures while raising the Fierce Factor in style. What’s your favorite style tip for fall? I love hearing from you!

Made for walking!



I love that outfit, I love skirts like that! Can’t wait to shop for fall clothing. Although I love the summer, autumn is my favorite season to shop!


I do love autumn too! We no longer have a change of seasons but I can still dress for fall weather.


I went to purchase the jacket and they only have some size 0s and size 4s left. Bummer! You are good at your job because they are nearly sold out! <3


I’m so sorry to hear that sister. I have been trying to get things up on the blog as soon as I can as they do tend to sell out, especially the really stand out pieces! I’m going to begin a special newsletter with my finds before they hit the blog so you can order them before they sell out!


Everything you selected looks fantastic on you, Catherine! Oh, how I covet long legs like yours!! But alas, mine are short and my waistline is pretty non-existent at 63, so I have to look for other styles. Like you, I’m a sale price shopper, and when I find a good deal, I tell everyone!! I love dresses with tights and booties for the Fall, and have received lots of compliments on them- which are so needed as I get older! I used to embrace a Boho style in my younger days, but can’t quite carry it off now as I did then. So, I accessorize with more whimsical pieces, and let the dresses I wear be classic and basic. I have a few years until I’m out of the workforce, so I’ll be keeping my current style til those days come!
Thank you for the Fall inspiration!
XO Donna


Thank you so much sister. I greatly appreciate your kind comments. Yes, we have to dress for ourselves and find those special pieces that enhance our best features. It’s funny as I hated being tall growing up. I felt so awkward being taller than the boys. Now I love it!


Ooohhh – what a great find! This jacket is perfect for so many looks and the price is definitely in my range. I love the way you’ve styled it . It really changes the look when you change the shirt and how you’re wearing the jacket. Your pictures are wonderful with such beautiful backgrounds and I just love the OTK boots on you.



Thanks so much sister. I love this jacket too. There are endless ways to style it and it is a steal for the price and the longevity. I appreciate you!

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