Simple staples to sport year-round

By Nia Decaille

Fashion has a tendancy to change with each passing year.

But some things, we’ll call them staples, can turn an otherwise bland outfit into one that is très chic.

After long hours and busy days that leave little time for scrutinizing over your ensemble before an 8 a.m. class, staples will save you. Most of all, they make the transition from summer attire to fall wardrobe easy. They are the pathway to any perfected wardrobe.

The joy of owning good quality staple fashion pieces is that they are perfect for the bipolar weather in Amherst and you can dress any look, up or down, depending on your mood. Good staples look great with anything in your closet. They should fit well and make you feel composed and satisfied the instant you put them on.

It is fairly easy to attain such items in order to create a delectably simple set of outfit options.


Dressing for the cooler temperatures as well as the occasional, and sometimes unpredictable, rain can be taxing. Acquiring a pair of jeans that fit your body type and don’t take effort to squeeze into can always be a wardrobe go-to. Whether they are skinny, boot cut, flare or low rise, jeans are perfect for a casual on-the-way-to-class look.

On the weekends, pair your jeans with heels for instant party wear. Dark wash jeans are preferred as they can be dressed for casual or business occasions.

With the right blazer and pair of footwear, you can wear them to work or to grab coffee with a professor. Pair the same jeans with a University of Massachusetts crewneck sweatshirt and it’s the perfect outfit to wear to a football game.



As fall settles upon us, it’s time to find the scarves you stowed away in late March. A chunky wool scarf is a great item for winter, but scarves made of cotton, silk or any lightweight material are perfect for fall. They add something extra to a T-shirt and jeans ensemble. Tie them around your neck or even your hair. Drape, knot or tie your scarf and let the world know you are ready for the change in season. Scarves are wonderful staple items because they come in such a variety of colors and prints and can be worn with almost anything. Find one that complements your personality and wear it often.

How do fashion gurus, like Alexa Chung, opt for simple items and still remain in every magazine? Staples! If your mantra is simplicity, then plain tanks and T-shirts are excellent additions to your wardrobe. Solid colored Ts and tank tops come in many different cuts and fits. They are both simple and timeless, and can be sported with basically anything for almost any occasion.


Comfortable shoes are also great for on the go.

The loafer is huge this fall. Brands like Toms, Vans, Sanük and Jeffrey Campbell made the simple and comfy shoe popular.

Try something edgy with spikes and sequins, something elegant with a pointed toe or even a pair of Converse.

When it comes to staple shoes, you want to wear them often and let them take a beating. The more worn in and comfortable they look, the more of a staple they will become.


The fall season is tricky, especially here in Amherst, because the temperature varies so much. The best thing you can do is layer your outfit.

A blazer, cardigan or light windbreaker makes any summer top still wearable. Layer a T-shirt with a blazer for a classic business casual look.

Choose a black blazer to accent an item without overpowering it. Being able to slip a light jacket on or off makes gauging the weather simple and helps your summer items transcend the seasonal barrier.

“Any cardigan. They’re versatile and you can wear them in the fall, winter, or spring,” said student Derek Monson when asked about his favorite staple. He said cardigans were fun and great for both men and women, because they come in different colors, textures and prints for almost any occasion.

Versatility is what makes a great staple piece, so choose wisely. It’s that item you just can’t help but wear all the time. It’s not a staple if it spends most of its time living in your closet.

Nia Decaille can be reached at [email protected]