I wouldn't consider myself a fashionista...but I really do like fashion, I do. Like most people, I don't have loads of cash to contribute to an ever-growing wardrobe laden with the season's hottest finds, not to mention the time and effort it takes to keep up with said wardrobe season by season, trend by trend. But nonetheless, I do appreciate the art that goes into defining your style. And you know what? You don't have to have a fat wallet to be able to wear the clothes you love and feel great in. You just have to be smart.

Today, I want to look at some wardrobe basics for Fall that I am loving right now. I've taken some images from my Pinterest board and thought it would be fun to dissect some outfits and make a list of some classics that can be mixed, matched, and put together in various ways to make the most of your wardrobe without having to spend your paycheck. Because after all, it's just clothes, and there are plenty of more important and lasting things in life to spend your resources on than being the best dressed. With that in mind, let's take a looksie:

fall looks 1

Obviously, there's nothing wrong with lots of color in your wardrobe. Hey, I love me a bright patterned blouse or even a pair of red cropped jeans, but overall, I am just a neutral kind of girl, so keep in mind that these "tips" are coming from my personal framework. Anyway, start with a timeless neutral palette, then add pops of color. I love black skinny (or bootcut) jeans because they are casual like blue jeans but give a little extra oomph when wanting to look a bit more dressed up but still be comfortable, and they go with everything. You can mix and match t-shirts, button downs, and tunics by layering scarves, cardigans, and sweaters, not to mention, all kinds of shoes.

With a neutral palette, it's always fun to boost it up with pops of color with a pair of bright shoes, a bright-colored purse, a patterned scarf, or even a colorful cardigan as a final touch. Keep the trendy pieces in small doses, so that your investment is in ones that will last you more than a couple seasons.

Recently, I was determined to downsize my closet and in turn got rid of everything I hadn't worn in a year or that was not in good shape anymore. Looking at my new simplified closet helped me think more creatively in making new outfits out of what was left. Suddenly this cardigan stood out to me and went nicely with that shirt, and oh that belt, now that would look great buckled over the cardigan, and how about I add this scarf, and voila! I saw my clothes in a whole new light from when it was previously crowded with filler.

How can you simplify your wardrobe yet at the same time create new outfits out of what you already own? Get creative!

Needing a couple new pieces? Choose items that will blend nicely with your clothes and enhance what you have - you don't have to create whole new outfits. Just spruce it up a bit, like a fun cardigan that will go with 2-3 different shirts you already own. Or a nice pair of shoes that will dress up an outfit in a snap. For me, I went down a size in pants recently, so I am on a mission to find 2-3 pairs of nice jeans (black skinnies, dark blue jean skinnies, and dark wide-leg jeans) that will last a long time and that I can wear every day. There are a couple other investments I'd like to make, if the budget allows, like riding boots and some nice flats. Maybe a couple nice sweater-cardigans that I can jazz up my large collection of fitted tees with.

So, coming from a non-fashionista, keep it simple, invest in timeless classics, get creative, and don't sweat the hubbub of keeping up with every trend in the book.

Here are a couple great posts from Rachel over at Small Notebook (one of my daily blog reads) on simplifying your wardrobe and stocking it with long-term classics. I love her unpretentious approach to useful and chic fashion.

--> It is So Much Easier to Simplify than to Organize

--> How To Downsize Your Wardrobe with Common Sense

So, for my all of readers out there, what are your personal tips for keeping a stylish yet simple and timeless wardrobe?