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Fall for these outer layers this season

Nikia Jefferson
Tribune Content Agency

And now that colder temps are starting to creep in, many of us are wondering what key items we need to stock (or restock) this season.

When it comes to fall shopping, I always focus most of my attention and budget on outer layers. Why? Simply because I firmly believe that outwear is the best way to showcase personal style while still remaining warm. There's nothing cute about shivering in the cold or worse yet, catching a cold for the sake of fashion. Am I right? If you want to look cool in the cool, there are three key outer garments that you should push to the top of your shopping wish list.

The wool vest

A long wool vest (or sleeveless coat) is by far, the most versatile garment on the list. Similar to the lightweight, more relaxed varieties that were available in the spring, the wool vest is indeed a wardrobe workhorse. With its structured design, it looks great in the office, on a dinner date or while running errands on the weekend.

In case you're wondering where to find a wool vest, options abound at Banana Republic, BCBGeneration, MANGO and T.J. Maxx. And if you can only envision it being worn over a blouse or your favorite button up shirt, begin to think outside of the box a bit. Wool vests can be layered over crewneck sweaters, turtlenecks, cardigans, leather jackets and my second favorite fall outerwear item.

The denim jacket

The denim jacket is one of those clothing items that withstands the test of time and transcends all trends. If you don't already own one, I can guarantee that it will become your go-to topper for years to come if you buy one today. From season to season, the silhouette that the industry considers "on trend" may change slightly. However, you can never go wrong with the oversized, classic fit (shop the men's section, if you have to) or one that is slightly cropped and fitted. The former looks great with skinny jeans and trousers, while the latter pairs well with skirts and dresses. The oversized denim jacket can also be worn with a T-shirt and leggings to make a typical workout outfit appear intentionally chic. You know, for those super lazy days.

And let's not forget how easy it is to acquire one. Since denim is available at every retailer, from Target to Nordstrom, scoring a jacket at your ideal price point is a simple task. Once that's done, just don't forget to personalize it with your favorite pins or brooches.

The varsity bomber

The varsity bomber jacket is no longer relegated to those that play sports. Since fashion brands like Coach and Opening Ceremony have introduced quality, embroidered varsity jackets into the market, it has become the number one outerwear item on everyone's mind. Of course, all of us can't afford to spend one month's rent (or even one month's car note) on a new jacket. Luckily, there are a few budget-friendly alternatives made by Express, Highline Collective (sold at Lord & Taylor), Members Only and, of course, ASOS.

Whether you want faux leather sleeves or opt for satin instead of wool, it's really all about the patches -- more is more! And if you're up for a little DIY project, buy a plain bomber and scour Etsy for cool iron-on patches that rep your personality to the fullest.

Now that we have our fall outerwear situation sorted out, we can stop lamenting the end of summer, right? Who am I kidding? I will continue to negotiate a deal with Mother Nature (and go sockless) until the first legit frost. Are you with me?