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The Racked Fall 2016 Shopping Guide

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It’s been over a decade since my last first day of school, and yet I’m still drunk with that new-things-for-fall anticipation by mid-August. Boyfriend sweaters, wool miniskirts, penny loafers — the season’s classics are everything I’d like to wear year-round (and, in cyclical fashion, everything I could wear year-round growing up in Northern California).

In New York we get a week of real fall, maybe two if we’re lucky. A brief and blissful stretch during which you have a summer tan and you get to throw on an extra layer. Whether you celebrate with jeans or a pencil skirt, a blazer or booties, you can show off your favorite outfit without sweating through it or hiding under a coat. It’s the most wonderful time of the year — to shop.

The past few years, however, as fashion’s started to panic and retail has descended into chaos, you might have noticed everything’s starting to look the same: This season’s off the shoulder top, fall’s velvet shoe, winter’s oversized puffer. To find something different, the Vetements-like rebelliousness without the Vetements-like price point, has become harder than ever.

It’s why I’ve been scouring New York’s best consignment stores and Brooklyn’s hard-to-reach boutiques to feed my fever for something fresh. And it’s why our fall shopping guide might look a little different than everything else you’ve seen so far this month.

There’s no trick to wearing what we’re showing off, no stylist necessary. You can throw these sweaters and boots on with what you already own and love and, more importantly, it won’t cost you a month’s rent to add most of it to your wardrobe. No one must-have here, just plenty of things that will make getting dressed in the morning more fun — which is what shopping should be.
Britt Aboutaleb, Editor-in-Chief

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Mayle bag


Thanks to years and years of back-to-school backpacks, we're Pavlov-style conditioned to desire a new bag every September. Here are a few that are put-together enough for work but still fun enough to hang at night.

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It's the season of the Personality Shoe: the boots, pumps, and flats that have a ton to say all on their own. Check out nine options for three very different types of looks.

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Denim has been getting a lot of affection from designers lately, maturing from the cocoon of jean jackets and 501s to more sophisticated silhouettes. Casual is in the fabric's DNA, and this new breed of blue jean is never stuffy.

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Cold weather is so much more bearable when you're wrapped in a coat you're actually excited to put on. Break out of the cycle of depressing black outerwear with versatile color and texture with these seven suggestions.

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Men's Outerwear

If you only invest in one thing for fall, make it a great jacket. Here, we've rounded up seven thoughtful investments, including a versatile bomber, a modern take on the classic raincoat, and a luxe shearling and leather combo.

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There's a reason why sweaters are a fall staple: there's truly nothing more functional in cold weather than a knit. However, we've come along way from the standard chunky crewneck; Here, seven different ways to stay cozy (and chic) this season.

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If you have a smart phone and a wifi connection, you're probably doing a good amount of your shopping online. There are endless e-commerce options, but relatively few that really set themselves far above the rest. These are our favorites.

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Shopping Director: Tiffany Yannetta. Market Editor: Nicola Fumo. Photographers: Liz Barclay and Shanita Sims. Stylist: Jamie Ortega. Stylist Assistant: Jayne Lies. Writers: Britt Aboutaleb, Nicola Fumo, Cory Baldwin, Tiffany Yannetta. Hair: Kisha Marie. Makeup: Lakeisha Dale at Vivrant Beauty. Market Assistant: Channing Hargrove. Production Assistant: Kiara Sharde. Special thanks: Ellie Krupnick, Laura Gurfein, Caitlin Brown.


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