Maureen O'Shay Photography » Katy's Family Lifestyle Portrait Photographer

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The Best Fall Staples (and where to find them)

The weather is changing (even here in hot Houston), and it’s about time to change over your wardrobe to the cozier pieces. Even though we don’t get the chilly temperatures that other parts of the country enjoy when the seasons change, there’s still enough cool days to don boots, scarves, and cardigans. Not only are they weather appropriate, they also photograph beautifully when you book a fall senior shoot with us. Although you might still be sweating just a little bit (ha!), those gorgeous shades of burgundy, brown, and taupe can lend your session an edge and polish that can’t be replicated during any other season. So, what staples do you really need this year, and where can you find the best deal? We have it all for you, right here:

The Ruana: This is a newer item that’s very popular on Instagram this year, and it’s actually very versatile. You could wear these little sweater/wraps layered over tees or tanks, when traveling (perfect for the cooler temperatures on airlines), or when lounging at home as a blanket. The best colors this season are taupe and camel, and we really love this affordable one from Target. It’s under $25, and it’s perfect if you want to try out the trend without investing in a very expensive wrap. If you’re ready to take the plunge, check out Nordstrom’s extensive selection, most around $80-$100 each. 

The Mule: Think of the mule as the happy medium between an ankle boot and a flat. They have a substantial look, and they go with just about everything, from dresses to skinny jeans. For a senior shoot, we recommend going with a neutral color like tan or black, and pairing it with pretty, soft neutrals to draw attention to your face and hair. If you don’t have a pair yet, we recommend this pair from Steve Madden, which run true to size and come in several pretty hues. They also go perfectly with the ruana type wraps we mentioned above. 

The felt hat: Whether you want a large, floppy brimmed statement hat, or a slimmer, easier fashion piece, the hat is really having a moment this season! You may have spotted pricy ones from Anthropologie and Free People on the latest Instagram Influencers, but if you’re saving for college or senior year, you may want a more affordable option. Hats are also one of those things that you may wear all the time or wear just once and never wear again, so it’s good to do a trial run before getting an investment piece. Believe it or not, Amazon is the best place to find a dupe for those really expensive wool hats, and most are under $20! Look for a structured fedora like this one, and choose an easy color that matches most of your wardrobe (brown, tan, black). 


The leather or suede jacket: We know you probably have a denim jacket that you wear often, but this season’s best staple piece is a suede or leather jacket. For just about every event that you’d wear a denim jacket for, you can swap in this polished and pretty alternative. It goes perfectly over boho dresses, with high waisted “mom jeans”, and paired with structured skirts and graphic tees for a fun and unique look. Real leather can of course be quite expensive, but there are many vegan leather alternatives like this really cute jacket from ASOS (it’s under $65!). 

When you have a slim fashion budget, but a lot of style aspirations, it can be hard to track down the items you need to fill your wardrobe, but it’s totally possible. We have been so surprised with the things we have found at retailers like Target, which could easily pass for a higher-priced item from Macy’s or Bloomingdales at a fraction of the price. Stay tuned to our blog for the best tips on finding deals as you build your session wardrobe!