4 Autumn Accessories for Minimalists
Autumn is brief in Toronto. Speaking from a wardrobe perspective, it lasts around 4 – 7 weeks, depending on when the winter temperatures roll in. So despite being an avid fashion lover, autumn clothing just doesn’t get that much attention from me. That’s because I don’t like investing in items that don’t have longevity in my minimalist-focused wardrobe. However, this year I invested in not one, but two pieces that are perfect for the changing seasons. And beyond.
Because I get lots of questions about which timeless wardrobe items to invest in, I want to re-cap what I consider essential fall accessories. Below you’ll find my recommended list of what to include in your wardrobe, while still honouring core values such: as shopping less, making ethical buying decisions, and investing for the long term. All items featured here are vegan.
These photos were taken at the Stackt Market in downtown Toronto. This unique indoor-outdoor shopping area is made almost entirely of recycled shipping container crates.
Item 1: An Oversized, Draped Scarf
My packing lists almost always include an oversized scarf in a light-to-medium-weight fabric. They are the single most versatile accessory you will ever own! Chilly breezes blowing? Wrap it around your neck. Sudden rainstorm? Drap it over your hair. Airplane cabin is unexpectedly cold? Use it as a shawl. Inpromptue convertible car ride? Tie the fabric over your head and secure it around your neck, a-la 1950’s style to protect your hair.
I’d been eyeing the scarves from Bleusalt for several years. Last month, I decided to take the plunge and purchase the 1-Yard version in camel. It features the cashmere-like fabric, made from plant fibres, that Blesalt is known for. And the drape is so luxurious! If you are taller than me (I’m 5’2″), you may want to go for the 2-Yard version for more versatility. They also make a 3-Yard version for those who want even more fabric to layer.
Item 2: A Beige, Navy, or Black Trench Coat
If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that at the first sign of autumn, I bust out the same beige Michael Kors trenchcoat year after year. I purchased that trench over ten years ago! But it’s a classic piece that forever makes any outfit look put together. Not to mention, they are ridiculously practical for transitional weather. If you stumble across one with a hood, you may want to go for it. I’ve found that a hooded trenchcoat can save you from unexpected downpours. And they are great for anyone who frequently boats or lives by the ocean year-round. (One can dream, right? I take mine with me on coastal trips during the colder months.)
Make sure the trenchcoat has room for layering. Even better, look for one that has a slightly loose fit and a waist belt. I’ve found that this style is the most versatile. Wear it closed and belted at the front to keep bitter winds at bay. Or wear it open with the waist belt tied loosely at the back for an effortless “model-off-duty” look.
Here’s a practical tip: you can usually find trenchcoats at secondhand shops! I tend to gravitate towards luxury consignment shops, which means that I’ve even come across Burberry, Gucci, and Lanvin trenches over the years at massively reduced prices. (It’s so tempting to purchase a second! But I’ll stick to my tried-and-true trench.) If you’d like to go the secondhand luxury route, you can use my $50 coupon for Vestiare Collective in the product carousel below.
Item 3: Low-Heeled Ankle Boots or Knee-High Boots
How high or low you go with your boots is a personal preference. Whether it’s heel height or rise, try out a few styles with the existing items in your wardrobe. I mainly wear pants in autumn. So a low-heeled ankle boot that can tuck under the hemline of my jeans or trousers is perfect. Ankle-length boots can also work with medi-length dresses or skirts too. However, knee-high boots are another beautiful option for those who prefer skirts and dresses throughout the colder months. Almost every skirt or dress length and style looks great with knee-high boots!
As for colour, I generally try to stick to a shade that will allow my legs to look as long as possible. If I’m wearing dark denim or black tights, I’ll grab my black boots to finish the outfit. But I had nothing for light denim or bare legs! So last spring, I decided to invest in a pair of sand-coloured vegan boots from Veerah. These came with removable, reversible ankle straps but I’m not wearing them here.
Veerah is always thoughtful when it comes to details like this! Each shoe features a beautiful gold logo emblem on the underside as well as an embroidered “V” at the back of the heel. They also offer a range of shoe accessories, such as ankle-straps and clip-on’s that you can use to personalize your footwear. Veerah is women-owned and actively uses some sustainably-minded manufacturing processes. The entire footwear line is vegan too.
Item 4: A Practical Tote Bag
I love a good tote bag. They can fit in the extra items you might need, say a scarf or small umbrella, and have plenty of room for other things you may pick up along the way. And there are so many tote bags to choose from! Unlike the other items on this list, I think a tote bag is a great opportunity to explore fun colours, prints or graphics. Though I am partial to a classic, minimalist tote with lots of pockets. And now that I’m expecting, I know that my days of tiny purses are behind me.
Before buying new, I would recommend checking out second-hand or luxury consignment shops to see if you can find a cute style for a great price. I have a navy blue Prada canvas tote bag that I purchased on Vestaire Collective years ago. And I still use it every year and nearly every time I travel! I do have a $50 coupon for Vestiare Collective that you can use below in the product carousel. It may be too soon to score something from the Prada Re-Nylon collection, but the bags from this line are made from recycled materials. Some items from the Prada Re-Nylon collection are even vegan!
If you need to purchase new, browse ethically-made brands, like Alexandra K. or Luxtra. Both are ethically handmade in Europe. Those living in the US or Canada can shop for Alexandra K., Luxtra, and other European vegan brands at Alltrueist for more reasonable shipping costs. Vegans on a budget will always find some great options by Pixie Mood and Matt & Nat. These two handbag brands feature recycled plastic linings. And Pixie Mood is just about to launch an apple-leather collection! They were kind enough to send along the tote bag featured in these photos.