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Fall is finally, FINALLY here, and along with the color-changing leaves and crisp fall air, there’s the vanilla-scented candles, pumpkin spice everything, and the FASHION—chunky cardigans, oversized sweaters, suede booties, the works. It’s truly the most wonderful time of year, and I tend to rack up the credit card debt to be able to afford my favorite fall things (sorry not sorry; I promise I’m super responsible with money the rest of the year).
But my number one fall splurge? Booties, booties, and more booties—specifically suede booties. I just can’t resist. My favorite pair of Gianni Bini suede booties cost me $90 at Dillard’s. I also have at least four different pairs of just black booties (that’s not counting my gray or tan-colored booties) that cost anywhere from $40-$60 each between last fall and this fall. (Yes, my credit card debt is pretty steep right now.)
I know I can’t be the only one spending a pretty penny in the name of fall—here’s what our contributors are splurging on. (And if you’re interested in becoming an ESL contributor, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
“I have an unnatural attraction to oversized sweaters when the weather turns cool. I never wear them outside of the house because they’re not exactly the most flattering shape on me, but I buy them in bulk, no matter the price. Every year without fail.”—Mary Kate
“I’m obsessed with cardigans. They’re a staple in my wardrobe. I’m the type of person who wears cardigans all year round (lighter fabrics in the spring and summer, obvi) but I can’t resist buying cute cardigans in the fall. The chunkier and cozier it is, the better. Bonus if it has pockets. I love pairing a cardigan with a nice top and a skirt for a more dressed down look. I typically don’t spend much on cardigans (most cost me $15-$25), but I have so many that they add up.”—Jasmine
“Cooler temps and fewer bugs mean camping! Last year’s purchase was a new pair of hiking boots, and I managed to pick up this sleeping bag earlier this year for a fraction of the price! So this month’s fall splurge is a lightweight, but terribly comfortable sleeping pad. This girl needs maxed-out comfort to get any beauty zzz’s, and that’s always a little more difficult on the campsite. I had a chance to try out this one on a recent excursion and will probably invest in the same one.”—Hannah
“Candles, scarves, sweaters, and just literally everything cozy!”—Christine
“The second it even looks like fall is coming, I start getting Starbucks’ Hot Chocolate whenever I get the chance. It doesn’t matter if it’s 90 degrees outside, once I decide it’s fall I crave hot drinks. Even though a tall is only about $2.50, that adds up quick when you’re getting one multiple times a week for several months. And I tend not to stop drinking them until summer is in full swing.
I’m also obsessed with boots, but I try not to get any new ones until after Christmas. Getting new boots on sale or with Christmas money is the best—though I have been known to splurge before the holidays if I see a pair that’s just calling to me. Which is most of them. Hey, boots go with everything.”—Taylor
“Booties! And then a really good quality, neutral, staple jacket.”—Amanda
“Leggings and tights are my fall splurge. I’m a freeze-baby who loves dresses and skirts. Legwear in different colors and textures spice up an outfit so I can wear it across seasons. They can run from $10-$80 a pair depending on the brand, structure, and weight. If I’m lucky, I get three years out of them, and I usually buy 5+ pairs a season. Sure, I buy fleece-lined ones for warmth and all that, but they need to be topped with a floral print or a color that pops with the underlayer. I can’t resist the slight idiosyncrasy it brings to an otherwise professional ensemble.”—Carson
“I can’t resist cozy things in the fall! A small splurge I can’t resist is buying different types of hot tea or hot chocolate. It’s only $5-$10, but it makes everything really feel like fall. I honestly buy more than I can ever drink by myself – I still have some drinks stashed from last fall, but that doesn’t stop me from picking up a new blend.”—Meleah
“Candles and flavoured tea!”—Nicole Baio
“Over-the-knee boots are 1000% my fall splurge. Even though it’s always too hot here to wear them until at least November, I still end up with at least one new pair each season. Last year I bought two pairs. The most expensive pair, and my favorite by far, cost me $400. I didn’t eat much or buy anything else for about a month, but they were so worth it. I still get compliments on them every time I wear them.”—Terra