Building a new wardrobe may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! It’s not a one-size-fits-all endeavor, now matter how many times you’ve been told that you simply must stock your closet with a slew of black and white items you’re sure you’ll never wear.

Everyone’s walk in life is different, so what a stay-at-home mom wears during the week is very different from what a college student may wear. Even when working in an office, the basics each person needs can vary widely based on the type of environment and culture they work in.

READ MORE: Shop In Style With Pantone’s Fall Color Forecast

All of this is to say that the basic templates created here are meant to be tweaked for your own lifestyle. If you’ll never wear a flannel or chambray in a million years, try replacing those with a blazer. If black is not your color, try a brown or grey as your neutral base instead. Heck, maybe you don’t want to build your wardrobe off neutrals at all! I chose a neutral look here because it makes for easier mixing and matching and doesn’t prevent you from adding more color to your closet down the line.

The key is to create your own “personal uniform” when putting together the basics, and to do your best to make purchases that easily match so your wardrobe is a cohesive moving piece, rather than lots of individual purchases that don’t match each other. That’s how to make shopping economical! Ideally, we’d all spend a pretty penny on quality basics so they’d last us for years, but that’s not always easy to attain.

READ MORE: 5 Hot Denim Styles You Must Own This Fall

I’ve separated what basics to truly invest in (because trust, their cost-per-wear ratio will break down in your favor and they need to be well-made to get you through the day) and which to scrimp on if need be. If you have the time, try to find those “save on” items at stores like Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx or thrift shops, where you’ll still find great quality but can snag a great deal. If you’re starting from square one, here’s what to buy for your most functional (and stylish) fall yet. Happy shopping!

1Pieces To Save On

fall basics

1. Black Turtleneck (Velvet, $115)

2. Chambray (Madewell, $70)

3. A Quality Flannel (Madewell, $80)

4. Basic T-Shirts (Madewell, $29.50)

5. Versatile Scarf (V Fraas, $7)

6. Denim Skirt (Alexa Chung for AG, $178)

7. Pullover Sweater (Romwe, $20)

8. White Button-Up Shirt (Jones New York, $66)

9. Cardigan (J.Crew, $49.50)

10. Breton Striped Shirt (Alexander Wang, $140)

2Pieces To Splurge On

1. Madewell (Denim Jacket, $118)

2. Leather Jacket (Muubaa, $312.50)

3. Versatile Little Black Dress (Boden, $78)

4. Trench Coat (APC Atelier, $635)

5. Black Trousers or Jeans (7 For All Mankind, $189)

6. Dark Wash Jeans (Joe Fresh, $27.30)

7. Neutral, Fall-Friendly Rain Boots (Dav, $102)

8. Leather Boots (La Canadienne, $280)

9. Versatile Neutral Pumps (Charles by Charles David, $98.95)

10. Sneakers (Nike Air, $90)

11. Functional Flats (Sam Edelman, $100)

READ MORE: Shop In Style With Pantone’s Fall Color Forecast