Building My Fall Capsule

You guys, I am seriously so, so excited for fall. Between the maternity clothes and the fact that summer style is my least favorite it’s time for a new season! I don’t hate being pregnant or dressing the bump, but there’s not really tons options out there in my budget, so I ended up with a few pieces (tees, dresses, tanks) in multiple colors as a wardrobe and it got kind of boring.

I have been brainstorming and tweaking my fall capsule since early summer. Not only was I just so excited to see what I got to wear next, but I wanted to take advantage of sales if there was anything I needed to buy for my capsule. By having a list of what I wanted/needed, I have been able to keep an eye out for a deal on those items.

I feel like this will be my first true capsule. The maternity capsule happened naturally because I limited what I bought knowing this was our last baby. Keeping the capsule idea in mind just helped me purchase maternity items that worked well together. Planning the fall capsule has been harder since I’m working with pieces I already own and have had to narrow it down quite a bit. Read more about why I want to capsule here.

So, here’s my very scientific and official ;)…

how to build a capsule wardrobe
How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe

List what HAS to be in your capsuleThese are your non-negotiables. For me, I have to have blue and black jeans, a chambray shirt, the striped tee.  Try on these items – are they in good condition or do they need replacing? This is the skeleton of your capsule – the basics that will likely be in every one of your capsules in some form.

Go through your current pieces to find what you LOVENext, I went though my fall/winter clothes that had been boxed up and pulled out pieces I loved. For me, it’s my gingham shirt, a few comfy sweaters, camo pants. Again, check the condition and fit to see if anything needs to be replaced. I also thought about if the colors and styles of each piece would work together. This is the meat of your capsule – the pieces that will make it individual to you, your style, and the season.

While you’re at it, make a donate/sell pileAs you go through all of your pieces to find your true loves, also start a donate/sell pile. Treat this step as another round of the Closet CleanoutIf I don’t feel good putting on an item it’s being donated (regardless of cost or number of wears. Just let it go, Elsa.). If I like something, but it’s not a super favorite, I’m listing it on Poshmark (if it sells, awesome, if not I’ll re-evaluate at the end of the season). Remember to be ruthless. Like, if you have to do the head tilt, ‘meh’ thing when you look in the mirror, get rid of it.

Fill in the holesThis is what I’m still finalizing. My goal number is 37 pieces (for no other reason than that’s what Caroline at Un-Fancy uses, plus it is my favorite number and my age so I guess it’s meant to be). This is where I went back through my ‘keep’ pile to see if there were any pieces that didn’t make it in the first round (poncho sweater? printed blouse? herringbone pants?) that I wanted to add. I’m also looking at current trends to see if there is anything I need to shop for (drapey tunics for postpartum? long cardigan? olive green anything? bootcut jeans?). This is the topping – the fun extras that will make your capsule un-boring and on-trend. For me, this is the hardest step – really putting a lot of thought into any purchases I’m making. Do I really love the fit and feel? Is the item versatile enough to be a big contributor to my fall wardrobe? Is it really my style? I want all of my pieces to work together to make getting dressed fun and stress-free. I’ve been trying to stick with a common color theme to help keep me focused.

I’ve been keeping track of all of this as a list on my phone and have been constantly adding and deleting pieces as I build my capsule. And always keeping count with the magic number 37 in mind.

Finally, remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. I’m telling myself this more than anyone. I’m so nervous I’m going to pick the wrong pieces and “mess it up”. I’m sure I will. There is bound to be a few pieces that don’t work out the way I hoped and that’s kind of the point – to figure out what wardrobe works best for YOU. Every “mistake” piece will be a lesson for a future capsule.

Is anyone else giving this Capsule Wardrobe thing a try this fall? I’d love some company as I resist shopping and get creative with styling my pieces!

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4 Comments

    1. Yes, I’m with you! Since reading ‘the life changing magic of tidying up’ have got rid of so much and now just have the pieces I love. I need to spend wisely this autumn/winter so am making sure anything bought can mix in well with what I already have and more importantly that I will wear it! (Have been guilty previously of seeing something on blogs/Instagram and buying when it’s just not for my lifestyle!) xx

      1. Do you recommend the book? I’m thinking of ordering it – maternity leave will be a perfect time to read it (and continue purging). I 100% have bought things that look super cute on others, but just aren’t me, you know? Especially if I find it for a great deal. I’m working on resisting the temptation and buying only what I love, which is hard – I’m usually fine with keeping something if I just “like it” because I’m spending so little. The good thing is that I’ve realized that I did not like a lot of my outfits, so that’s helping!

    1. Yes, absolutely recommend it! I didn’t think I had that many clothes but was amazed by the number of bin bags I filled! It’s so nice now to be able to see exactly what I have and not ‘forget’ about items because they’re buried under other things.

      1. I went ahead and ordered it yesterday and it’s coming tomorrow! I’ve been pretty good about purging, but if I look around our house I see lots of room for improvement. I look forward to reading it 🙂

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