fall capsule wardrobe

Fall Capsule-ish Wardrobe

I am so excited that it’s finally time to share my Fall Capsule-ish Wardrobe! Like a lot of people, fall is my favorite style season and I am feeling more excited about the clothes in my wardrobe than ever before. It’s been a slow process, as it should be, but I’ve finally reached a point where my wardrobe is full of clothes I love and am content with.

The first year I did capsule wardrobes I selected my 35 – 40 items and stuck to those for the entire season. I didn’t shop, I didn’t swap things out, I didn’t ‘cheat’. I was strict with the process because I was trying to curb my over-the-top shopping habit and gain confidence in my personal style.

After about a year, I started to feel like it was a waste to pack up clothes I loved just because they didn’t fit into the rules of my capsule. I was confident that I’d learned a lot from my year of capsule wardrobes and was ready to ‘graduate. So, I decided to keep most of my wardrobe accessible at all times and only swap out the extremely seasonal pieces.

Late last fall my full wardrobe started to feel overwhelming and I decided to go back to my capsule ways for Spring 2017. This time I loosened up on the rules (hence the name Capsule-ish). Over the course of the season, I found that the pieces I chose for my capsule wardrobe were the only ones I needed. I kept my Capsule (or primary) pieces on one rack of my closet and my secondary pieces on a different rack. At the end of the season I was willing to purge a lot of that secondary rack because in comparison to my primary rack they just didn’t do enough for me.

The new relaxed approach to the capsule wardrobe worked so well I decided to go for it again this season. I plan to stick closely to this core wardrobe. But, I won’t stress about wearing something that I didn’t include in my capsule or adding something new mid-season if I feel the need to mix it up (considering some Everlane denim in Bone or Black and I’m excited to try Vetta’s new Minimal Capsule).

For me, getting dressed and being content with my wardrobe is a lot easier when I keep it small. However, I also feel I’ve changed my shopping habits so drastically in the past few years that I don’t need the restrictions to keep me focused on my goal of being a mindful consumer.

This fall, I have a lot of repeat items from previous seasons, but I’ve added a couple of new things to fill gaps and create more options with what I already own. I do have additional items in my closet that aren’t pictured here. Basic t-shirts, a couple of dresses that I keep for the holidays, shoes, and my weekend/loungewear, for example. For my capsule-ish wardrobe, I decided to focus on the items that I wear on a weekly or bi-weekly rotation and that best define my personal style. The color scheme is very similar to my Spring Capsule, but I feel so at ease with this palette and I love the way it mixes and matches, so why fix what isn’t broken?

fall capsule wardrobe minimal closet

The Items

* means this is a new item

TOP ROW

White top (Everlane) // I got this top last fall and it’s a favorite for work. It doesn’t wrinkle, falls nicely, and has a cute zipper detail up the entire back. I typically wear this top with basic black pants or jeans, but I’m hoping to find new ways to wear it as a layering piece this fall to get more use out of it.

Wide leg crops (Everlane) // I added these to my wardrobe early last spring because I felt I needed some variety in my pants/bottoms. I think these have a lot of untapped potential in my wardrobe, so I look forward to experimenting this fall.

T Sweater (Jamie + the Jones) // This was my big investment piece late last fall and it’s probably my favorite item to wear ever. It’s soft and cozy, but I just love the shape. I love that pairing this sweater with basic jeans or ponte pants is so easy, but feels so effortlessly styled.

Cashmere crop sweater (Everlane purchased secondhand) // I got this sweater mid-spring and it was my first cashmere sweater ever. I love the cropped length paired with my high-waisted bottoms.

A-line dress (Brass Clothing) // I got this late in the spring and didn’t wear it over the summer, so it’s still fairly new to me. I can’t wait to add tights and layers to make this dress cool-weather ready.

SECOND ROW

Striped tee (c/o Tapered Collection) // I am always a big fan of a basic striped tee and I love the tapered waist and drop shoulders of this one. It has a slightly more dressed up feel than a typical tee, so it’s perfect for work.

*Striped popover tunic (Everlane purchased secondhand, same in blue, similar in silk ) // I bought this on a whim over the summer. I think the longer length will be nice to wear over my ponte pants or under my longline cardigans. I love the look of button-up oxford shirts, but always feel I look a little too masculine in them, so I hope this is a good alternative.

Striped ponte tee (old from Gap) // I don’t know how long this tee will last into fall, but I’m going to keep it as an option for layering under sweaters or jackets. I like the thicker knit and slight a-line cut for work, but it hasn’t been one I find myself reaching for a lot. This season will tell me a lot about if it has a place in my wardrobe.

Gray pocket dress (c/o IMBY) // This dress was a huge part of my summer wardrobe and the cozy sweatshirt material seems like it will be perfect for cooler days. I am going to have to experiment with how to layer over the midi length dress to add shape and keep from feeling frumpy.

*High low pullover (Brass Clothing) // This was a mid summer addition thanks to my Brass Edit credits. The Brass Edit was a 6 month program I invested in last fall. I got 1 new item of clothing each month for 6 months at a slightly reduced cost. Lightweight sweaters are perfect for work and I felt gray would be a versatile option. I imagine this being a workhorse item, but only time will tell.

THIRD ROW

*Raw silk tee (Two Fold Clothing from Garmentory ($20 off your first purchase here) // This was my final addition to my fall capsule before posting. I have admired the Krissy Tee since it’s release, but was finally motivated to make a purchase during a Labor Day sale (plus $20 for my first Garmentory purchase). The blush color will be a great addition to my neutrals and I love how easy raw silk is to care for. I know I will wear this alone on warmer fall days, but also as a layer under my T sweater and cardigans.

Cropped sweater (Brass Clothing) // This was another Brass Edit item that I got in January. The cropped sweater is so easy to layer over my maxi dresses and jumpsuit when it cools down. I think this sweater has some potential layered over longer tops also, so I definitely plan to try some new combinations this fall.

Tencel jacket (old from Gap) // I’ve had this jacket for a couple of years now. I don’t wear it a ton, but I love having it as a layering option. It’s soft and is easy to move in at work. The cropped length works well with my maxi dress, too. I think this is another item that has a lot more potential, so I’m going to challenge myself to really get more wears out of it this season.

*T top (c/o Jamie + the Jones) // This was a great gift from J + J over the summer when I wrote a blog post for them. I decided to add some color to my wardrobe and this Umber really jumped out at me. I have a T Top in black also and I love the cropped, boxy cut. It was a newer addition, so I look forward to trying different layering strategies with the top.

Drapey top (Madewell via Thred Up) // I got this last spring as an option for work once it started to warm up a bit. The color is so ugly it’s cute and the top has some great pleats and keyhole button detail on the back.

FOURTH ROW

Backpack purse (love this alternative, ethical crossbody bag)  // This is the bag I grab when we’re going out and about as a family. I’ve had it for a few years and I’m just planning to use it until it’s trashed. I love the hands-free option and it’s big enough to hold my stuff and snacks for the littles, plus a few diapers and wipes.

Clogs (Moheda from Lotta From Stockholm) // I have both open and close-toed clogs that will be a huge part of my fall wardrobe. I love that they have a slight heel, but don’t feel too dressy for work. They seem to dress up my outfits that are too casual and dress down my outfits that are too dressy. They are comfortable enough for me to wear all day at school.

Faux suede booties (old hand-me-downs from Forever 21, inpsired by these) // I got these as a hand-me-down late last spring, so I haven’t worn them much. I think the higher ankle will be fun to wear under my cropped wide leg pants and jeans. I also found that I like wearing chunky knit socks with boots and dresses to ease the transition from my legs or tights to shoes, so these boots will be perfect for that.

Ankle boots (Sam Edelman) // These are my fall/winter workhorse boots. I wear them with just about everything and they’re starting to show it, but that makes me love them even more. The lower ankle height works well with skinny or straight leg jeans.

D’orsay oxfords (Nisolo) // Similar to the Brass Edit, my husband and I bought each other a Nisolo 5 for 5 membership last year. We get 2 pair of shoes each year for 5 years for a discounted up front price (it was a 5th anniversary promotion). This was the pair I picked last fall and I love them. The quality is great and I love the mix of feminine and masculine details. I’m looking at either these Chelsea boots or the Isa Chukka boots for this year’s addition.

FIFTH ROW

Straight leg jeans (hand-me-downs from Target) // I have had these jeans for a couple of years after my sister had to purge her entire wardrobe (long story). Anyhow, I love how they look, but they’re really low waisted, so I find them uncomfortable. I keep them around to wear with longer tops, but I’m constantly searching for a replacement with a high-waist.

High-waist jeans (Levi’s) // I love the high waist cut on these and fit through the thighs. I don’t love how they bulk out around the knees and then are tighter through my calves, but it hasn’t been a deal breaker yet. Mainly because I haven’t found a pair I like any better. These are thick 100% cotton, so they won’t be worn until the temperatures cool a bit.

Baggy jeans (Madewell via Poshmark) // I love the fit and comfort level of these jeans, though the baggy cut isn’t always the most flattering. I think it’s important that I keep the proportions balanced by wearing these with more slim-fitting tops. I got these late in the spring, so I look forward to wearing them with boots this fall.

Striped boxy sweater (c/o Everlane) // This was a summer addition, but I know it will get even more use in fall. I imagine this being the sweater I throw on in the evenings when it cools down or for our early morning soccer games.

Mid-length cardigan (old from Express) // This is another sweater I’ve had for a few years that has continued to be a major part of my wardrobe. I love the muted green color and chunky texture. I often wear it as a jacket to outdoor events in the fall when easy layering is essential.

SECOND ROW FROM BOTTOM

Longline cardigan (old from Old Navy) // Last spring I fell in love with layering my long cardigans over dresses, so I’m sure that will be a styling option I go with a lot this fall. This grayish-brownish color is the perfect mix with my black dresses and tops.

Wrap top (c/o Vetta) // This top can be worn so many ways, which I love for work. I feel I need to wear this as much as I can in the early fall before it gets too cool. I’m not sure how the flowy sleeves and wrap top will work under layers, so I think this is a top that is better on its own.

T Top (Jamie + the Jones) // After I fell in love with my T Sweater last winter, I invested in a black T Top for spring. I love the easy to wear cut and details that make this top look like a million bucks. I plan to get extra mileage out of both by layering my T Top under the T Sweater.

Black slim turtleneck (Brass Clothing) // This was one of my first Brass Edit purchases last winter. I love how simple and chic this turtleneck feels with everything from denim to a black pencil skirt.

Midi pencil skirt (old from Old Navy, ethical option) // I’ve had this skirt for a number of years and while the quality isn’t great, it’s still holding up fine and I can’t justify replacing it. I don’t wear this skirt a ton, but I think it’s a good option to keep in my wardrobe to change things up.

BOTTOM ROW

*Wide leg crops (Everlane) // I had decided to purchase another pair of wide leg crops in a darker color when my friend, Andrea, decided she was going to get rid of her black ones she got last year. I jumped to the front of that line and claimed some hand-me-downs! The off-white color can feel unflattering if I’m even remotely bloated or up a couple of pounds, so I wanted a darker color to hide some of my flaws.

Ponte pants (Brass Clothing) // These pants are like work-appropriate leggings. They definitely fit snug, but with longer tops I can definitely get away with wearing them to work. They hold everything in place and I always feel great in them. I have a lot of looser fitting tops and longer sweaters that will pair well with these pants.

Pencil dress (Brass Clothing) // This was another Brass Edit addition late last spring. It’s definitely a little out of my comfort zone, but I think that’s a good risk to take sometimes. Last year I paired the dress with more casual shoes to make me more at easy wearing a form-fitting dress to school. The fabric is thick and feels amazing and I know this is a versatile option for my wardrobe. I know this will also be perfect under my longline cardigan on really cool days.

Maxi dress (Brass Clothing) // I got this dress a couple of years ago as a wardrobe investment after I was done breastfeeding Brynn. I keep it in my wardrobe year-round because it’s so easy to layer over with cropped sweaters, jackets, or knotted tees.

Jumpsuit (LOFT via Thred Up) // Last fall I did a fun collaboration featuring holiday party wear from Thred Up and I got this jumpsuit. Like the maxi dress, I keep it in my closet year round because it’s so easy to layer. This fall, I’d love to pair the jumpsuit with my longline cardigan or try wearing the slim turtleneck underneath.

 

Overall I have 9 tops, 6 sweaters, 3 jackets/cardigans, 6 pants, 1 skirt, 5 dresses/jumpsuits that I consider my core fall wardrobe. I also have 11 clothing items, 10 pairs of shoes, and a handful of sweatshirts/t-shirts/leggings that may make an occasional appearance, but that I consider my secondary wardrobe.

What is your capsule wardrobe status…All in? Considering giving it a go? No way, no how?

 

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13 Comments

    1. As always, I’m so impressed by how streamlined and classic you are! I’m all in for a fall capsule (sharing next week)! I like rotating things seasonally, even if it’s just a little bit, to keep it interesting.

      1. Lo,
        I can’t wait to see how your fall wardrobe comes together! I think packing some items away definitely keeps things feeling fresh and helps me curb my desire to shop each new season.
        Have a lovely weekend!
        xo

    1. I love your color palate here! Back in March I did the most drastic closet cleanout I’ve ever done (and that was after several weedouts), and am slowly building my wardrobe back from scratch. We’ve moved houses since then, and I’ve downsized even more, since our closet is 1/3 the size of our previous one and we now share a dresser (I had my own before). I’m really taking my time rebuilding (part due to consideration, part due to budget) but it can be frustrating at times. I’d like to get to the point where I’m able to rotate my summer and not-summer wardrobes (i.e. the only two seasons in Florida) but I simply don’t have enough clothes to pack away (save for my very, very cold winter wear used mostly for traveling).

      1. Krystal,
        The weedout definitely takes a while, but I feel like every round it’s easier and easier to part with things. I’m sure a move really helped motivate that process too! The rebuilding is slow and can be frustrating, especially if you find that your style tastes change at all. It’s definitely worth it to end up in a place where you feel mostly content with a wardrobe that’s easy to manage. I think I’m closer than ever, but it’s been quite a journey.

        What new items are on your fall/winter wishlist?

        Paige

    1. I love your capsule. It’s got a great color graduation and it’s very versatile. I am going to try a capsule again this fall (once I finally get the rest of my wardrobe unpacked). I have to keep a variety of items across seasons because in Seattle in can be 56 in the morning and 80 in the afternoon, and I’m forever in a sweatshirt inside because I find the AC makes me too cold. I am a very bad online shopper. I’m better than I was but it’s just too easy still to click away. I did by the long cardigan from the new Vetta capsule, and I thought about the long shirt that can zip off, but ultimately I already have a white shirt dress from People Tree I don’t really wear so I decided it wasn’t something I’d truly wear (as cute as it was). I already have other pieces like pointe pants I lived in this spring, so the other pieces were repeats.

      If I had an empty closet though…I’d really try to only wear those pieces. I love how they show you all you can create. That’s one of the things that is the biggest help for me because I get lost figuring things out sometimes.

      1. Andrea,
        Right now I feel I have about 1.25 wardrobes in my closet since I still have my shorts and a few dresses out from summer since there’s no sight of leaving the upper 80 degree temperatures soon.

        I also do a lot of online browsing and adding to my cart, but have gotten much better about not going to the ‘Buy Now’ point of online shopping. I also seriously considered the Vetta shirt/tunic, but ultimately decided I have enough ‘blouse’ style tops in my wardrobe. There’s something to be said for slowing down and thinking about how things fit your wardrobe instead of just purchasing any/everything that is cute.

        Good luck getting your wardrobe unpacked and identifying a capsule…at least you have some time until the true fall weather hits!

        Enjoy your weekend,
        Paige

    1. Paige, you are such an inspiration! Truly. I LOVE the pieces you’ve chosen for your Fall capsule-“ish” 😉 wardrobe — everything – the colors and lines – looks clean and gorgeous, stylish, tactile and versatile! Yay!! I have to say, I have wanted to do a capsule wardrobe for AGES, but have always been completely stymied by the weeding out process. I’ve read so many books and articles and web posts on wardrobe simplification that supposedly tell you how to let go of pieces you don’t absolutely love or that don’t “spark joy”, or fit into your lifestyle or whatever, but ONLY YOUR BLOG on the journey of wardrobe capsuling has ever really showed and helped me to feel like I could do it myself. I don’t know if it’s because we’re both of similar height and weight, or because I too am a working mum (though not full-time like you), or because your writing style is so personable and your pictures and tips so helpful, but something about the way you’ve shared your process has helped me to overcome a psychological block and made me feel ready to finally seriously try. So this weekend I’m going to start like you did and pull everything out of my closet and drawers and pile it on our California King-sized bed (which I doubt it’ll hold it all, LOL) and go through it piece by piece.
      So thanks for setting such a superb example and making it all look doable and like so much fun!
      And have a wonderful weekend!
      xoxoxo

      1. Holly,
        Wow, I can’t thank you enough for you kind comment. Yes, you totally can do it! That’s exactly how I started…with the piles of clothes that covered our entire bed and most of the floor. But, really seeing it all made it so much easier to realize that I could purge a lot and still have clothes to wear. Just give yourself time to purge and purge again. Every season I find items that I’ve hung on to for some reason (cost, gift, seems like a wardrobe staple) that I find I really don’t actually like wearing and I’m more and more OK letting those go. It is such a good feeling to get organized and streamlined that it’s almost as addictive as that shopper’s high that got me into an overstuffed closet in the first place!

        Please, please, please keep me posted!
        xo,
        Paige

        1. Thanks, Paige, so much, for your encouragement! You’ve really made me want to get “organized and streamlined”. Eeee! I’m very excited to get started. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes. It’ll probably take me hours just to go through it all, but I’m determined.
          You’re the best! xoxox

    1. I’m so impressed and encouraged by your style journey. I’ve been working on my core and secondary wardrobe, but I think I need a better way to separate them in my closet. Something to give them a more visual divide. I’m really hoping to let go of my ‘shoulds’ this fall and just wear what I love! Thanks for the inspiration!

      1. Andrea,
        Right back at you, girl! I like that the separate racks gave me a smaller area to focus on when getting dressed and really reinforced how much I love a small wardrobe. Now that I switched up my closet layout some I’m still trying to figure out where to keep those “JV” items 🙂

    1. I super love that you have 3 pairs of shoes and one bag. This is me to a t! Not that I mind when capsule wardrobes contain 10 different shoes and bags, but that’s just not me. My current wardrobe is pretty much a capsule, but I would like to be more intentional about creating different outfits. I have Stylebook now so hopfully I can begin using that to help!

      1. Sydney,
        Thank you! I have a few other pairs that I keep but they don’t make regular appearances like these three do. I’d say 85% of the time I’m wearing these and then every so often I throw in some leopard flats or sneakers to mix it up.

        I typically try to brainstorm a bunch of combinations on a day I’m feeling more inspired and then go to that list on days I’m not feeling it as much. The apps are fun because you can pick on item and then mix it with everything else to get a visual idea and log of the brainstorms.

        Keep me posted!
        Paige

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