Ohhhh capsule wardrobes…. I love them so much. A month ago, my husband told me to pack a small Summer Capsule Wardrobe and a small Fall Capsule Wardrobe. We are going away for 4 months and I don’t know where we are going first, so of course that makes things extra challenging. Anyways, long story short, as I was packing my Capsule Wardrobe for Fall, I decided to write a blog post about it, because why not? Maybe someone else out there needs some guidance.
Today I’m sharing 25 basic pieces you need to build a Fall Capsule Wardrobe, and trust me, it’s enough to create many outfits. However, this is not a packing list. I couldn’t pack some of these pieces because my suitcase for this trip is very small and since I also needed Summer things, I couldn’t really fit it all (I will share what I packed on a different blog post later on).
Anyways, I hope you find this post useful and that it inspires you to look in your closet, see which of these pieces you already have and start building your own capsule wardrobe for Fall this year!
Table of contents
- Ready to learn how to build your very own capsule wardrobe for Fall?
- What is a capsule wardrobe?
- How many pieces do you need to build a capsule wardrobe for Fall?
- Personal advice when choosing which pieces to include in your Fall Capsule Wardrobe
- Checking list – 25 pieces – Capsule wardrobe for Fall
- Outfit Ideas with each Fall Capsule Wardrobe piece
- 1- Tops – (One) Flannel Shirt Outfit Ideas
- 2- Tops – (Three) Casual crewneck or V-neck sweaters
- 3- Tops – (One) Going out top or sweater
- 4- Tops – (Two) Long Cardigans (Remember you also have one from your Summer capsule)
- 5- Tops – (One) Faux Leather Moto Jacket
- 6- Tops – (One) Faux Fur Vest
- 7- Tops – (One) Puffer Vest
- 8- Tops – (One) Coat or Trench
- 9- Tops – (One) Blazer
- 10- Bottoms – (One) Pair of jeans or cords
- 11- Bottoms – (One) Pair or black skinny jeans
- 12- Bottoms – (One) Midi Skirt
- 13- Bottoms – (One) Faux Leather Skirt
- 14- Bottoms – (One) Maxi Skirt
- 15- Bottoms – (One) Faux Leather Leggings
- 16- Shoes – (One) Pair of Casual Booties
- 17- Shoes – (One) Pair of going out booties or OTK boots
- 18- Shoes – (One) Pair of Rain Boots
- 19- Dresses – (One) Sweater Dress
- 20- Dresses – (One) Going out dress
- 21- Accessories (One) Hat
- 22- Accessories (One) Scarf
- How many outfits can you create with 25 pieces?
- Who needs a capsule wardrobe for fall?
- Is it worth it to build a seasonal capsule wardrobe?
- Final thoughts about capsule wardrobes
Ready to learn how to build your very own capsule wardrobe for Fall?
Estimated reading time: 26 minutes
What is a capsule wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe is a selection of pieces (usually seasonal) that you like, that are versatile and you wear consistently. Capsule wardrobes are filled with pieces that are in heavy rotation according to the season. If you live in a city that has 4 seasons, you would usually have one capsule wardrobe per season (20-25 pieces each) and you would be able to mix and match those pieces together creatively, using the majority of your clothing all year round.
Right now that I live out of a suitcase, I only carry with me like 35 pieces at a time (including shoes & accessories) and those are enough to create around 100 different looks. It’s all about mix and matching and investing in pieces that will never go out of style, most likely a mix of very few prints and neutrals and the right accessories. Having a good jacket, pair or earrings or necklace and a good pair of white sneakers and going out shoes, can make your capsule wardrobe rise up to another level! Honestly, accessories make all the difference.
I promise you need a lot less than you think.
How many pieces do you need to build a capsule wardrobe for Fall?
Between 15 and 30 pieces depending on your lifestyle and where you live. What I’m proposing today is a 25-piece capsule wardrobe for Fall. This should be enough to create at between 80-100 looks, which is more than enough to survive the whole season.
Remember that if you already created a Summer Capsule Wardrobe, then there a lot of pieces from that one that you will continue to use during Fall. That’s why I also listed some of those pieces separately.
Personal advice when choosing which pieces to include in your Fall Capsule Wardrobe
Think about your style and what you do for a living. Use this post as a guide (or any post you read online).
This is just personal advice and styling tips on which pieces are the most versatile and timeless ones. It doesn’t mean you need them all. Keep in mind that before buying anything, my advice is to really look in your closet and see if you have similar pieces that you can keep instead of buying anything new. Find new ways to style them and think outside the box. Sometimes the most versatile pieces are hiding in the back of your closet, so look in there first.
Also, take this opportunity to do a little closet clean up. Try things on. Get rid of outdated things or pieces that don’t fit right. I promise you will feel so good after and it will be a lot easier to get dressed every morning.
PS: If you want to learn more about how to clean up your closet and minimalist wardrobes in general, check out this post – ‘How to build a minimalist wardrobe – Step by Step guide’
Checking list – 25 pieces – Capsule wardrobe for Fall
|Casual Crewneck or V-neck Sweater or Turtleneck||3|
|Going out top or sweater||1|
|Faux Fur vest||1|
|A coat or trench||1|
|Jeans or Cords||1|
|Black Skinny jeans||1|
|Faux Leather skirt||1|
|Faux Leather Leggings (hello Spanxs!)||1|
|Going our dress of your choice (depends on your style)||1|
|Pair of casual booties||1|
|Pair of going out booties or OTK boots||1|
|Pieces you already have from your Summer Capsule Wardrobe:|
|White button down shirt||1|
|Midi, mini or maxi skirt (you can wear it for Fall with tights)||1 or 2|
I included the pieces you already have from your Summer Capsule Wardrobe separately. I added these separately because I think people often forget that they have other pieces already that can be styled for any season. So, I didn’t add any T-shirts to the Capsule Wardrobe for Fall because you already have them from your Summer capsule and you can style them with your denim jacket and add a faux fur vest over it, or style them with a long cardigan and leggings.
Just know that all the T-shirts you have, you will use them for Fall by adding an extra layer.
I also mentioned the white sneakers. The reason why I recommend buying white leather sneakers is because that makes them easier to wear all year round. You only need ONE pair of white sneakers. Not 7 like a lot of other bloggers suggest you should have. Invest in a good pair of leather sneakers and take good care of them, and they will last you for years. My favorite ones are from this brand and they cost $139 (also, they are one of the few brands doing sustainability just right).
Also read: “How to wear white sneakers all year round – 60+ outfit ideas”
All of these capsule wardrobes together, make your minimalist wardrobe; which is a functional closet that will serve you all year round and for many years. Forget about shopping every month and start saving money for things that are actually important. Your minimalist wardrobe would ideally have 75 pieces (100 at the most) and it’s a wardrobe that you won’t have to change every year.
Styling tips when creating your own outfits & capsule wardrobe
- If you have only neutral colors like: black, white, grey, brown, navy or olive green for every piece, it will be so much easier to create more looks.
- When picking a printed piece, make sure it has neutrals as well. This will make it easier when you are mix and matching.
- At the same time, make sure the pieces that are the same are different from each other. For example, if you are getting 3 sweaters, make sure the fabric, style, colors are different. What you want to avoid when building a capsule wardrobe is to feel like you always look the same. Also, if you have a midi skirt for Summer and you want to get another one for Fall, then make sure it’s different too.
- Don’t be afraid to include 1 or 2 pieces that are bold. Think of a pop of color for example.
- Accessories are everything. Never underestimate the power of a good hat, necklace or pair of earrings. The right accessories can elevate any look. However, it’s not like you need many accessories. One of each will do it, I promise.
Outfit Ideas with each Fall Capsule Wardrobe piece
*Side note: These photos were taken over the past 7 years ;)
1- Tops – (One) Flannel Shirt Outfit Ideas
I always thought I needed a bunch of these when I first move to Chicago. Somehow I survived 7 years with only two, and out of the two, I always wore the same one. That’s why I’m making the bold statement, that you only need one flannel shirt. You can wear it open with a T-shirt underneath, with a puffer vest over it or layered with a long cardigan or denim jacket.
2- Tops – (Three) Casual crewneck or V-neck sweaters
These type of sweaters are so versatile and you can pretty much get any color you want. If you prefer a crewneck, V-neck or turtleneck (or one of each) it’s up to you. I would recommend including a striped turtleneck one because they are so cute and will never go out of style. In all honesty, I never had one and I obviously survived LOL, but I always wanted to have one.
You can layer these sweaters with a jacket, with a faux fur vest, with long cardigans or denim jacket, with a button down shirt underneath, with a puffer vest or just wear them on their own. These sweaters also go well with jeans, black skinnies, midi skirts, leather skirts or even over a dress to make it look like a skirt.
Think about the bottom pieces you have and the colors when choosing which type of sweater to get and make sure they work well together.
Also read: How to style an oversized sweater
3- Tops – (One) Going out top or sweater
For this option you can get like a nicer sweater, maybe with a embellished detail or a going out top. Honestly, it’s optional because I never really needed one. You can dress up any sweater with a nice necklace to go out or wear a dress. It’s up to you and how often you go out.
4- Tops – (Two) Long Cardigans (Remember you also have one from your Summer capsule)
Long cardigans are my favorite! These you will wear for casual days layered with a T-shirt or a sweater if it’s too cold. I used to wear long cardigans almost every single day. Get neutral colors always and don’t be afraid to add an animal print one. You can wear them with jeans, leggings, dresses, etc. Long cardigans are so versatile!
Also read: How to wear a long cardigan for more outfit ideas
5- Tops – (One) Faux Leather Moto Jacket
This classic piece belongs in every girl’s closet. Moto jackets are my favorite! You can get a black one or a beige one. I only had a black one and that’s the one I used for 7 years. I’m working on a blog post right now where I share all the ways I styled it and some tips too. I recommend having one of these, because you won’t always be able to wear your denim jacket during Fall.
Here’s an example while I work on that blog post. Just remember that you can pretty much throw it over anything!
6- Tops – (One) Faux Fur Vest
These are not around much this year, but I would still consider getting one because they are great to throw over a denim jacket or blazer. Even if no one’s wearing them, I still do. In my opinion, a classic black one will always be in style. If those are not your style, consider including a long vest to your Fall capsule wardrobe instead.
7- Tops – (One) Puffer Vest
Puffer vests are great for layering! This is another piece I thought I would need many of (because social media makes you believe that), but I survived 7 years in Chicago with just one. Make sure the color you choose matches with your flannel shirt. Chances are you will wear those 2 pieces a lot together.
8- Tops – (One) Coat or Trench
Picking the right coat or trench depends on where you live. Right now I don’t have a home and I spend most of the year chasing Summer weather, so I haven’t used a coat in a long time. But before this digital nomad lifestyle, I lived in Chicago, where Fall is not really a thing. It’s beautiful while it lasts… a total of 2 weeks… so a trench was never an option. If you live in a city with a similar climate, you will need a lighter Winter coat. This can also be the coat you use for warmer Winter days. I would go for black or camel or let this be the piece where you add a bold color like pink, purple or red.
9- Tops – (One) Blazer
When choosing which blazer to include in your capsule wardrobe for Fall, think about if this could be one of the printed pieces you want to have. Plaid or florals are always a good idea or some kind of animal print will work too. If prints are not your thing, then I recommend black, olive green or beige. Also, a boyfriend blazer will be a lot more versatile than a regular one.
PS: that’s the same LBD in both looks. Notice you can layer the blazer with a faux fur vest like I did on the left.
Note about tops:
Remember that you have other tops from other capsule wardrobes. I’ve only shared a Summer Capsule Wardrobe so far, that’s why I’m only referencing to the Summer pieces in this post.
Tops you already have from your Summer Capsule Wardrobe:
- 3 T-shirts
- 1 Long Cardigan
- 1 Denim Jacket
- 1 Chambray Shirt
- 1 white button down shirt
You will use all of these for Fall too! (and Spring – and sometimes also Winter)
10- Bottoms – (One) Pair of jeans or cords
Picking between a pair of jeans or a pair of cords will depend on your style. I’m not a jeans person, so I picked skinny cords. I only have one pair of jeans that I rarely wore in the Summer, but I wore them a lot during Fall & Spring. If you are picking a pair of jeans, make sure they are on the darker side. This will make them more versatile for all seasons.
11- Bottoms – (One) Pair or black skinny jeans
Black skinny jeans are probably my most styled piece during the Fall season. I cannot recommend them enough. They are so easy to dress up or down and honestly, you can wear them all year round! Notice I’m wearing them a lot in all my other photos too.
12- Bottoms – (One) Midi Skirt
Midi skirts are great for Fall. I always had the same one for Summer and Fall and it worked, so this piece is definitely optional. Midi skirts look great with booties and you can always layer them with tights if it’s too cold.
Also read: Midi Skirt Outfits for every season
13- Bottoms – (One) Faux Leather Skirt
I recently posted a blog post on ’10 leather skirt outfit ideas‘ and I wanted to include it here as part of this capsule wardrobe for Fall. They are versatile, sexy and honestly, they scream Fall. They are a great addition to your Fall capsule wardrobe! I wrote more tips in this blog post, as well as some outfit ideas ranging from the office to date night. Make sure to check it out.
14- Bottoms – (One) Maxi Skirt
Maxi skirts are great for going out all year round! If you are not a maxi skirt kind of girl, then replace it with a midi or a mini skirt. Whichever you think you’ll wear the most. I would recommend going for a fun print that would look ok in other seasons too. This is my maxi skirt and I wear it all year round (except for Winter in Chicago):
Also read: How to wear a maxi skirt
15- Bottoms – (One) Faux Leather Leggings
These Spanx leggings were very close to replace my black skinny jeans! They are so comfy and flattering. Faux leather leggings can be sexy too and you can also layer them with dresses (as tights). Here are some outfit ideas:
If you are buying these, make sure to read my Spanx leggings Review first and don’t make the same mistakes I made. I also wrote ‘What to wear with leather leggings‘ where I share even more outfit ideas and styling tips with faux leather leggings.
Note about bottoms:
Remember you also have bottoms that are part of other capsule wardrobes and of course, you can wear them for Fall too. That’s the idea! These are: (depending on how your Summer capsule looks like, but this is a general idea)
- A pair of jeans
- White denim
- A midi, maxi or midi skirt that you can style with tights and booties
16- Shoes – (One) Pair of Casual Booties
I recommend for these to be a neutral color different than black. Why? because the going out boots that I suggest below are easier to style if they are black, and you don’t want to have the same color. Brown leather ones are a good option here, or even the classic beige or grey. These casual booties are great for everyday looks, but you can easily dress them up as well!
17- Shoes – (One) Pair of going out booties or OTK boots
It’s up to you what kind of going out booties you want. This depends on your style and what you think you will use the most. I’ve had both and honestly, I didn’t use my OTK boots that much when I had them, that’s why I got rid of them after I couple of years. For going out booties I recommend leather, either black or brown. (make sure the color is different from the casual booties)
18- Shoes – (One) Pair of Rain Boots
These are not exactly the most stylish, but you really need them for those Fall, Spring and Winter rainy days. I have a pair of red Hunter boots and I used them A LOT when I lived in Chicago. You will use them for every season! Even during snowy Winter days with warm socks. So, do yourself a favor and invest in a good pair of rain boots. You will not regret it. And please don’t get rid of them! The Hunter boots can last you for many many years!
Notes about shoes:
Remember you have white sneakers from your Summer Capsule. Actually, a good pair of white leather sneakers can be styled all year round! Having sneakers will allow you to create so many more outfits. Trust me, it is 100% worth it to have them.
Also read: How to wear white sneakers all year round
19- Dresses – (One) Sweater Dress
Sweater dresses are great for Fall, Spring and Winter. I recommend adding a light color because during those seasons you will wear so many dark colors and sometimes you’ll need a neutral piece. Invest in a good sweater dress and take good care of it. It will last you for many years!
Also see: How to wear a sweater dress
20- Dresses – (One) Going out dress
If you have dresses that are plain, most likely you will be able to layer them with a sweater and wear it with tights and booties. I would strongly suggest you to look in your closet before buying anything here. Also, you can also style your skirts or jeans with cute sweaters and accessorize properly and wear that when going out.
I used to have so many dresses, but now I don’t any more and I haven’t missed them honestly. If you have the right skirts and accessories you can easily create going out looks without spending extra money.
Notes about dresses:
Remember you also have a LBD from your Summer Capsule! Hopefully it’s a versatile one that you can layer for Fall as well. Try to keep that in mind when shopping for black dresses. You can always add tights, throw a sweater over and then a jacket and wear it with boots.
21- Accessories (One) Hat
This can be a wool hat or a beanie. It’s a great accessory to spice things up with any of the looks you create.
22- Accessories (One) Scarf
I always though I would need more than one. I had like 5 different ones and I always ended up using the same one, so don’t make my mistakes. Find a fun one that has different colors and it will look good with any of your sweaters and jackets.
How many outfits can you create with 25 pieces?
Up to 100! Yes, you read that right!
By changing the shoes and jacket, layering differently, adding accessories, you can create up to 100 looks with just 25 pieces. You really don’t need that many clothes to have a closet that’s functional. I know social media makes you believe otherwise, but I am living proof that it’s 100% possible. I’ve been living out of a suitcase for almost a year now and I’ve been just fine!
Who needs a capsule wardrobe for fall?
The 25-piece capsule wardrobe for Fall I’m talking about in this post is not for everyone. If you live in a city that doesn’t really have 4 seasons, then you don’t need these 25 pieces of course. Just by getting a couple of sweaters and a lightweight coat, you’ll be just fine if you are somewhere warm like South Florida (Hello, we are neighbors right now!).
Is it worth it to build a seasonal capsule wardrobe?
Yes, and only yes if you live in a 4 season city. The pieces you choose of course will depend on your personal style and lifestyle. It’s different for someone who works in an office VS someone who works from home.
I’m constantly chasing Summers, so I’ve done just fine with 30-40 pieces total for my entire wardrobe! I never thought I could do it and turns out, it makes me so happy. I never struggle with what to wear because everything fits and I can easily mix and match most of the clothes I have.
In total you should strive to build a minimalist wardrobe that consists of 80 pieces or so (20 for each capsule). I say 20 as an average because a lot of the pieces repeat themselves. For example; you don’t need a T-shirt for each capsule wardrobe, with just a couple you will be able to re-use them for any season until you have to replace them.
Does this make sense? If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask! I’m always here to help :)
Final thoughts about capsule wardrobes
I know this was long, but thanks for reading all the way here! I tried to be as detailed as possible and I really put so many hours of research and my own personal experience into all of my blog posts in order to make them as useful as possible.
I hope you are able to create your very own capsule wardrobe for Fall (and for all seasons!). You will see it for yourself that you can be so much happier with less things and by shopping smarter and less often, you’ll be able to save money for things that actually matter.
You don’t need an unlimited budget to look and feel good. You just need to buy the right pieces, which I hope you learned a little but about today.
Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a great weekend!!