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Fall Capsule Wardrobe

Finding great pieces for your Fall Capsule Wardrobe  means that you can get dressed with confidence everyday! Use this handy checklist, examples, and budget to get you started building your own fall capsule wardrobe! Fall is my favorite season for fashion so I adored creating and shopping for my autumn capsule wardrobe!

Woman in wine colored top and black skirt leaning against a brick wall

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe by definition is “a collection of clothes and accessories that includes only items considered essential”.

Some people limit their capsule wardrobe to a specific number like 30 or 40 total pieces. The numbers are arbitrary–whatever feels simple to you and mixes well together will work. I chose 35-40 for this fall capsule wardrobe and my spring one!

RELATED: SPRING CAPSULE WARDROBE PRINTABLE CHECKLIST

What I love about a fall/winter capsule wardrobe is that it makes getting dressed so easy and frustration-free! You carefully curate a smaller wardrobe.

You love each piece.

Each one fits well.

All the pieces mix and match together.

Endless options.

Limited thinking. What could be better!?

Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. I will always be honest about what I like and use, whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.Printable Checklist Fall Capsule on ipad with leaves and blanket in background

Fall Capsule Wardrobe Considerations

  • I realize if I was more on top of things this post would have come out in September. Alas we have been in an ETERNAL SUMMER and only now in October it is finally getting cool for real!
  • If you’re a procrastinator like me that means that all the sudden you may be realizing that some jeans have worn a hole (and not in a cool place!) or your sweaters from last year are stained (#momlife) or you really need to update your booties! So it’s time to go shopping now for pieces that you can use all Fall (and well into Winter 2020) in your capsule wardrobe!
  • My capsule wardrobe doesn’t include athletic wear, pajamas, “lounge” clothes, bathing suits or other specialty items.
  • I’m not a fashion blogger. But I’m trying to be supremely helpful and think of ALL the things I’d want in a similar post! (Links to shop, the fall capsule wardrobe checklist, etc.) Also, I have birthed three kids with my body and our current relationship status is “It’s Complicated”.  Ya’ll be nice.
  • I live in a small town and am on a budget. This fall capsule wardrobe is full of budget and mom-friendly choices because I am a budget-conscious mom living in a small, midwest town!!

How to Create a Fall Capsule Wardrobe

Woman laughing wearing "happy" sweater

  1. Pick 2 neutral colors — I chose gray and black because I love them and I have a lot of clothes and completer pieces already in these colors! I’d suggest choosing a combo that also go together like gray and black, white and navy, cream and brown.
  2. Pick 3-4 accent colors  I chose blush, purple, denim, and army green.  If you’re having trouble deciding on a palette you can draw inspiration from a favorite clothing piece like I did or check out my Fall Capsule Pinterest board where I’ve pinned some color inspiration for you!
  3.  Layering is key — Isn’t layering one of the best parts of fall fashion?! I love layering cozy sweaters and big scarves with leggings and boots–nothing screams fall like cozy layers!
  4. Shop your closet first — There is no need to go buy all new things! Within the categories below and color scheme you selected go through your closet and find the gems you can’t wait to wear!
  5. Pick things you love — When you shop your closet be sure to choose pieces that are in good condition (no stains or tears) and you truly enjoy wearing! Make sure each piece “sparks joy” for you! You’re going to be wearing them a lot and so you want each one to pull its weight!!
  6. Go shopping — After you’ve chosen your items from your closet go through the spring capsule wardrobe checklist below and “make up the difference” shopping your favorite stores. Places I like to shop:
    1. Big Box Stores — Old Navy, Target, American Eagle, Amazon! My big surprise favorite store this fall for clothes is—hold onto your hat– WALMART! I’ve gotten so many compliments on my outfits when I where my Walmart finest! Their Time & Tru line is awesome! (Don’t worry–I’ll share the links to the same or similar options of all my capsule wardrobe!)
    2. Secondhand — Clothes Mentor, ThredUp (shop this link for $10 off!), Clothing swaps, Goodwill etc. I had an AMAZING stop at Goodwill this summer and got a few awesome tops that are part of my fall capsule wardrobe!
    3. Boutiques —I love them for unique statement t-shirts and more one-of-a-kind choices. You don’t want to look like you just bought out a whole Old Navy, but create a mix and match, high and low, layered look with your wardrobe!

What’s in my Fall Capsule Wardrobe? Keep reading! But if you want it all outlined in one place grab my Fall Capsule Wardrobe Checklist to make an inventory of your wardrobe so you can easily see what you need to buy!

Sign Up Here for Your Fall Capsule Wardrobe Checklist

Printable Checklist Fall Capsule on ipad with leaves and blanket in background

Tops – 15

8 solid shirts short or long sleeved — These are my favorite soft, long-sleeved shirts! Perfect for layering and long enough to wear with leggings!

2 graphic tops — I have one of these Happy super-soft Walmart sweatshirts and one vintage sweatshirt (similar) of my favorite college football team!

4 patterned tops — Camo, Leopard print, Dots, color-block, plaid, there’s lots of patterns to love! Keep your color palette in mind as you choose patterns! If you are a little scared of pattern select patterns in neutral colors.

 

You can totally mix up these too! If you want to swap a couple patterns for neutrals or graphics for florals that’s ok! I think this mix keeps things interesting but it’s YOUR capsule!

Layering Pieces – 8

2 Neutral cardigans —

Patterned cardigan  — I have an amazing Leopard Print Cardigan (similar) that I’m loving pairing with my all neutrals! 

Boyfriend Denim jacket — LOVE this! Feel like such a cool kid in it! Also, all of my children and I have denim jackets! Will we get a cute denim jacket club pic?? How could we not!!!?

Anorak in a neutral color – I’m a fan of this in army green, but you do you!

Vest — I’m jumping on the vest train this fall! There are so many great options! I’m seeing lots of Sherpa versions this fall which I think is a cute and cozy option!

Bottoms — 6

Dark washed skinny jeans — These are my absolute favorite skinny jeans! So comfy, they don’t fall down or sag out! Perfection!

Medium wash skinny jeans – Pull-on jeggings or I love these high waisted destroyed ones!

Boot cut jeans — They are back in a big way in fall 2019 and I think they will continue to be popular into 2020 and beyond! It took me a LOT to get out of my bootcut jeans and into skinny jeans back in 2009 (still remember my first pair from Forever 21!) and so I’m totally on board with this! 

Colored jeans or pants — I love a hunter green, mustard yellow or wine color. Gray or black is another great neutral choice! Just be sure they mix and match with what you already have going on in your capsule wardrobe

Neutral Leggings — These Lattice-Hem ones are cute, and these are My fav for working out or general mom life! Whether you count your leggings in your capsule wardrobe or athletic wear is totally up to you–I’m not here to judge!

Leather leggings — Please don’t freak out, but maybe give these faux leather leggings a try! The Spanx ones are worth the money (how cute is my sis rocking them!) or try this knock off, but well-rated version!

 

Dresses – 4

2 Neutral dress — My short black dress — Similar and long black maxi dress — Similar   I use these as “skirts” by throwing a sweater or shirt over it! Knotting it up or belting helps it look polished!

1 solid colored dress — Green dressSimilar pink dress

1 patterned dress — I love this dress in yellow or this one in burgundy or olive!

I have found a treasure trove of pretty + cute dresses on Amazon!

RELATED: AMAZON FINDS FOR BUSY MOMS


Shoes – 8

Rain boots neutral or colored — Mine are Hunter knock offs from Burlington Coat factory!

Neutral flats or mules — I love classic black ballet flats and these leather cutout booties are everywhere this season!

Casual sneakers — Love these comfy running shoes for building active fall memories with my family!

Leopard Print Shoes — Leopard print is HUGE for Fall 2019 fashion! There are so many cute options like my leopard print flats (similar).

Neutral Booties — Exact, got these during the Nordstrom sale 3 years ago and they were still expensive but no regrets! They have held up amazingly well and I get SO many compliments on them!

RELATED: HOW TO SHOP THE NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE ON A BUDGET 

These Dr Scholls booties are on my list to try! Comfy, well-rated and less than $100!

Neutral Boots — I love classic knee-high boots in cognac or black! I always say you get what you pay for when it comes to boots! So I’d rather pay a little more out of the gate then be replacing a cheaper pair every year!

Gosh I love shoes! My shoe collection really hit it’s peak in college–I probably had close to 40 pairs of shoes! Wowza! But some I hated or they only went with ONE outfit!!

Now I can honestly say 90% of my shoes spark joy aka they are cute and comfy and go with everything!

Printable Checklist Fall Capsule on ipad with leaves and blanket in background

Accessories –

I choose to do an unlimited amount of accessories because they don’t take up much room and honestly, it’s what I want to do! Since I don’t have many purses or bags, it’s no big deal at all! But if you feel like you need to limit yourself and you want to put away the others for simplicity’s sake, go for it!!

Scarves! — Adding a thick textured knit scarf is such a fall fashion yes! I love a bright patterned scarf to add a pop of interest and color to a neutral outfit too! I store my scarves in two small bins at the top of my closet but you may want to check out this hanging scarf organizer if you’re constantly struggling to corral scarves!

Statement necklaces and earrings — I have quite a few jewelry pieces in my color palette! Lots of gold, leather and wood options are perfect to add a pop of color, texture or sparkle to your fall outfits! I did pin some fun options to my Fall Capsule Wardrobe 2019 Pinterest board!

Woman in wine velvet top with gold statement necklace and big smile

Leather backpack — Last fall I decided to up my mom bag game with this sweet backpack! Such a good decision, it’s holding up really well and I love the color!

Crossbody leather purse  — I like small purses for nights out! Target and T.J. Maxx are my go-tos for purse shopping!

How Much I Spent

It’s kind of hard to say this time around because I have been buying with fall in mind for awhile. I have $30 for wardrobe built into my monthly budget, plus personal “fun money” so as far as updates I would say I spent around $100. (Mostly update pieces from Walmart, new American Eagle jeans, and secondhand finds.) I’m a bargain shopper for sure! I still may add another 2-3 bottoms, specifically colored pants and faux leather leggings and a couple more neutral tops, but I feel good about what I have to work with so far and what I’ve spent on it!

A true capsule wardrobe you would shop once and then be done shopping for the rest of the season.This may save you money in the long run because although you may spend $100-$200 seasonally (depending on how much you need and where you shop!) you aren’t buying an endless amount of $25 pieces that don’t all work together!

Mix and Match

Now comes the fun part where you can put it all together! The beauty of being intentional and thoughtful when setting up your fall capsule wardrobe means that this is the easy part! Each top should go with all or almost all of your bottoms and completer pieces! Each dress should go with almost or all of your completer pieces as well!

Here are some ideas to get you started!

Colored dress + Patterned cardigan + neutral booties

Striped top + Textured sweater + Skinny jeans + slide on mules

Velvet top + bootcut jeans + High heeled booties

Chambray top + Black classic dress + Tall black boots

College hoodie + skinny jeans + casual shoes + big scarf

 

Have you ever done a capsule wardrobe?

Where is your favorite place to shop for new clothes? 

Collage of 2019 fall capsule wardrobe items -- shirts, shoes, boots, jeans

Be sure to share this fall capsule wardrobe checklist with a friend and offer to go shopping with them online or in person! What a great chance to go shop, laugh and connect together!

white blanket, fall leaves and shoes with text overlay 2019 fall capsule wardrobe for busy moms

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4 Comments

  1. I love these suggestions! My struggle is trying to piece things together differently so I’m not just wearing the same 5 outfits over and over. I’d love to see some pics of how you mix it up!

    1. Did you see some of my outfit mix and match ideas in the bottom section?! You can also see fun ideas on my Fall Capsule Pinterest boards. I sometimes take 30 minutes to an hour on the weekend and you can lay out outfits on your bed and snap pics of them on your phone. Then save them to a “wardrobe” folder and reference your ideas when you’re feeling blah!

    1. I’ve had my most recent pair for two years. I’d say right now I consider them looking a little faded and the inner thigh area is starting to get worn. So two years being worn quite frequently as I don’t have a large rotation of jeans.

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