Simple Fall Capsule Wardrobe

Fall is one of the most enjoyable times to be outside. It’s not too cool and not too hot. The best part of a fall capsule wardrobe is how simple it is. Today, I’m going to share a few of my fall staples.

green and white dress

Several years ago, Mark and I made our fourth move into a cute, little ranch home. Prior to that small home, we had ample closet space in every place we had lived.  

In the ranch home, we both shared a quaint master closet and didn’t have room for extras.

I decided to seriously downsize my wardrobe due to the lack of space.  It was a bit scary… what if I needed that black sweater I got rid of ten years from now?

That little closet in our sweet ranch home was the beginning of my capsule wardrobe. And, it just so happened that we moved into that home during the fall. Fall was the first season of my capsule.

green top and black jeans

What is a capsule?

The whole point of a capsule wardrobe is to have pieces that you love and can wear without much thought.  It’s about combining and mixing and matching pieces in fun, unique ways. 

You can make your capsule as big as you’d like, but keeping things pared down to those items you love is what makes a capsule work.

I like to have 10 tops, 4 bottoms, a couple of dresses, and a jacket for fall. I take those items and pair them together throughout the season to create new looks.

All of the items in my capsule are pieces that I feel really good in. They fit me well. I don’t feel self-conscious in them and they work for so many occasions.

This method works whether you are planning a summer capsule or a winter capsule wardrobe.

red plaid shirt and white washed jeans

What to look for in a Fall Capsule Wardrobe

For most places, fall is the perfect marriage between summer and winter. You will have crisp days followed by warm days until November hits.

That means you need layering pieces in your fall capsule. Look for items that can transition through the cool mornings into the warmer afternoons and back into the cool evenings.

A fall capsule needs to take the colors of summer and warm them up a bit. Bright colors are out and warm, cozy color palettes are in.

It used to be that whites couldn’t be worn after Labor Day, but now creams are worn all the way into winter without a second thought. I think that is a nice change because creams can be so perfect to pair with burnt oranges, taupes, and browns.

green and white dress on a mother

6 Fall Capsule Minimalist Wardrobe Staples

  1. Simple Booty or Mule– Booties became quite popular several years ago and they aren’t going anywhere. Tall boots are great for winter, but the booty is a perfect shoe for fall. You can still sport your ankle pants well into fall when you wear a booty with them. I love how this shoe is so versatile. Along with a booty, a nice pair of mules are great for fall. They cover your toes, but allow your foot to still breathe a little.
  2. Good Denim– I would much rather have one pair of good jeans than three cheap pairs that don’t hold their shape. Jeans are the base of most cold-weather wardrobes, so make sure the jeans fit well. Don’t worry about the size, worry about the fit.
  3. Blazers, Cardigans, and Jackets– If you’re layering, you’re going to need some layering pieces. Having a nice blazer, cardigan, or denim jacket is essential for a fall capsule. You only need one of each. If you buy neutral colors that can go with several palettes, you won’t have to have more than one of each.
  4. Mock-neck Tops– I’m not positive if these are trendy or if they are here to stay, but I have worn them for the last few years and consider them a staple. Mock-neck tops are a middle ground between a turtleneck (which Julia used to call a froggy-neck because she got turtles and frogs mixed up) and a regular top. The neck covers the bottom part of your neck, which keeps you warm when there is a draft, but it doesn’t make you hot.
  5. Dresses– I like to wear dresses and I’m working on adding more and more to my closet. They are so easy and I love how feminine I feel when I wear them. For fall, there are two great options for dresses. Since the weather shifts from cool to warm depending on the day, you want to make sure your dresses work for both weather types. I look for long dresses with short sleeves OR I look for a shorter dress with long sleeves.
  6. Sweaters– This is the season when it’s finally appropriate to pull out your yummy sweaters and sit by the fire pit. I love sweater weather so much and it’s like Christmas when I get mine out again. My fall sweaters are lightweight and some of them have shorter sleeves, but they do offer some warmth for the season.
green skirt with a lands end sweater

What clothing to pair together for a Minimalist Wardrobe

In order to keep your wardrobe minimal, you need to have basic items to pair together to create a quick look.

You will want to start your wardrobe with classic pieces that can go with anything. Focus on a simple color palette with hues that you see as timeless so that your items can be mixed and matched.

When you rotate between the same items, it makes sense to make sure they are clothing pieces that you can wear with other capsule items and clothing pieces that can transition from one occasion to another.

  • Dress and Jean Jacket– Not only can this outfit go great for a date night or church, but it’s casual enough when paired with a white pair of sneakers to wear to the store. It is a classic look that easily transitions.
  • Denim, White Top, Blazer– I love pairing a blazer with denim. This has been a long-time business to casual look that has stood the test of time. Keep in mind, the blazer doesn’t have to be fancy. I have seen some good ones for great prices at places like TJMaxx.
  • Sweaters with Dresses or Skirts- I’m not sure if our mothers would approve of this pairing, but I think sweaters and skirts/dresses are so cute. I wear this outfit weekly during the cooler weather and I love how you can take something that should stand alone (I.e. the dress) and throw a sweater on top.
green skirt with a lands end sweater capsule wardrobe

Tips for wearing Sweaters with a Dress or Skirt

If you aren’t sure how to wear a sweater with a dress or skirt, here are a few tips:

  • Hair Tie– Tie the front of the sweater with a small hair tie and tuck it under so it looks like it’s tucked in. This is a great option when you are pairing a sweater with a dress.
  • Belt it– If you want your sweater to look “bloused” and like it’s tucked in all around your waist, put a belt on over your dress. Then, put the sweater on over both the dress and belt. Tuck the bottom of the sweater into the belt. You will need to make sure the sweater “blouses” out enough to cover the tail of the sweater, but it should look like you’ve tucked it in. If this seems too complicated, use the belt as you would the waistline of pants and tuck the front of the sweater in the belt.
  • Front Tuck– Pairing a sweater with a skirt is simple to do. I like to tuck the front of the sweater in and leave the rest out for a casual look.
leather and gold earrings

Capsule Jewelry

Jewelry is one of those things that is easy to overlook, but it can have a big impact. I used to not have any jewelry, except my wedding ring, and now I wear earrings every day.

It helps that I found a brand that makes incredible products that I love. My jewelry comes from Sela Designs and I add a piece to my collection each season.

Resources for this Capsule

Bree from The Homemaking Momma

If you want to see how another homemaker gets her closet ready for fall, be sure to check out Bree’s capsule post on her blog today! You can visit her blog at The Homemaking Momma.

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  1. Liz, your elbow-length brown sweater! Do you have a link? I’ve been trying to find a loser fitting one like this for so long!

  2. Thank you for this! I really like Sela Design jewelry (and I love their radical generosity!) and was planning on purchasing a few pieces for my wardrobe – I noticed that the care instructions suggest including an anti-tarnish strip and storing in either an airtight container or plastic bag. Do you do any of these storing techniques? And how long have you had your jewelry?

    1. Hello, Nicole! I have been wearing their jewelry for years and I have never done anything special like that. I think it could be helpful to keep the luster of the metal, but I prefer for it to look a bit aged, so I just wear it and forget it. lol

      1. Do you have any recommendations for places to buy mockneck tops? I’d love to get a couple to wear under sweaters because I’m always cold during the winter. I’m having a hard time finding decent made ones that don’t look frumpy.

      2. I’m so glad to hear that! My first pair arrived earlier this week and I’ve been wearing them everyday. Thank you for the amazing jewelry company suggestion!

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