In pulling together this 20-piece autumn capsule wardrobe, I was drawn to pieces that were a mix of warm and neutral tones and tended toward looser shapes and softer fabrics. I also wanted items that could be layered in this oh-so-transitional season.
By the end of Fall, I’ll be reaching for heavier coats, but on those perfect crisp days I like the idea of a hoodie jacket: half denim jacket, half hoodie. It splits the difference nicely.
And a soft knit blazer can perform all sorts of functions in cool weather, from providing another outerwear option to dressing up, well, pretty much anything.
Shirts here run toward the more casual end of the spectrum, with the exception of the button-front shirt. But everything can be taken up a level with accessories and, as noted above, the blazer. Sleeve lengths range from short (the athletic-wear tee) to ¾ length and long.
The cowl-neck sweater is just a step warmer than a regular tee. Wear it over the longer-sleeved tees or under the cardigan.
Bottoms are the easiest way to change the flavor of an outfit. Want dressier? Go with the denim skirt (last seen sometime in the early oughts, they’re coming back around again). Wear it bare-legged in early fall if you can, with tights when it gets frosty.
Trouser denim is a little nicer than your average pair of jeans and a looser silhouette, too. The twill pants are a straight-up classic; in navy they can also substitute for denim. The cropped khakis go with everything, too. Roll up the cuffs of either to show off your ankle boots.
Did somebody say ankle boots? Desert boots are one of those styles that are sometimes trendy, but always stylish. I like this dusty taupe color for its versatility; I’d wear them with tans and browns as well as shades of black.
The waterproof Hush Puppies boots are tall enough for rainy days and skirts, but should fit nicely under longer pants. And I like moccasins as a flat shoe alternative to ballet flats and loafers. They’re just a touch more rugged somehow.
I am a committed scarf fan and in changing seasons they also double as added warmth. Something about the earth tones in this capsule also suggested the simple beauty of unshaped turquoise stones, a color that matches anything.
I have a leather tote in a butternut color and it’s a surprisingly complementary shade. With all of the solid shapes and warmer shades in this collection, a brown leather menswear style watch seemed like the way to go.
How to Use This Capsule Wardrobe
How best to work with 20 items? You can use them
- as a starting point: make this the baseline and supersize it with more jackets or tops or bottoms (your choice!)
- as an inspiration list: pick a few things to add to your own closet; make your own capsule with the combination
- as a true capsule: a limited wardrobe of just these pieces to mix carefully for the next 90 days, give or take
Me, I’m going the “inspiration list” route and coveting those Hush Puppies boots. I am forever searching for the pair that will keep my feet toasty and dry on cold rainy days.
Say goodbye to “I have nothing to wear”! Get step-by-step help editing your closet of the clothes you no longer need and filling it with style for the way you live. It’s all included in your instant download of “No More Yoga Pants: How to Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style”, the Frantic But Fabulous wardrobe makeover workshop.