Fall Capsule Wardrobe - Skillful Cook
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Fall Capsule Wardrobe

Fall Capsule Wardrobe .

Oh, happy day! After a few mall trips, Goodwill runs, written planning, online shopping sprees, and in-store exchanges just to make sure, my fall capsule is finally set.

What this means:

  • I have 19 items of clothing in my closet, all of which I could wear today, right here, right now. That's 5 shoes, 5 pants, and 9 tops. That's so much time and energy saved for the things I'd rather spend time on. Like food.
  • The flip side of that is that I don't have anything in my closet that I would not wear today, right here, right now. It all fits both my body and my lifestyle just right. No random pink tops with tassels that require me to go purchase new pants and shoes just to make the outfit work. Not that I've ever found myself in THAT scenario.
  • If you see me this fall, I am likely to wear the same pants and shoes two days in a row, because when you only have 5 pants and 5 shoes? Yeah. And besides, this is all part of the capsule experience and I know you will not judge. It's called a uniform and I think it's sort of a trendy thing right now anyway. Go us!
  • Getting dressed for the next three months is going to be a joy that does not take more than 30 seconds. PARTYYYY.

This is what I love about a capsule wardrobe.

As mentioned during our September lunch date, I did a pretty terrible job capsuling through summer. I kind of started to put one together, but I never saw it to completion - so I had a half-effort capsule and it did not work any magic for me this summer.

Fall is a little easier, though, right? You're in more of a normal routine, you're looking for mostly the same type of clothes (for me, that's jeans, button ups, sweaters, and boots/flats), and is it just me or are fall clothes just all-around more fun to shop for and wear? I don't know, for whatever reason, fall seems like a good time to get the capsule wardrobe game back on point after a weak summer of random clothes that did not fit.

Clothing laying out on a bed.

If you are interested in how I got the capsule wardrobe bug and how you yourself can start one, you can head on over to the post I did last fall called, obviously, How To Start a Capsule Wardrobe: A Guide for Beginners.

I have my own sort of concept of a capsule wardrobe, which is that I essentially keep two:

  1. A Base Wardrobe that does not change throughout the year (includes 50 items in many categories: workout clothes, pajamas, layering tees and tanks, formalwear, and outerwear).
  2. A Capsule Wardrobe that does change with each season (includes 19 items for everyday wear: 9 tops, 5 pants, 5 shoes).

To be honest, a lot of the things in my base wardrobe are not interesting enough to show you. They are old pajama tops (read: free event T-shirts turned loungewear), layering tanks that I've accumulated from Target over the years, and one or two dresses and skirts purchased sometime around 2006 and get worn approximately once a year.

The more fun side of the capsule wardrobe is seeing and choosing the everyday pieces that you will wear for the season, so that's what today is - just a little breakdown of the tops, pants, and shoes that are making my wardrobe life easy and wonderful this fall.

Here it is! My easy, life-saving Fall 2016 capsule wardrobe.

Note: because products and links are continually changing, I did not directly link the pieces below. This is just an example of what I would have in my fall capsule wardrobe!

Fall Tops

Fall Capsule Wardrobe | skillfulcook.us
Fall Capsule Wardrobe | skillfulcook.us
Fall Capsule Wardrobe | skillfulcook.us
Fall Capsule Wardrobe | skillfulcook.us
Fall Capsule Wardrobe | skillfulcook.us
Fall Capsule Wardrobe | skillfulcook.us
Fall Capsule Wardrobe | skillfulcook.us
Fall Capsule Wardrobe | skillfulcook.us
Fall Capsule Wardrobe | skillfulcook.us

Pro tip about the tops:

I find it super helpful to plan my tops in groups of three.

In the grid above, you'll see 3 button ups, 3 sweaters, and 3 open-front tops. That is intentional. That makes planning super easy. That allows me to pick jeans and pants that easily work with everything.

I've also been known to even buy the same exact shirt in multiple colors and maybe I put both in the fall capsule, or maybe I put one in the fall and one in the spring - either way works. Once I find something that fits and flatters, I grab hold tightly and do not let go.

Fall Pants

Fall Capsule Wardrobe | skillfulcook.us
Fall Capsule Wardrobe | skillfulcook.us
Fall Capsule Wardrobe | skillfulcook.us
Fall Capsule Wardrobe | skillfulcook.us

One thing to note about the pants: THERE ARE ONLY 4! For real. I have found that so far this fall, I really only need four pairs of pants, and it's awesome.

REMEMBER THOUGH: I have a strange life and I work from home and I don't need “office wear.” This 4 pants situation is probably WAY more workable for work-from-homers and not quite as possible for most people who are doing the home-to-office-to-home thing.

I have three different washes of jeans (all from Express, all similar styles, because remember: once I find something that works, I grab hold and do not let go) and then one pair of black leggings from Lou & Grey which actually hold some shape and are never ever see-through and will ruin all other leggings for you forever. I will probably upgrade with a new pair of jeans or two this winter and spring, but for now, the old standbys are working just fine, TYVM.

All my pants are the same style (skinnies, mid-rise) which makes shoe planning REALLY really easy.

Fashion forwards of the world might get bored with this arrangement - I, on the other hand, mostly get really happy, because it's SO AMAZINGLY EASY to get dressed every day.

Fall Shoes

Fall Capsule Wardrobe | skillfulcook.us
Fall Capsule Wardrobe | skillfulcook.us
Fall Capsule Wardrobe | skillfulcook.us
Fall Capsule Wardrobe | skillfulcook.us
Fall Capsule Wardrobe | skillfulcook.us

Shoes in the fall are the best. Flats and boots are where it's at. Dress up, dress down, you can do it all with these two types of shoes. And when all your pants are all the same style (hello skinnies), shoe planning is a non-issue.

Three of these shoes are left over from last year, and two of them (the sneakers and the booties) are newbies to my life.

Alright, a few more semi-related comments and tips.

First of all, just know - I do not necessarily think of myself as a fashion forward person BUT I do think of myself as the person who HAS AN EASY WAY TO GET DRESSED WELL. If you're like me and want to spend as little time as possible getting dressed while ending up wearing the most comfortable, most flattering, most appropriate for your lifestyle at all times clothes - YOU NEED A CAPSULE. I can't recommend it highly enough. All the PDF forms and concepts that I use to plan my capsule are available in this post. I wish you all the good things on your capsule journey, young grasshopper!

If you are just getting started or have been doing capsule wardrobes for a while, there's an app called Cladwell that is an interesting and mostly helpful tool in planning. I would still say the written forms that I used are an easier and more straightforward way to plan a capsule (biased much?), but that being said, the Cladwell app helps you focus on colors and gives you some template styles to pull from which was a win for me. Also cute apps in general are just a bonus, right?

Finally, really random tip and maybe a strange way to end, but I bought these organizers on Amazon that I use to organize socks, underwear, and other accessories and they have literally changed my top drawer life. It's the little things, guys. It's the little things.

What pieces (capsule or no capsule) are you loving this fall? Stay forever, September! ♡

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love this Lindsay, inspires me to go through all the crap in my closet and try to let it go. I know I would feel lighter. Also just wanted you to know how sorry I am for the loss of your grandma. Hard stuff. Hope you are doing ok and getting through it.

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    I have been eyeing organizers since I saw them referenced on un-fancy.com and have been aching to get my drawers under control…thanks for the reminder 😀 because I forgot that my drawers were killing my soul slowly -_- new goals for the week! I also like the containers you found better than the ones I was eyeing so I will be grabbing those instead!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    this is so timely! i just looked up your original capsule posting last night as i NEED to do this finally.
    question tho: why do skirts and dresses fall into the base wardrobe but not jeans that you wear year-round?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I hardly ever wear skirts and dresses, so I just keep 1-2 formal outfits that I pull out once or twice per year as needed, whereas the jeans are something I wear every single day! 🙂

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe. Like you, I want to be able to get dressed fast. The last couple of seasons I have been heading towards a capsule wardrobe without even knowing it! I really must do this properly now.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    I don’t think I could ever personally do a capsule wardrobe, but I am always super impressed by those who do. It looks like you’re doing it right!

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    I so need to capsulize my wardrobe too! I’d love to see you model some of these for us? You know, just to see how a “real woman” looks in them, in everyday life? 🙂

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hey Lindsey! Where did you get those insanely cute flats in the upper left corner of the pic with everything laid out??? I LOVE THEM

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    I LOVE capsule wardrobes! They are a little harder for me because I work in an office full-time, so I try to have a casual capsule and a work capsule. Another blog I frequent actually puts together capsules each season with links for where to buy, and has made it SO easy on me! 🙂 I swap out a few things to make it more “me,” but generally she hits the mark. Anything to simplify!

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Love the post. Got it in my mail as usual, but: the mail was practically unreadable. I opened it and what IO was was blank space. For some reason, the text in the mail started waaaaaay to the right, so I had to scroll to even get to the text, and then the text was cut off on the right cause I couldn’t scroll further. Pretty annoying. So, if you changed anything in your newsletter settings, could you check that? Thanks a lot, and keep up the amazing and inspirational work 😀

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thanks for sharing Lindsay! Your new things are very cute. I’m currently capsuling (is that a word?) after pairing down and cleaning out my closet in a huge way. I’m currently enjoying things of the past and trying hard not to shop for awhile..want to set a good example for our teenaged daughters that have caught the shopping bug big time. Anyhow, love your strategies and keep sharing! thank you!

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    Do you have any suggestions for someone wants to do a time capsule wardrobe buy who works in a professional environment? My perfected weekend clothes are definitely not professional.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Yeah – I think the same concept can work! I would just split between professional and casual. So for example, if you are doing 9 tops, maybe 6 of them are professional-type tops, and 3 are weekend/going out tops, and then any of your relaxing-at-home clothes get put in the base wardrobe in the lounge category. 🙂 Un-Fancy is one of the original blogs that started this movement and she may have more input on this as well! https://www.un-fancy.com/capsule-experiment/

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    I like the concept, but I cannot spend that much on clothes. $150 for a down vest and $60 for slip on shoes? I think that even if I “did” have money and was comfortable with my income then I still couldn’t pay that much for clothes and shoes.

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    Love this post, Lindsay! You have great style. I was wondering if you would do a wardrobe post for your winter running gear? This winter I’ve decided that I need to run outside even when it’s cold out. Central NY doesn’t get snow quite as intense as MN but it gets pretty bad sometimes! So I feel like you would be a great person to share what kind of gear (leggings, sneakers, gloves, everything) you wear when you run outside. I know it’s not totally in keeping with your usual posts… but would still be so helpful!

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    I posted this to another capsule wardrobe post, but didn’t get a response, so I figured I’d ask here. I am drawing inspiration from your original capsule post, but ran into one snag: How do you fit in layering items like sweaters or blazers into this system? Would you recommend it in a separate category and if so, how many pieces?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Good question! I do sweaters and open-front layering pieces in my capsule. You can see here that I have three button up tops, three sweaters, and three open-front pieces (for a total of 9 tops). But the tank tops and tee-shirts that I wear underneath go in the base category because they essentially stay the same year-round. I don’t need new ones for each season. As with any of this capsule stuff, you can sort of make it into what works for you! So if you need more room for more sweaters, bump up to 15 tops or keep sweaters as their own category. 🙂 Totally up to you!

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’ve been wanting to try a capsule wardrobe! I would just love to have a closet that empty and organized! I am constantly thinning out my closet and I don’t feel like I shop that much, but I always have too much in there.

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    I began to dress this way and then I started to watch EVINE on TV on Saturday mornings. They have a fashion forward type of show that shows all the latest tops and leggings, etc. Watch this one time and let me know what you think. The hostess Erin has convinced me that there is a need to be a little more fashion forward because it all looks so celebratory. They celebrate the opportunity to be somewhat fancy without being boring or uncomfortable.

  17. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe, but being Indian makes it so much more difficult – as in addition to western clothes like pants, skirts, shirts, we also have Indian wear 🙂 Talk about total chaos and confusion! I do love your olive shirt and the checks too- and love these capsule wardrobe posts 🙂

  18. Skillful Cook Logo

    Are you going to continue to blog about your capsule journey? What do you do with the clothes that isn’t in your capsule? I live in Northwest Indiana, so there are 4 distinct seasons that I dress for. Do I just put everything else in storage?

  19. Skillful Cook Logo

    Love, love, love this idea! I find that within our culture it is very easy to continue to add to one’s wardrobe without even realizing how large it has become. I especially find that my wardrobe continues to grow because I tend to find myself looking through clearances and they are everywhere I go. I also shop at Goodwill. This can provide me with some amazing finds, but can cause me to purchase unnecessary items. Your idea of capsule has inspired me to go through my wardrobe and simplify. I am a true believer of less is better, so I need to take this belief into my wardrobe.

  20. Skillful Cook Logo

    OMG. This is a concept I have been looking for my entire working career. I absolutely hate dressing for work in the morning. I am excited to try this concept. Thank u!

  21. Skillful Cook Logo

    Could you post your spring and summer capsule wardrobe if you have them? I really enjoyed your fall and winter entries and would love to start building my own capsule wardrobe.