Capsule Wardrobe

A Minimalist Autumn / Fall Capsule Wardrobe

09.04.17

Minimal Autumn Fall Capsule Wardrobe - Jessica Rose Williams

I love September! I turn 30 next year,  but I still get that back to school feeling every time Autumn (Fall for my American friends) comes around because it feels like another January. I can still remember how excited I used to get about new stationary, textbooks and a fresh school uniform. You’re either completely on board with my nostalgia or thinking what a geek! Either way, you can’t deny September is the time for a fresh start. It’s also the time when my favourite kind of clothes start coming out to play. There’s nothing quite like Autumn / Winter fashion. Sprinkle some minimalist style in there and we have a match made in heaven.

Capsule wardrobes and seasons

The term ‘Capsule Wardrobe’ dates back to the 70s and its true meaning is a selection of essential items that don’t go out of fashion. The idea is to keep these items for as long as they last and then complete your wardrobe with trend items, refreshing these season by season. I don’t do that.

I never seem to be able to do things by halves, and when I decided to build a capsule wardrobe it made more sense to me to fill it entirely with timeless items. I love to follow trends, but personally don’t buy into them. It feels more practical and cost effective to only buy items that will last. I feel more comfortable in them too because I don’t have that, ‘am I on trend?’ worry I used to get. It makes the whole wardrobe creation process very low maintenance.

I shared my minimal year round capsule wardrobe with you earlier this year, and it was so popular I decided to break it down and create seasonal versions. I’m hoping to do this quarterly, so expect more of these capsule wardrobe posts as the seasons change. My approach means I won’t be rushing out to the shops to buy new clothes for this season, because I don’t have to.

The best thing about a timeless wardrobe filled with quality items means the clothes keep coming out year after year. It’s reliable and I guarantee it will make your life easier.  That being said, not all clothes last forever and it’s OK to change your mind.  If I see an item I like, I’ll buy it and simply replace one of the other items in my wardrobe. I’ll either sell it or I’ll have worn it out so it goes to the clothing bank. It’s called the one in one out method and it keeps my wardrobe clutter free.

Autumn / Fall Minimal Style

Long sleeves, scarves, sweaters and anything else I can wrap myself up in are my favourite kind of clothes to wear. They make me feel cosy and I’m at my most comfortable in them. I think we’re all less self conscious in our Autumn / Fall clothes than we are in summer clothes.

When I created this wardrobe I thought about the everyday things I’d be doing in Autumn. I’m looking forward to things like meals out at the pub, Autumn winter walks with Dolly (my dog). I work from home so I can wear what I want in that department but I need suitable items for running the every day errands. I also took the gloomy UK weather into account to make sure it was as practical as possible.

The whole point of a capsule wardrobe is to make life easier and the key to a wardrobe that works harder for you is to be practical. You have to think about your own life and what items kit you out to live it. There’s no point owning a collection of classic occasion dresses when you never go to parties. Comfort is king when it comes to curating a capsule wardrobe.

autumn / fall CAPSULE WARDROBE ESSENTIALS

This capsule wardrobe can be used creatively and I’d encourage you to do just that. For a die hard minimalist (raises hand), it would serve the whole season without any additions. If you love colour, switch some of the items for a different coloured version. If you want to embrace this seasons trends, add them in to compliment these basics. Remember, the point is to build a wardrobe that suits you and your life.

The following is the bare-bones of my Autumn wardrobe; the items I’ll be wearing the most and couldn’t do without.

Long sleeve striped tee – One of my favourite timeless items. It can be paired with literally anything and adds some variation to an otherwise plain wardrobe. I don’t think you can ever go wrong with stripes.

Black short sleeve tee – I did a lot of t shirt testing lately as my old basic tees had worn out, literally to the point where they’d got holes in them. My advice is to opt for 100% cotton and don’t be tempted by the bargain basics.

White shirt – This can be worn casually or dressed up. It’s a classic all rounder. Size up if you prefer that ‘I borrowed this from my boyfriend’ look. If you’re of the 5ft2 variety and conscious of your frame, like myself, stick with a slim fit for the most flattering option.

Black trousers – I feel like trousers are so underrated. Don’t be tempted to reserve them for work wear. These crops are a great alternative to jeans. They can look really smart if you paired them with the white shirt for example, so they’re versatile too.

Black skinny jeans –  These are the item I probably wear most out of everything in my wardrobe. Take my black skinny jeans out of my wardrobe and I’d feel naked. Finding the right ones isn’t always easy, but when you do they’re worth investing in.

Trench coat – You could wear this on it’s own with nothing underneath and you’d still be fully dressed. A good trench coat is an outfit all by itself. I’d love this coat just as much in a classic stone colour too.

Cashmere sweater – This can be layered over any of the tops I’ve featured or worn on it’s own. It compliments both of the bottoms and never goes out of style. A round neck is more complimentary if you’re tall whereas a v neck will make petites look taller. I’m petite, but I prefer the round neck for a little extra cosiness.

Shopper bag – Forget obvious designer logos and patterns when it comes to bags. The plain ones will last the test of time. This is the most practical day bag you could wish for, yet it’s so simple.

Cross body bag – I’ll be wearing this bag until it falls apart. It’s just the right size for my phone, card holder and lip balm. Again, forget the logos and patterns.

Chelsea boots – This style of boot is timeless. They’ve been around for over a century and show no signs of going anywhere. Even though I’m only 5ft2, I prefer a flat boot because of how practical they are.

Running shoes – These are the most practical shoes you can own. I don’t think any wardrobe is complete without a good pair. Keeping the colour neutral means they can be dressed up when you need them to be.

Ballet flats – Ideally pointed flats are the ones for me because they make me look taller, but a classic ballet flat will never go out of style. If you’re tall and want to look shorter, always go with a round toe.

 

A Minimalist Autumn Fall capsule wardrobe based on my favourite styles and what I'll be wearing this season

Long Sleeve Breton Tee (Similar) | Short Sleeve Black Tee | White Shirt

Black Trousers | Black Skinny Jeans | Black Trench Coat (Similar)

Black Cashmere Sweater | Black Shopper (Similar) | Black Cross Body Bag

Black Chelsea Boots (Similar) | Black And White Running Shoes | Black Ballet Flats

I know I say this in every post, but in case you’re new here, I’ve attached the links to the items (or similar) for you but they aren’t affiliate so I don’t get paid if you buy anything. I’m not telling you to buy these items, I simply want to share what works for me in the hope it may inspire you to buy less but better so you can spend more of your time and money on what really matters; living a life that you love. 

Quality vs Price

I’m a firm believer that you get what you pay for and I apply this method to everything I buy. Think less but better. That being said, there’s a limit and we don’t always need the best of everything. I’ve paid a small fortune for a t shirt before and been very disappointed. It’s a matter of setting yourself boundaries and figuring out what you personally are willing to pay for an item, and that’s different for everyone.

Never spend more than you can afford but don’t scrimp on quality for a cheap deal either. Cheap is cheap for a reason. I’m a big fan of the price per use method. If I’m going to wear it often and expect it to last for years, like the trench coat above for example, I’m prepared to pay more for it. Remember you’re not your stuff and your clothes do not define you. They’re a practical means to an end that equip you to live your life in the most positive way possible.

what about accessories?

If you have a capsule wardrobe or you’re trying to get one started, keeping up with trends through accessories is a great approach. A capsule wardrobe like the one I’ve created here would act as a perfect blank canvas for you to embellish with autumn accessories. Pieces like an autumnal neck scarf or a fedora hat would work well. If it’s only for the season, be mindful of that and don’t overspend.

My advice when it comes to accessories, is to keep it simple and to a minimum. A good quality watch, a pair of studs, gloves, scarf, sun hat and sunglasses is all I own for the entire year. Over accessorising is the easiest way to kill an outfit. Keeping things discreet is the easiest way to look chic. Never look as if you’ve tried too hard.

I’m dying to know what you think. Would this wardrobe see you through the Autumn / Fall? What would you add to it? Let me know what your essentials are for Autumn / Fall in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this post, I think you’ll like these too…

A Minimal Year Round Capsule Wardrobe

Why The Capsule Wardrobe Advice You’re Reading Is Wrong

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30 comments on “A Minimalist Autumn / Fall Capsule Wardrobe”

  1. Classic and timeless as always.

    Humans always over complicate things, it’s best to keep it simple with effortless fashion, you are at your best when you are happy with what you are wearing!

    You are the guru of capsule wardrobe!

    1. Ha ha thanks Jess! I may have to steal that guru title for future use. You’re so right, the most important thing is to be happy in what you’re wearing. Finding what that is can take some trial and error but it’s an effort worth making.

      1. Many thanks , do you not get bored with a small selection, how do you keep your willpower into not spending and buying more .

        1. Not at all. If I did, I’d just switch things up. I actually struggle to see anything I think worth buying nowadays. It’s the weirdest thing because I was such a shopaholic. The key is to keep your standards up and only buy what you’re sure you’ll wear.

          1. Very wise advice, I feel too that I am a shopaholic ,not being able to resist items that appeal to me , I am definitely taking onboard your advice , a good clear out and a no spend September.

          2. Excited for you Jo! Do you follow me on Pinterest – I’m @jessicarosewilliams ? There’s a great flow chart sketch on my Minimalist Living Tips board that people have found really helpful when it comes to those impulse purchases.

  2. Great blog post! Very thought provoking. Although my wardrobe is very different, think greens and Browns instead of monochrome, I’m 5’10” so I love an oversized top or shirt, the essence is very similar. I also have Chelsea boots (in brown, of course!) and wear them almost every day. Mostly because I’m lazy and there’s no laces or buckles!!!

    1. Hi Kathryn! I have a small collection of lounge wear for around the house. I was actually thinking about sharing it on here if you think it’s something people would be interested in? I don’t wear anything that doesn’t make me feel good though, so no sloppy shirts. Clothes don’t define us but they seriously affect our mood. If you wear a sloppy shirt, you’ll feel sloppy in it. I go for lounge wear I feel comfy but also happy in x

    1. Would love to see your lounge wear ideas and also pyjamas! I feel that I have too much and would be really interested to see what you own. My autumn capsule is very similar to yours but with Supergas and a beige trench coat. And red nail varnish 👌Your blog is one of my absolute favourites.

      1. Hi Hannah! Thank you so much, that just made my day. I love the beige trench, so classic. I’d never thought of adding colour through nail varnish, that’s a great idea. I’ll put something together on lounge wear – I’m crazy about it ha ha so it would make sense. Comfort is king! x

  3. Finally getting around to catching up with your blog and I’m in love <3 this is such a helpful post, will be doing a wardrobe clear out soon and invest in more basics!

    1. Hi Laetitia. This is something I get asked quite a lot. The answer is that I don’t really go to parties. I really don’t enjoy them. I’m still looking for the perfect LBD which would serve me for any party I do end up going to but for now, I’d probably wear the jeans with the shirt and flats. I’m most comfortable in casual clothes like that. A capsule wardrobe for a party animal would probably look very different to mine, it’s all about wearing what you feel comfortable in and what suits your lifestyle xxx

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