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.
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.
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