It’s the season of coffee and falling leaves. The season cozy dreams are made of.
It’s also the season where I don’t know what in the world I’m doing when it comes to getting dressed.
I always get excited about the idea of dressing for fall … the reality, however, isn’t so golden. Cold weather dressing isn’t my strong suite.
Truth be told, I’m still figuring out how to layer, pick the right fabrics for the temperature, and most importantly how to feel like myself while bundled up.
But, since I have a hard time with fall + winter style, it means we’ve got several months of learning + discovery ahead of us. I foresee a bunch of “How fascinating!” moments.
In case you missed the first Style Series post, here’s a quick recap:
I learned so much about my style from my capsule experiment, and I’ve been wanting to explore the concept in a less structured way — something practical that honors the heart of it while being free to flow as life changes.
Since I don’t keep a structured capsule anymore, the Style Series is essentially version 2.0 of my capsule posts. There are no rules, no full list of every single thing in my wardrobe. Instead it’s all about my style concept for each season.
Today, we’ll be chatting through
- My single goal for my fall wardrobe — yep, just one!
- A behind the scenes look at my fall wardrobe planning.
- The reason I haven’t done any fall shopping yet.
- Six fall staples I already own and love.
- Three pieces I’m considering adding to my fall wardrobe.
- My two favorite uniforms — AKA outfit formulas — that I’ll be wearing all through fall.
Grab a cup of coffee and settle in — this is a long post!
I just have one goal this fall … and it’s a big one.
Learn how to dress for fall where I live — not fantasy fall.
I used to have this fantasy idea of what a fall wardrobe should look like: cozy boots with camp socks, thick sweaters, cocoon coats, and blanket scarves.
But the fall months in Texas don’t really call for that kind of wardrobe. It usually doesn’t get that cold.
So this year, I’m forgoing the fantasy, and learning how to dress for fall where I live.
How? Well, my plan is to simply jot down some quick notes about my outfit each day. Although, to be honest, this will probably only happen once a week. We’ll see.
What will I include in my notes?
Three things: (1) What did I wear? (2) What was the high and low temperature for the day? (3) Was I exceptionally comfortable or uncomfortable in my outfit that day?
This probably sounds like a lot of work, but I enjoy projects like this. And hopefully, I’ll gain some knowledge that I can share with you — especially when it comes to dressing for those crazy fall temperature swings.
Weather: Fall is short where I live — just September and October. Those two months are generally nice and mild with some rain — and some crazy swings up into the 90s and some dips into the 40s.
So, my fall wardrobe is essentially my summer wardrobe with a couple of extra ankle booties, a few cardigans, and some long sleeves. My open toe shoes, short sleeves, and dresses are still an important part of my fall wardrobe.
Near the end of October, when it starts getting colder, I’ll slowly start adding the thicker sweaters, coats, and scarves as feels right. No big wardrobe switch or closet clean out — just pulling a piece or two out of storage when I feel like it.
Colors: I have a solid foundation of blue, black, and white in my closet, but I’m wanting to add in two new colors over the fall and winter. I’m thinking shades of peat (weathered brown, light tan, oatmeal) and faded rust (terra cotta, worn coral).
Also, I’m officially saying no to grey — buying new grey pieces, that is. I already have plenty of grey in my closet, including my beloved grey chunky cardigan, so I’ll still wear those pieces. I just don’t want to add more.
I’m sure some Madewell will find it’s way in the mix, too, although I’m trying to shop there less than I used to.
Shopping: A few weeks ago, I filled out my planner for fall, thought up some fun outfits, and made a shopping list.
But, my list just sat there.
There were a few days when I thought, “Okay, today I’ll order the things on my shopping list. I really should get ready for those fall outfit photos, since it’s what I do.”
But I never bought anything.
I kept putting it off until I realized there must be a reason for the hesitation, and maybe I should stop forcing it.
Once I stopped forcing it, I instantly relaxed and felt more like myself again.
So the truth is, I haven’t really bought anything for fall yet. Why force it just because it’s “time” for fall clothes?
Yes, I blog about style, and I do feel a bit of pressure there sometimes. But when I get quiet and remember why I blog, I know it’s not just about the clothes — it’s about sharing the journey and living those “How fascinating!” moments with you.
I’m sure I’ll make some purchases as the season goes on, but right now I’m enjoying this gentle, less pressured approach.
MY FALL STAPLES
These are the six pieces that have already proven to be winners in my closet.
1 / Chunky Wool Cardigan (old) / very similar here and here / I got this cardigan right after I went on hiatus, and I’m so excited to introduce you to it. It’s one of my favorite, most useful pieces. If you’re wanting the exact one I’m wearing, I have a feeling Madewell will bring it back later this year. It’s the Sculptor cardigan — we can all keep an eye out for it.
2 / Patterned Silk Tee (old) / similar / I’ve enjoyed having a silk tee around to dress up my jeans a bit. Bonus points that it’s got a bit of that faded rust color in it.
4 / Ankle Booties (made responsibly) / I love finding a constant in my style, and this style of ankle bootie has definitely been a constant favorite since 2011. The chunky heel helps me feel feminine, yet relaxed.
5 / Stripe turtleneck (0ld) / similar (made in USA) / No real description needed here. It’s just a beautiful classic.
6 / Wool hat / Once I found hats that have adjustable inner bands in them, I became a hat person. Always look for an adjustable band so it won’t blow off your head.
Want a sneak peek of the pieces I’m thinking about adding to my fall wardrobe? Here’s a list of my top three.
Now, I really love them, but each one is a hefty investment, so I’m weighing the decisions carefully. However, each piece is made responsibly, and comes from a company (or individual person) I believe in.
UNIFORMS (AKA OUTFIT FORMULAS)
My uniforms for fall are less about specific pieces, and all about contrasting proportions.
Uniform 1: Volume on top + Fitted on bottom
See the contrasting proportions? The skinny jeans are fitted on bottom, highlighting the legs, while the chunky cardigan gives volume on top.
But it could also take the form of:
- Skinny overalls + Fitted short sleeve tee + Chunky cardigan + Booties
- Skinny jeans + Oversized boyfriend button down + Flats
- Leggings + Tunic sweater + Clogs
- Short sheath dress + Chunky cardigan + Flats
The point is to always have the contrasting proportions — volume on top, fitted on bottom.
Uniform 2: Fitted on top + Volume on bottom
Swap the proportions, and you’ve got a completely different look that highlights the waist and upper body. Here, the flare jeans give volume on bottom, while the turtleneck is fitted on top.
But it could also take the form of:
- Flare overalls + Fitted long sleeve top + Clogs
- Flare jeans + Crop top (fitted but not tight) + Booties
- Culottes + Fitted long sleeve crop top + Flats
• • •
And that’s that! The second installment of the Style Series. My goals + planning process + staples + uniforms for the fall.
At the end of the fall, I’ll be recapping how things actually went — most worn pieces, least worn pieces, clothes that surprised me, and most importantly, what I learned over the season.
I hope it’s fun + helpful for you to see how I approach my closet these days. Thank you so much for reading this giant post — I love sharing it with you.
Your turn! Do you have any goals for your wardrobe this fall? Any new colors you’re wanting to try? Got any go-to uniforms in mind? I’d love to hear if you’re doing a structured capsule or if you’re taking a relaxed approach. If you’re looking for a little guidance either way, I made a free wardrobe planner that you can download or you might want to try the capsule builder — it generates a custom capsule for you based on your lifestyle.