First things first: HAPPY DANCE!
Fall is MAGIC. And I’m wildly happy to share my fall capsule wardrobe with you.
Pssst … here’s a refresher course on capsule wardrobes, just in case you want to brush up.
In this post, we’ll be chatting about my process of putting it together + my budget + what I ended up with + finally, where you can shop for each piece.
But first, let’s just look at it. ‘Cause it’s so pretty.
Disclaimer: Honesty is awesome, so I chat numbers and dollars in this post. I trust you’ll honor my honesty. Just so we’re clear, everything written here is based on my personal experiences + opinions. Not everything I say here will work for you, but I have faith that you’ll take the information presented and apply some of it to your own wardrobe in a new and creative way.
I came into this season with confidence … only to have it shaken up a bit.
See, my summer wardrobe was really easy for me to put together, I figured, “Hey, that wasn’t so hard — so I guess every season from here on out will just be easier!”
Not so. I felt unsure when it came to combining layers the “right” way. I felt unsure of my style. I felt unsure when it came to translating trends into something that felt “me.” For a while, I was totally lost.
Let me take this moment to remind you that I’m still new at this whole fashion + capsule wardrobe thing.
If you remember from a couple posts ago …
I had a new opportunity to problem-solve + discover a bit more of my authentic style.
I decided to focus on the girl inside the clothes — rather than the clothes themselves. I decided to let go of the idea that I needed to create a perfect wardrobe — I saw it instead as a part of the process, something I’d learn from. I decided that I had put pressure on myself –and I could take it away.
And little by little, things started to come together.
And now I can say:
My style for the fall is cabin-cozy + urban-cool + a little bit classic.
I knew that fall was going to be my biggest spending season all year. Because:
- Cold-weather clothes — boots, jeans, coats, and whatnot — are usually more expensive.
- I was seriously lacking boots, jeans, coats, and whatnot.
With fall purchases looming, I planned accordingly + saved up during the summer.
I budgeted $1000 for my fall capsule and I’m really proud to say I stuck to it. Since I won’t be shopping for the next three months, it comes out to about $330 per month.
My goal is to build 4 really solid capsule wardrobes this year so that next year I can just pull them out of storage, maybe swap out 4-8 pieces, and go.
THE END RESULT
I ended up with a total of 37 pieces in my fall wardrobe including 16 tops, 4 jackets/coats, 8 bottoms, and 9 pairs of shoes.
I bought 21 new pieces for fall. (You can see which ones are new in the photo above — they have a little dot next to them) Most of them were either from Aritzia (new fav store!) + Zara + Madewell. I shopped strategically, using gift cards + hitting up sales + avidly applying discount codes. The remaining 16 pieces were either rolled over from my summer wardrobe or pulled from storage.
Seriously. CANNOT WAIT to show you all the cool outfits I’ve been putting together with these pieces.
A few of these pieces aren’t available anymore, so I’ve linked to a similar item.
white sweatshirt / white tank / classic button up / slouchy sweater
graphic tee / wrap coat / thermal tee / colorblock sweater
striped dress / cocoon cardigan / feather print top / slouchy cardigan
The Cocoon Cardigan / Dex / $80 — If you follow me on Insta, you might remember when I posted about this cardigan a couple of weeks ago. Sadly, there were only a few in stock and it quickly sold out. But guess what? It’s back!
chambray shirt / distressed denim / charcoal sweatshirt / wool joggers
dark grey denim / unstructured blazer / midi skirt / ponte leggings
puffer jacket / vegan leather jacket / shirttail hem skirt / leather leggings
The Leather Leggings / Urban Outfitters / $30 — I actually bought this exact pair last year, and I’m so glad they have them again for all of you! If you’ve been wanting to try the leather legging trend, this is an awesome pair to start with. They aren’t all va-va-voom, they lay perfectly, and the fabric is smooth and almost matte — meaning they look high-quality. And that little cuff at the bottom just makes ’em.
wine sweater / flannel button up / boyfriend cardigan / buffalo check shirt
cheetah booties / black booties / wedge booties / cognac booties
The High Heeled Black Booties / Aldo / $67 — I searched high and low for these shoes after I saw this pin. And amazingly enough, I found them! But if you want a pair yourself, you might want to act fast — they’re on clearance and I’m not sure how much longer they’ll last. (Oh, and size up about a half size. They run a tad small.)
black booties / vans high tops / flats / slip-ons / lace up heels
The Lace Up Heels / Target / $40 — I know, I know. I was just going on about how I didn’t wear my yellow heels much this summer, so it’s surprising to see a pair of fancy heels in my fall capsule. There is a method to my madness, though. Summer is casual to the max. But October-December is full of holiday parties and special events, like — my favorite — the Nutcracker ballet. So I’ll be glad to have these little guys around. And … $40!
Starting tomorrow, I’m taking a few glorious days off. And then Wednesday, I’ll be back with FALL OUTFITS! Woohoo!!
I have been waiting for this! I discovered your blog in the middle of your summer wardrobe, so I never got to see the unveiling for that. But this I absolutely love! You are inspiring me to start my own capsule wardrobe and it’s so fun to see how yours works for you.
Okay, what is hilarious, when you popped up on my reader, I did alittle happy shoulder dance as I clicked. So glad I am not the only one excited about your fall capsule! ha! :o)
Katie P says
Love it! Just curious, but what size did you get in the ModCloth plaid? I am reading that it fits small.
Absolutely gorgeous!! Love all the comfy leggings & fabrics. Cozy is totally where it’s at for me :D.
love your fall capsule! my favorite yet. We have several of the same pieces too. I bought that Madewell Stockholm Tour tee as soon as I saw it too!
Can’t wait to see all your looks.
I love your picks for the fall wardrobe! I’ve been a little afraid to try the leather leggings trend, but I’m excited to see how you style those. Maybe I will invest in a pair. Thanks for the inspiration!
So fun! Everything looks so cohesive and beautiful. Can’t wait to see all of the outfits you come up with!
Danced along to Taylor while reading this and it made my sick day so much better! Haha!
This fall capsule is the most me. I usually go after your shoes and tops, but I’m loving all your pieces! I’m a bit wishy-washy on that wrap jacket. My chest and petite frame makes me look bulky in those, and I’m sad because I love everything drapey. Looking forward to see the outfits!
it’s gorgeous! especially those wedge booties and ALL THE WHITE (i’m a big fan). thanks for the inspiration – i’m slowly trying to pare down my own really scary full closet in hopes of one day being close to un-fancy levels.
I love love LOVE your fall capsule wardrobe! Your shoe options are fantastic and I’m lusting over that cocoon cardigan. I started my Fall capsule wardrobe this well as well and so far am in love with the concept. Getting dressed in the morning is so easy!
Kris | http://www.love-loft-life.com
I LOVE this collection! Luckily I already have a lot of these basics in my closet, so I can wait to see the outfits you put together so I can copy them :)
I’ve been looking forward to this post alllllll September long I’m so glad it’s finally up! Love the post and all the pointers (and the color scheme!!!), can’t wait to see your outfit posts with these items!
Caroline | shyusized.com
I wonder if you have multiple Instagram accounts, because I never saw a post about that cocoon sweater (and I even went back and checked!) on Instagram. Either way, excited to see how this wardrobe goes!
Hey Joy, just FYI, she posted a quick blurb about the sweater 2 weeks ago..you can see just the bottom part of it, paired with jeans and black slipons! Easy to miss :)
Love it all! Love your methods & the way you make simple so attainable + pretty. Super inspiring! xo
Jackie (York Avenue) says
It’s funny how 37 pieces sounds so little, but then when you see it all laid out like that, it seems like so much! Just goes to show how a minimalist wardrobe actually isn’t totally spare and spartan…it’s just right.
One thing I’m curious about: I don’t know how you can have the discipline to buy everything prior to the season and then stop. Doesn’t it ever happen that as the season progresses, you see some cute new sweater at Madewell or something and you feel like it’s perfect and you need it and it could really enhance your wardrobe? And that it would be silly to miss out on it and you would regret not getting it? I’m not sure if you’ve addressed that issue but would love to see a post on that, as it’s something that happens to me constantly, and it’s a big contributing factor to my shopping habit.
I’m curious about this too, but I remember reading a post of hers from a few months ago where she said she doesn’t really browse or shop between capsules. If you’re not in the store or on their site, then you won’t be tempted. I’ve pretty much stopped random wandering through stores (mostly because I have 2 little kids and it’s just not fun) and I can attest that my random purchases have gone WAY down, pretty much to zero.
Jackie (York Avenue) says
That must be the answer then, no browsing! I could definitely stay out of stores (and I can understand how kids would help with that!) but I think the toughest thing is staying away from online shopping. Something to work on for sure!
My rule with shopping in general is that I must try something on before I buy it. With online shopping, I make an exception, but I have to be able to return it in person or for free (Zappos, Amazon). This really, really cuts down on the temptation – the hassle of returning by mail is often more than the desire for the random thing I was trying to buy :D
Tania [girlwithanakita] says
I think this is what Caroline is trying to shy away from. From the past posts, she is trying very hard to avoid shopping during her capsule and unsubscribe from e-mails so she doesn’t know what else is out there. Just trying to live simply and work with what she has instead of looking for new things.
Jackie (York Avenue) says
Oh right, now that you mention it I think I remember her post where she talked about unsubscribing from emails. Great point. I think another tough thing is that through reading so many blogs (which I enjoy), I constantly see things bloggers post that I also love. So it’s tough but Caroline is very inspiring in that regard!
I have the same problem!
The way I’m dealing with this issue is by starting with less than a complete 37 piece capsule wardrobe, so I have a little room for a few more pieces along the way. Granted, I’m new at this, it’s my first season of doing the unfancy challenge, and I am traveling too, so we’ll see how that pans out.
Right?! I feel the same way — 37 pieces is actually a generous amount of stuff! :)
You bring up a great point. It IS hard to stop once I’ve been in shopping mode. (Though, it’s gotten easier with each capsule.) To help, I shift my attention away from external style inspiration — stores, Pinterest, email lists, etc. And instead, I put my energy into making new outfits with pieces I already own. Once I get going, it’s easy for me to feel more content, because I realize just how much I actually have + just how much I can actually do with it. :)
Here’s a post I wrote a while back on contentment: http://www.un-fancy.com/capsule-wardrobe-101/qa-contentment/
Jackie (York Avenue) says
Caroline, thank you for your answer and directing me to that post! Exactly the answer I was looking for. I am definitely going to work on implementing some of your strategies, and in the meantime it’s very encouraging and helpful to know that it gets easier and that it’s not effortless! Your site is so refreshing in that it’s about the only blog I read that isn’t encouraging consumption, but rather a more thoughtful and minimalist (but still fun) approach. Thank you!
I’ve pretty much spent my entire day pouring over your blog! This resonates with me on so many levels. I am ALWAYS shopping, end up wearing the same things over and over and then feeling such guilt over all that I’ve spent. I do like that accessories aren’t included in your capsule so that you can spice things up…but quic, question, do you only shop for accessories while you’re shopping for your capsule and then you truly buy nothing for three months? Or do you allow yourself to shop for accessories? I now that everyone will make this their own thing and that there are no hard and fast rules, I’m just curious :-). Thanks for the info and inspiration!
Great job, Caroline!!! I’m thinking that you mean ‘fall’ wardrobe rather than ‘summer’ under that END RESULT heading? I, too, look forward to seeing how you style everything!
Thanks for sharing! I’d love to know how you made the collage photo of pieces in your wardrobe – it looks so great.
Hey girl! I just used photoshop + grabbed screenshots of each item from the retailer’s website. :) xo Caroline
Oh, awesome. It all looks so nice and cohesive. All of my photos from the retailers’ sites have people wearing the clothes :(
sometimes if you click on the item in a different color it will show it without a model in the clothes [once you are on the page for that particular clothing item]…
LOVE LOVE LOVE the pieces for your fall capsule!! I just got some leather leggings for my fall capsule as well. YAY for more layers! (And nbd if I don’t paint my toenails or shave my legs bc boots & pants amiright?)
I’m curious why you decided not to buy any clothing in the camel color (just shoes). I was interested to see how you’d use that color in your wardrobe. Have you bought new bags or accessories?
Hi Abby! Shoes are usually where the cognac color comes in, and even though I only have one pair of cognac shoes, I know I’m going to be wearing them A TON. And yes, I did buy a new cognac bag — posting about accessories later in the month. :) xo Caroline
I love everything! And my favorite part about all of this is that when I first saw the pictures of the clothes I thought, “this looks like SO much stuff!” but it is still only 37 pieces! You did a great job choosing really versatile pieces. Can’t wait to see the outfits!
Hi Amaryah! Right?! I always feel that way — it’s actually a generous amount of clothes. :) xo Caroline
So excited for this post. I would love it if you would post the size that you purchased and any fit issue you might have had. I often order two sizes and return the one that doesn’t fit and that might save that step.
Great job and I love your blog!
Beautiful wardrobe! I discovered your blog a few weeks ago and have been eagerly anticipating your fall capsule. I love that you really stick to your plan and actually LIVE in your capsule wardrobe–it’s really inspiring.
Looking forward to seeing how you’ll style your pieces! I can already envision so many great outfits!
It’s cooled off to upper 70’s – lower 80’s here in GA so I’m still in the transition stage. I’m excited about the cooler weather and all that fall brings. It’s my favorite season, just too short! Enjoy your days off, see you Wednesday. ;)
Cannot even begin, well actually I can: THIS IS AWESOME! All my favorite items, check check check. And some surprising ones too. First I have to have the Vans, thanks for this, love it!
Oh my gosh! I was so excited to read this today!! I can’t wait to see all these pieces remixed into outfits! Thanks for sharing! You’ve really inspired me to take on this same challenge!
The Mama Gazette
OH-EM-GEE. LOVED this post!! I just came across your post on Bloglovin and I love your blog!! Love that you put your budget into it too because aint nobody got time to spend thousands of dollars on 1 item. Love coming across real people with real budgets to follow. Keep it up!!
E Kitchens says
This looks amazing! I am LOVING that wrap coat! Wishing I had more reason for a coat like that in SoCal. It’s gorgeous!
I have been looking forward to this post for a long time! Your fall wardrobe is very similar to my style, and it has given me inspiration for a few pieces I need to add to my capsule.
I have a question: do you do most of your shopping online or in person? If you shop online, how do you know what size you should get? I’m especially afraid to purchase pants online because it seems like the sizing is different at every store.
Maybe you could do a post about this…thanks!
Hi Alyssa! I try to do most shopping in person, because I don’t love (1) paying for shipping + (2) waiting for an item + (3) the possibility that it might not fit. :) If I do online shopping, I typically stick with brands and stores that I’ve ordered from before, so I know my size with them. If I decide to order from a new place, I pull out the old tape measure + get my measurements exactly right + check the website’s measurement charts + hope for the best. :) xo Caroline
I’m loving the fall wardrobe! Thank you for sharing- especially how you “decided to focus on the girl inside the clothes — rather than the clothes themselves.” That is really going to help me decipher my own capsule wardobe this season :)
So excited for this!!!! I’m glad you’re doing a basic color scheme like me. If you love made well and aritzia (so hard not to spend every paycheck!) you should check out http://www.everlane.com/r/torontohanna and if you order I’ll get a reward for sharing with you :)
Karen Scott says
I love the blog so much. L-O-V-E. I felt like a kid on Christmas morning when I woke up and realized TODAY is the unveiling day. Love your Fall picks. I’ve been working on my 1st capsule and appreciate ALL your inspiration and tips.
R. Brow says
Me too :)
YES. I love the palette for this wardrobe! I just posted my fall wardrobe and we have a few similar pieces: button ups, leather leggings, and booties are where it’s at!
So awesome! Thank you for having so many neutrals. My family is always getting on me for having such a “boring” wardrobe without much print or color. I like to say it’s more classic that way. You’ve thrown in just enough to keep things exciting. Well done!
I am exactly the same! I prefer neutrals. Black, grey and denim are my favourites and my sisters give ne grief for my lack of colour or patterns but it’s what I’m comfortable with. Also since I’ve started researching capsule wardrobes I think their success hinges on mostly neutrals with small pops of colour like this fantastic autumn wardrobe. (Oops, fall. In Australia it’s autumn, not fall)!
This is the best. I bought a couple things similar to your capsule pieces and CANNOT wait to see how you style everything!! One request (if you want): Can you do a post with some options on what to wear for the holidays *before* the holidays arrive? As in, inspiration a week before Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, etc. instead of us seeing what outfit you post the day of? I think a lot of us would really love that.
Anyway, beautiful capsule. love love love!
Yes, I’m curious too! And I noticed you only included one dress in your capsule (which is how mine has turned out so far).
Hi Nicolle! Always love your comments! :) YES. Totally planning to do this. I’m learning so much about blogging this year — this is one of those things. So excited about holiday outfits! xo Caroline
You just made me day with your reply, Caroline! Your blog is the ONLY one I look forward to every day. :)
Have you thought about doing a video that captures all the outfits that you made with a capsule? I’d love to see them all in one place instead of in so many posts. It could be like a wrap-up for the season!
Great idea Ximena! xo Caroline
Jessica Croft says
I love your fall wardrobe! And I’m so thankful that you shared the link to those boots from 6PM. I have been on the search for perfect boots but couldn’t find what I liked/the quality I wanted in my price range. That website totally solved my problems. :)
Looking forward to seeing these pieces turn into real life outfits!
Hooray! This looks like a great selection. I can’t wait to see the way you choose to remix it all. I also find it interesting that you’ve chosen so much white as that’s a color I generally tend to shy away from. I really like the mix you’ve chosen between classic colors and a few more bold pieces.
xx Abby a geek tragedy
Andrea H says
Love it! Well done Caroline! I have to ask – how do you mix and match regular tops with leggings? Are they long enough?
Hi Andrea! Yes, several of the tops are long enough to wear with leggings. :) xo Caroline
Wow, that is a really nice looking capsule of clothes! It expresses the color palette you came up with before really well and is just lovely to look at. Also, kudos to you for being so transparent about numbers and budgeting — that can be a touchy subject and not a lot of bloggers are willing to be so clear.
I would love to hear you talk in more detail about some aspects of your process.
For example, you note that you purchased 21 items for this capsule, but hope in the future to be able to just use your previous year’s capsule for a season and swap out 4-8 items. I suppose you and others have moved on from summer now, but it would be great to know which/how many of the items from your summer capsule you think you will be able to use again next year (vs. those that are worn out etc.). Based on your experience with your summer wardrobe, do you think that 4-8 pieces per season goal will be realistic?
Second, in relation to the comments above about unsubscribing to store emails etc. it would be great to know how you managed to score deals through sales/discount codes/etc. without regularly receiving email promotions from these stores. I mean, I DO receive email promotions from several stores, and yet I often feel like I’m not managing to work discount codes as hard as I could, you know? So any tips and tricks you have for getting the best deal without letting those stores get in your head would be awesome!
Finally, it would be really interesting to hear a little more about the nuts and bolts of your process. I realize this may be difficult to put into words since you say you struggled with this capsule, but I think it could be really valuable for your readers. You say that little by little it came together, but what were the steps in your process? Did you begin by pulling out all the season-appropriate clothes from storage that fit your color palette and then figure out what you’d have to fill in? Did you start by figuring out X number of bottoms and then pair them with tops? Did you have a few key/trendy/signature pieces in mind from the start that you knew you wanted to get? That sort of thing.
Enjoy your time away and I look forward to seeing your fall outfits next week!
Sarah, this is such a great comment! I love these “behind the process” type posts that unpack how decisions were made and detail the actual work of building the wardrobe happened. Is it a paper-and-pen process, pinterest boards, a spreadsheet? And then how does the buying work?
Tania [girlwithanakita] says
I second the request to get more behind-the-scenes post. I love all the outfit posts. It gives me ideas and breaks down preconceived notions, but I feel posts about how you got where you are helps us internally.
As far as deals, I usually browse http://www.retailmenot.com before I buy anything online. Other than that, you can just jump onto a site and see a percentage off. There are so many stores out there, every brand is competing for your money! Except for Anthropologie – they know we will spend our money no matter what lol and they are correct! In addition, I usually have brands that I stick to and know their sale patterns. So I browse for something I want and wait until it goes on sale. Of course, some brands you just have to bite the bullet and get it because it will sell out – but you know which ones those are. This also prevents you from learning of new brands and stores to suck you in to more shopping!
Caroline’s style is very similar season to season. She is modern, but you can definitely tell she has her own style. Because she found what she loves and matches her personality, I don’t think her style will change that much year to year. Plus, she is very good at incorporating one trendy piece to an outfit to make it her own. I feel this is an advanced step because you have to already figure out your own style.
I’d like for Caroline to answer your last question too! Thinking of how many items for each category (bottoms, tops, dresses, etc) stumps me. I usually go by the days in a week. Like, I am willing to do laundry once a week so this means I need 7 different bottoms (5 of which are work friendly) in case I spill things on them every day of the week.
Just my two cents :) Hope I help a little bit! Everyone on this blog is so friendly and helpful, I wanted to contribute!
Hi Sarah! :)
To quickly answer your Q’s:
1. I’m keeping just about all of the items in my summer capsule, so I do think the 4-8 number is looking realistic.
2. I subscribe to email lists once it’s time to shop, then unsubscribe once I’m done shopping using unroll.me.
3. I shared my planning process bit by bit this month in regular outfit posts. :)
I second this — I’m actually quite a bit more interested in what works/doesn’t work than in daily outfits, although the daily outfits are nice of course :-) I think the most fascinating part of this process is the selection, the what-to-keep/what-to-loose aspect. It’s great to see what outfits can be made from the clothes presented but I always like the more introspective posts, where you detail how you make your decisions and why something feels wrong (or right) to you. Beautiful fall selections — will you be showing us your actual items on hangers too? The compulsive voyeur in me does love that ;-)
Leanne Caroline says
Oh Caroline…. it’s GORGEOUS. Can’t wait to see this capsule in action xo
Sydney @ A Lovely Intention says
This is so exciting!!! I was waiting (not patiently) for you to unveil your fall wardrobe! I love all of the cozy fabrics and sweaters. I am such a sweaters person. The drapey cardigans and amazing cocoon sweaters are my go to in the fall and winter. As one commenter mentioned earlier, the idea of a capsule wardrobe seems small. However, as I looked at all of your pieces together, I definitely felt like it was really large. I wish it was even remotely cold enough here to wear any of the pieces in my fall wardrobe. But, alas, still in the high 80’s.
As soon as I saw that madewell Stockholm graphic tee I thought to myself “Caroline is going to have this in her capsule. I just know it!”
I must say, you did a great job with translating your style into fall, and many of the items you chose are items I suspected you would! (I say this because I’ve realized your style is very similar to mine, mines just a tad more sporty). Looking forward to seeing your outfits
You totally called it, Kayla! :) xo Caroline
Aaack, I love pretty much every piece. Can I just click one button and have it all in my closet immediately? :)
Fall is my favourite and I have a tiny case of the sads that pregnancy is cramping my style, ha. (I’m also on a mega budget due to upcoming baby purchases).
Looking forward to seeing how you put all these pieces together!
I can’t wait to do this!! I already filled out my capsule worksheet for Fall and doing some shopping tomorrow! Best idea ever!
I just finished my shopping for Fall. I’ve been working on it the last two weeks. I only bought 10 new pieces: 2 cardigans, 2 skirts, 1 pair of jeans, 3 sweaters and 2 pairs of shoes. And now I won’t buy anything else for 3 months. What a great feeling. Thanks, Caroline! :)
Decided to post my capsule, too: http://abbywearsclothes.weebly.com/blog/heres-my-capsule
Eek. This is my first one. Hope it isn’t a total disaster! You can’t succeed if you aren’t willing to risk failure.
Lady, you are so inspiring!!!
I’m on the other side of the world and about to ease into this capsule thing with my first spring/summer wardrobe – all thanks to your fine example/inspiration.
great picks! can’t wait to see what outfits you come up with :)
I’ve been massively looking forward to this big reveal and your selection is so inspiring. Fine-tuning my own 37 piece fall capsule has involved some anguish and tough decisions – and I just realized that’s a great thing because I have a fair amount of clothes I love to wear.
Here’s how I edited my wardrobe down: first, I packed up/donated all items that were out of season or those that, for any reason, don’t give me that happy little uplifted feeling when I think of wearing them. Once I was down to about 50 items, I wrote a list of the categories of clothes left in my closet (tops, pants, skirts, dresses, etc.). Without over-thinking it, I listed all my items under the appropriate category in order of “most favorite” to “least favorite”. Then I just cut the last (i.e. least favorite) item from each category until I reached my desired number.
It also helps that I went really easy on the items I’m not counting in my total, which are: outerwear, shoes, accessories, lounge/workout clothes, and any camis I use only for layering and would never wear on their own. That’s “cheating” for sure, but I was able to at least streamline number of items in the categories I’m not counting. Since it’s my first time putting together a capsule wardrobe I feel fine about tweaking the rules to maximize my chances at success and enjoyment. With time and practice I’m sure I’ll feel more confident about paring down further and incorporating more categories into my total of 37 each season.
I’m really excited that your capsule includes a midi skirt and leather leggings! Mine does too and I can’t wait to see what outfits you make with them.
Thanks for the inspiration, honesty and transparency, and the encouragement to find what works for each of us!
I didn’t count my camis either. I layer them, sweat in them, and sleep in them. They’re multi purpose but never worn out of the house solo! :)
I did the same cheat with tanks I only wear under things – I have 3. I let it slide when I had one shirt I really wanted to include but couldn’t because I was already at 40 (the number I chose).
Hi Sarah! No such thing as cheating here. :) I love that you made it work for you. These ideas are gold! xo Caroline
I started following your blog about 1 month ago. I thought “there is no way I can do a capsule wardrobe and skinny down my clothing”. Then I mulled it over for 1 week, then 2 weeks, then 2 1/2 weeks….then used your planner. Ha! What fun it was! Then I spent one hour and had EVEN MORE FUN going through my clothes, pairing things down and making my list of things to buy. I wish I would have started this 5 or 6 years ago! I am still in the learning mode with the capsule wardrobe, but am much happier and less stressed about getting dressed because I have LESS to work with and it’s less overwhelming. What I really like about your fall capsule wardrobe is you re-used many pieces you already own! After I determined my color palette and style, I was AMAZED at what I already owned that fit into my fall/winter palette and style. I re-discovered some of my clothes! Some of my fall/winter pieces are pieces I love, but I decided to leave them in their box until next year because they don’t fit my current color/style capsule. No big deal. I know they are there and it will be easier for next year’s planning. Because I live in a climate with a longer winter, I have combined my fall/winter capsule wardrobe. Thanks for your great blog and most of all, INSPIRATION and MOTIVATION! – Mollie
One of the items I “found” as I was making my capsule wardrobe is a nice, leather jacket I purchased at least 9 or 10 years ago by Nine West. I cannot remember the last time I wore it, maybe 5 years ago? It’s still in very good condition so I decided it fit my desired capsule wardrobe goals and added it. I wore it last night and got so many compliments on it! I am so happy I decided to keep it, recycle it and put it into my current capsule wardrobe! Yeah for great ideas from Caroline!!
What a beautiful and thoughtful capsule, Caroline! And thank you for being so transparent about how much you spent to build it. It’s so helpful not to have a veil of secrecy around the real costs that go into building a working closet. One question: are gift cards, etc. included in the ~$1000 you spent, or are they on top of that figure?
Hi Maria! Gift cards are included. :) xo Caroline
This is brilliant. So much fun to see. Thank you for sharing.
Someday, I would love to read a post about how you put these posts together. How do you get the photos of the clothes without backgrounds? I would love to learn that technique!
I bought the Stylebook app. to get pics without background. Caroline mentioned it awhile back. It cost about $4 but I thought it was worth it. Took pictures of my fall capsule pieces and have been organizing etc with the app. The APP also allows you to share pictures so I’m guessing Caroline might be using it (or something similar) to post her blog shots.
Hi Laurel! I just pull screenshots from the retailer’s website + put them all together in Photoshop. :) xo Caroline
Love it Caroline! Love your picks and your honesty. Look forward to the outfits you’ve put together.
Victoria b. says
Found your website about a month ago, and got very inspired! Just finished shopping for my own fall capsule, and I love it! Cognac, army green, mint/teal, black, white, and some blues. I worked hard to make sure everything was stylish and appropriate for work as a special education teacher aaaaaand for the rest of the day/weekend. Best part? Only spent 30 bucks.
You must be a great thrift store shopper or you had a great base already for your capsule. Love you color palette. Don’t you just love this blog- I too created my first capsule for this Fall. Will start wearing the outfits Monday- can’t wait!
Victoria B says
I had a great base! I just laid out my clothes and saw the color palette forming… and then I was very lucky to find some great pieces from Salvation Army — six shirts (gap, jcrew, mystery nineties) and the shoes, a belt, and a nordstrom bag. Yay capsule!
Brooke Tollison says
This is a dumb question but what bra do you wear under white clothes? i always seem to have trouble with white shirts and bras and that’s why I hate wearing white shirts :/
Hi Brooke! I wear a nude colored strapless bra. And sometimes I wear my hair down in front — it’s long enough that it helps in that department if you know what I mean. xo Caroline
Depending on the shirt- I do a white cami and nude bra underneath. White cami (or a tshirt for sweaters) can really help the white pop, and makes it seem intentional- important for the dress code at my job.
Love the capsule. Feels so similar to mine, though I will need to do a mid season swap of a few pieces to work with the drastic weather changes in NYC.
Holly Humphrey says
I would LOVE to know how many items of clothing you own in TOTAL? I am trying to do Project 333 (in my own way!), cutting down my seasonal wardrobe to about 40 items, and I just counted and my total wardrobe count is still 116 items after an epic amount of effort in decluttering, capsuling etc. given seasonal variations, and the need for reasonably formal work clothes but a very casual lifestyle otherwise, I am just trying to work out what a reasonable overall count is.
Great question!!! I would like to know that too, Caroline! Personally, I am at 133 but still cataloging via Stylebook. This includes outerwear, formal wear, work out wear that is flexible for errand running, shoes, bags, some accessories, but not under garments and tanks, slips, etc. that won’t see the light of day. And definitely not painting and gardening clothes. ;-). I imagine that a reasonable overall count varies quite drastically given differences in lifestyle. Personally, I’ll only be whittling down to what fits in a streamlined way in my closet space. I store off-season things and things that, ahem, aren’t fitting perfectly in two under bed boxes. I also have a costume box in our garage storage area. We have a coat closet where the coats go. And then, everything else must fit in my very modestly sized wardrobe closet and dresser.
Oh and hmmmm, if you follow a 37 pieces per season rule, x4 that equals 148 unique pieces at most. It seems that we are both not too far off, Holly.
Hi Carolyn! Love the post :) Would you be willing to add another tab (or easily clickable link) that brings us to a page that says something like “My Capsule Wardrobes” and then shows a link for each “intro” to the wardrobe post? Esp now that you have THREE (yay!) full capsules posted — I still find myself searching for the spring wardrobe sometimes and it would just make it a lot easier for comparisons sake.
There are links on the right for Spring, Summer and Fall Outfits. They include the capsule wardrobes.
Hi Lucy! Just added “my capsule wardrobes” to the categories list on the sidebar. :) xo Caroline
I just started following you a few weeks ago. I love, love, love the capsule for Fall and you’ve inspired me to get started on my own this season. Thanks for sharing!
I love the planner, it’s so much fun to fill out, great idea!
I have one question for you. As far as tips for staying away from shopping once you have your capsule completed; do you still flip through magazines? The idea of unsubscribing is great, which I also do, and of course staying out of stores, but I find myself also tempted to get into shopping mode by looking through my fashion magazines. Do you still look through magazines or do you unsubscribe to those as well? It might also just be me who gets the shopping bug after flipping through magazines.
Thanks! Looking forward to your reply.
Hi Niki! Yep, I steer clear of fashion magazines too. :) xo Caroline
This is so great! I like how there is still so much variety. I was wondering if you could share more about where you look for inspiration and ideas. I don’t really know where to find ideas that are relevant and relatable. I can look at Vogue or style blogs, but they are so far out of my reach that I don’t know how to translate them. I follow you and Kendi (because you recommended her!) but that is it for style. I really don’t want to go down some sort of pinterest spiral, but would rather have more websites that feature real everyday style. Any suggestions?
I found your site a couple of months ago and you have really inspired me to pare down my wardrobe. I’ve long been drawn to culling my clothing, but it always felt like I was losing something. By using the capsule wardrobe method, and frankly by seeing the beautiful way you have pulled it all together, it no longer feels like deprivation in any way, but instead feels inspiring and freeing. I did a short summer capsule (I came to the game late) and put lots of pieces away and out of sight. This time, when I did my fall capsule, I felt completely comfortable letting pieces go to charity as I realized they were never going to make it into a capsule as they weren’t my favorites. I find myself putting together outfits in new ways, love the space in my closet, shop less, and am very happy to have had the direction to really think about what I want my “style” to be. Your blog made all the difference. Thank you:)
I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe! My problem is I have soooo much trouble deciding things like this. That is why I have a pullover sweater in every color, a t-shirt in every color, a cardigan/scarf/skirt in every color etc. I love your choices for fall. Another problem I have is that socal pretty much only has two seasons, spring/summer in the 70s-90s and fall/winter in the 60s-70s. I find myself longing for obvious seasons so I can pull out the so called “winter gear” instead of getting all sweaty trying to wear a sweater and boots. Do you have any adivce for an indecisive dresser like me?
LOVE it! Random question: do you have to iron the chambray shirt? I want to invest in one, but I know that I’m too lazy to iron regularly, so I figured I’d ask the expert! Thanks! :)
Hi KD! Nope! I’m lazy about that stuff too. :) xo Caroline
I thought I had my capsule wardrobe for fall all set to go (this is my first attempt) but I now realize that I was waaay too influenced by summer and not wanting to let go of warmer temps. I think I’m getting close, though, and this post is definitely helping me make the final edits. I think I need to face facts and include a coat ;-). I’ve learned so much through this process though, and shared some of my styling tips here: http://his-girl-friday.com/2014/09/30/on-pairing-layering-and-just-not-caring/
Thanks for the continued inspiration!
I had that problem too Rebekah! It was so hard to buy coats and sweaters when it was 100 degrees outside. :) xo Caroline
I love your fall capsule wardrobe, you are definitely inspiring me to cut down on quantity in favor of quality. Question, it sounds like you shoot all your outfits at once. So is this not what you are actually wearing on a day to day basis? When I originally started reading a few weeks ago, I assumed that we were seeing your real-life outfits. Is that the case?
Hi Kayla! For summer, we decided to shoot all the photos at once because both my husband (the photographer) and I have full time jobs besides the blog. So that was the best way to be good stewards of our time, you know? But for fall, we’ve decided to devote more time to Unfancy, so we’re shooting outfits on a weekly basis. Either way, you’re definitely seeing real life outfits on the blog — sometimes they just don’t match with the particular day that I actually wear them. :) xo Caroline
Totally makes sense. It sounded like from your posts these were your real outfits, but then in the archives I read you had shot them over one weekend (summer). Thank you so much for taking the time to clarify! I am obsessed with the cozy knits and reds/wine color in your capsule. Thank you for the inspiration and for showing us that MORE isn’t always MORE.
Amy Dowling says
Hi Caroline! I have been following your blog for awhile now. This may be my favorite capsule wardrobe yet! What a wonderful idea to coordinate what you wear and spend time and money on more important things. Oh, but still look good in the process! Cheers to that!
Lauren B says
Have you thought about doing a guest post w/ an office capsule? I know you have a more casual capsule, but I work a traditional 8-5 and am curious what would work for that. I LOVE your concept and you do an incredible job of portraying it honestly – thank you!
Hi Lauren! I’m actually about to open Unfancy to collaborators for that very reason. :) xo Caroline
I seriously adore you for keeping so much white + cream in your fall wardrobe. :)
Andrea H says
Thanks for answering so many of our comments! It is really fun to watch your blog take off in the last few months. I am on my second capsule, and I am feeling so much more like “me” in my clothes, and it really is the best feeling. I have 3 kids, so I don’t have a lot of time to ‘hem and haw’ over what to wear each morning, but when my closet is full of things I love, it is so much easier to do. I also want say, as someone who has struggled with “shopping for happiness” this has been a huge help. I never realized how much time I wasted shopping and how much money I spent on things 1)I didn’t need because I already had similar in my closet or 2)I wouldn’t wear but bought because they were ‘on sale.’ On that note I wanted to share one of my favorite clothing companies with you in case you hadn’t heard of them yet. Everlane! (https://www.everlane.com/r/andreamc3) (<— that's my referral link) I love so much of what they sell, and it kind of reminded me of your aesthetic. They have gorgeous, amazing basics. I am in love with my u-neck t-shirts, and my boat neck sweatshirt, and I am really impressed with the oxford shirt I ordered for my husband. Anyway, keep up the good work. Love your transparency, and excited to see where your blog goes from here. You have clearly inspired many!
Love your tips! Do you mind sharing what the fit and material of the TNA long-sleeves are like? I’ve been looking for some like this but I’m nervous about the quality and weight of the material, and the fit when ordering online. Thanks!
I did something similar when I went to Europe this fall, packed 22 days worth into one carryon but the idea of doing this for an extended period of time felt daunting. Your post really was magic and put a lot of things into perspective and really helped me to set a goal for this fall/winter. Great work!
Kimi, twenty-something simple says
Hmmm… I’m not sure where my original comment went, but I came back to say thanks for adding a disclosure about your affiliate links! Also–new outfits TOMORROW! I’m not excited…at all…nope. ;) I’ve actually really been wanting to try a capsule myself, but I couldn’t figure out the seasons thing since the transitions where I live aren’t like BAM new season and spring/fall are shorter than winter/summer. I’m playing around with the idea of doing either 2 2-month transitional capsules (spring/fall) and 2 4-month winter/summer capsules OR 2 6-month capsules with a transitional period in the middle where I swap pieces out for the cooler or warmer months. Anyway, hope you don’t mind my rambling…haha.
Looks great, really ‘you’ :-) . i’m curious about the midi skirt and the leather leggings most – to me those stand out as difficult items for your typical style. Did you actually pick out some items to be more challenging?
Hi Caroline! Thank you so much for sharing your capsule! Looking forward to filling in the holes in my own wardrobe and seeing what outfits you put together. As a person who adores fashion and is constantly looking at stores, etc., I am thrilled to have fall “in the bag,” so to say. Now I can spend my time thinking about other things! Thanks again!
Hi Caroline, I’m so excited that I found your blog! It’s fantastic and so inspiring! My first thought of only having 37 items for a season was that is not going to be enough, but after seeing this post and delving into your archives it is more than enough! I probably wear less than 37 items and just don’t realize it. I’m so inspired to go through my closet and get rid of stuff that I just don’t love enough and give other pieces a rest. Absolutely loving your fall capsule wardrobe. Excited to see more outfits.
I found your blog a few months ago searching online for tips on re-building a wardrobe from scratch because I had a baby and left my corporate job of 11 years to be a SAHM and pursue my art. I literally had about 5 items in my closet that fit nicely, suited my new lifestyle and were breastfeeding friendly. The tips I found here were super helpful, I’m so happy with my tiny, versatile wardrobe and how easy it is to pull myself together when I have exactly 5 minutes while the baby is distracted by something shiny, lol. I ordered the Athleta leggings for fall/winter and LOVE them. The high waist flatters my post partum soft spot and I can wear them for walks, play dates at the park or throw on boots and head out for date night. I will live in these…as soon as summer decides it’s over in So. Cal
I’m VERY intrigued by this process, but I work out a lot and wonder if you don’t consider work out clothes or pajamas to be part of your actual wardrobe? This may be a really silly question but I’m genuinely curious. :)
Not silly at all! Workout clothes + PJs don’t count in the 37 pieces so you can have as many as you want. :) xo Caroline
I am really curious if you had some tips for packing! I am currently trying to plan my wardrobe/pack for an 11 month trip out of the country, where I will be traveling to a different country each month. I’m sort of at a loss as to how to prepare for this! I know the temperatures will be fairly mild (lowest at 40 and highest at 80) but varying throughout. Do you have any good tips on staples that will work for all temps/cultures, or a good amount of clothing to bring!?
Such fun wardrobe! I’m new to the capsule wardrobe concept and I’m putting together my first “capsule” this week. It will be challenging since Fall is definitely starts out warm and ends up FREEZING here in Colorado. I do have a question though…what do you do about special occasions? I have a wedding to attend, but don’t need such a formal outfit in my everyday capsule. How do you deal with those situations? Thanks!
Maya Elious says
Listening to you on Jess Lively’s podcast! I love this idea of having 37 (or whatever number I’m comfortable with) pieces! I’ve been struggling with finding my personal style and I learned that I need to have staple pieces! It’s better to have 30+ pieces that I LOVE rather than 100’s of clothes in my closet telling myself I have nothing to wear. This is awesome!
I love your blog and have attempted my first capsule wardrobe for fall. Thanks for the inspiration!
I came across a nearly identical (and cheaper!) version of the cocoon sweater from your capsule. Thought you might want to share a link since the original sweater is sold out. Here’s the link :
Awesome! Thanks for sharing this Kelsea! xo Caroline
Marie Silver says
Hi Caroline, I love your site and am going to start my own capsule November 1st. Quick question, what tool do you use to create the image(s) of your capsule wardrobe so that you can view it all on one page. This might be a silly question, but I am a newbie to this.
So being in Texas, do you do a combined Fall/Winter or will you have a separate Winter wardrobe?
You dont know how happy I am to have find your blog!!! Lately I have been into capsule wardrove, purges and minimalist stories.. I already know into-mind and other blogs that are doing capsules wardrove but I was missing someone which style I liked and I could have as a reference…and here you are! Is not exactly my dream wardrove, I am to tall to wear that heels and joggy pants dont flatter me (missing some curves around here )… But the colours and your uniforms matches with mines!
I hope you go on with those wardroves post since are my favourites! So happy!
Have a nice thursday!
I’ve just got to say that seeing a pin of your website on Pinterest was a godsend! I’m a freshman in college and on top of trying to figure out what my style really is, I’m super limited in space. I’ve had an issue the past few years with buying things I’m not absolutely crazy about and just adding things to my closet. The times I’ve been happy with my clothes and outfits have been few and far in between, and I’ve had a hard time getting out of my rut. Going through your blog has really opened my eyes as to how I want to dress and I’m in the process of creating a capsule wardrobe!
Thanks for sharing your insight with us, and I look forward to your upcoming posts! :)
Courtney M says
As someone who is new to the idea of a ‘capsule wardrobe’, I do have a question. I’m someone who has long strayed from purchasing seasonal pieces. I prefer to purchase those items I can wear year round. How should I divide those items up (I have one black top in my whole wardrobe that I style year round, etc.) or create a year round capsule? I feel as though if I did one capsule wardrobe I’d need more than 37 total items. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you!
I’ve been following for a while and your fall capsule really inspired me. I’m getting better at pulling together outfits. I was wondering if you can recommend blogs or articles to help my husband improve his look. He is working in an engineering company and trying to improve his look without looking to dressy. It’s a very conservative place. Any ideas on where to look for inspirations? What are the key pieces he should be looking for ?
How did you choose your leather jacket: faux vs real (lamb, cow, etc), brand, etc?
I’m looking to buy the one leather jacket I will be wearing for a long long time but they all run $550+ and I’m trying to decide if it’s worth it or if I should buy faux. Thanks!!
Marie Silver says
I just got this jacket and I am in love. Just thought you might want to check it out too. http://www.goldentote.com/shop-the-boutique/vegan-leather-moto-jacket.html
:) Good day!
Lisa M says
Just wanted to let everyone know I have a brand new Topshop Feather Print Top in a size 6 if anyone is looking for it…it didn’t fit:(
Ex Fat Chick says
I wanted to let you know that your 37 piece fall capsule wardrobe was a great inspiration to finally create my own capsule wardrobe.
I wouldn’t even imagine that creating a capsule wardrobe for myself will help me greatly with the body image issues I was having after losing weight and becoming fit. I needed to change my whole wardrobe, because everything was too big, and your capsule wardrobe guide helped me create a stylish wardrobe with pieces I love to wear! Here is a post where I discuss in detail of how following your guide on creating a capsule wardrobe helped me accept my new body: http://fromfattofitgirl.com/accept-new-fit-body-with-creating-your-fall-2014-wardrobe/
I am looking forward to your winter capsule wardrobe! Keep up the good work!
Meg Koning says
Hello Caroline! So I’ve just stumbled across your blog and I have to say that you’ve created such a unique and “do-able” way to recreate one’s closet while still benefitting from current trends! I just sent your links to my younger sister (also a Caroline- kudos!) who is currently looking forward to graduating college in the spring and then looking at traveling. An acclaimed fashionista herself (I am always happy to get her hand-me-downs) I can’t wait to talk to her about this concept of a Capsule Wardrobe! Thanks again for all the work you’ve put into this GREAT idea, and the FREE wardrobe planner! Genius!
Hi! Your blog has inspired me so much and I love your style. One thing I’d like to hear more about (even though they’re not part of the capsule) is how do you narrow down your pajamas, lounge, and workout clothes. My pajama drawer is waaay too full, but I find it really hard to narrow them down. I’d love to hear about your favorite classic pieces. Thanks for the inspiration!
Hi! I’m a recent graduate and loving my new job in the real world, but my latest dilemma is what to do with all of these old college clothes I have. Cheap, easy, too many sweatshirts, stuff I will never have the time or environment for in my new life…. I hadn’t heard of capsule wardrobes before this but it’s exactly what I’ve been wanting to do and your blog is a great guide to the amounts and types of pieces to have! …. But my question is about what you do with nostalgic pieces and how long it took you to make the transition into your new habits. I have these items that seem to follow me everywhere and somehow survive all of the wardrobe cleanses. What did you do with all of those great formal dresses you hardly ever wear or the shoes you bought in Helsinki, but have a little hole in them now? Do you count these among your capsules or do they exist in their own special universe? It seems that I’m having a hard time breaking out of my old habit of “when it doubt, keep it.”
such a lovely post! love your style and your outfits!