Capsule #3 / Outfit 44
I started planning for my fall capsule wardrobe this weekend — yay! I started a little earlier than usual (my fall capsule starts October 1st) but I’m sure glad I did because I’ve run into something … unexpected.
My summer wardrobe came together lightning fast — from concept to hanging-in-my-closet, the whole process took about 6 days.
But my fall wardrobe? Well, so far I feel unsure of my style + unsure of how to pull together looks.
To try and remedy the problem, I started searching outside of myself: scrolling through Pinterest like a madwoman + scouring stores online. This brought on a slow frustration. Shopping without internal direction + vision is generally a bad idea. At least, for me.
I went to sleep last night feeling antsy. I’m supposed to know about style but I feel lost — what if I can’t pull it off?!
Today is a new day.
I’m hitting restart.
I’m turning inward. I’m embracing serenity + tuning out the noise + listening to my own compass.
By focusing on the girl inside the clothes — rather than the clothes themselves. How does she want to feel? What will she do for herself, for her people, for complete strangers?
Here’s how it looks for me:
How does fall Caroline want to feel?
Warm. Cozy. Welcoming. Thoughtful. Reflective. Appreciative.
What is fall Caroline doing?
Laughing. Hosting. Reading. Growing. Dwelling in whimsy + wonder. Being in love.
All these conjured up visions of oversized knit sweaters, comfy jeggings, warm color tones, and graphic tees paired with playful patters.
And even more important than clarity … serenity.
If you’re feeling frazzled about your style, like me, take a step away from the computer, away from the stores. Focus on the girl inside the clothes. Project yourself into the future. How do you want to feel? Chase that.
Top: Madewell (similar or similar for $12!)
Skirt: Madewell (similar)
Shoes: J.Crew (similar for $9!)
Bag: Marc Jacobs (or similar for $40!)
I love love LOVE your blog! I am tying to put together my own fall capsule wardrobe and would love to see more of your process for selecting pieces!
Such amazing insight, thank you!
I so appreciate your analysis and encouragement! I am having trouble with my own fall capsule just because I have to leave in the middle of it for heavy winter weather (working in Northern Europe for two months). Who cares! I’ll make a fall capsule, I’ll make a winter capsule, and they are both supposed to work for me, not make me work for them. (I feel the same way about beauty products ;)). Completely inspired and renewed by your thoughts and actions. Thanks for making your ace blog!
Rita O'Keeffe says
I cleared out all my clothes at weekend… What a shock, lots of empty clothes hangers. lady at clothes bank appreciated my unwanted clothes donation…. Kids all back at school this week so I now have time to focus on my capsule wardrobe plan of action. Anyway, I am on a budget so opted for a somewhat scaled down version of your 37 items…. I purchased fab fitting skinny jeans, and treggings in black and dark burgundy. Its a start…. Ill go to H & M tomorrow for tops, & knitwear. I’m enjoying this process and it will be so worth it when its done. Weather here in Dublin Ireland all mixed up at moment but Autumn will be here with a boom all to soon. I am inspired by your advice. Thank you
A great way to think about style! I started my fall wardrobe this month because September in Michigan can no way be confused for summer. haha! There are till a few pieces I’m missing for my wardrobe and it was starting to make me feel unsettled. I woke up in the middle of the night and all I could think about was, “would I rather have a leather, biker jacket, or a cool utility jacket?” and couldn’t fall back to sleep! It was horrible! I love the idea of figuring out what I want to do and, more importantly, how I want to feel.
Super cute and easy outfit! I love it.
I LOVE this approach to defining style. I get really hung up on looks I see on Pinterest and tend to sort of lose the sense of “me” when I’m putting together outfits. Earlier this year I went through my wardrobe and was totally ruthless with it. Ever since then, I’ve been constantly editing and trying to make better purchasing decisions but sometimes I get too caught up in the look and lose the feeling of “me.” Just wanted to say I love your blog and as of today, I’ve started my capsule wardrobe. I’m excited to see what I learn about myself and my style through this process. Thanks for being an inspiration :)
I’m an aspiring minimalist who adores fashion, and I’ve found you to be inspirational and very creatively instructional. I, too, have had a tough time defining my fall capsule. Thank you for the important reminder!
What sorts of things do you find help you gain the clearest introspection? Reading, journaling, meditation? I journal but don’t always find the most clarity that way.
this reminder couldn’t be more timely! i’m finishing up my fall cupsule (mine started sept 1st!) but i got really “lost” at the end while trying to shop for the final pieces. you’re absultely right. the inward reflection was missing. by asking myself the same questions you asked yourself, i think i’ve found the answer. thank you!
This couldn’t have come at better time! I think it really helps with what I said in a comment in your previous post – about feeling to boring with certain things and too old in the clothes I was aiming for. It didn’t occur to me, but now I understand it’s all about staying true to yourself, expressing YOUR style and not someone else’s ideas about it! Thank you so much! :)
I needed that this morning. Thank you. I had a similar feeling after doing some shopping yesterday.
So true, think about who you are and what you do in life, then match your clothes to it.
I’m a new reader and I’m so happy I found you. It’s so refreshing to find a style blogger looking for happiness internally rather than materials. I am in Dallas and also a fan of the “Own Less Travel More” mantra. I read your blog up and down and realized that you’re my spirit animal. Please continue to post daily!!
Loved the questions “what does fall caroline want to feel? what is she doing?” These seem like great starting points for not just a wardrobe, but a lot of other things too. Love your blog, keep up the great work!
Found your blog last week, used your wardrobe planner, went home and turned out my entire wardrobe. I now have three bags of clothes I’m donating or giving, and a liiitle more space in my closet. I’m trying to put together the fall capsule wardrobe and I’m struggling with how it’s coming together. I feel like I have to go out and buy a lot to make it fit the style I want, but I don’t have the money to do that. Working with the existing items is not fitting my vision. Haha. This post helped, I love asking these questions to define your style for the season. Gonna give it another go.
Wow, I’m so glad you shared your experience. I’d thought I had my fall style nailed down, but now I’m realizing that I was trying to conform to what my Pinterest board was saying instead of what I’m drawn to. Luckily the core of my style will remain the same; I’m just giving myself permission to “loosen it up” a bit by adding in some fun “boho” pieces. (FYI I’m going for cozy knits and warm colors too. I’ll just add a few fun patterns/lace/jewelry pieces). So thanks for the advice!
I easily get overwhelmed too and this is a great exercise to help combat that!
Thanks for this great post! I really love this advice and can’t wait to use it. And I love that this is good advice for any one, regardless of the styles they gravitate towards.
This is so so true. Went through a similar phase a few days ago. I was trying to plan my wardrobe according to my style type. But the more I read and learned, the more I felt overwhelmed and unsure. So I stopped looking at pinterest, blogs and the like and focused on what I already know about myself, my style and the direction I want to take. And tadaaaaa, clarity.
Just because we HAVE all this information available does not always mean we SHOULD use it. Retracting from information overflow is a good thing at times.
All the best of luck with your fall wardrobe. I cannot wait to see what you came up with.
I also love your blog – you know what, search for “soft autumn” on pinterest – I think this is what your are searching for! =)
Leanne Caroline says
Love this advice. Love this outfit. Thank you again Caroline for sharing and inspiring xo
Sophie FT says
Love this post. It encapsulates my thinking process too when I start to plan and get overwhelmed. ‘Focus on the girl inside the clothes.’ is fantastic advice.
Au Fil d'Isa says
Thank you, Caroline, that’s very enlightening! I’ve been trying to connect with my inner self in more meaningful ways these past few years. I now realize that my desire for a minimalist wardrobe springs from the same desire. To select my 37 pieces, I need to tune in to my moods and listen to myself, to what I need and want. I didn’t see it that way, so this post is llike an eye-opener. Again, thanks!
Jackie (York Avenue) says
Well, I ordered this shirt in the beginning of the summer and wound up returning it…now I regret that, seeing how cutely you styled it and how great it looks! I have the lighter colored one but the way you paired this with the skirt is just adorable. Love!
Caroline, I love your honesty in this post, and I love how you took hold of the struggle… you’ve shared some wise and very useful advice in this post:) I think sometimes for those of us that are so style focused (we have to be to blog about it), the pressure can build up to the point of feeling like you described. You are not alone…I’ve experienced very similar bouts of anxiety and self doubt, and believe it or not…I handle it similar to the way you did. You are very good at what you do…don’t doubt that. The roadblocks will make you stronger.
Keep up the incredible blogging.
I loved this post and the questions you posed to get yourself out of a rut. I found them very helpful as well as I’m planning my fall wardrobe. Perhaps something to add to the next version of the planner?? :)
Monika Faulkner says
A lovely – and truly inspiring! – way for anyone, at any time, to hone in on their personal style!! You are full of great ideas, dear Caroline!! :)
Thank you! That is EXACTLY how I have been feeling. I thought I had this down, especially fall style, but I don’t. I’ll take your advice. Seems like a good idea. Thank you.
Such a great way to think about style, wardrobe and how to make clothes work for you. What will I be doing? How do I want to feel and live my life? I was feeling excited and overwhelmed last night after discovering your blog. I made a list and then went to to Pinterest to look for ideas and that didn’t help. Going inwards is such a fantastic suggestion. Thank you, Caroline!
It’s been a while since I visited and I see that all your considered reflection about the role clothes play in a person’s life (both inward and outward) have turned it into something worth coming back to regularly. Thanks for bringing more depth and less surface to the proposition!
I have just two little critiques: first, I think you can go ahead and focus on the woman inside the clothes. : ) “Girl” sorta sounds better, and maybe that’s how you think of yourself, but we need all the grown-up models we can get! Second, to my eye, your lovely posts would be easier to read with main text up higher and fewer photos. Three is the magic number, I think. Otherwise a blogger can start to look a little vain.
Thanks again for all the effort you put into showing how to do it!