If you’ve been around here for a while, you already know how keen we are on the concept of capsule wardrobes—a closet full of items that can be mixed and matched with one another for an infinite number of combinations and a permanent fix to your “I don’t know what to wear today” conundrum.
There’s no debating that of all the seasons, the transition to fall is always the most invigorating. Sandals are swapped out for boots in gorgeous leathers and suedes, tees are exchanged for cozy cashmere and wool sweaters; there’s a sense of nostalgia in the air, and days are filled with a sense of newness and optimism that only this fleeting season manages to hold. There’s nothing that compares to that first sub-65 September morning that allows you to wake up, put on your favorite sweater for the first time since March, and head out the door into a crisp autumn day.
Of all of the wardrobe moments that take place from January through December, swapping out the airy dresses and sea of linen bottoms I’ve been relying on for months for moody shades of brown, a rotating selection of layers, and the collection of pieces I associate with my favorite activities of the year is my absolute favorite.
As our calendars turned to August, our minds changed channels to have fall on the brain, and our fall 2023 capsule wardrobe is here to usher in the new season in style.
What Is a Capsule Wardrobe?
The simple definition is that it’s a curated wardrobe made up of versatile pieces that you love to wear. Creating your capsule wardrobe should be a testament to your personal style
A capsule wardrobe consists of a set of tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, shoes, and accessories that can be easily mixed and matched together to be dressed up, down, and anywhere in between. It means your closet has less trendy pieces that will only be worn for one season and more high-quality, classic pieces that stand the test of time and can be worn for years to come. The best part? While it might feel more expensive in the moment, you’ll save money in the long run since you won’t be going through so many fast-fashion pieces.
Once you master a starter capsule wardrobe, it can be curated and swapped from season to season. It makes it easy to pack up and take out clothes for the appropriate season because every time you pull them out, they’re just as in style as they were at the time you bought them.
How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe
The first step to building a capsule wardrobe is to take a good, hard look at what you already own, then purge the rest. We don’t mean opening it and flippantly going through the hangers; we mean that you should take every single piece out of your closet, then evaluate if it should go back in. Don’t forget to take a look at your shoes and accessories, too.
Then, sort each item into one of four piles:
- I love it and would wear it tomorrow: These pieces fit your body and your lifestyle, and you’re happy wearing them. Put these back first.
- Maybe: These pieces might not fit perfectly, have sentimental value, or you just can’t put your finger on why you don’t wear them more. (If you haven’t reached for it more than once, it belongs in this pile too). Put all of these items in a box and store them in a place that’s easily accessible. If you find yourself reaching for an item, put it back in your closet after; if you haven’t reached for it by the end of the season, keep it in the box to take to donate. This is noncommittal (for now) and allows you to change your mind later.
- Hard no: Whether it’s because it doesn’t fit or you just decided you don’t like it, pack these pieces up to donate them.
- Seasonal: There’s no need to keep a chunky sweater next to your summer tank tops. Move all of your seasonal pieces into a storage location that will be easy for you to swap out once the time is right.
The Everygirl’s Fall 2023 Capsule Wardrobe
How to Style Your Fall Capsule Wardrobe
To work from a coffee shop
earrings | ballet flats | jeans (plus) | button-up (plus) | bag
Whether you’re heading to the office for a casual Friday or are taking your laptop and heading to a coffee shop to romanticize your work-from-home routine, this ensemble will have you covered. A crisp white button-up and straight jeans are a no-brainer year-round, but with such a basic base, the devil is in the details. A pair of cognac ballet flats, a suede bag, and earrings that deliver a subtle statement are what make this look worthy of being repeated throughout the entirety of the season.
Out to dinner
sweater vest | booties | chain necklace | maxi skirt | bucket bag
Fall isn’t fall without at least one all-black ensemble getting taken out of your closet. To make yours interesting, pairing different textures with one another—like the cashmere, satin, and leather seen here—are what make it feel like a styled look, rather than one you chose on autopilot. If the weather is chilly, layer your favorite blazer over top of the sweater vest for a quintessential fall dinner outfit.
To the office
blazer (plus) | ballet flats | midi dress (plus) | bag | earrings
Fall fashion is often dominated by earth tones, but in this case, we’re happy about it. The combination of the warm, neutral shades that this blazer, sweater dress, and flats all have in common make them a match made in heaven when paired together for the office.
For a Saturday in the city
loafers | jeans (plus) | sweater vest | leather jacket (plus) | sunglasses
Any leather jacket is a closet staple, but our eyes are set on oversized bomber ones this season. They bring an effortlessly cool edge to any pairing, including this seamless jeans-and-tee combo that’s perfectly complimented by chunky black loafers—these happen to be my favorite loafers I own—and oval sunglasses.
Out to brunch
shirt dress (plus) | ballet flats | bag | earrings
Much to our dismay, much of fall is filled with days that heat up to dozens of degrees above the crispness we like to imagine comes with September and October. To compromise with the weather, adding a mini shirt dress like this one to your arsenal is your best bet. Its voluminous sleeves and dramatic silhouette embody fall, but its length allows for versatility all season; you can wear it on its own when it’s warm, or with a jacket when the temps do drop.