My Fall Winter capsule wardrobe is making its debut as the seasons are changing and the cooler weather is here more often. Sweaters, denim and boots make up the majority of my cold weather staples with a few extras in between.
In my Family Activities for the Fall Season post, I talked about pulling out your cozy fall sweaters and building a fall capsule wardrobe. It is finally starting (and I mean just starting) to cool off some here and time to prepare a little bit for the cooler weather. I decided it was time to create my fall winter capsule wardrobe for the season.
I hesitated to call this a capsule wardrobe because I do not like to stick to the capsule wardrobe rules. Technically you are supposed to have a maximum number of clothes amongst a few other rules but I like to just do what I need and what feels right. Sometimes when we tie too many rules to things it becomes overwhelming and not sustainable. Simplifying should be custom tailored to what you need, not some rules that another person puts on you.
I don’t know about you but I have so many clothes in my closet that I never reach for. I keep them for various reasons. Maybe they are nice name brand clothes that are in great shape (my biggest problem) or they hold sentimental value. But what I find is if you are not wearing it, what is the point? You are not getting your money’s worth of a pair of name brand jeans in perfect condition if you are not wearing them. They are sitting in your closet losing value because they will soon become out of style. Jeans may not be the best example but you get the point! That dress from three years ago is not gaining any value sitting in your closet, not being worn. Sell it or donate it for someone else to enjoy.
I had to let this get really bad before I just went crazy cleaning it out. There was no maybe’s. It was a yes or it went away. And I am so glad I did this. This is my second or third season using a capsule wardrobe and I will never look back. It cuts costs, saves me time and I never have stressful mornings where I cannot find anything. Instead of 20 items that I kind of like on certain days, I may have 2-3 that I love how they look and no I can rely on them.
Is a Capsule Wardrobe worth it?
I think this probably depends on your personality but if you are looking to simplify your life, I think this is a great start. It is not true that it is boring or you do not get to show your personality. While my take on a capsule wardrobe is very simple in picking out 1-3 outfits and wearing them over and over, you could totally personalize this more just by picking pieces that mix and match to create different types of outfits and not just different variations of the same outfit. It is possible to simplify your wardrobe and still look pulled together- and have fun with it!
I also think it is worth it because it saves me so much time and stress. Not only is it easy to get ready, I have less days where I hate how everything looks and I am self conscious. I also save time by not shopping. I shop once or twice a year for what I need. I am not someone who enjoys shopping for clothes so this is a big benefit.
What are the cons of a capsule wardrobe?
So far I have not found any cons. Many would list that it is boring or hard to limit your clothing items but I find more peace in limiting my wardrobe. Fewer decisions and I am more comfortable in my clothes. Simple!
How many items are in a seasonal capsule wardrobe?
Can you believe that there are rules about how many items you should have in a capsule wardrobe? This is so funny to me. I have always believed I was a rule follower but the more I think about how I function in the home I am realizing I am definitely not. This is one of those things that you just have to let go of the rules and determine what works for you.
I see many people trying to simplify and they are frustrated with how to downsize enough. You see photos online of “minimalists” in almost empty rooms bragging about donating or selling 90% of their belongings and I cringe. That is not what this is about! This is about how many items you need to simplify your life but still be happy and comfortable.
I will say that I have less than 40 regular clothing items (not including things like socks, tank tops, etc). To some that may seem like a lot of clothes and to some it may not seem like very many at all. It all just depends on you and what your lifestyle is like. I am a stay at home mom who needs functional clothes to clean, cook, care for a baby and work outside in so my everyday clothes will look different than someone who works in a business casual or professional setting.
What should be in a fall and winter capsule wardrobe?
My suggestions for staple items:
- Denim- shirts, jeans, skirts, jackets, overalls. Denim is timeless, practical and durable.
- Sweaters and cardigans- easy to mix and match with any outfit and is another timeless and durable item.
- Simple long sleeve and short sleeve tees
- Warm boots
How do you make a capsule wardrobe from scratch?
- Find inspiration pictures or outfits you like. I suggest using pinterest for this. I like to make a board for the season and year, pin anything and everything that I like on it then review it for trends.
- Compare inspiration pictures to what is practical for the weather that you live in and your lifestyle. A pantsuit is not practical for me. I need things that can get dirty but clean up well. Casual and comfortable but look pulled together.
- Assess what you have already and declutter. You may already have several items that can be used. This is my favorite (ok one of my favorite) parts of having a capsule wardrobe. Sometimes items just don’t last after one season. Between playing outside, gardening, cooking and cleaning with a baby on my hip, things just get worn out. But I can usually count on my sweaters, denim and boots to last. A lot of times my dresses do too. This season I am packing up all of my spring and summer dresses for next season and pulling some into my fall wardrobe. Decide what you want to save and get rid of. It needs to fit well and make you happy when you put it on or it is not worth keeping.
- Pick a theme if you decide to simplify even further. I talk about this a little later but I like to pick a theme to simplify my wardrobe even further. This just makes putting outfits together easier and shopping faster. This season it is denim and sweaters.
- Build your seasonal capsule wardrobe. Pull your items you have already first, then fill in the gaps. What do you have that works with what you need? Pull it out and put everything else away in the donation box, trash or in your out of season clothes. Once you have this, fill in the gaps. I do have to do this from time to time but I try to just make what I have work by adding in just a few items if I need it. I like to stick to the same stores to buy clothes because I know what I like and what I am willing to spend on clothes.
How much should you spend on a capsule wardrobe?
I am a frugal girl and do not like to spend a lot. But I will say that I have found a lot of value in spending a little more on clothes since I am limiting my closet so much and only shopping a few times a year.
I used to shop as cheap as possible and only at thrift stores. While I do think there is value in thrift shops (I have found some really good items there and usually check there first), relying on a thrift shop does not always prove beneficial. It is hit or miss and may take more time to find what you need or what fits well. Now, one thing I did this season is shop through ThredUp and I really loved this. I found that some things were priced a little high but I got several sweaters for $5-10 each versus $20-$40 at my favorite stores. It is still secondhand but cleaner and faster than going into a thrift shop.
I have a select group of stores that I know I like the quality of their items and know what fits me well. I will shop secondhand first, then check my favorite stores for anything else.
I do not like to spend more than $30-50 for fall/winter and spring/summer but sometimes it does happen if my items get worn out.
My Fall Winter Capsule Wardrobe
Fall Winter Capsule Wardrobe Theme
Each season I like to focus on a specific outfit that makes getting ready everyday easier. This season I chose denim and sweaters. With the exception of a few items, everything in my fall/winter capsule wardrobe is denim or sweaters.
Breaking the theme down further I have two outfits I based my wardrobe on. The first is just simple jeans and a sweater. The second is denim skirts with leggings and a sweater. These items can all be interchanged to create several different outfits based around the same two types of outfits. This greatly reduces the number of items I need and the decision making when getting dressed everyday, while still getting to wear different colors and styles of items.
I try keep this very basic and as simple as I can without making it impossible to pair things together.
I have chosen 4-5 sweaters for my main top. However, I do live in the south which means the weather can change in an instant. To be prepared for this, I have also added a few plain short sleeve and long sleeve tees.
I originally planned to stick with jeans because I already have several nice pairs. But I found that as I was decluttering and preparing, I had several pairs of jeans I just did not like. I hated to get rid of all of the jeans.
On another note, I had been seeing corduroy skirts with leggings and boots floating around Pinterest and really loved the look. On a whim I chopped up one of the old pairs of jeans (I would be donating anyway so what was the harm if it did not work out?) and made a denim skirt. I did not know if I would like the look the same or if this would even work out but it did!
After this successful DIY, I was excited to get a look similar to what I was unwilling to purchase but wanted. So I made up a few more in different colors to pair with leggings I already had and my sweaters. This took care of old jeans I did not like and gave me a few more outfits to mix and match. WIN.
This is probably the hardest part of a capsule wardrobe for me. I need shoes for outdoor chores, nice shoes for leaving the house or going to church, shoes that are good to hike in, etc. This year I wanted to limit myself some so I am keeping one pair of tennis shoes, nice boots, and outdoor boots. I may also add a closed toe dress shoes that is not quite a boot if I find something I like.
I have a few extra items that I either always keep in my wardrobe no matter the season or things for special occasions.
For example, I always keep a denim jacket in my rotation. They pair great over a spring or summer dress or are perfect for chilly fall days. So I left my trusty denim jacket in.
I also have a few dresses from spring and summer that will carry over if I need to pair with boots. I do love dresses (and wear them a lot during warmer months) and do not want to give them up in the fall. So for darker colored dresses, I left about three.
Lastly, I have my regular coat.