My Process for Fall Wardrobe Planning [Video]

Hello and welcome back! In today’s article, I’m going to be sharing my entire fall wardrobe planning process with you. I’ll be going over how I find inspiration, how I shop my closet for what to include in my seasonal capsules, and how I create outfits. So if that’s something that you’re interested in, then just keep reading! There’s also a video that you can watch instead if you prefer:

Planning My Fall Wardrobe

I normally start my wardrobe planning process a few weeks before the change in seasons. I’m particularly excited for fall because it’s my favourite season for style. Fall style to me is all about cozy layers – things you can just curl up on the couch in with a hot cup of tea and a book.

I actually find the process of planning my wardrobe really fun! It’s one of my favourite things to do to go back into my closet, rediscover old favourites, and plan out ways to wear what I have for the months ahead. So, let’s get into it!

Finding Inspiration

The first thing that I do is look for inspiration, and I mainly use Pinterest for this. What’s great about Pinterest is that there are so many ideas, and the more pins you save, Pinterest will start to curate your feed to your interests. So it starts to generate ideas that it thinks I will like based on my past pins, which makes it really easy to find outfits I like.

I have a few boards that are more general style boards for throughout the year, but then for each of my seasonal capsules I’ve started creating an inspiration or mood board specific to that season. You can see my fall capsule mood board here.

What I’m looking for when I save pins to these boards is anything that really catches my eye for the season. It doesn’t necessarily need to be fashion-related, it could just be a colour palette, home decor or seasonal photo. But it is mainly outfits that I’m saving, and when I do that I’m really looking for styles that I can recreate using what I already have in my wardrobe. I’m also not looking for trends – I try to stick to mostly classic styles that will stand the test of time.

Sometimes I come across a look that I love with a piece I don’t have, and if it’s something I really love and think would work well in my wardrobe, then I’ll save it to my wish list to really consider that purchase and see if it’s something I still want a couple of weeks or months down the road.

At the end of this process, I’ve saved down quite a few ideas, and this is what I use to help me start shopping my closet. ‘Shopping my closet’ is basically where I choose what items to include in my seasonal capsule from what I already own. Having these inspiration boards is also a really great way to generate outfit ideas.

Selecting Items & Creating Outfits

Now that I have all of my inspiration, I open my Stylebook app (affiliate link) and choose the pieces I want to include in my capsule, as well as save down my outfit ideas for later. If you haven’t heard of Stylebook, it’s basically an app that lets you create a catalogue of all of the items in your closet. There are quite a few apps out there that you can use to do this, but I have just been using Stylebook for a long time and like the features that it offers.

To create each capsule wardrobe, I use the Packing List function to select items from my closet and group them together. I normally go for between 40-45 items per capsule, as that’s just what seems to work for me. Then, taking a look at my inspiration boards, I create Looks in the app from what’s in my capsule.

Curating a Wish List

Once that’s done, I take one final look at my wish list and see if there’s anything that I would still really like and that I think would complete my capsule for the season. I try to only shop at the beginning of each season, so that way I’m not consistently picking up items and accumulating too much. (Because I also work with brands and feature their products, I do end up picking up a few more items throughout the season. I’ll have more info on how I work with brands and find balance with my wardrobe in an upcoming post!)

This season, there are a couple of items that I’d love to pick up. I’m really wanting a pair of painters pants or utility pants in a white or off-white colour. I’ve also been on the hunt for a pair of tan booties for the longest time, but I haven’t been able to find any good ones in my price range. Finally, I could also use a couple more long-sleeve, casual knit tops.

In terms of where to shop, I try to find things secondhand if possible, whether it’s from a thrift or consignment store, or online. But, if I’m looking for something specific, it makes shopping secondhand a little bit harder. Otherwise, I turn to some of my favourite sustainable and ethical brands. If you want to know where I like to shop (and brands I like so much that I agree to work with them), take a look at my Partner Brands page.

Decluttering & Storing Out-of-Season Items

My final step is to actually go into my closet and see if there’s anything I overlooked and want to add to my capsule, or on the flip side, if there’s anything I didn’t get much wear out of last season or that I feel just isn’t me anymore. I’ll remove those pieces and try to sell them myself, consign them, or donate them.

In terms of my out-of-season pieces, for the most part I actually have enough storage space to keep my entire wardrobe for the year in the same place at once. So, I don’t really need to store anything, although I do think it’s beneficial if you want a leaner closet with a more streamlined look. That way, when the seasons change you can pull out your old items and rediscover your old favourites, which is kind of fun!

The one thing I do store is shoes, just because I have limited space in the hall closet where we keep them. I take my sandals and more summer-appropriate shoes and put them in shoe boxes in my closet, and take out things like my rain boots and winter boots so I can reach them more easily.

That said, if you don’t have the space or you do prefer a leaner, more streamlined closet for the season, I’d recommend getting some storage tubs or boxes and keeping them in a spare closet, under the bed, or other storage area. If you have a clothing rack you could also display your current capsule in your room, and keep the rest tucked away in drawers or in your closet. It’s really up to you and what fits your lifestyle and space.

So, that is my whole process for how I do my seasonal wardrobe planning! I hope you enjoyed this post, and the video if you watched it. Let me know what other types of video content you’d like to see from me in the future! Also, I will be posting my full fall capsule on my blog soon, so make sure you’re following me on Instagram or Pinterest to see it when it goes live.

Thanks for reading!

Emily Lightly

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My Process for Fall Wardrobe Planning - Emily Lightly

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  • Hi Emily,
    Do you and Signe (useless wardrobe) work together? Because your concepts and tools are exactly the same I wonder if there is a partnership between you and how that works with copyright. Thanks, Cathy