A Fall Essential Capsule Wardrobe

It’s that time of year again to change over my wardrobe from summer to fall. Fall is absolutely my favourite season for style, so this is always really fun for me. I get excited to pull out my cozy sweaters and socks, sip on spiced hot drinks, and watch the world change from green to a glorious rainbow of reds, oranges, and browns.

This time around, I wanted to try something a little different with my wardrobe. If you’ve been following me for a while, you might know that my seasonal capsules or wardrobe edits work like this: I have a larger overall wardrobe of around 80-100 pieces, and each season I edit it down to about 40-45 pieces that I wear for three months at a time. This keeps my wardrobe feeling fresh and has really helped me slow down my consumption habits.

This fall, I decided to change things up and really pare down my wardrobe edit to just the essentials. So I’ve gone with a smaller capsule of about half the pieces I normally include. I plan to use this as a basis for my wardrobe throughout the season and will mix in other pieces from my overall wardrobe. But there was just something so satisfying about really putting a focus on those core basics that I keep going back to year after year.

I find that when I include more items, it can easily spiral to the point where I’m including too many pieces or looking to shop for things I don’t really need. Taking a step back from that shows me that I already have all of the basics I really need in my wardrobe. It’s helped me feel so contented with where I’m at and like I don’t need or even want to buy anything else. The answer is definitely less, not more!

I’m hoping that you’ll find this more helpful than my normal larger wardrobe edits, and that it will be a guide for anyone who is looking to create a wardrobe of just the basic essentials. I’ve provided plenty of outfit inspiration to get us started, too! Because these pieces are so basic, hopefully you already have quite a few of them in your wardrobe and can recreate something similar from what you already have.

So, let’s take a look at the 24 basic pieces I consider essentials in any fall capsule wardrobe.

Fall Essential Capsule Wardrobe

Fall Essential Capsule Wardrobe - Emily Lightly

Item list:

Note: The list below contains affiliate links, meaning I make a small commission on purchases made through these links (at no extra cost to you). For more information, please see my disclaimer. Thank you for your support!

Outfit Ideas

Of course, this article wouldn’t be complete without some outfit inspiration. One of my favourite things to do is browse Pinterest and look for ways that I can style pieces I already have in my closet. If you want to see what I’ve been saving lately, take a look at my simple style or fall 2020 capsule inspiration boards.

Here are some outfits I was able to create using the 24 pieces from this basic fall capsule wardrobe:

I hope you enjoyed this article and that you found it helpful! Let me know what pieces you consider essentials in your fall wardrobe in the comments below. And, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to see my daily outfits and how I style this capsule for the upcoming fall season.

Thanks for reading,

Emily Lightly

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A Fall Essential Capsule Wardrobe - Emily Lightly

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  • Thanks for this capsule inspiration and the reminder that more is usually not the answer! I’m going to try to do 24 items for the fall as well.

  • This is a great post. I love the outfits you created out of very basic but also stylish and quality pieces, and the layout helps me think about things I have in my own closet that I could put in place, even if they are not exactly the same. Ready for autumn rains to come to smokey California!!!

  • I Love this! Have been inspired by minimalism for years but the other bloggers clothing always looked too precious or expensive for me. I probably have 80% of the items in this capsule already in my closet, can’t wait to take them out and play.

  • I really appreciate your posts on capsule inspiration! Thank you! I was wondering what you do with the other pieces that are not in your seasonal edit. Do you put those things away where you don’t see them in the closet? I find that if I have my entire wardrobe of 80+ pieces (summer, spring, fall, winter) all hanging together throughout the year, I get overwhelmed and skip over items I don’t realize I have.

    • That’s a really good question! I have enough space to keep everything out of storage throughout the year, so I do. The exception is shoes and bags – I normally keep the ones I’m using for the season in the hall closet and the rest go back into boxes and bags in my closet. What helps me most is actually my Stylebook app; that’s where I store all of my outfit inspiration and it’s a great way to have an overview of your closet so you don’t miss anything! So I’ll separate out my seasonal capsule in a packing list in the app and create outfits in there. It’s a bit of work getting it set up but it keeps me super organized and I find it really fun to plan outfits that way. However if I didn’t have enough space, I think I’d store seasonal items away just to have a less cluttered space! Hope this helps, and thanks so much for your comment 🙂

  • I love the outfits you put together with such few pieces! We just spent a lot on our hardwood refinishing and I won’t be able to get as many new pieces this season as I hoped for. You gave me a good idea of what essentials to look for though – thank you!