fall trench coat outfit

Classic Fall Capsule Wardrobe (Shopping List, Outfit Ideas, & More!)

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If you’re looking to build a fall capsule wardrobe then you’ve come to the right place! Focusing on seasonal capsules is a great way to never run out of outfit ideas because everything in your wardrobe can be mixed and matched together in countless ways. Instead of having a wardrobe full of clothes and yet still not having anything to wear, the concept of a capsule wardrobe streamlines your wardrobe by having a select number of items that are timeless classics.

In this post, we’ll cover why you need a fall capsule wardrobe, what it should have, a shopping list, how to wear the key fall items, and lots more!

Why you need a fall capsule wardrobe

1. Save money
When you’re building a capsule wardrobe you’re still shopping (fun!) but you’re shopping with purpose. You’re not shopping emotionally and on a whim, getting whatever looks cute. Most of the time those trendy items make us feel excited at first, but then it wears off and we’re left still not knowing what to wear and hundreds poorer! Shopping once at the beginning of the season and feeling satisfied with your wardrobe saves money in the long run instead of shopping every month constantly chasing the latest “It” piece.

Plus, whatever you buy last year will work for all the years to come because a capsule wardrobe focuses on classic staples! And if you buy quality (which I recommend if you can), these great investment pieces will last you a long time.

2. Always know what to wear
If you have a wardrobe that is not curated or cohesive and full of random items, colors, and prints, then it’s going to be a struggle to know what to wear. If you have this type of random wardrobe, not all of your items will match with each other, meaning your outfit options are severely limited.

Fun little side story here- over on my Instagram stories I showed how my toddler would pick out my outfit for the day and guess what…they all matched! Granted, I’d only wear 2/3 outfits, but still, that’s pretty cool, isn’t it? Now ask yourself, if a two-year-old were to come and pull random things from your closet would they all go together?

3. Be a woman of class
Capsule wardrobes (and this post specifically) focus on classic style. What happens when you have a wardrobe full of timeless pieces? You wear timeless pieces! And when you wear classic and timeless pieces, you become a classic and timeless woman. You’ll be known as a woman of class. A woman that always looks put together. How does that sound?

What should be in your fall capsule wardrobe

You’re convinced you need a fall capsule wardrobe and now you may be asking yourself what should be in it? I’m here to give you a full list of key pieces that will stand the test of time! There’s even a bonus printable sample shopping list at the end of this post!

But ultimately, it should be items that you love and that will fit into your lifestyle. If you hate flannel, then there’s no use getting a flannel top if it’s just going to sit in the back of your closet! A capsule wardrobe is about wearing everything and maximizing your closet to its fullest potential, after all.

Keep in mind that when you’re shopping for your capsule wardrobe you want to focus on neutral colors. A color scheme is KEY to a cohesive wardrobe.

Check out my eBook for a deeper dive on how to create a color scheme for your wardrobe!

If you’re thinking that neutrals mean plain black and white and that’s not your style, don’t worry. This time of year there are lots of neutrals colors that work for fall, such as forest green, rust, shades of blue, and shades of brown. Check out the graphic below!

classic fall capsule wardrobe

Why you need each item

Here’s a brief reason why you need each versatile piece in your fall capsule wardrobe. If you don’t have much time to shop for yourself, just click on the clothing item link to shop our picks directly. Building your fall capsule wardrobe has never been easier!

Tops

Denim shirt- dresses down outfits and adds a nice easy layer and solid color to prints
Striped tee-
classic print that adds interest to your outfit. Great base to mix prints
Crew neck sweater-
cozy and classic
Plaid flannel- the print of fall! Great to mix with other prints as well
Neutral tees- easy to mix and match. Feel free to get some in maroon, olive green, and mustard once you have your neutrals for some fall fun. Could have a mix of short sleeve and long sleeve
Turtleneck- a classic top for the chillier days
Cable knit sweater- an interesting pattern that looks great worn separately or worn over a denim shirt

Dresses

Sweater dress- a one and done dressier look that’s great for work, church, Thanksgiving, corporate parties, and whenever you need to look a little nicer

Outerwear

I have a ton of outerwear on this list because coats are a personal favorite piece of mine, but when it comes to fall fashion, it’s all about the layers and fabulous coats!

Cardigan- for an extra cozy layer
Faux fur coat- to add a little flair to your outfit
Camel coat- elegant and classy
Trench coat- for a little classic Parisian touch
Utility jacket- the color is great for fall, as is the weight and it dresses down your looks
Denim jacket- for an extra layer and to make outfits look more casual
Moto/biker jacket-
to add a touch of edge to your outfit
Optional: fleece jackets. These are great for fall but do tend to read as more casual than classic

Bottoms

Black jeans- this pair of jeans can be dressed up or down and the color fits the moodier weather
Cropped flare jeans- different than your average jeans and looks great with boots
Straight leg jeans- classic and looks great with flats and loafers
Skinny jeans- they are the easiest to wear tall boots with
Denim skirt- can be dressed up or down and looks cute with tall boots
Floral skirt-
a darker color is a feminine way to wear florals in the fall

Accessories

Crossbody bag- your staple bag that will go with everything
Leather watch-
timeless piece that looks great with sweaters
Gold hoops-
a simple yet beautiful jewelry piece that goes with everything
Quilted bag-
a dressier bag to elevate your outfits
Beret-
for a classy Parisian touch
Plaid/tartan scarf-
a classic print to add interest to your outfits
Blanket scarf-
versatile, comfy, warm, and stylish
Newsboy/Bakerboy hat-
a cute and stylish piece that adds something special to each outfit
Optional: gold necklace

Shoes

Combat boots- dress down outfits and add some edge
Leopard print flats-
add a print to neutral looks
Ankle boots-
your go-to shoes for all season
Tall brown boots- classic height and color
Tall or over the knee black boots- looks great with shorter hem lengths
Loafers-
a classic timeless shoe

How to wear each item

Time for some outfit ideas galore! Check out these graphics below to see how you can wear the key items for fall. Pin them to Pinterest too! (If you’re on mobile, just tap the photo and the pin icon will pop up)

how to wear a utility jacket
trench coat for fall outfit ideas
sweater dress outfit ideas for fall
plaid flannel fall outfit ideas
floral skirt fall outfit ideas
how to wear a faux fur coat fall capsule wardrobe
how to wear a fall sweater
how to wear a denim jacket fall capsule wardrobe
how to wear a cable knit sweater fall capsule wardrobe
blazer outfit ideas fall capsule wardrobe

Where to shop for your fall capsule wardrobe

I did some research and below is a list of places I’ve gathered that women like shopping at for their basic, quality pieces:

  • French Connection– Chic, timeless pieces
  • Uniqlo– Basics galore!
  • Loft– They do feminine style and workwear well
  • Banana Republic– For your versatile classics
  • Land’s End– Not exactly known for their contemporary pieces, however, their pieces are made to last
  • J.Crew– Love their outerwear
  • American Eagle– Their denim is well-loved by many (also Levis for classic denim)
  • Madewell– Known for their quality clothes
  • Everlane– Loved for their ethically made pieces and quality
  • Nordstrom– Higher end brands and more expensive, but shipping and returns are a cinch

If you’re on a budget you can check out TargetH&M, and Old Navy.

Related: 8 Clothing Brands That Look Expensive (But Aren’t)

Don’t discount places like Poshmark, Ebay, Depop, or thrifting. Just because something is second-hand doesn’t mean it’s bad quality. In fact, sometimes I find brand new or hardly worn items. It’s worth checking out if you’re on a budget!

I get it. That cute pom-pom sweater (insert other “hot” item) that everyone seems to be wearing is hard to resist sometimes! I’m not immune. Even my wardrobe has some bucket hats, biker shorts, and belt bags in it. 😉 Do I wear these all the time? Nope. But are they fun? Sure! So how do you know when to buy a trend and when to pass? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

-Do I actually like it or do I just feel influenced to buy it?
-Is this a price I’m willing to pay given it’s not an item I’d wear all the time?
-Would I wear this at least more than once?
-Does it still match other things in my wardrobe?
-Does it make me feel good when I wear it?
– Could my money be better spent on a staple piece or would I be okay buying this?

If you use the graphics in this post to put together outfits then you’ve already got a head start on your fall fashion! And if you love Parisian fashion, then you’re probably going to love this next post on creating a fall capsule wardrobe that’s focused on French style!

Up Next: Minimalist French Capsule Wardrobe for Fall/Winter

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Carolyn Arentson
Carolyn is the founder and creator behind My Chic Obsession. When she's not dreaming up new content, you can find her watching a funny tv show with her husband, raising her two boys, or planning her next trip to Paris.