Fall always feels like a new start

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Maybe because in my teacher life it truly is? Or maybe because that, even though the transition from summer to fall can be slow, it feels like a time of big change? Either way, I always find myself in a time of reflection and with the urge to try new things.

It’s been a year since I posted a ‘capsule wardrobe’. I use that term loosely because I’m much more flexible and fluid with my wardrobe than I was nearly 5 years ago when I started. So, even though I don’t keep a strict number of items that I transition in and out every three months, I do always keep maintaining a small wardrobe a goal.

I thought with a year of additions and purges it was time to post an updated look at what’s in my closet. This time I decided to split it into collages…one for my ‘primary’ wardrobe, one for my ‘secondary’ wardrobe.

The primary items are the ones that I wear regularly. Some are old favorites, some are newer items I’ve added as my style has evolved. But these are the 36 items I know I’ll wear again and again. I could be content with just these hanging in my closet (hey…maybe I’ll try that for a period of time during this long cool weather season?!).

The secondary items are the ones that I really like, but don’t reach for as often. Maybe they’re a little harder to style or aren’t quite perfect for the season, but are a fun way to mix it up every so often. For example, most of my dresses are in the secondary wardrobe. Every so often I’ll wear them, but they aren’t in my weekly rotation once it gets too cold. Some of these may last for the fall and then be packed away during winter.

While this is a pretty complete list, there are a few things I haven’t included: my weekend athleisure gear (maybe for another post), workout gear, a few basic tank tops and tees, and outerwear. I also have a couple of pairs of shoes that I really only wear once or twice per year, but am still hanging on to (for now).

The past year or so I’ve kept more of my off-season items hanging in my closet. I have the space and sometimes I like them available to give me more options. This year, however, I have the urge to pack more of them away to streamline my decision making process even more. (It’s that new-beginning-fall-feeling kicking in.) It seems like it’s time for a change.

I don’t follow super strict capsule wardrobe rules now that I feel I’ve broken my shopping habit. So, I will add items or decide mid-season that something isn’t working anymore and pass it along. I’ll keep those updates coming in my monthly Closet Update series.

As always, I’ll be sharing over on Instagram and plan to get back to my weekly posts as much as I can.

Here’s a look at what I’ll be wearing this fall (and winter).
Boxy Tee (Everlane, medium, 2019): Is any core wardrobe complete without an easy basic tee? I love the softer color and slighly forgiving fit of this tee. It works well with jeans and clogs for a classic look. But it’s also an easy pairing with my wide leg pants, which I find harder to style sometimes.

Raw silk top (made by a friend, 2019): My friend, Jaana, made me this raw silk top after I admired a similar one she’d made for herself. I chose an off-white to compliment my green skirt and rust pants. I love the lose fit and perfect drape when it’s tucked.

Striped turtleneck (c/o Tradlands, large, 2019): coming soon

Raw silk tee (Two Fold Clothing, medium, 2017): I love wearing this tee on it’s own, but the color and texture also make it a great layering piece.

Girlfriend tee (Tradlands, medium, 2019): Fall is usually pretty warm (until it’s suddenly not one day), so I always keep a few favorite tees out to wear during the transition. I had the original version of this tee and recently sold it because it ran a little small across the shoulders and chest. I recently bought the updated fit and it’s perfect.

Raw silk T top (c/o Jamie + the Jones, small, 2017) This was my first umber/rust colored shirt and I’ve never looked back. The T Top is always something I reach for when I’m not sure what else to wear. It really makes a statement, even when paired with basic jeans, so I don’t have to put in a ton of effort.

Pima cotton tee (Everlane, 2019): I like to keep a couple of more fitted tops to wear with my wide leg pants. Since I’m short I find the wider bottoms look better when I balance it with a fitted shirt. This deep red is perfect for fall and winter. The pima cotton is thinner than most of my tees, so I like that is doesn’t add too much heft under other layers.

Raw silk T top (Jamie + the Jones, small, 2017): One of my favorite outfits is this top paired with black denim and statement shoes. It works both casual and slightly more dressy.

Graphic sweatshirt (Tradlands, medium, 2019): I love a cute sweatshirt for casual days at work or weekends when I want to be comfy, but not looks sloppy. I love the colors, fit, and brand, so this sweatshirt is a new favorite.
Crew neck sweater (c/o Everlane, medium, 2019): I was initially drawn to the texture of the knit on this sweater. Once I tried it one, I also loved the softness and fit. I like that this sweater can be tucked (unlike me T Sweater), so it will work well with wide leg pants on cold days.

T Sweater (Jamie + the Jones, medium, 2016): An old favorite, I’ve blogged about this sweater twice and have worn it nearly 50 times already. I can’t imagine a fall/winter wardrobe without it. It’s so cozy and such an easy piece to throw on and go, but I always feel great wearing it.

Donegal cashmere (secondhand Everlane, medium, updated version, 2017): This sweater can be hard to wear because it’s very cropped. But I love the flecks of color and texture, so I save it for days I’m wearing very high-waisted bottoms. It’s a classic that I know I’ll wear for a long time.

Fisher sweater (c/o Tradlands, x-small, 2019): I love that this sweater is 100% cotton because wool doesn’t work well for me. Tradlands just released more colors in this style and they’re so good. I love to wear this with simple jeans and cute boots on a cold day.

Convertible sweater (c/o Vetta Capsule, 2017): This is another genius Vetta style, that can be worn with or without the turtleneck and with the buttons forward or backward. It’s more oversized, so it looks cute with fitted bottoms and feels super comfy.

Black sweater (c/o Vetta Capsule, 2018): Vetta just re-released this sweater in time for fall! The details make the sweater: turtleneck is detachable (with buttons), there is a cute side zipper, the oversized knit stands out, and there are thumb holes. This was one of my more worn items last winter and I know that will be true again. I did wash this sweater a few times last winter and it held up great.

Slim turtleneck (Brass Clothing, large, 2016): I never seem to wear this as much as I’d expect, but it’s a great item to have around, so it’s a keeper. I do like that it is slim and tucks in easily so it’s another one that works well with my wide leg pants.
Sweater blazer (J.Crew Factory, small, 2019): This was a late spring addition last year and I love it. I love the look of blazers, but they also felt a little hard to teach in. This one is 100% cotton, which makes it feel more causal, but it also moves more easily. I can’t wait to wear this a lot more this year.

Coatigan (Madewell, small, 2018): In the past I’d tried a few different longline cardigans, but I never felt they looked great on me. I love the more structured style of this jacket and the interesting color. This will be a great fall jacket, but I also wore it to work quite a few times as a cardigan.

Boyfriend cardigan (Old Navy, medium, love this updated style, 2017): I feel this cardigan is starting to look a little worn out, but I don’t wear cardigans enough to warrant investing in a new on at this point.

Denim jacket (hand-me-down H&M, 2019, similar): A few years ago I purged all of my denim jackets because I just never wore them. I borrowed this one from my sister last spring and never gave it back. I wore it all the time. It’s a perfect ‘completer’ piece to an outfit.
Green midi skirt (secondhand Madewell, 2019, similar): This skirt will show up for in fall than winter, but I’m hoping to get a few good wears out of it before it’s time to pack it up.

White denim (Everlane, size 28, 2019): A great contrast from my usual black pants. I love the cheeky fit because they just skim my body and don’t feel to RHOC.

Wide leg crops (Everlane, size 6, 2017): This was my first pair of wide leg pants and I’ve added a few pairs since.

Washed black denim (Everlane, size 28, 2018): I wear these about once per week to work. These are my most comfortable pair of denim. Another of the cheeky fit, they aren’t too loose or too tight and the denim is super soft.

Wide leg denim (Everlane, hand me downs from a friend, size 28, 2019): I was so excited to get this pants from my friend, Andrea. At the time they were a special release Everlane style that I had missed out on, but now they have a very similar style regularly listed. They make such a statement that even with a simple tee or tank I feel pulled together.

Medium wash denim (secondhand Madewell, size 28, 2017, similar fit): Old favorites. The fit and color is very straightforward, which I like for blue jeans.

Bootcut denim (hand-me-downs from a friend, similar) I don’t wear these all that often, but it’s fun to have a different cut in my wardobe to mix things up a bit. I keep thinking bootcut jeans are on the verge of a huge comeback, because I start to see them pop up every year around this time. Yet, I haven’t noticed a huge return of the trend yet?

Rust wide leg pants (Whimsy + Row, 2018): Another statement pant. I usually keep the top very simple (white or black tee) when I wear these pants, but maybe this year I’ll get more adventurous?!

Corduroys (c/o Everlane, size 6, 2019): Coming soon. I love this rich, warm color. I tend to get into ruts with my pants (eh hem…straight leg jeans and wide leg pants), so I’m excited to mix it up this year. My first choice was the pink color, but I decided the hue wasn’t a good fit for the rest of my wardrobe, so I’m exchanging them for the golden brown.

Black wide leg pants (Whimsy + Row, 2018): These are a nice alternative to my black denim for work, so I wear them every other week or so. It has taken a while to figure out how to best style wide leg pants on my short frame. I feel like I made a lot of progress last year, so I’m more confident wearing them than ever.

Jumpsuit (Old Navy, medium, 2019): Though this item is very summer-y, it is also very easy to wear with different layers, so I’ll be keeping it in my closet year-round.
Heeled mules (c/o Nisolo, tts, 2018) // Classic clogs (Lotta From Stockholm, run big, 2017) // Suede heels (Everlane, tts, 2018) // Mules (c/o Nisolo, tts, 2018) // Heeled boots (Nisolo, sized up one full size, 2019)
Graphic Tee (c/o Ramble and Co., XS/S): A great layering piece for fall and winter, but something that I’ll wear regularly again until it warms up. I like to keep out a few favorite tees to wear under cardigans and blazers through winter and this is one of them.

Boyfriend shirt (c/o Vetta Capsule, 2018): This will work well in early fall, but it’s hard to layer sweaters over it due to the big sleeves, so once it really cools down I’ll pack it away.

Striped Popover (secondhand Everlane, 2017, love this version): A few years ago I decided I wasn’t a ‘button-down’ shirt person. I just never felt great wearing them. This shirt seemed like a great compromise and a good option for work. I wear it sometimes, but not a ton. I think I would prefer something that draped more casually.

Sweatshirt (secondhand Target): This is more an around-the-house sweatshirt, but every so often I throw it on for casual Friday or weekend errands.

Silk blouse (c/o Everlane, size 6, fall 2018): I thought because this shirt was a similar boxy cut to my beloved T Tops that I would wear it a ton, but that wasn’t the case last year. I’m like the color and fit and flowy fabric, so I’ll keep it around to see if I find more ways to wear it this year.

Cardigan (Express, 2015): I don’t necessarily love this sweater, but I don’t dislike it enough to purge it. Every couple of seasons I wear it a handful of times and that warrants keeping it. I sometimes wear it with leggings around the house, too.

Wrap Top (c/o Vetta, 2018): This is another top that works better in warmer weather because it doesn’t layer well. But I’ll keep in it my closet for a few more months while we have warmer days.
Midi dress (c/o Vetta, small, 2019, love this detachable skirt update): I am not sure how often I’ll wear this when it really cools down, because it feels very summery. But I’d like to experiment with layering it a bit for early fall.

Light Wash Denim (secondhand Madewell): Last year I just didn’t reach for these jeans as often as I had in past years. The super light denim doesn’t look good with my darker winter shoes and boots, so I keep them more for warmer weather.

Black denim (Everlane, size 27, 2017): Since getting my washed black denim I tend to wear those more, but I still like the fit and shape of these.

Tapered pants (c/o Vetta, medium, 2018): I ignored these pants almost all last winter. Finally I tried them with my heeled Chelsea boots and I was hooked. I look forward to wearing them a lot more this year.

Ponte Pants (Brass Clothing): A couple of years ago I wore these pants all of the time. Then I started to move to styles that had more room and weren’t skinny cut. These are high quality pants, and I may get back into the skinny fit again, so I keep them and wear them every so often.

Reversible Jumper (c/o Vetta Capsule, small, 2018): I tried this a few times last year with shirts and sweaters layered underneath and I just didn’t care for it. But early in fall I don’t need tights can wear it with an outer layer, so it will stay in my closet a little longer.

Pencil dress (Brass Clothing, large, 2017): This one takes some courage to wear, so I don’t wear it super often. It works well for work and dress up depending on the footwear, so I’ll hang on to it for a long time even if it isn’t in regular rotation.

Straight midi dress (Everlane, medium, 2018): Similar to the other dresses, I only imagine this staying in my closet through October, maybe early November if we have an unusually warm day.

Jumpsuit (Old Navy, 2018): Same as above.

Maxi dress (Brass Clothing, medium, 2016): Same as above
Birkenstocks (Birkenstock, run big, 2017) // Woven Mules (c/o Nisolo, tts, 2019) // Huaraches (Nisolo, tts, 2018) // Leopard Oxfords (secondhand Target, 2016, thinking of updating my animal print footwear to these) // D’orsay Oxfords (Nisolo, tts, 2017)

Oh my goodness…that was a doozy! I hope if you’re considering building a capsule this helps give you some ideas or makes it feel more feasible. In the beginning I feel like I was always looking for a ‘formula’ to create my capsule, but I think the best approach is to really start by identifying what you love to wear and getting rid of (or packing up) all of the items you feel just ‘meh’ about.

Once I realized how great it felt to have a closet full only of items I love wearing, I knew I’d never go back. Here’s a post on my wardrobe history if you’d like to see where I started. I also have a drop-down menu of all of my old capsules if you’d like to see the progression.

And I hope you’ll follow along here and on Instagram to see how I wear these items this season. Part of the reason I love and continue to share to show you how much is possible with a small wardrobe.

The post Fall Wardrobe: What I’ll Be Wearing appeared first on Style This Life.
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